How to Build an Pond
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Print Instructions (Above Ground)
Print Instructions (In-Ground)
Enhance your flower garden with a beautiful pond using the AB Courtyard Collection. With this flexible system you can build a pond in a
weekend without any special tools and without splitting blocks. In this example we are building a 6 ft (1.8 m) diameter pond with a pre-formed liner on soil.
If you are constructing your pond on an exisiting concrete surface, skip to Step 4.
Step 1: Mark Your LayoutPlace a stake in the center of where you would like to build your pond. Measure the diameter of the pond liner, then mark on the string one half of the diameter. Tie the string to the stake and rotate it marking the ground for the liner. Temporarily place 30 AB York blocks along the outside of the circle marked on the ground. Adjust blocks as needed to fit the design. Use a shovel to cut around the blocks and mark where the sod and soil will be removed to construct the base.
Step 2: ExcavateRemove the blocks used to layout the pond location. Then remove the sod and 3 in. (76 mm) of soil in the entire area. If your plans includes a decorative center sculpture or fountain it is recommended to remove additional soil in the center to construct a stronger base. If electricity is required please follow local electrical codes.
Step 3: Prepare the Foundation PadNext prepare the foundation pad by placing 4 in. of well-graded gravel in the excavated area. Level the area making adjustments where needed. A straight 2x4 and a level make easy work of leveling the site. Compact the gravel with a hand compactor.
Step 4: Stacking BlocksStart building the pond using the string to position the blocks. Building two courses at a time will insure proper alignment. Check the blocks for level. Make adjustments to the circumference of the circle so that cutting is not required. Next add the third course of blocks.
Step 5: Add the Pond LinerPlace the liner in the ring of the blocks. Position the panel caps and glue them down with concrete adhesive. This will lock the blocks together and prevent unwanted disassembly.
Step 6: Add Decorative Rock & AccessoriesPlace your choice of clean decorative rock in the bottom of the liner. Now you're ready to add water and other ornamental accessories to customize your design.
Mark the Location
Remove Soil to Prepare
the Foundation Pad
Prepare the Foundation Pad
Build the First 2 Courses
Add the Pond Liner
Add Decorative Rock & Accessories
How to Build an In-Ground Pond
Enhance your yard with a beautiful pond using the AB Courtyard
Collection. With this flexible system you can build a pond in a
weekend without any special tools or splitting of blocks. This below
ground pond will use 4 courses of AB York blocks, Wall Caps, a
flexible pond liner and a fountain (optional).
When completed the pond will be an outstanding element in your yard. The liner we are using will be placed on the outside of the blocks to allow the AB Courtyard blocks, decorative rock and fountain to be the main focal point.
Step 1: Choose Your LocationFirst, choose the location for your pond and place a stake in the center. Using a tape measure, mark 41 in. (1.04 m) on the string starting at the stake. Using paint and the string, mark a circle around the stake at the location of the pond.
Temporarily place the AB York blocks along the inside of the circle marked on the ground. Each course of the pond will use 27 blocks to complete the circle. Adjust blocks as needed, making sure the blocks are tight together. Use a shovel to cut around the blocks and mark where the sod and soil will be removed.
Step 2: ExcavateRemove the blocks used to mark the pond location. Next clear any existing landscaping in the entire area and dig a hole a minimum of 12 in. (300 mm) deep to accommodate the pond. Later, we will be using some of the removed material as backfill to add a gradual slope up to the pond’s edge.
Step 3: Create the Leveling PadNext in the bottom of the hole, dig a leveling trench 8 in. wide (200 mm) by 3 in. deep (75 mm) around the outside of the pond where the blocks will be placed.
Use a level and a straight 2x4 to level the entire pond area from side to side. A level base will make it easy to install the rest of the pond. If electricity is required for a fountain, please follow local electrical codes.
Step 4: Layout the First CourseTemporarily place the first two courses of AB York blocks on the sand leveling pad. Building the first two courses at the same time ensures proper alignment. Level and adjust each block from side to side and front to back. Once the first two courses are in place. Use a level and a straight 2x4 to level the blocks from side to side across the pond.
Step 5: Add the Pond LinerBefore adding the liner, carefully remove all the AB York blocks. The blocks must be leveled before the liner is installed to prevent damage to the liner later. When installing the flexible liner, be sure to press the sides of the liner into the outside edges of the pond. Be careful not to step or stand on the sand leveling pad.
Step 6: Install the BlocksWith the liner in place, carefully replace the first 2 courses of blocks in the location of the leveling pad. To avoid damaging the liner later, make only minor adjustments if possible to re-level the blocks. With the first 2 courses complete and leveled, install the 3rd course.
Step 7: Trim Pond Liner to SizeWith the 3 courses installed, fold the liner up over the top of the blocks. Using onsite soils, backfill around the outer edge of the liner up to the top of the blocks. Gently compact this soil to prevent settling of the soil later. Using a utility knife, trim the excess liner at the outer edge of the top of this 3rd course of blocks. Remember that the high water mark can not exceed the top of the cut of the liner. For deeper water levels, you must bury more courses.
Step 8: Install Final Course of BlocksInstall the last course of blocks. If the pond needs electricity, chip off the bottom edge of one block using a hammer and chisel to make room for the power cord. Follow individual manufacturer’s instructions on proper installation of any accessory you will be adding to the pond.
Step 9: Finish With Wall CapsFinish the pond with Wall Caps. They can be secured in place with concrete adhesive (optional).
Step 10: The Final TouchesIts time to add the water, decorative rock, a sculpture/fountain or plantings. When using rock, we recommend rinsing the rock before placing in the pond for best results. Finish the landscaping around the pond with mulch and plantings and enjoy.
Mark the Pond Location
Dig the Foundation
Prepare the Leveling Pad
Layout the First Course
Check for Level
Add the Liner
Add the Next Course of Blocks
Trim Pond Liner to Size
Add the Last Course
Add the Wall Caps