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concrete garden pond


cheeryble

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I want to make a pond about 4m x 3.6m to fit in the L verandah on a house we're finishing up.

 

 

I think the pond should be about the same height but separated structurally from the verandah deck....maybe a gap filled with pea shingle or grey gravel?.....so if either sinks it doesn't affect the other.

Eye-catcher has kindly given some thoughts but the more the merrier.

I had originally thought water running off the roof into the pond might be nice but now think it will splash onto the verandah and make it green. So either there could be a channel filled with stones between pond and verandah to drain water away or I must resort to a gutter.

Questions:

About 40cm deep good?

How thick the concrete slab, and what sort of reinforcing mesh and underbase?

Make the slab flat and build the sides fromm blocks?

Presuming I render up and over the sides, whats a good sealer.

Fish OK with render?

What haven't I asked?

 

Thanks

 

 

 

IMG_6245.JPG

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We tried this and, whilst it looked nice, was a DIY disaster as it leaked badly - that after I'd built a swimming pool with no issues! Ripped it all out eventually.

 

I'd recommend a PVC liner. Render with a latex-based additive and tiles should be ok. Steer away from products like Crocodile Flexshield as a primary waterproofing. It's good over render before tiling but not as a stand-alone coating. You will get people advising coatings like Sista D150......used that, still leaked. 

 

We did a crap job on ours TBH and may try again, this time without uncle Narai as the builder.

 

Liner or tiles.

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Our koi are happy in a 1m deep pond (where they spend most of their time at the bottom), walls and base are 100mm concrete with (hyper cheap) ceramic tiles held on with crocodile (not cheap) tile cement suitable for pools. The grandkids thought it was a swimming pool (nearly 20,000 litres). Concrete has the waterproofing additive.

 

It's not 100% leak-free but not peeing out.

 

Your big problem is going to be keeping it clear and not green with algae. We have a big barrel filter and UV lamps.

 

Annoyingly our biggest single users of electric power are the actual swimming pool and, you guessed it, the koi pond (outstripping our aircon and water heaters). The fish are, of course, very happy and getting bigger by the day.

 

Don't run your roof water into the pond, we don't run the roof into the pond but even just heavy rain makes ours cloudy for a day or two until the filter does its job.

 

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So glad Cheeryble said I had given him some thoughts, because I did categorically say to him that I am not the one to give advice on ponds after I have exhausted every channel trying to resolve leaks on mine.

however you live and learn hopefully.

 

my advice to myself for next time would be:

1. Use visqueen or a pond liner on a new or existing concrete floor slab

2.Critical to use the sika topseal or similar after the walls are rendered even if wall tiling.

3. black tiles on the slab floor, it disguises algae, soil washed from plants, snail an fish poo.

 

for shallow ponds to 600 deep there is no problem using blocks or bricks, but any deeper I would advocate a shuttered concrete construction.

 

regarding your first point about adjoining the adjacent verandah, you can shutter and concrete right agin it but you need the slip membrane between the two. visqueen liner set vertically provide a slip between the two walls so should the worst happen and you get differential movement then they should not affect each other.

 

best I pipe down, before I get into deep water.

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16 hours ago, Crossy said:

Your big problem is going to be keeping it clear and not green with algae. We have a big barrel filter and UV lamps.

Another good way to keep the algae in control is to add a sucker or two.  Whatever you do, it will need a good filtering/aeration system.

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We tried this and, whilst it looked nice, was a DIY disaster as it leaked badly - that after I'd built a swimming pool with no issues! Ripped it all out eventually.
 
I'd recommend a PVC liner. Render with a latex-based additive and tiles should be ok. Steer away from products like Crocodile Flexshield as a primary waterproofing. It's good over render before tiling but not as a stand-alone coating. You will get people advising coatings like Sista D150......used that, still leaked. 
 
We did a crap job on ours TBH and may try again, this time without uncle Narai as the builder.
 
Liner or tiles.


Grollies, if your pool doesn't leak, how was that made, and can I do it on a budget and avoid tiles.
I remember my last place I bought a ready made small concrete pond and set it in the ground and just lined the visible rim with bricks. It looked ok "au naturelle" and the little flashy fish seemed ok with the concrete.


