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Old 06-28-2008, 11:18 AM
 
21 posts, read 35,854 times
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I'm looking for a good sized piece of land in PBC to build on and I notice that the areas I'm looking in there are often largish backyard ponds that I assume are necessary to mitigate wetlands/drainage problems, etc. I'm considering looking at wetter properties as they are cheaper (but still provide the elbow room we want), but I want to know what I'm getting into cost and lifestyle-wise.

What are the pros and cons of living with a pond like this on your property?

What/who determines whether you need a pond or can just drain to the nearest street/canal?

How do you figure out the costs of pond construction? Would you be allowed to use the material removed from the pond area as fill on the rest of the lot?

What kind of maintenance do they require and how much does it typically cost? Are chemicals considered necessary to control bugs, algae, etc?

Why do people not seem to landscape them? They tend to look very utilitarian, rather than planted to look pretty or like a natural pond--is this because people dislike wildlife in their pond/backyard and want to discourage it, or because they want to swim in a clear pond, or construction cost, or other reasons I can't figure out???

I'd love to be pointed to any informative websites/books, etc. I've tried searching but haven't come up with much, maybe because I don't know the right terms.


Thanks in advance for any input!
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Old 06-30-2008, 10:44 PM
 
Location: Broward County
2,519 posts, read 7,073,340 times
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I'm looking for a good sized piece of land in PBC to build on and I notice that the areas I'm looking in there are often largish backyard ponds that I assume are necessary to mitigate wetlands/drainage problems, etc. I'm considering looking at wetter properties as they are cheaper (but still provide the elbow room we want), but I want to know what I'm getting into cost and lifestyle-wise.



What are the pros and cons of living with a pond like this on your property?

The pro's are you can stock it with tilapia and go fishing in your own backyard ! The con's are mosquitos....but I here the Tilapia take care of the mosquito larva problem, if not, you can always buy stuff to treat your pond with.

What/who determines whether you need a pond or can just drain to the nearest street/canal?

Your probably referring to the acreage in palm beach.....all the houses there are on at least 1 acre and that's the way it is. All houses there are custom houses and what the builders did in order to save the customers money, is they would dig a big hole and use that dirt as the fill for the home site. All the homes in the acreage are built up and elevated from sea level and almost all use the fill from their own backyard exclusively. In homes that do not have a pond on their land, the homeowners probably had enough cash to buy the fill instead of using it from their own land.

How do you figure out the costs of pond construction? Would you be allowed to use the material removed from the pond area as fill on the rest of the lot?

YES....see above paragraph.


What kind of maintenance do they require and how much does it typically cost? Are chemicals considered necessary to control bugs, algae, etc?

They are pretty much maintenance free. I have seen some very pretty designs where people put fountains in the middle with cascading waterfalls on one side with rocks, etc.

Why do people not seem to landscape them? They tend to look very utilitarian, rather than planted to look pretty or like a natural pond--is this because people dislike wildlife in their pond/backyard and want to discourage it, or because they want to swim in a clear pond, or construction cost, or other reasons I can't figure out???

Building a custom home is expensive and 8 out of 10 people that do, end up breaking the bank when they are done because they added granite countertops last minute, or added an extra detached garage or a tin roof..things like that. You are correct, very few people attend to the landscaping which includes your pond. I agree... I think ponds are beautiful! Here is a picture of a pond in the front yard of a home in the acreage I was about to buy. It's a decent looking pond, but could certainly look better if someone paid more attention to it:

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Old 07-01-2008, 08:50 PM
 
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Thanks HeyDade! Sorry I took so long to reply but I had login issues. It totally hadn't occurred to me that it was simply a cost-saving/fill-recovery method. Verrrrry interesting. And I do like some broiled Tilapia....

As for the lack of creativity, I guess it makes sense about the cost thing. I notice that Floridians don't seem to go crazy for landscaping the way we do up north, maybe because it's too hot to be out there doing all that digging and watering, you'd rather be floating (me too...)

