Contractor’s Corner: Go Big or Go Home!

By Bobby Kenyon

Published on December 30, 2022

Hardscaping & ecosystem pond round out backyard renovation

Pond and hardscape by CE Pontz Sons
Large waterfalls flow underneath the stone bridge.

This pond was part of a complete backyard makeover. The backyard had mature landscaping, a small pond that had been in the ground for quite some time, and a concrete patio area, all of which had seen better days.

We (CE Pontz Sons) were called in to design and install a complete renovation of the existing area. All concrete was removed from the yard, along with the existing landscape and pond.

waterfall with large stone bridge CE Pontz Sons
Large stone bridge also helps provide shelter from predators.

The pond we installed is approximately 15 feet long by 13 feet wide and 3 feet deep. We nestled this pond between two patio areas. The main patio area connects the back entrance to the driveway and is used for outdoor cooking, dining and entertaining. The smaller patio “across the pond” is for relaxing by the firepit.  Both patios have perfect views of the pond and waterfalls.

A large stone slab was installed as a bridge across the pond to allow access between the two patio areas without having to walk around. There is also another large stone slab atop a stacked stone area that sits in the pond, which provides a platform for fish feeding and allows for up-close and personal interaction with the fish.

This is an Aquascape ecosystem pond, which features a biofalls and skimmer filtration system along with boulders, rock and gravel covering the entire area. The typical ponds that we install are approximately 24 inches in depth. In this case, the homeowner was looking for more depth to house lots of koi, so we excavated to a 36-inch depth instead.

Fortunately, with the entire landscape being renovated, it allowed us excellent access for equipment. This was extremely beneficial in the demolition of the existing backyard and allowed us to set larger boulders, which I believe always make the difference in the quality and character of a pond. Go big or go home!

paver pations connected by a natural stone bridge
Two paver patios connected by a natural stone bridge.

This pond is completely decked out with low-voltage underwater lighting as well as several fish caves to keep the koi safe from would-be predators. One side of the pond is partially constructed of stacked slate, which helps break up the boulder work, provide some interest and act as a platform for the large rock ledge used for feeding.

The pond also features an adjustable-flow pump, automatic dosing system and IonGen algae preventative system to aid with water quality and clarity.

While the pond is certainly the highlight of this backyard, I absolutely love this project as a whole. I feel our designers definitely knocked this one out of the park, and our crew flawlessly executed the installation. The only downside is, POND Trade isn’t featuring the pond and hardscape category in this year’s Water Artisans of the Year contest!

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5 thoughts on “Contractor’s Corner: Go Big or Go Home!”

  1. Hi Bobby. Geez, this post is fantastic. The photos are incredible, offering an inviting atmosphere. It seems like spending time in this pond can instantly calm my mind. I would love to have this kind of pond on my property, especially since it can house lots of koi. But will a 24” depth work in this project? I’m also concerned about my garden’s size; I think it’s not as huge as yours. So, is a 10 x 15 feet pond good enough?

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Designers: Wes Young & Jeremy Goodhart

Installer:  C.E. Pontz Sons


Size: 13’ x 15’ x 3’

Components: Aquascape pump, liner, lights, plumbing, filtration system (biofalls, skimmer), rock, gravel, natural stone slabs (bridge)

Time to Complete: 1 week

Crew: Ryan Schroeder, Jose Santiago, Jason Malkowski

Cost: 28,000 (pond only)



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