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If it's done correctly it'll never leek. I did mine some 10 years ago and not had a problem.

 

First off the men dug the hole lined the base with wire reinforcement and then concreted it, around 5" deep 14cm? Once dry next day they shuttered the sides again 5" 14cm also reinforced those with Wire mesh and pored in the concrete. Once that was removed they screed the inside with a much thinner cement rounding off the butting edges. Finished up water depth 18" 45cm + the concrete no need to do any deeper as the plants if any are better off at that depth.

 

All of the cement had water proof added nothing special just the waterproof clear stuff they normally use.

 

You might have to put a thicker base and sides in depending on size of pond Mine is 4+mt/3.5mt.

I was left with the finishing off. I did that by using slate slabs (Garden centre) that was once I had put in the blue water pipes to carry all electric wires. In my case waterfall/lights.

 

You will need a filter that can be sorted after the pond is finished.

 

Large stones were put in the base (Garden C).

Note you will need to wait a couple of weeks before filling with water to let the concrete cure.

 

Where you have a problem is the water from the roof as others have said it will bugger the water in the pool could also over fill it. I have put a S/Steels roof covered by plastic sheeting. That also keeps the sun off. Sun will turn the water green. 

 

I have also put in a waterfall as my pond butts up against a wall. That was also made out of slate.

Total cost was for everything 20th bht 10 years ago. But as said it's only a small pond.

 

Stuck in a snap (Not to good) but you'll get the idea.

 

 

 

 

IMGP0015.JPG

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18 hours ago, Crossy said:

Our koi are happy in a 1m deep pond (where they spend most of their time at the bottom), walls and base are 100mm concrete with (hyper cheap) ceramic tiles held on with crocodile (not cheap) tile cement suitable for pools. The grandkids thought it was a swimming pool (nearly 20,000 litres). Concrete has the waterproofing additive.

 

It's not 100% leak-free but not peeing out.

 

Your big problem is going to be keeping it clear and not green with algae. We have a big barrel filter and UV lamps.

 

Annoyingly our biggest single users of electric power are the actual swimming pool and, you guessed it, the koi pond (outstripping our aircon and water heaters). The fish are, of course, very happy and getting bigger by the day.

 

Don't run your roof water into the pond, we don't run the roof into the pond but even just heavy rain makes ours cloudy for a day or two until the filter does its job.

 

Hi Crossy

I'm thinking if the fish hang at the bottom better to have a shallower pond >>> less pressure for leakage.

I hadn't thought about an electricity bill and it reinforces my thoughts to just let the pond do what it will, whilst giving it an occasional clear up and sitting some water plants in pots in the water.

In the little pond at my last place most of the surface was usually covered in green, but i was nice, especially with a terracotta fish fountain spurting water 6 inches high for sound effects. The (cheap) pump had a good filter on it which never clogged and it kept going. It probably still works its tucked away somewhere.

 

As for roof water I'm tending to mounting a gutter then running the water underground around and behind the house where the grounds a wee bit lower. I think it must be an real priority not to have water getting under the verandah as I think it has minimal or no footings (I'll ask tomorrow when the builder comes back for a couple of days). It MUST NEVER crack.

 

Another thing I've noticed is I think even without rain there's some condensation from the air onto the metal roof at night which drips occasionally. See pic.....ugly on the carport floor and on the coming rim of the pond unless I use gutter.

IMG_6331.thumb.JPG.e3015a4842ae500ae233ed79e232a102.JPG

This brings another question.

I think the roof overhang is slightly too large for a gutter, meaning it would have to be trimmed an inch or whatever.

It makes me wonder if a trimmed edge will corrode or have some of these bottom edges already been trimmed.

Again I'll ask the builder tomorrow.

 

 

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We have small (50cm) pots with plants and guppies, these manage to stay clear without filtering. We don't even feed the guppies, they do just fine on mozzie larvae and anything else they can pick up.

