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10 Questions To Ask Your Pond Designer

Pond Construction Warning Report

1. What is your guarantee on your pond construction workmanship?

If you contract with a landscaper in order to save money on your investment with your water feature design and run into trouble with workmanship issues, you may be out of luck. And will be looking at spending more money than you saved to fix your pond construction problem(s).

Platinum Ponds warranties its workmanship for one full year upon a full installation.  You can rest easy knowing we will be able to handle all your questions or issues.  


2. How long will this pond construction project take you to complete?

Talk about immediate gratification! A water feature construction specialist that runs a full time pond construction crew, can complete a custom 11x16 pond in as little as one to two days.

Yes, one or two days and you can expect little to no disturbance to your existing landscape. You can expect the highest quality workmanship and continued customer service from a pond construction specialist that you have posed these questions to.

If the landscaper who bids your 11' x 16' pond design and tells you it will take him a week or two to complete, you can be certain they don’t run a full time pond design & hybrid koi pond construction crew and they are likely not the pond construction specialist for you. 

3.  What type of programs do you offer after the sale?

Programs are set prices that you can expect for future service, cleaning, and products sold.  Most landscapers in the Upstate will install a water-feature and then dissappear to something bigger and better.  In fact, most screen their calls and do not answer their phone nor bother with small service calls or visits.  Most are so unorganized they could not tell you what they will be doing tomorrow let alone next week.  Most would call it flying by the seat of their pants.  Platinum Ponds prides itself in getting issues resolved, problems answered and the correct information into your hands to make educated decisions.  We offer quarterly, monthly and bi-monthly service for clients who want us to enjoy the hobby.  In addition, yearly cleanouts, products, water treatments and we sell fish and aquatic plants.

4. Will my natural pond ecosystem circulate 24 hours per day?


This question is important so that you may understand your contractor's pond construction techniques. Unfortunately, we still have lots of pond construction contractors using pool construction philosophies for their pond designs. These contractors usually prefer to work with pool equipment, which is not cost effective for the homeowner to run continuously, so they will often suggest running your pond filters and/or waterfalls part-time to help save you money on electricity.

How nice of them! However the beneficial bacteria that colonizes in your pond filters requires constant oxygenation and can be oxygen deprived to death in less than one hour. A properly designed waterscape or hybrid koi pond by an pond cosntruction specialist will be constructed with high efficiency pumps that are designed for waterscapes and ponds that are economical to run tweny-four hours a day.  Remember, your water gardens should be ecologically balanced, low maintenance, and be circulating 24 hours a day!   

5. In your pond design to you plan to use concrete or a rubber liner?


Concrete is the preferred pond construction method of the PAST! The irony here is that in most cases a rubber liner would be installed first under the concrete just in case of leaks!

Not only does it add cost to your pond construction project and take longer to install, but it is more often than not, far from natural looking, unyielding to future expansion, and if not cured properly can be FATAL to your first finny inhabitants. Not the best decision for your pond design.

I hope we have made the choice as crystal clear as the water in your pond will be if you choose the proper construction techniques using the 5 Essential Elements. When constructing waterscapes or koi ponds, a contractor should use the highest quality 45 mil E.P.D.M. rubber liner. So don't be afraid to ask what mil liner they will be using in your pond design.

6. Do you have a design portfolio and pond construction testimonials?


A pond design portfolio is a nice way for you to get a look at some of their work, presumable their best, so lets hope you fall in love with what you see! If you like what you see in print ask if the photos are of the contractors work. Trust me it happens, all the time! We run across websites with pond photo galleries that are filled with other contractors work! Ask the contractor if you can visit some of their work in person! Yes, a picture speaks a thousand words but standing in front of one of this pond contractors waterscapes should seal the deal or be a deal breaker. We want you to make the right decision.

Now testimonials give you a chance to hear a voice from some of their happy customers, but remember anyone can have their mother produce a letter of testimonial! Wouldn't it be an interesting twist to see complaint letter testimonials? This could illustrate how well the pond construction specialist responds to problems that inevitably may arise.

The true question is how well and how fast this individual with whom you are entrusting, without doubt, a substantial amount of money will respond to the needs of their existing customer base, rather than chasing down new business after you have paid your pond construction contractor in full.

7. Do you charge for design consultations or give FREE pond construction estimates?


Free estimates for pond construction should be easily delivered over the phone, however a good pond design consultant will charge for their time if you ask them to come to your home. In most cases this pond design fee should be rebated back into the contract price for your custom water garden or koi pond construction.

Contractors that specializes in pond construction are in popular demand. If they offered free pond design consultations, serious tire kickers could detain them for hours! Ultimately, a pond designer that offers FREE pond design consultations, would have to compensate themselves for time lost in the next signed pond construction contract, quite possibly yours!

Pond Design consultation fees typically range from $75.00 to $150.00 and are usually accompanied by contract review, possible pond construction dates, a firm price for your water garden/koi pond, a portfolio/testimonial, and a video or DVD presentation.

8. As a landscape contractor do you specialize in waterscapes and have a background in fish husbandry and pond design? On an average, how many ponds and waterfalls do you build in a year?


A landscape contractor that specializes in one field should be held in high regards. You'll find landscapers nowadays specializing in custom tree trimming, irrigation & sod installation, and even water gardens, koi pond construction and pond design.

You will be in much better shape contracting with a pond designer that understands the husbandry of Koi, goldfish and pond ecology in general.

Let's not mistake quantity for quality, landscape contractor specializing in water gardens, hybrid koi pond construction and pond design with a dynamic pond construction crew, on an average builds more ponds, waterscapes and pondless waterfalls in one month than other landscape contractors build in one year!

Who would you rather have build your, one of a kind waterscape or pond? A Contractor who builds one or two ponds a year specializing in many fields (a jack of all trades and master of what?) or a pond construction specialist that eats, sleeps, lives, and breathes backyard waterfall, hybrid koi pond construction and pond design 8 days a week!


8. Can I view one of your display water features?

Display features are public accessible areas which are real features you can look at and touch.  Finding a contractor that has public features will insure that you are working with someone who hasn’t started yesterday and it will tell you how well they maintain their features or if they know how.

We have numerous public features throughout the Upstate, including Matlow Creek Gardens, Spartanburg Technical College and the Montessori School of Anderson.  Contact us today and we will email the some features in your area that interest you.


9. Does your company offer any educational seminars?

Platinum Ponds has taught seminars locally at Madawaska Hardscape Products, Underwood Nursery, Spartanburg Techincal College, Southern Mulch, and Matlow Creek Gardens to name a few.  We teach do-it-yourselfers and contractors alike.  Most consider us a key source for water gardening education in Upstate, South Carolina.


10. What new items have you added this year?

This question is great way to end a discusion with a contractor.  A professional contractor will know and be able to explain the latest trends or products in their industry.

Platinum Ponds has added several new items for 2008.  Bubbling Urns, Water Harvesting, Koi, and its own water treatment line to name a few.  Consider consulting with Platinum Ponds before making your big decision.  It will be well worth any money spent.

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