How Much Liability Insurance Does A 21 Year Old Need Koi Pond Or Pondless Waterfall – Where Do I Begin?

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Koi Pond Or Pondless Waterfall – Where Do I Begin?

1.) Have you considered a water feature? Is it true that a water feature will add equity to my home? And a swimming pool? Doesn’t a pond require a lot of maintenance? What is the average cost? Do I need a building permit? Should I have fish?…we travel a lot!

American Society of Landscape Architects

Landscape architects identify trends for 2007

WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ –“Sustainable design is more important than ever, and homeowners and commercial building owners are looking to make even more use of outdoor spaces. The new year will bring a number of design solutions. exciting and creative designs by landscape architects.

Homeowners ask landscape architects to design complete outdoor rooms, such as kitchens and bars, for entertaining. Aquatic features such as koi ponds, waterfalls and fountains continue to be popular (with no signs of slowing down), according to a new survey of core members from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).

The American Nurseryman Association reports that “Water features are the fastest growing trend in landscaping since 1990 (2007 is expected to break all records.)”

Regionally, in-ground pools will add about 5% to a home’s value in the Northeast, about 6% in the Midwest, and 7.5% in the Southeast and West. In the Southwest, a swimming pool will add almost 11% to the value of the house.

If you add a $35,000 swimming pool to a $300,000 house, you will barely recoup your initial outlay. However, you still have the high maintenance cost and you have just limited future buyers of your home to people who want a swimming pool. Therefore, you have effectively reduced the equity in your home. On the other hand, everyone loves a beautiful piece of water, young and old! Hence, increased equity!

Swimming pools require constant attention and maintenance. Unlike ponds, pool owners cannot rely on the nitrogen cycle to help keep the water healthy. This can only be accomplished through due diligence and a myriad of chemicals. Unlike a pool, the pleasure of a swimming pool comes from its use; and for most parts of the country, the climate dictates a very short period of time for pool use. Unless you heat your pool, you will be pouring more money into it.

A pond requires a minimum of attention compared to a swimming pool. Once a properly constructed pond is established with the right proportion of fish, plants and biological elements, a pond will take care of itself, the rest is fun, all year round. You don’t have to use a pond like you do a swimming pool, it just needs to exist for you to enjoy it.

2.) What should I do for the safety of my young children or grandchildren? How big should it be? Is this something I can do myself or do I need professional help to build a pond?

Unlike a swimming pool, ponds can be childproofed at very little cost. A swimming pool, however, requires special self-closing doors with special latches. Another code requirement is 95 decibel alarms on all exit doors leading to the back yard.

And for your peace of mind, you can install a light, removable and unsightly fence that costs hundreds of dollars. Then you may continually wonder if you, or someone else, forgot to close the fence door.

A pond, however, can be filled with large rocks, which can be removed later when the children are older. Or you can start by building a waterfall without a pond. Now you can still enjoy the sight and sound of cascading water without worrying about safety.

An added benefit of a pondless waterfall is that a pondless waterfall costs less to build and maintain. A pond-less waterfall can be added to your front yard, meet all building code requirements, increase curb appeal, and thus increase your home’s equity and resale value.

“Water feature size” is a relative term. Many factors must be taken into account. Much more than can be discussed in the space I have allocated for this article. I will cover it in my next article. A few questions to ask yourself: How big is your land? Where do you spend most of your time? What is your budget? How does the size, shape and topography of your yard relate to certain building code limitations? Will the existing water table affect your body of water? Does your property currently have an adequate drainage system? Do you have underground utilities? If yes, where are they located? What are the local building codes regarding pond depth? Do you need planning permission or a licensed contractor?… to name just a few of the topics covered.

Whether you need a professional contractor is another story. What type of access do you have to your property? Do you want big boulders? If so, is there adequate clearance for a crane or Bobcat? How do I find a qualified contractor? How do you qualify them? Are they properly authorized? Insured? Related ? Worker’s compensation? Liability insurance? Hospitalization? References? Background checks and more. Do your homework and do proper research before you start, it could save you thousands of dollars.

3.) What is the most important first step in building a body of water? What about equipment? Should I buy koi fish and a turtle? Where should I place my pond and waterfall? All these questions can be addressed in two words: Plan & Design!

First, decide where you spend most of your leisure activities…family room, living room, patio, etc. Your waterfall and pond should be close to this location. Not in the farthest corner of your property. Sound and viewing are two of the primary benefits of a waterfall and pond. These decisions are part of the planning process. Once you have decided on these questions, the design process begins.

The best way to approach this phase is to consider digital design. There are companies that can produce an amazing digitally designed virtual photo of your backyard by simply providing them with a digital photo of the area where you want to place the water feature. You can choose to digitally design your own. There are digital design programs that are easy to master on your own for less than a hundred dollars. Simply search the web by typing in digitally designed ponds or waterfalls.

The type of equipment you should use depends on the size of your pond. Your budget is another factor. If you have a small budget, you consider designing a small pond. Also, look at the options available for building materials.

You can purchase a rubber liner kit and install it yourself, or have a rubber liner kit installer install it for you. Ultimately, there’s no guarantee against cut-toothed creatures such as mice, rats, ground squirrels, ground squirrels, and ground swine anyway, digging under your expensive rubber flooring and to chew a hole in it. Concrete (3500 psi) and rebar is the best method of construction, and if done correctly will last for generations. Concrete ponds only cost 10-20% more to build than tarpaulin ponds.

Your pond will require less maintenance if you let the nitrogen cycle do all the work. This means you have to do your part by providing the necessary elements for the nitrogen cycle to work. Fish provide the waste products that produce nitrates and ammonia. Some essential bacteria break down nitrates and ammonia into safe by-products used by plants and other organisms.

Once this process has begun, using a biological filter and possibly ultraviolet light, future maintenance is minimal and routine. A high efficiency above ground pump produces more water flow at half the energy and at a lower initial cost than a sump pump used with lined ponds. The savings in electricity costs alone could easily pay for the added cost of professional concrete construction in less than three years.

4.) Where can I find the equipment and construction materials I need to complete my project? How do I know what size filter, pump or UV light I need? If I want to have a concrete pond and waterfall shell, where do I start?

The internet is the best place to start looking for material. Local pond stores are usually more expensive, due to overhead. Most internet dealers know the sizing of pumps, filters, and ultraviolet lights for any size pond or waterfall. However, keep in mind that most online dealers try to push pond liners, sump pumps, and pond liner related filters and accessories.

Look for energy-efficient pumps first, and these dealers will carry products related to concrete ponds such as bottom drains, pool-style skimmers, and pressurized, back-flushing biological ball filters. Also, Liner dealers sell the mechanical automatic filling devices cheaply, due to high profit margin.

Be sure to invest in a reliable electronic autofill system that is less likely to malfunction, such as leveling and aquafill systems. A stuck float could lead to the death of all your fish from chlorine poisoning and possibly thousands of dollars in flood damage.

If you act as your own project manager, you can get competitive bids from a local concrete contractor for your pond and waterfall pour. Also find a stonemason who will build your waterfall using mortar. With lined ponds and waterfalls, rocks sit on the liner and can easily shift when stepped on by adults or children, which can lead to serious accidents.

Trying to save hundreds of dollars up front could cost you thousands of dollars later. In for money.

Penny wise and [pond] foolish? Happy koi, peace and joy.

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