 

Guppies (mosquito fish) are really easy, look after themselves and seem to do better if you don't mess with them. You only need a few, your neighbours will likely sell you a handful (beer is good currency), you will soon have zillions.

 

Bigger fish need more plants to use up the waste and somewhere for the bacteria to reside (they convert the fish pooh into stuff the plants can use). They also need somewhere shady to hang out when it gets too warm for them.

 

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1 hour ago, fredob43 said:

If it's done correctly it'll never leek. I did mine some 10 years ago and not had a problem.

 

First off the men dug the hole lined the base with wire reinforcement and then concreted it, around 5" deep 14cm? Once dry next day they shuttered the sides again 5" 14cm also reinforced those with Wire mesh and pored in the concrete. Once that was removed they screed the inside with a much thinner cement rounding off the butting edges. Finished up water depth 18" 45cm + the concrete no need to do any deeper as the plants if any are better off at that depth.

 

All of the cement had water proof added nothing special just the waterproof clear stuff they normally use.

 

You might have to put a thicker base and sides in depending on size of pond Mine is 4+mt/3.5mt.

I was left with the finishing off. I did that by using slate slabs (Garden centre) that was once I had put in the blue water pipes to carry all electric wires. In my case waterfall/lights.

 

You will need a filter that can be sorted after the pond is finished.

 

Large stones were put in the base (Garden C).

Note you will need to wait a couple of weeks before filling with water to let the concrete cure.

 

Where you have a problem is the water from the roof as others have said it will bugger the water in the pool could also over fill it. I have put a S/Steels roof covered by plastic sheeting. That also keeps the sun off. Sun will turn the water green. 

 

I have also put in a waterfall as my pond butts up against a wall. That was also made out of slate.

Total cost was for everything 20th bht 10 years ago. But as said it's only a small pond.

 

Stuck in a snap (Not to good) but you'll get the idea.

 

 

 

 

IMGP0015.JPG

Thanks Fred

interesting you got 5 inch thick concrete.

My builder actually said use 6 inch which we thought sounded over the top but hey yours works.

When you say wire reinforcement are you speaking of the bendy stuff on a roll? Not rebar.

How much will a suitable rebar cost to form the pond I wonder?

I do NOT fancy ripping it out or making good every year.

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14 minutes ago, Crossy said:

We have small (50cm) pots with plants and guppies, these manage to stay clear without filtering. We don't even feed the guppies, they do just fine on mozzie larvae and anything else they can pick up.

 

Guppies (mosquito fish) are really easy, look after themselves and seem to do better if you don't mess with them. You only need a few, your neighbours will likely sell you a handful (beer is good currency), you will soon have zillions.

 

Bigger fish need more plants to use up the waste and somewhere for the bacteria to reside (they convert the fish pooh into stuff the plants can use). They also need somewhere shady to hang out when it gets too warm for them.

 

 

I find the little tiny flashy fish charming.

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1 minute ago, cheeryble said:

I find the little tiny flashy fish charming.

Easy to keep too, if you have plants in the water too they won't need a filter.

 

We have them in with the koi, not sure if any get eaten but they constantly increase in number.

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18 hours ago, eyecatcher said:

So glad Cheeryble said I had given him some thoughts, because I did categorically say to him that I am not the one to give advice on ponds after I have exhausted every channel trying to resolve leaks on mine.

however you live and learn hopefully.

 

my advice to myself for next time would be:

1. Use visqueen or a pond liner on a new or existing concrete floor slab

2.Critical to use the sika topseal or similar after the walls are rendered even if wall tiling.

3. black tiles on the slab floor, it disguises algae, soil washed from plants, snail an fish poo.

 

for shallow ponds to 600 deep there is no problem using blocks or bricks, but any deeper I would advocate a shuttered concrete construction.

 

regarding your first point about adjoining the adjacent verandah, you can shutter and concrete right agin it but you need the slip membrane between the two. visqueen liner set vertically provide a slip between the two walls so should the worst happen and you get differential movement then they should not affect each other.

 

best I pipe down, before I get into deep water.

 

All points taken and yes you did categorically tell me not to copy yours!

