Pond & Water Feature Construction

So-Cal Ponds, Inc. is a California licensed landscape contractor serving the San Gabriel, Van Nuys and Santa Clarita valley’s which specializes in the designing, building and maintenance of custom koi ponds, water gardens, and pondless water features.  We always take into consideration the maintenance and cleaning of the pond and want to make this task as minimal as possible. Let’s face it, if it’s difficult or time-consuming to clean and maintain it won’t be done. All of our water features are designed to be low maintenance, environmentally friendly and a destination both you and the local wildlife desire.  We have built water gardens as small as 250 gallons and as large as a hybrid koi pond of 20,000+ gallons, several natural ponds of 50,000 gallons with many water features in between. We are happy to design and build any sized water feature we can. After all, pond construction is what we do! Visit our contact page or give us a call at (818) 541-9944 and someone will be in touch shortly.

We are local to the foothills of Pasadena, and along the 210 freeway, however we serve all of Southern California including Ventura, Orange, San Diego and San Bernardino Counties. If we can not help you for one reason or another, we are in close contact with a nationwide network of Pond and Landscape Contractors who know the ins and outs of the pond world that are willing and able to help you with whatever you may need assistance with.

So Cal Ponds Inc

Pond Design

Over the years we have seen many ponds. Some have been built by the homeowners themselves. These ponds are often “impulse” ponds, meaning the pond is built because someone read a magazine or watched a 10 minute video and thought “I can do that.”  There is a lot that goes into pond design and pond construction, like PLANNING and making sure the right equipment is being used.   When a pond kit is purchased at a big box store for $99.99 you can almost guarantee the pond will fail within six months.

A well designed and constructed pond will cost many thousands of dollars.  Often times many key components such as adequate circulation, aeration and most importantly filtration are overlooked. When these items are overlooked, it is setting the pond up for a guaranteed failure, which will then lead to more work, a larger investment and less enjoyment of your pond. (check out this video).

Some of the things we like to take into consideration when designing and building a pond are:

  • How large will the feature be?
  • Will there be plants and fish in the pond or are you looking for a fish only pond?
  • Will the water feature be visible from all points of the house and yard?
  • Are there proper utilities near the pond, such as water and electrical?
  • Are there large trees or aggressive grower such as bamboo near the pond and if so, what type?
  • Will this be a fish heavy pond, requiring extra filtration?
  • Is there plenty of room for access of materials and possible heavy equipment during construction?
  • How can we tie the pond into the existing landscape?
  • Will the waterfall create any problems for neighbors or pets?

If you plan on building this feature yourself, that’s great and more power to you. However, we suggest you call a professional and pay for a design consultation. It will be money well spent. A simple design consultation can help prevent costly mistakes and ensure your pond is designed and constructed in a way that will lead to enjoyment and relaxation.  A few things a quality pond contractor can help prevent is under filtration, inadequate water flow and over stocking with fish.  We carry all of the supplies to help you build your pond, from liner and pumps to expanding foam and aquatic plants.

If you are unsure of what style of pond you want or how large you can make it, we can help you to determine what size and style would best suit your needs.  There are many options to consider when designing a pond.  Feel free to ask us any questions you may have.

Pond Construction

There are many ways to build a pond, straight sides, sloped sides, stepped sides. There are also methods of pond construction, concrete with stucco, concrete with Polyurea, concrete paint or EPDM Rubber liners.  We prefer EPDM rubber liners, because they are cost effective, flexible and easy to work with. We have good luck with rubber liners and if properly designed and placed there is no reason a rubber liner shouldn’t outlast you. There is more to pond construction than just digging a hole, throwing a liner in the hole and filling it with a bunch of rock and gravel.  We see it all the times, where the rocks are simply tossed into hole with no method or thought and a year or two later those same rocks are at the bottom of the pond. Each rock must be placed in a certain way to secure the next rock while also highlighting its good side :). Using the proper material or product at the right time can make all the difference. If a Pond Contractor uses cheap tubing for the supply to the pump you can guarantee there will be issues. If the landscape contractor uses round rock as the main rock, its only a short period of time before those rocks all end up in the bottom of the pond. If the contractor doesn’t compact the soil under the waterfall or stream you can bet there will be major settling and leaks will follow shortly. 

Do yourself a favor and do some research on pond construction techniques before hiring someone to build your pond or landscape. Do the same if not more research on that same person to make sure they know how to design and construct a pond or landscape before you hand over your hard earned money.  We can’t stress how important it is to actually see either in person or pictures of the contractors work. This will answer many questions you may have, and allow you to see that contractors “style” of pond building. Everyone has a different eye and a different idea of what looks good. Seeing their work will allow you to see what your finished project will look like. 

Hiring a LICENSED CONTRACTOR verses some guy has it’s benefits. It most likely wont be the cheapest options but it does offer protection to both you, the homeowner and the contractor. 

Here are a few question to ask your possible licensed landscape contractor before hiring them:

  • Are you a licensed contractor that specializes in pond construction and pond design. Can I please see a copy of your contractor license.
  • What type of guarantee do you offer on your construction?
  • After I sign this contract, what happens if I change my mind?
  • Do you have workers comp and general liability insurance?
  • How long will this project take to complete?
  • Will the pond recirculate 24 hours a day?
  • Do you have design portfolio and testimonials? 
  • Can you show us in person some of your past projects?
  • Do you charge for design consultations or provide free pond design estimates?
  • Do you only build ponds or do you also offer pond maintenance and repair?