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However you came to this yearning, whether seeing one at a friend’s house, or spying one in a public place, or coming across a magazine article or picture, you’ve made your decision, and now you need to shop for a good contractor. You may or may not have considered doing it yourself, but that’s a whole different article!


These days, Phoenix homeowners don’t even go out to a lunch meeting or on a first date without a complete background check. So what type of criteria are you using to choose your pond installation contractor: this person/company who will have access to your yard, and exposure to your spouse, kids, and pets, and who will be installing this focal point investment in your outdoor living space?

If you are a first-timer considering a Phoenix pond installation contractor, you may not know what questions to ask. Even those people who spend days investigating their lunch date still find themselves at a loss for things to talk about when that first date actually takes place! So how would a first-timer, second-timer, or even a seasoned buyer know what to ask a pond installation contractor?


You’ll notice that we don’t say “and insured.” The Arizona Registrar of Contractors requires appropriate commercial auto, liability and workers’ compensation insurance for any company that is licensed to do business in Arizona.

There is also a little item called the Recovery Fund, which is in place to protect Phoenix homeowners if anything happens to the contractor in that they are unable to complete the project to your satisfaction. Hopefully, it would never be necessary; however, things can happen on a construction site even if it is a small hand-dug project. If your project requires machinery, it will be a big comfort to know that your pond installation contractor is properly insured and licensed.

Aside from insurance, licensing guarantees that there have been tests taken and background checks performed to ensure a certain measure of personal safety in and around your home and family.


When talking to Phoenix pond installation contractors, be sure to determine if installing water features is what they do, or if it is just one of a long list of things they do. Many landscape contractors are willing to try any type of landscape project, whether or not they’ve had any training and/or experience. Why wouldn’t a landscaper be just fine, especially when he might be cheaper? They might be cheaper up front, but how about when it comes time for service and warranties?

Water features are different than any other type of landscape project, and should not be handled as “just another” landscape item. When you work with a Phoenix pond specialist, they have spent time getting an education to become an expert in their field, they have the experience to do the job right the first time, and will be responsive to requests for service or warranty repairs.


Every pond installation contractor needs to start somewhere, but do you want them to be starting out in your yard? We all have a story or two of a friend getting into a new career path, and you want to help them out, so you agree to be their first client.  How well did that work out? Personally, we haven’t had the best experiences.

When choosing a Phoenix pond installation contractor, don’t be afraid to ask how many projects they have successfully installed. A seasoned and experienced pond contractor will likely deliver the best results for your money, not to mention be able to steer you away from any common blunders and offer intelligent design input. Nothing can beat experience when it comes to designing and installing amazing water features of any type, and running a professional job site. You might consider looking for a Phoenix pond installation contractor with at least 20 projects under their belt.  

Ask about certifications. Skilled Phoenix pond and water feature contractors have achieved certain levels of certification and recognition in their industry that can only come with experience and education. If you think experience is expensive, ignorance and amateurs are worse in the long run!

Get references. If they’re proud of their work, they will post references right on their website. And, of course, there should be at least a few Google and social media reviews to peruse.


A Phoenix pond installation contractor and water feature specialist usually takes great pride in their work. We all know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so what do YOU think of their designs? Take time to look through their project portfolio to see if their style appeals to you. Do you see something you would want in your yard? You will be the one living with the design, so make sure the creativity of the pond installation contractor is appealing to your personal style and aesthetic.

VISIT SOME PROJECTS IN PERSON, preferably something that’s been in the ground for over a year to see how it’s performing with time. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then there is no substitute for a personal experience. After all, you wouldn’t buy a car or a house without seeing it in person, would you? And have you ever bumped into a celebrity on the street, or seen a picture of them sans makeup? They don’t look like they do in professional pictures and movies, do they?


If you want a professional pond or water feature installation, you have to accept that it will not be an inexpensive project. Beware the low price leader — if you want a project for cheap, that’s what you’ll get. This is where the experience of the contractor comes into play. A Phoenix pond installation contractor with 10 years’ or more experience in the business has likely figured out where to price their projects that will be both fair and have a profit margin that keeps them in business for when you need them down the road.

Be wary of newer contractors starting out that charge the same as the seasoned pros. New contractors often adopt their pricing structure from the pros who have been doing it awhile, and then undercut just enough to get the project; however, the new contractor will not bring the same value of a seasoned pro. Using the lowest bid approach for these types of projects could be a big mistake, with your up-front savings soon to be lost in poor quality, craftsmanship, and/or service.


It’s time to scratch just a bit deeper to make sure this is the business that you want to be involved with.  

  • Start with your first impressions. Did they answer the phone when you called, or at least have a nice voicemail message if they were otherwise engaged? Did they have a clean-looking truck? Did they have a business logo on their shirt?  
  • Go to their website: what does it tell you about them? Is it fun, nice to look at, and informative, or kinda blah and cookie-cutter? Are the photos of their work, or are they stock images?
  • Check out their social media: are they on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest, YouTube? Businesses these days, especially pond and water feature professionals, should have some sort of social presence where you can go to learn a lot more about them, and where their clients and potential clients are able to interact with them. Do they seem passionate about what they do? You might find tons of happy customers on their Facebook page and other media sites, or possibly find that this contractor is really not who they seem to be and their pages are filled with complaints or negative reviews. Using social media is a great way to learn about who you might hire to do your project.


Your criteria has been met, and hopefully exceeded. You want to make that date and start that client-to-contractor relationship. Let your contractor know as soon as you have made up your mind. A good Phoenix installation pond contractor’s time can be in high demand.

Most projects will require at least a 2-week lead time or more, so keep that in mind. If a contractor is ready to “start tomorrow,” you should make sure they are well-prepared to DO the project in its entirety, as opposed to getting set up, breaking ground, and then waiting for materials and equipment to come in little by little, which can stretch out a project for a very long time. Also take into consideration any special events you may have coming up in planning the start and completion dates.

If you made it through this list of things to consider when hiring a Phoenix pond installation contractor, then you are prepared to start the process. You now have the right questions and considerations for ANY pond pro you are considering. Making the right decision for pond and water feature projects is a huge time and money saver in the end. It helps to ensure that you and your family have an enjoyable experience in the creation of a long-term home improvement that is sure to be the main focal point of your outdoor environment. Good luck with your new project and enjoy it for many years to come!

Serving Phoenix, Scottsdale, Glendale, Arizona (AZ) & Surrounding Areas

To Learn More About The Pond Gnome’s Process for Installing a Phoenix Pond: