How Much Does It Cost To Build A Pond?

Ponds add beauty and tranquility to any landscape and can be a great investment for homeowners. But how much does it cost to build a pond? What can make the cost rise or fall?

This blog post will answer those questions and more. So read on to find out what you need to know about pond construction costs!

*Please keep in mind that many of these numbers are national averages and will change based on factors such as the tier of the contractor and your location.

Smaller backyard pond with landscaping

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Pond In Michigan?

In Michigan, the cost to build a pond can be on the pricier side. For high-quality and low-maintenance ponds, you’re looking at spending $7,500 to $50,000 and higher.

The cost is mostly affected by the pond building process you or a contractor choose.

How Much Does Pond Installation Cost On Average?

National Average Cost

The national average cost to build a pond ranges from about $1,000 to $60,000 and more. This cost has such a range because it depends on the type of pond you’re thinking about, its size, features, and other factors covered later in this post.

Average Cost Per Square Foot

The answer to how much does it cost to build a pond can be calculated in square feet. Small pond projects can cost between $2.50-$7.15 per square foot. Larger water features like natural swimming ponds can cost between $50-$300 per square foot to install.

Average Cost In Different Regions

San Francisco: $3,800

Los Angeles: $3,800

Philadelphia: $3,600

Boston: $3,200-$3,600

Miami: $3,100

Dallas: $2,900

Denver: $2,600

Atlanta: $2,400

Chicago: $2,300

Kansas City: $2,000

Average Cost Based On Budget

Please keep in mind that these are national averages for the query “how much does it cost to build a pond.” There are many factors, such as location, that will affect the end cost.


This is about how much a DIY pond costs or a pond built by a very basic pond contractor. It might be between 150 and 200 square feet.


You can sometimes get up to 300 square feet of pond with this amount.


Your pond may be between 500 and 1,000 square feet.


This is for ponds larger than 1,000 square feet or areas with a difficult installation process.


Now, depending on your contractor, you might start getting into larger or more custom ponds.

Average Cost For A Backyard Pond By Water Volume

To get an accurate estimate of how much does it cost to build a pond, you can also calculate per volume of water in your feature. This will take into account not only the amount of water needed to fill it but also associated costs like a pump, liner, and ongoing electric usage.

360 gallons


720 gallons


1,300 gallons


2,600 gallons


5,000 gallons


10,000 gallons


Pond Construction Costs By Size

Small pond by larger body of water
  • 4 feet by 6 feet: $3,500-$5,000
  • 6 feet by 8 feet: $7,500-$10,000
  • 8 feet by 11 feet: $12,000-$16,000
  • 11 feet by 16 feet: $13,000-$25,000
  • 16 feet by 21 feet: $25,000-$35,000
  • 26 feet by 26 feet: $35,000-$50,000

Backyard Pond Installation Prices

Backyard ponds are one of the more popular ponds people install. When it comes to how much does it cost to build a pond, this one can be between $50 and $15,160. These prices include people doing DIY projects and hiring lower-tier contractors.

*Grass Roots Pond And Garden’s ponds are high-quality in looks and operation and include features such as waterfalls and edging. This is why our prices are on the higher end.

Quarter-Acre Ponds

$750-$4,500 and higher, depending on how complex the excavation process is. Large trees and other obstacles will make the project harder and maybe require large equipment, causing the price to rise.

Acre Ponds

When it comes to how much does it cost to build a pond, this can include larger ponds than backyard ones. These can cost from $5,000 to $35,000 for a basic one-acre pond installation project.

20-Acre Lakes

This massive project can start at $10,000 and easily run all the way up to $100,000 and more. The price rises with the more addons you build, such as a dock for boats.

Pond Installation Cost By Type

Beautiful koi pond with waterfall

The following costs are based on national averages for different types of ponds.

Backyard Ponds

Building a backyard pond costs between $50-$15,160. It mostly depends on whether you hire a contractor to install it or decide to build it yourself.

Koi Ponds

$5,000-$55,000 and higher, depending on who you hire, your location, additional features, and other cost factors.

Garden Ponds

When it comes to how much does it cost to build a pond, a garden pond can cost between $3,000 and $15,000 to install.

Natural Swimming Ponds

These larger swimming ponds can range in price from $50-$300 per square foot.

Above-Ground Ponds

Above-ground ponds can start at $1,560 and go up to as much as a koi pond.

Farm Ponds

Farm ponds usually cost between $2,000 and $10,000 in total.

Fishing Ponds

Depending on the size and other factors, a fishing pond can cost between $1,500 and $75,000.


The cost to build a lake can fall between $3,000 and $8,200 per square acre.