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1 hour ago, cheeryble said:

Hi Steve

Do I actually need to keep anything in control?
Won’t it look good anyway?

If you intend to keep fish in the pool, then yes.  Sunlight is the main source for algae growth but Koi, for example, eat a lot and shit a lot which also keeps algae blooming.  If unchecked, the algae eventually decomposes depleting oxygen and you have dead fish.  Fish ponds need aeration to have happy and living fish.  Plants will help keep things clean but probably need filters also.  There is nothing worse than having beautiful Koi that you can't see because of murky water.

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2 minutes ago, bankruatsteve said:

If you intend to keep fish in the pool, then yes.  Sunlight is the main source for algae growth but Koi, for example, eat a lot and shit a lot which also keeps algae blooming.  If unchecked, the algae eventually decomposes depleting oxygen and you have dead fish.  Fish ponds need aeration to have happy and living fish.  Plants will help keep things clean but probably need filters also.  There is nothing worse than having beautiful Koi that you can't see because of murky water.

I'll stick to the little flashy fish, and maybe a kipper in the fridge.

(they're making smoked kippers in Phuket I hear, for delivery)

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1 hour ago, cheeryble said:

Thanks Fred

interesting you got 5 inch thick concrete.

My builder actually said use 6 inch which we thought sounded over the top but hey yours works.

When you say wire reinforcement are you speaking of the bendy stuff on a roll? Not rebar.

How much will a suitable rebar cost to form the pond I wonder?

I do NOT fancy ripping it out or making good every year.

6" would be fine if you are going to have a bigger pond.

They used rebar around 1/2 inch thick for sides making a mesh by weaving them all together. But as luck would have it I had some old R/Iron window bars that I changed to S/Steel they used them for the base. Will later put in snap of new window bars in to give you and idea what the old ones were like. What the latest cost will be depends on size of pond. The 20th I quoted was for pump lights all the pond work slate cement/sand. But didn't include the S/S roof.

 

I'm off now to take some snaps. so you will have to wait for 10 min: or so.

You might have to wait a bit longer then the 10min: as the battery has gone flat in my camera. But will post asap.

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6" would be fine if you are going to have a bigger pond.
They used rebar around 1/2 inch thick for sides making a mesh by weaving them all together. But as luck would have it I had some old R/Iron window bars that I changed to S/Steel they used them for the base. Will later put in snap of new window bars in to give you and idea what the old ones were like. What the latest cost will be depends on size of pond. The 20th I quoted was for pump lights all the pond work slate cement/sand. But didn't include the S/S roof.
 
I'm off now to take some snaps. so you will have to wait for 10 min: or so.
You might have to wait a bit longer then the 10min: as the battery has gone flat in my camera. But will post asap.

No rush I’m off to buy stuff and then up hill back tonight


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53 minutes ago, fredob43 said:

6" would be fine if you are going to have a bigger pond.

They used rebar around 1/2 inch thick for sides making a mesh by weaving them all together. But as luck would have it I had some old R/Iron window bars that I changed to S/Steel they used them for the base. Will later put in snap of new window bars in to give you and idea what the old ones were like. What the latest cost will be depends on size of pond. The 20th I quoted was for pump lights all the pond work slate cement/sand. But didn't include the S/S roof.

 

I'm off now to take some snaps. so you will have to wait for 10 min: or so.

You might have to wait a bit longer then the 10min: as the battery has gone flat in my camera. But will post asap.

Sorry for delay snaps. First is of new window bars second of S/S roof. I have at present only gold fish in pond less aggro to look after. Koi need running water or at least fast. They also live in water that's only a few inches deep. We have a shop near us that has several very large Koi and they are in a pond that's around 9 inches deep. they seem to live fine. I did omit to say I have oxygenators in pond one pump around 300bt with 2 outlets split into 4. The bubbles might show up in my first picture? on the other page. Flowers are the wife idea have somewhere to hang things and they do. Thank Buddha she doesn't get any ideas about hanging me.

 

I have put a bit of petrified wood over the waterfall to finish it off visually. Looks nice but a bugger to fit as it weighs a ton. 

