Is A Swim Pond Right For Your Backyard?

Girl clumsily swims in a swim pond near the shore.

The idea of owning a swim pond is incredible and unique, which is what makes it so exciting! They offer a unique swimming experience, as well as a beautiful focal point for your landscaping. Swim ponds are low maintenance, eco-friendly, and can be used all year round. However, there are some things to consider before installing one in your backyard.

In this blog post, we will explore what anyone who wants a swim pond should know first so they (and you) can decide if it is the right choice. 

The Pros And Cons Of A Swim Pond

The Pros Of A Swim Pond

There are many reasons why homeowners are drawn to swim ponds. Here are just a few of the benefits:

  • Aesthetics: A well-designed swim pond can be a true backyard oasis, a tranquil spot for relaxing or entertaining guests. Whether you choose to incorporate waterfall features, native plants, or other design elements, a swim pond can be customized to suit your taste and become a true reflection of your personal style
  • Property value: In addition to boosting your enjoyment of your property, a swim pond can also add significant financial value. A recent study found that pools add 5 to 8 percent value to a home—and that’s likely even higher for premium features like swim ponds. If you plan on selling your home at some point in the future, a swim pond could be a wise investment
  • Resale value: Not only do swim ponds add value to your home at the time of sale, but they can also make it easier to sell in the first place. Buyers are often willing to pay top dollar for homes with luxury features like pools and hot tubs, so if you’re thinking about selling in the future, a swim pond could help you command a higher price
  • Less maintenance: You don’t need to use chemical treatments, a ton of filters, chlorine, pH balancing, or most other things pools need. Natural swim pond contractors build them so they can keep themselves clean and clear. You’ll need to skim leaves and debris from the top and have a professional clean it 2 to 3 times per year.

The Cons Of A Swim Pond 

While there are many reasons to love swim ponds, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider before installation:

  • Needs a specialist: Neither pool contractor, general contractor, nor landscaper can successfully build a natural swim pond you’ll love. It takes someone who absolutely knows what they’re doing. Make sure they have work they can show you
  • Cost: While swimming ponds can add significant value to your property, they also come with a hefty price tag—typically anywhere from $50,000 to $200,000 and more depending on the size and complexity of the project. If you’re considering adding a swim pond solely for financial reasons, it’s important to understand that it could take a long time to recoup your investment through increased property values
  • Size: Swimming ponds can take up much more space than traditional pools. You can always build a smaller one if the size you want won’t fit
  • Liability: Homeowners with pools or other backyard water features often worry about liability in the event that someone is injured on their property. While this is certainly something to consider before installing a swim pond, it’s important to know that most homeowners’ insurance policies will extend coverage to swimming pools and other water features as long as they meet certain safety standards. Be sure to talk with your insurance agent about your specific policy before proceeding with the installation

Main Benefits Of Swimming Ponds 

A swim pond with rocks and plants around the edge.

There are numerous benefits that come with owning a swim pond—especially if you have children. For starters, since they don’t contain any chemicals, they’re much safer for kids to play in than pools. Since they’re shallower than pools, it makes it easier for children to stand up if they get too tired or fall in.

In addition to being safer for kids, swim ponds are also better for the environment since they rely on natural filtration systems rather than chemicals to keep the water clean.

They also tend to attract wildlife—such as birds, butterflies, and dragonflies—making them perfect for nature lovers. 

Finally, since they’re less expensive and require less maintenance than pools, swim ponds are much more forgiving if you’re not able to use them as often as you’d like.

A Swimming Pond vs Swimming Pool

Monetary Cost

When it comes to initial installation, ponds are significantly cheaper than pools. Pools require concrete, tile, and other materials that drive up the price.

Ponds can be made with liner, stone, and other more affordable materials. Furthermore, you’ll save money on chemicals and energy costs with a pond since you won’t need to run a pump or filter 24/7. 

Maintenance  

Ponds also require less maintenance than pools. Ponds are naturally cleaned by plants, bacteria, and other organisms that live in the water. All you need to do is skim leaves and debris from the surface periodically.

Pools, on the other hand, rely on harsh chemicals and constant filtration to stay clean—not to mention the time required to vacuum the floor and clean the walls and tile regularly. 

Aesthetics   

Both ponds and pools can be beautiful additions to your backyard—it just depends on your personal preferences. If you want a classic look, go with a pool. If you want something a little more natural-looking, go with a pond.

The Cost Of A Swim Pond 

Swim ponds can start at around $50,000 and go up to well over $200,000. Most of the cost depends on the size you want and how complex the project and design are. In most cases, it also includes filtration and pump equipment, landscaping materials ( rocks, gravel, plants), and even some unique features like waterfalls or fountains.

The final price will also be affected by the company you hire to do the job, the size, of your backyard, and where you live.

Size And Location Of A Swim Pond In Your Backyard 

A small swim pond on the home plot.

Size Matters

When it comes to choosing the size of your swim pond, there are two main things you need to keep in mind: the size of your backyard and the number of people you anticipate using the pond at one time.

If you have a large backyard, you have more leeway when it comes to size. However, if you have a smaller backyard, you’ll need to be more conservative with your sizing. In general, you’ll want your pond to be at least 10 feet by 10 feet.

As for depth, most people opt for a depth of between 3 and 5 feet. A shallower pond will heat up faster in the summer and may not be great to swim in. Conversely, a deeper pond will take longer to heat up but will also stay cooler in the summer. 

As far as capacity goes, each person requires about 10 square feet of space. So, if you’re planning on having 20 people over for a pool party, you’ll want your pond to be at least 200 square feet. Of course, if you want people to be able to move around freely without being cramped, you’ll want to add an additional 50 square feet or so to that total. 

Location, Location, Location 

The location of your pond is just as important as the size. After all, where you put your pond will determine how much sun or shade it gets throughout the day—and that can impact both the temperature of the water and the growth of aquatic plants.

In general, ponds located in full sun will be warmer than those located in shaded areas. As for plants, those in full sun will generally grow faster than those in shaded areas. 

When choosing a location for your pond, you’ll also want to take into account things like slope (a gradual slope is best), proximity to trees (you don’t want roots interfering with your liner), and underground utilities (you don’t want to accidentally dig into a gas line!) For the latter issue, make sure that you always call 811 before you start any digging project.

You’ll want to make sure it’s close enough to your house so you can easily keep an eye on it (especially if you have young children). Avoid any low-lying areas in your yard as they may flood when it rains. Finally, make sure you have easy access to a water source so you can fill up your pond as needed. 

Midsouth Ponds Can Help Bring Your Swim Pond to Life

If you decide that a swim pond is right for you, Midsouth Ponds is here to help! Our goal is to make sure you are 100% satisfied with the quality of our work and the end result. Fill out our contact form today and let us start building your dream swim pond.