Thanks for the insight!
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:34 PM
 
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Default backyard ponds

I live in Jupiter Farms, very much like the acreage, but closer to the beach. and north palm beach county.
Most lots have backyard ponds, ponds are there because most homes have to be built a certain height, and the fill obtained from digging a pond is the way that they obtain the fill for the homesite, otherwise it would cost about another 30,000, dollars to buiild the house.
Speaking from my own experience, the ponds are not landscaped, because it would be very costly, thats why most are not landscaped, but there are many that are landscaped. The lots are a work in progress for many years, depending on how much energy and finances someone has. The pros are that you will have a lot of wildlife to observe, turtles for sure, rabbits, all kinds of birds, from tiny to large, ducks, some racoons, rare nowadays because so many have been killed due to development, -. The cons: have to watch out for alligators, they will move in periodically, and can be very dangerous to cats and dogs, pets. I have lived in m,y house for 6 years and have had 2 gators, each one removed, by the help of Busch wildlife sanctuary.
Usually, people have a pond dug when there house is first built, to use the fill for the house pad, THEN, later,some people fill in the pond, but even with a lot of fill, it is usually impossible to completely get rid of the swamp area where the pond used to be. Personally, I have come to enjoy my pond, I can always see wildlife, lots of birds and ducks and turtles, and fish jump out and back down again. I am keeping my pond, but have my yard fenced completely, but have excluded the pond, so that, when my dogs go out, they can't reach the pond.
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Old 07-02-2008, 07:30 PM
SKB
 
Location: WPB
898 posts, read 2,393,716 times
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On a side note, I have been told by Majestic homes that they no longer dig fill out from the yard. They said the savings was not that much and they really can not harvest that much fill anyways. So, the new way of doing things is no ponds. They said most of the other builders are also doing this.
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Old 07-02-2008, 07:42 PM
 
21 posts, read 35,854 times
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Thanks Beeper66--Jupiter Farms is one of the areas we're looking and I'd noticed all the ponds there. It's great to get the real scoop on why they're there. I think we would enjoy the wildlife, though we also enjoy horses and it would mean less space for them.

And thanks SKB. The realtor we've been working with talked about bringing in particular types of fill, and I suspect those are more effective that just using whatever soil is on the lot.

It honestly wouldn't have occured to me that the ponds were dug to create fill, but I guess it makes sense if you're on a tight budget. I had just assumed all the lots were wetlands and the had no choice but to send the water somewhere.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 07-03-2008, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Broward County
2,519 posts, read 7,073,340 times
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Here are some more pics of another house I was scoping out in the acreage. With this particular one, when I first glanced at the back, I didn't realize there was a pond because of all the lillies. I think I threw a rock into it and that's when I realized it was a pond...but pretty clever disguising, don't u think ?

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Old 07-06-2008, 10:44 AM
 
2,091 posts, read 2,521,244 times
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On the other hand, it does get HOT here and horses will use a pond to cool off, so that may be a Pro for you to have one with horses. The nutritional value of the grass is zero and the horses will eat it to sand anyway so you really don't need the land as grazing pasture. Just leave space on the outside (fence side) edge so they can use the maximum space for a trot around if they really want to. Best yet, use the fill to raise the barn higher. Nothing worse than a flood and wet horse hooves.
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Old 03-28-2011, 04:28 AM
 
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I came across this thread/forum while searching for pond construction. We are looking at homes in Jupiter Farms. One of my preferences is a nice pond. We found a house that has a pond, but it's rather small on the side of the house. Although it has a small fountain, there is still quite a bit of vegetation and it could use a bit of TLC.

I would like to either have the pond dug larger, going from the side, around back of the house or creating a new pond out front (filling in the small pond on the side). My ultimate goal would be to create a nice oxygenated pond to stock some tilapia, bass, bluegill & a turtle or two. I would also like to have a nice dock/deck built to sit by the pond / let the kids feed the fish from.

The lot we are looking at is just under 1.5 acres, so I would not want the pond overbearing. The pond on it is rather small for what I have seen on some other lots of similar size. Going on a wild guess, I am thinking making a pond 100 feet x 50 feet or so. The pictures in this thread already depict a pretty close size to what I'd want.

Any recommendations on a reputable company to contact regarding the digging & grading? Costs to dig? If I did a pond in front for a better view, I'd like to have that fill used on the small pond on the side of the home. I'm not sure bringing that around to the front would work.
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