 

IMGP0017.JPG

IMGP0018.JPG

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4 hours ago, cheeryble said:

 


Grollies, if your pool doesn't leak, how was that made, and can I do it on a budget and avoid tiles.
I remember my last place I bought a ready made small concrete pond and set it in the ground and just lined the visible rim with bricks. It looked ok "au naturelle" and the little flashy fish seemed ok with the concrete.


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Pool was double wall construction using CPP concrete block, c/w wall ties, infilled with concrete. the walls are ovee 0.5m thick.

 

Then a strong spatterdash coat followed by two coats of render, each mix a little weaker than the last. Render using Portland cement with the additive. Also, use sharp sand for the render, not the red sand.

 

Then two coats of crocodile flexshield.

 

Finished off with ceramic pool tiles using Crossy's crocodile tile adhesive. Cost a bomb.

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8 hours ago, sometimewoodworker said:

Deep water! 5555555

😉😉

IMG_6068.thumb.JPG.770885a67e376228744ebd46c8f338a7.JPG

 

ey, that was a beautiful job in the early days, just a pity my local water bill has risen from 40bt a month to now averaging 50bt due to the extra 2 cubes of water I have to keep topping up!

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7 hours ago, bankruatsteve said:

Another good way to keep the algae in control is to add a sucker or two.  Whatever you do, it will need a good filtering/aeration system.

sadly they are counter productive as they make more mess from their back end during their vacuum process.

 

We had about 5 in our small spa pond, bought them when they were as big as my finger. over the years they slowly disappeared to cats I assume and for two full years we had nothing in there. Then one day we had a shock, we saw this giant dead fish 18 inch long on the side of the pond and could only conclude someone had dropped it or thrown it.....more time passed and then we saw an even bigger fish in the pond, it was like a catfish, maybe it was. it had hidden under the concrete paving step for over two years never going out into the light.

on reflection these fish had grown to 10x the original size with nothing to eat as such.

 

but they make a real mess, hence I don't want fish in my pond (well that and they will not survive on dry concrete)

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 Hi cheeryble, good to see your build coming along nicely, I thought you were going to start a thread concerning that. Did I miss it ?  If you did not , I understand how hectic a  build can be. 

I did a monolithic pour. easy to do .

image.png.111be9141aedb78f2e799e0972dbe006.pngSet the area and shape of the pond . 

Form the outside

For the inside, use what in the industry we call "Hang sides"

They will be hang from the top of the outside form (will provide sketch below), The bottom of the "hang side" will be 4 inch shorter than the outside form, and supported by a piece of rebar for a leg. that will remain inside the pour. 

  Place mesh wire and or rebar  in the slab and walls 

place drain and feed pipes, consider future water effects and pipes such as maybe a future waterfall.

  First pour the slab  allowing the concrete to flow under the hang side up against the outside form and a litle up the form, wait a few minutes, and start to smooth the slab, as the slab starts to get a litle firm continue pouring the walls, thus you will get a monolithic pour with the least chance of leak. 

image.png.92d6ad947771fbb290527cb715105a07.png

 

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10 hours ago, bankruatsteve said:

Another good way to keep the algae in control is to add a sucker or two.  Whatever you do, it will need a good filtering/aeration system.

My wife only needs one sucker to keep our pond clean. she calls him husband, :cheesy:

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21 hours ago, fredob43 said:

6" would be fine if you are going to have a bigger pond.

They used rebar around 1/2 inch thick for sides making a mesh by weaving them all together. But as luck would have it I had some old R/Iron window bars that I changed to S/Steel they used them for the base. Will later put in snap of new window bars in to give you and idea what the old ones were like. What the latest cost will be depends on size of pond. The 20th I quoted was for pump lights all the pond work slate cement/sand. But didn't include the S/S roof.

 

I'm off now to take some snaps. so you will have to wait for 10 min: or so.

You might have to wait a bit longer then the 10min: as the battery has gone flat in my camera. But will post asap.

Wow you have very fancy window bars!

 

Your pond area looks like a nice cosy spot to tuck away in.

