With spring in the air, it’s time to dive into a new backyard home improvement project! Whether it’s giving the old shed an overhaul, creating a water feature, installing a fire pit, or planting a new garden plot, now is the time to get outside and freshen up your yard.

Water features are becoming an increasingly popular design element for backyards. Whether you want to add a flowing fountain, peaceful pond, or simply a place for birds to splash and bathe, water can add a great visual aesthetic as well as soothing sounds to your backyard oasis.

Image Credit: Clotee Pridgen Allochuku via Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0

Image Credit: Clotee Pridgen Allochuku via Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0

Here are some tips to get started if you want to build your own water feature.

DIY Water Feature Project Tips

Pick the right spot

Survey your yard and decide where your water feature should go. Of course you want to pick somewhere visually appealing, but you’ll want to consider the soil type and the amount of rocks and other debris in the area. Choose somewhere that won’t pose too many challenges when it’s time to get down to business. Avoid areas where leaves and debris are likely to inundate your water feature. Also keep in mind which areas will be easy to access for maintenance and cleaning.

Decide on a type of water feature

There are so many options to choose from when it comes to water features, and there’s something for every style and budget. Check out resources like DIY Network, Home Depot, Lowes, and of course, Pinterest, for inspiration. You can opt for a basic pond with a fountain, or go wild with a waterfall. There are also more elaborate options, like a water wall, a bubble fountain, and many other types of fountains or ponds.

Image Credit: Keith Smiley via Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0

Image Credit: Keith Smiley via Flickr licensed under CC BY 2.0

Find a plan for your desired feature

Once you’ve chosen the design you like, find a plan that will show you how to carry out each step. Some water features look simple but require some complicated maneuvers behind the scenes. Make sure you have a clear course of action before you begin. Home Depot has a step-by-step guide to create a terra cotta pot fountain, and DIY Network has how-to guides for a basic pond, a bubble fountain, and more. Use your plan to draw a sketch of your feature and measure your area before you begin.

Prepare the location

The first step to create a sunken water feature like a pond is to remove plants, rocks, and debris from the space and dig out your pond shape. When you’re deciding how deep to make your pond, consider what plants or wildlife you’d like to include.

If you’re building a fountain or bubbler, you’ll need to address the electricity supply. You may want to work with a qualified electrician to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

Image Credit: Gardener41 via Flickr licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Image Credit: Gardener41 via Flickr licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Install the feature

Once you’ve laid the groundwork, you can begin the installation process. Each feature will be different, so refer to the specific guide you’re using for your project. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure to add a layer of fill sand if necessary to protect your pond liner or to level a fountain fixture.
  • Use a thick, sturdy pond liner that can be molded to fit the shape of the pond.
  • If using plants, choose ones that will do well in your growing region and near water.
  • Use a silicone sealant when necessary.
  • Protect the electrical cord with plastic tubing for safety, and make sure to use GFI electrical connections.

Protect your new water feature from mosquitoes

Now that your feature is ready to rock, make sure to take precautions to keep mosquitoes out. Standing water provides a prime breeding ground for mosquitoes, so if your water feature is completely still (without a fountain or bubbler), you can refer to our tips for how to keep mosquitoes out of a bird bath.

For a feature with a fountain, make sure the pump is strong enough to keep water circulating throughout the entire fountain. If the pond is large, you may want to consider two pumps. You can also utilize other methods to keep mosquitoes out, like treating the water with bacterial insecticide dunks or conserving natural habitat around your yard to encourage mosquitoes’ natural predators to hang around.

When you are enjoying your water feature outdoors, be sure to enjoy time outside bite-free by contacting DC Mosquito Squad today.

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