Koi pond construction costs depend on the space you’ve allocated for the pond and the additions you’d like to add to the pond. The essential materials include a pond liner, underlayment, filter, pump, and bricks or heavy rocks. You should also be ready to incur pond maintenance costs every month.
You need about $2000 to make an average koi pond of 6 x 8 x 4 feet. The cost increases significantly with every additional length. You may need up to $100000 to make a koi pond in a 10-acre space. I recommend a cheap but high-quality ecosystem koi pond that can self-clean and self-maintain.
Although you can build a koi pond yourself, consider the input of a professional landscaper to help with the details you might miss. I have explained below what you need to make an ecosystem koi pond and its costs.
What is the cost of a koi pond?
I have helped my friends and their friends build koi ponds for over five years. The koi pond costs in this article reflect each of the five projects I managed.
The number of koi fish to keep in the pond was essential to the project’s final cost. For instance, some wanted less than ten koi fish, and some wanted as much as 50. The former koi ponds were much cheaper than the latter.
The projects also included extra costs for ferrying the equipment to the koi pond installation site. However, the most expensive part of a koi pond installation is excavation. You will learn more about these costs in the last section below.
Here is a summary of the different koi pond sizes and their costs:
|Koi pond size in foot (Length x Width x Depth)||Average cost of making the pond|
|8 x 3 x 2.5||$5000|
|11 x 7 x 4||$7000|
|15 x 10 x 2||$15000|
|36 x 24 x 4||$60000|
|70 x 35 x 5||$100000|
Koi pond maintenance cost
Koi pond maintenance varies by season. For example, it is much cheaper to maintain the pond in summer than in spring. That is because the prevailing summer temperatures favor aquatic plants and koi fish.
On the contrary, spring maintenance involves a lot of work. Hire a professional if you can’t do it all by yourself.
Some koi pond maintenance costs in spring will go towards cleaning the pond, removing algae, and adding more plants to cleanse and purify the water.
Maintenance costs also involve repairing malfunctioning pond systems, such as checking, cleaning, and removing any debris that could clog and damage your filters.
Also, smaller koi ponds are more challenging to maintain than larger ones because the latter has a more balanced ecosystem than the smaller koi ponds. In other words, small koi pond ecology and chemistry fluctuate so much.
Koi pond maintenance will cost anywhere between $450 and $5000 annually.
What other costs to consider when making a koi pond?
Here are the additional costs you should consider when making a koi fish pond:
1. Excavation cost
Once you’ve identified and marked the koi pond area, the next step is excavation to remove dirt and debris.
Use a backhoe or a skid-steer to excavate the koi pond. Hiring the equipment is far much cheaper than buying them. Hiring a backhoe costs around $30 to $50 per hour. Your koi pond size will determine how long to hire the machine.
Similarly, excavating a shallow koi pond is cheaper than excavating a deep koi pond. Do not excavate a koi pond to depths greater than 10 feet.
Instead, excavate 3 feet deep if you are on a budget and up to 5 feet deep for easy visibility and less pressure on the koi fish.
2. Compaction cost
Once the pond is excavated, you should press the ground hard enough to remove all the air spaces between the soil particles.
Hiring a vibrating steel drum roller or a sheep-foot roller and paying an expert for the koi pond compaction costs $160 to $350 daily. Like excavation costs, compaction costs will increase if you build a larger koi pond.
3. Equipment cost
You may need a backhoe for 6 hours to a day or two. I’d recommend hiring the backhoe two hours longer than the estimated time, so you have enough time and flexibility to excavate a high-quality koi pond.
The other essential materials include a pond liner, underlayment, filter, pump, and bricks or heavy rocks. The cost of some equipment may be recurring, while others are a one-time purchase.
Koi pond equipment costs are the most costly of all the costs. The minimum equipment cost is $500 for the smallest koi pond, which increases exponentially depending on the pond size and the additions, such as plants and decorations.
4. Transport cost
Another often overlooked cost to consider when making a koi pond is the transport cost. Perhaps that’s because manufacturers deliver most of the pond installation materials to the installation site.
In most cases, buying and bringing the stones to the site are separate costs. Most importantly, you must remove the waste soil from the site. Transporting it away from the site can be expensive if the waste soil is enormous.
Koi pond transport costs depend on the distances between crucial pond resources and the installation site.
The transport costs will range from a few hundreds to thousands of dollars. You need $300 to cover all transport costs for the average pond.
Building a koi pond may require a license in some states, such as Washington State, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.
Therefore, it is essential to check with your local authorities whether there are any governing policies for koi pond installations in your area before constructing one. A quick Google search can also help.
Note that you may need to renew the permits every year. The cost of koi pond permits ranges by state but can be between $50 and $500 annually.
- PennState Extension. (2022). Pond Agencies and Permits in Pennsylvania
- W. Russell, H. Chris, & O. Perry. (2022). Pond Building: Pond Construction. Alabama Cooperative Extension System.