 

Your cost of 20k is a useful starting point 

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19 hours ago, grollies said:

Pool was double wall construction using CPP concrete block, c/w wall ties, infilled with concrete. the walls are ovee 0.5m thick.

 

Then a strong spatterdash coat followed by two coats of render, each mix a little weaker than the last. Render using Portland cement with the additive. Also, use sharp sand for the render, not the red sand.

 

Then two coats of crocodile flexshield.

 

Finished off with ceramic pool tiles using Crossy's crocodile tile adhesive. Cost a bomb.

Holy Mother of God nearly two foot thick!

Use sharp sand. Must look that up so i understand about sands.

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16 hours ago, eyecatcher said:

ey, that was a beautiful job in the early days, just a pity my local water bill has risen from 40bt a month to now averaging 50bt due to the extra 2 cubes of water I have to keep topping up!

From 40 to 50?

That hurts....

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16 hours ago, eyecatcher said:

sadly they are counter productive as they make more mess from their back end during their vacuum process.

 

We had about 5 in our small spa pond, bought them when they were as big as my finger. over the years they slowly disappeared to cats I assume and for two full years we had nothing in there. Then one day we had a shock, we saw this giant dead fish 18 inch long on the side of the pond and could only conclude someone had dropped it or thrown it.....more time passed and then we saw an even bigger fish in the pond, it was like a catfish, maybe it was. it had hidden under the concrete paving step for over two years never going out into the light.

on reflection these fish had grown to 10x the original size with nothing to eat as such.

 

but they make a real mess, hence I don't want fish in my pond (well that and they will not survive on dry concrete)

You've nearly put me off a pond !!!

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15 hours ago, sirineou said:

 Hi cheeryble, good to see your build coming along nicely, I thought you were going to start a thread concerning that. Did I miss it ?  If you did not , I understand how hectic a  build can be. 

I did a monolithic pour. easy to do .

image.png.111be9141aedb78f2e799e0972dbe006.pngSet the area and shape of the pond . 

Form the outside

For the inside, use what in the industry we call "Hang sides"

They will be hang from the top of the outside form (will provide sketch below), The bottom of the "hang side" will be 4 inch shorter than the outside form, and supported by a piece of rebar for a leg. that will remain inside the pour. 

  Place mesh wire and or rebar  in the slab and walls 

place drain and feed pipes, consider future water effects and pipes such as maybe a future waterfall.

  First pour the slab  allowing the concrete to flow under the hang side up against the outside form and a litle up the form, wait a few minutes, and start to smooth the slab, as the slab starts to get a litle firm continue pouring the walls, thus you will get a monolithic pour with the least chance of leak. 

image.png.92d6ad947771fbb290527cb715105a07.png

 

Hi Sirineou

Yeah sorry I was thinking of posting all the stages of the build but you're right it was lack of time.

Perhaps I'll post the steps that have happened soon.

SO far we have Mums chalet which needs adding to with shower room and store room and outside kitchen.

We are almost done on the main house build. i found a lovely leather L sofa second hand one year old to be told it's not allowed in the house until the monks have done their thing.

 

Definitely like the idea of a monolithic pour.

Concrete formwork is one of the areas I'm totally short of experience in, so I don't have a "feel" for your stages like let the muck harden a bit then pour the sides.

However I am starting to think one doesn't want to make formwork custom made for the one job and thinking if the rental formwork "mai bab"could do the job. Example I'm thinking of perhaps 45cm deep well that sounds about the same depth form as for a horizontal beam under a house's walls.


To be clear you're suggesting 4 inch thick slab and sides?

But looks like my pond will be bigger than yours so maybe needs thicker?

 

The thought of draining water coming off the front roof to the rear is also turning into a bit of a concern as the behind house area with the metal sheet fence to hide the house behind is only a few metres wide and I have concern about the water not draining away there and causing nuisance to the neighbours who are built v close to the border. It would be getting the flow off both front and back slopes of the roof.

 

I wonder if our resident quantity surveyor poster would take a stab at the cost of your style of pond 4m x 3.5m 

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