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How To Build a Liner Pond - Part II

Construction Details For A Liner Pond

Once the excavation for your liner pond or water feature is complete, make sure it is level all around the sides. Any low point will determine the water level, making all areas higher than that, exposed above the water line, which is not very satisfying. Use either a line level to check end to end and side to side, or lay a 2X4 across the pond, on its edge, with a two foot level sit on top. If there is a low point, add soil to that edge, or lower the other edges. Remove any stones or large roots from the excavation.

determine pond liner size 

 Add the sides and bottoms of the shelves + the length of the bottom


  1. To determine what size liner to use, measure the vertical and horizontal plane of all the shelves at both ends and the length of the floor. If your shelves are one foot down and one foot across and the bottom is eight feet long then an eighteen foot liner would just fit. Do the same for the width. Most sources would tell you to add two feet to both those distances for the proper size liner and underlayment.

  2. There are those, however, who if they determine that the liner should be twenty feet by ten feet, will purchase a twenty five foot by fifteen foot liner. This may be overkill but it comes from having frequently decided on a design change during construction and not having enough liner to adopt the change. You also want to have plenty of extra liner in the vicinity of the waterfall. This is explained further down.
  3. First lay in the underlayment. This is a felt-like material, effective in preventing punctures from small stones and such. It is reasonably inexpensive, can be purchased in sheets or by the roll and is also useful for placing over the liner, under stones. To lay it in, cut a piece to the right size, lay it over the excavation and drop it in. It is best to do this with two or more people to prevent dragging debris and such into the excavation.

    how to build a backyard pond

  4. With one person working from the middle inside, the other on the outside, work all away around the pool in one direction, getting the under-liner to lay as flat as possible against all surfaces, folding it into pleats where it appears natural to do so.

  5. When the under-liner is as flat as it will get, drop in the liner. Then carefully get down in there, (you might want to do this in your socks or with felt tied around your boots) and fold the liner into pleats as you did the under-liner. Try not to step on the edges of your shelves as they break easily, making pot placement later on difficult or impossible. Be sure you have sufficient liner material all around the outside edges of your excavation with two feet or more where you plan to have the waterfall.

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