Liner Cost For Building A Pond

Installing liner in a backyard pond

When it comes to how much does it cost to build a pond, you also need to consider the liner. Here are the average cost ranges per square foot for the different liner options you can choose for your pond:


$.35-$2.50 per square foot


$.35-$.60 per square foot


$.25-$1.20 per square foot


$.50-$7.50 per square foot


$3.50-$6.00 per square foot


$1.15-$2.45 per square foot


$60-$120 per square foot

Professional vs DIY Cost To Build A Pond

Partially above-ground pond

The answer to how much does it cost to build a pond varies greatly between a DIY build and a professional pond contractor installation.

A DIY build can cost a few hundred dollars and go up from there. You’re also spending time and energy learning how to build one and actually doing it.

Professional pond contractors will cost more, but they have the knowledge and experience to build a pond without making mistakes. If they do, they’ll be able to identify and fix the issue more easily. Plus, you won’t have to spend time and energy doing the manual labor yourself.

Cost Of Labor For Building A Pond

Pond crew hauling dirt from dig site

When it comes to the question of how much does it cost to build a pond, you’ll need to consider labor costs. They can usually range from $50-$200 per hour. Per square foot, it comes out to between $2.75-$7.00.

Higher-tier pond contractor teams will cost more as you’re paying for their higher level of knowledge and skill. They should be able to build an incredible-looking pond that works beautifully.

Lower-tier pond contractors can get the job done, but it’s likely you won’t be in love with the finished product.

Cost For Pond Equipment

Small excavator at work making garden pond

The equipment it takes to run your pond is another feature to think about when it comes to the question of how much does it cost to build a pond.

Both a pump and filters can cost between $50 and $400 apiece. It comes down to the quality, features, and size you need to operate your pond.

Cost To Stock A Pond

Koi pond with koi

Stocking your pond with fish, animals, and aquatic plants is another feature to consider when pondering the question of how much does it cost to build a pond.

Fish can cost between $.25 and hundreds of dollars each. It depends on what types of fish you choose. Goldfish tend to be cheaper, while koi fish can go into the several hundred dollar range.

Other animals can be between $2.60 and $200.

Aquatic plants can cost between $4 and $55 or higher, depending on what you choose.

Cost For Additional Features

Larger backyard pond with waterfalls

You can also add features that will change the answer to how much does it cost to build a pond. They can make your pond more enjoyable, which is usually worth the additional cost.


If not included in the original price, adding a waterfall can cost between $855 and $4,500.


Making your pond’s surroundings look beautiful can range in cost from $350-$10,000.

Liner Type

Unless your pond contractor has a liner type they use, or you negotiate for a different type, liners can cost between $.25-$120 per square foot.


On average, adding a patio to your pond can cost between $2,000 and $5,500.


Adding one of the types of edges to your pond makes a more distinct boundary. This can cost between $1 and $15 per square foot unless it’s included in the original price.

Cost Factors For Pond Building

Landscaped pond with waterfall

When it comes to how much does it cost to build a pond, there are several factors that will change it.


In general, the cost of materials and labor is higher in urban areas than in rural areas. This is because there is a greater demand for these services in cities, and businesses have to charge more to make a profit. Also, the cost of land is usually higher in urban areas, which means that the total cost of building a pond will be higher in these areas.

Desired Size

The size of your pond will have a direct impact on the answer to how much does it cost to build a pond. Larger ponds take more time to dig and may require large digging equipment. These cost money to rent, which impacts your overall cost. Smaller ponds are usually easier and quicker to excavate and, therefore, cheaper.


Whether it’s large tree roots, underground utility lines, or bedrock just below the surface, these obstacles can significantly increase the cost of construction. In some cases, the only way to overcome these obstacles is to hire a professional excavator.

Type Of Soil

The type of soil you have on your property can affect the answer to how much does it cost to build a pond. Clay soils are dense and impermeable, which means they don’t allow water to pass through them easily. Conversely, sandy soils are loose and allow water to pass through them easily. The most ideal type of soil for a pond is loamy soil, which is a mixture of sand, silt, and clay. Loamy soil has the perfect balance of drainage and moisture retention.

Liners can help avoid these problems as they provide an ideal material to hold water.


One of the most important factors in determining the answer to how much does it cost to build a pond is the depth of the hole. The deeper the hole, the more expensive it will be to dig. This is because digging a deep hole requires more time and effort and also requires special equipment that can handle the deeper soil.

Choose Grass Roots Pond & Garden To Install A Pond You Can Be Proud Of

A well-installed pond can be the perfect finishing touch to your landscaping and provide years of enjoyment. If you’re interested in adding a pond to your property, please fill out our contact form today. We would love to help you choose the perfect pond for your home.