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Anbody Out There Doing Quality Work???????

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by stxkyboy, Jan 4, 2004.

  1. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    Is this what you mean by "quality"?:D

    I've got 4 pics that I'll post of the same pond. Was installed by a company I used to work for right before I went to work for them. I did some work on it while I was there though. All totaled, the final cost was over $100k. They had to use a crane to get the boulders in place, got the biggest one they could, and it was still maxxxxxed out!

    If this isn't quality to you, then get out of the business. This is the best there is. Granted, the site played a major part in the success- it lent itself well to the way the pond was installed- and money (at the time) wasn't an issue.

    I agree with you on a lot of the pics posted so far. I'm no expert, but I hate seeing volcanoes and ponds surrounded by gravel.

    BTW, these pics do not do the pond justice!


  2. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    This shows the top of the waterfall. The Location of the previous picture is towards the top right on this one...


  3. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    This is a picture looking down on the pond/waterfall/stream from above.

    I think the total run on this one was near 40', total elevation was between 15-20', as best as I can remember. Bottom pond was in the area of 20'x25'. It's been more than a year since I've been there, so my recollection is probably off, but I think I'm close. It had two pumps, I'm thinking one was around 10-14k gph, the other was 6-9k gph.

    One reason to NOT use koi though, the homeowner bought a dozen at a total price of around $1800. They were gone in a matter of 2 months. Nothing could be done to stop the persistant blue heron!!!


  4. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    Last one. This is the view from bottom. The driveway came in behind where the camera is, about 200' back. Imagine driving in and seeing this everyday.

    Couldn't have asked for a better site to stick a pond into, though access was a bit of a problem from what I understand!


  5. stxkyboy

    stxkyboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 222

    That is quality!!!
  6. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    But it definitely is not the best there is. Travis Trit's pond makes that thing look sick in my opinion. I've seen a lot of ponds that stars built, that put that one to shame in scale, beauty, and expense. It's all relative. I'm glad you're so proud of it though. It all comes down to how much money you have to spend. They obviously have huge budgets to build ponds like they have. I think you did a great job though! :)

  7. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    Well, I've got to give credit where credit is due, without actually giving credit. (See if that makes you go, "HUH??")

    That pond was installed right before I went to work for that company. I actually had no part in the installation of that one. Though I did end up doing some work on it. The homeowner (at the time) was doing very well in the stock market, and had renovated his house to the tune of 27,000 square feet when it was done. I can't say any more than that though!;)

    From what I understand, the landscaping budget at that residence has gone to h*ll since I left that company. The pond is a fraction of it's former glory- I was told it's now almost full of mud since the homeowner doesn't have the budget for maintenance.:(

  8. Phishook

    Phishook LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,143

    but is it Natural?

    Did you find your answer yet?
  9. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,430

    The company that installed that pond, impresses me as one of those that is more caught up in whether they COULD.... build that pond, rather than whether they SHOULD... have built that pond. That pond is pretty, no doubt about it. I do have to say though, that a reputable pond builder, never would have made that pond. A reputable pond builder for one, would have told the owners of that property about the problems they'd face, having to maintain that pond under the heavy tree canopy that's above it. They would have told the owners to imagine how many leaves would be falling in that pond in the fall. The owners obviously planned on using that pond as a fish pond, until the heron convinced them otherwise. If they planned on using it for a fish pond, the leaves would have to be either removed from the pond, on a regular basis, or totally kept out if they expected their fish to be healthy (if they survived at all). With the size of the pond, it would be a major chore, to wade in, and net out all of the leaves. It doesn't take many leaves in a large pond to turn the water a murky tea color (due to the tannins leaves release when submerged). This definitely doesn't look like the kind of pond that would have a surface skimmer, and even if it did, due to the layout. I don't believe that a skimmer would be able to create enough draw to be effective. On top of that. This pond appears to have a rocky bottom. That's pretty, and everything, but would make it almost impossible to get all of the leaves out without one whole heck of a lot of work. The resulting sludge that would build up, would be jam packed full of anaerobic bacteria. Not something you want in a pond that you don't want to stink to high heaven, let alone plan on keeping fish in.

    The first year of operation, the owners might pay to have this cleaning done, but the next year (when the novelty of the whole thing has had a chance to wear off) it would be doubtful that this would get done.

    To try, and totally keep the leaves out, they could net the pond. It would take one heck of a lot of netting to cover the whole pond, the stream, and the waterfall up the hill (but on their inflated budget, it could be done). But as we all know. Nets aren't always that effective depending on the type of trees they're placed under. Not to mention in the springtime when the trees start dropping helicopters. Netting doesn't do much good stopping those nasty little buggers from getting through. Can you imagine the mess they'd have on their hands by May?

    So...in closing. I have a sneaking suspicion that you Stxkyboy aren't going to heed my advice about educating yourself on how to design a pond properly. You're probably going to focus soley on how "natural" the pond looks, and wind up making a pond like this one. That's ok, because it's your reputation on the line when you find some trusting fool that winds up giving you a whole heck of a lot of money, to build them a pond that they're going to wind up hating you because of. It's you, and your company's name that those customers are going to be bashing when they tell their friends about how they spent all this money to have you build this extravagnt pond that they learned over time, has so many design flaws. These pictures that Dan sent are about the best possible example of how a pond's design, is so much more important than a pond's construction (or how natural it looks). How a pond functions, where it's located (under a ton of trees like this one for example), and how it's laid out all fall under the category of pond design. The way it looks. Such as the types of rocks they used, did they put mulch, or gravel around it. How formal, or informal is the thing. Does the pond "look natural". Those things all have to do with the construction. As you can hopefully see, the design is so much more important than the construction. Your customers at first will be hung up on the construction, and not be nearly as concerned with the design (in most cases because they simply wouldn't know a good design if it came up, and bit them in the butt). Therefore, it is your responsibility as a competent, responsible pond builder to protect them from this pitfall. All of these things I'm telling you here, are exactly what you'll see if you start reading what the true pond experts say on the various forums I mentioned in one of my last posts.

    So Dan, and Stxyboy. You can bash the ponds that the guys on here made all you want, but I'd much rather have their ponds in my yard, than the one in these last pictures. So I'll say it again. How natural a pond looks, is not the most important thing when it comes to building them.

    Good luck on building your first pond Stxyboy.

  10. WeatherMan

    WeatherMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 692

    Well said Victor. When I saw the pond that dan posted I could not belive someone set a pond in those conditions it would take hours everyweek to kept that pond maintained.

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