Pools are expensive and hard to maintain, but it sure is nice to have a place to dip your toes in the warmer months.
Reddit user “power-cube” decided that he wanted something larger and more natural in his yard so he set out on a 3+ year task to build an epic swim pond in his yard, complete with fish, flora, and waterfalls for the ultimate relaxation retreat.
While he’s a novice, he didn’t let that stop him. In the work diary he posted on Imgur, he began by saying
“For the record, I have no idea what I am doing. But nothing ventured, nothing gained. So here we go…”
Just to give you an idea of the scale of the project, here he is in the freshly excavated space a few years ago when he began.
And as you can see from this aerial photo, it was no small task! The water feature (which appears green in the photo) is about twice as long as the home!
His “conservative estimate” at the beginning of the project was a 200-foot-long by 30-feet-wide pond.
Early on in the project, a giant rainstorm halted work, but allowed “power-cube” to measure the amount of seepage the pond would naturally experience.
Here’s his creation, accidentally filled too early by Mother Nature.
If you’re knowledgable about wells and excavations and want the full story on the initial creation of the pond ditch, the work diary is available here and a reverse chronology of the work done a few months later to landscape the area is here.
After Reddit deleted a few of his posts asking for help with aquaponics and building waterfalls, “power-cube” did the rest by following the instructions in some books he was recommended.
He began the project over the Christmas holidays in 2013 and was well underway by early 2014.
His wife and son even got in on the project, helping him lay the pond liner and sand.
Looking at some of the early photos, it’s hard to imagine how such a big project could come together. But it’s clear the vision was there!
Here’s “power-cube” relaxing at the swimming hole end after a long day of hand-laying every stone for the barrier wall.
Even as it started to come together with flagstone and other design elements planned, rainstorms continued to fill the pond and interrupt work, but nothing could deter this DIY master!
The pumping system turned out to be one of the hardest tasks and “power-cube” reported that “MAJOR MISTAKES were made here.”
Another big disaster occurred when separating the waterfall area from the swim area via a dam.
“Next BIG MISTAKE. Never underestimate the power of water. If you look closely you will see that I did the waterfall pretty vertical. I also made the mistake of putting in the sand FIRST… As soon as I tried to test the waterfall it started out just fine and then within minutes the whole thing collapsed as the water found its way through and undermined the dam. Damn.”
But once again, he was undeterred by mistakes and simply started over with a better plan.
And that’s when things really started taking shape! Even those of us with no design or construction skills can see that the project is well on its way to success in this photo:
Next, “power-cube” built stairs down to the swimming hole, created a seating area on each side, and started landscaping the area.
The bed of cattails came up quickly.
Some perennials added color and more visual interest, and what was once a giant muddy hole was a beautiful water feature in 2016/17. You can see the waterfall rushing down the slope in the background!
While “power-cube” posted his photos in 2017, he knew it would take another year or two for the water to clear out and the smaller projects to come together. Nevertheless, much of the pond was complete by this time.
Now, the project is largely finished and what once looked like this:
…now looks like this!
The best part? Now this family can head to the beach with their pups and pals any time they want!
Scroll down to see the video he uploaded recently of his finished project.
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