If you are seriously considering a backyard fish pond or water feature, you’ve probably discovered that there are a lot of decisions to make!
At the top of this list stands one glaring question:
How do I select a reputable pond builder?
This question is so important because the expertise and integrity of your pond builder will play a huge role in determining the final outcome of your project.
To assist you in this process, we at Atlantis Water Gardens have put together a checklist to help you do your homework on potential pond builders. This checklist is based on our experience of not only working with over 1,000 pond and water feature customers throughout New Jersey, but also from helping hundreds of folks who found us through the internet find reputable pond builders in their area.
So, regardless of where you live or whether you are looking for a rubber liner, concrete or plastic tub pond this checklist will help you identify various criteria to look for when selecting your pond builder.
Let's do this!
The Ultimate Pond Builder Vetting Checklist
Contractor Name: _______________________________________________
1. Business Information and Experience
__ The company is licensed (if applicable in your state) and insured
Note: ask if the name on the license is the same as the company name. If not, find out why.
__ Find out how many years the company has been in business
Years in business: __________
Note: 43% of contractors fail within the first three years after start-up
2. Customer References
Ask the following questions of the pond builder:
__ Call at least 5 references
When Calling References Be Sure To Ask The Following:
The Single Best Way To Choose a Pond Contractor Without Getting Hosed
3. Reviews and Ratings
__ Collectively, the pond builder has at least a 5:1 good review to bad review ratio
__ They responded reasonably to negative reviews when possible
4. Products Used By Pond Builder
__ The products the pond builder uses have good reviews in the marketplace
__ The customer references you called gave the products used by the builder positive ratings
__ The products are backed by competitive warranties
5. Workmanship Warranty
Note: a workmanship warranty would cover issues that could arise such as pond movement, plumbing leaks, structural problems, etc. The minimum workmanship warranty by law in most states is one year.
6. Installation Practices
7. Design and Project Planning
__ The Pond Builder will convey a plan to you before the project begins showing the following:
Backyard Fish Pond Planning Meetings: The Key To A Successful Project
8. Pricing and Contract
__ Whenever possible, the price for all work is included in the contract or at the very least as a formal quote.
__ Estimated completion date is listed on the contract
__ All "throw-ins" are listed on the contract
To learn more check out:
5 Things Every Pond Shopper Should Know Before Receiving An Estimate
9. Things That Are NOT All That Important
If you live in Northern New Jersey and would like to RECEIVE A QUOTE for one of our backyard fish ponds, disappearing waterfalls or fountainscapes, click here.
To learn more about the cost of a professionally installed water feature:
How Much Do Backyard Fish Ponds Cost?
Thanks and good luck!
Jaak Harju has been designing, building and maintaining ponds and water features in Morris County, NJ, as well as across the Country
(even a few international gigs!) for almost 2 decades.
In 2010, his company, Atlantis Water Gardens in Denville, NJ, was awarded Certified Aquascape Contractor (CAC) Of The Year by Aquascape Inc. and in 2014 he received the distinction of Water Feature Artist of the Year and Master CAC.