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A Backyard Dream: A Patch of Dead Grass to a Freshwater Pond!

You’ve seen unusual, yet awesome backyards before. Yes, you’ve heard about people putting golf putting greens in their yard, families building backyard ice skating rinks for the winter months and big, extravagant play structures. But what one Switzerland family did might top them all, as they worked over the course of many months to turn an otherwise bland backyard into a water oasis.

They were ridiculed online along the way, as they wanted something different than just a standard pool. So they decided to go about building their dream yard on their own. The end result didn’t disappoint. In fact, based on what the yard started as, you wouldn’t even believe that it’s the same backyard. This is the story of VonBubenberg and arguably one of the most amazing backyard transformations in the world. Check out the story below:

1. Pride in Homeownership

For many people, when they invest in something it’s only natural for them to want to make it their own and take a greater sense of pride in their ownership. This is especially the case with homes, both when it comes to the interior and the exterior.

2. Backyard Dreams

Part of owning a home is landscaping and arranging the front and backyards as you see fit. This was recently the case for a Switzerland-based Imgur user, VonBubenberg.

3. Just a Patch of Dead Grass

VonBubenberg wanted to build a swimming pool/pond in his backyard and he had the perfect space to do it alongside his home. But it was going to be an extensive project that would cost thousands of U.S. dollars and include months and months of hard work. It started with a patch of dead grass and dirt.

4. Not Your Normal Pool

VonBubenberg didn’t want just some old run-of-the-mill pool – he wanted a unique pool. So he came up with a plan to build a freshwater pond/pool with an on-site filtration system.

5. “Too Cheap”

Upon sharing his vision, VonBubenber was met with scrutiny. One Reddit user called the Swiss homeowner someone who was “too cheap to buy an actual swimming pool.” How wrong they’d be…

6. Chalking it Out

Undeterred by the online criticism he was facing, VonBubenberg started by chalking out the area where he wanted to put the pool – a critical first step in any project.

7. Potential

While the yard was somewhat of an eyesore, it had potential. The pool was chalked out adjacent to a sunroom off the back of the house and a privacy fence bordered it from the one side. A chain link fence was in the rear, but that was all part of the plan in the backyard’s transformation.

8. Excavation

First things first, VonBubenberg needed to dig a hole for where the pool would go in the yard. He hired out an excavator to handle this task. It was one of the only things that he had to hire a contractor for.

9. Don’t Cross the White Line

The black chalked area is intended to be the deepest area of the pool, while inside the white chalk will be a shallow area.

10. Easier than Using a Shovel

As you can see, the excavator made digging the pool hole a lot easier. It sure beats using a shovel and doing it by hand.

11. Looking Good

The excavator removed the dirt, while the tractor-trailer hauled it away.

12. The New Layout

A water conduit was installed to help create the freshwater pond. The conduit, which you can see off to the side, helps bring in continuous fresh water from an on-site filtration system. In this project’s case, the filtration system is located in the garage. More on that later.

13. Working as a Team

Everyone helped VonBubenberg with the project, and the work actually became great for family bonding. Working toward a common goal tends to do that for you.

14. Deep Digging

The final hole has a few different depths to it. The deeper area of the hole was required to be dug out by hand, as the excavator couldn’t complete the layers.

15. A Wading Area?

Aside from the deeper hole, you can see what appears to be a wading area off to the left and around the perimeter. What did VonBubenberg have in store?

16. All About the Details

The Reddit user who called VonBubenberg “cheap” was looking to be more in the wrong. Just check out the stone steps leading into the pool on the far side – quite a neat detail that adds some great ambiance to the project.

17. Felt Down!

The project was coming along nicely. Next up was the laying and securing of the felt, which provided the base of where the water would eventually be.

18. Liner Down!

First came felt, now comes the liner.

19. An Inside Look at the On-Site Filtration System

A freshwater pond/pool needs a continuous flow of water to keep it working. The fountain was already installed in the pool and the hoses led to the on-site filtration system, located in the garage.

20. 5 Men, 8 Hours

To make the pond look great and help support it structurally, rocks were brought in to form the deep part of it. While this was the most intense part of the project – taking five men eight hours to complete – the payoff was extraordinary. There were no corners being cut with this project.

21. Next Up, Floor Tiles

Now that the rock walls were done, there needed to be some sort of a base. For this, floor tiles were placed on the bottom of the pond.

22. Rock Ground

With the rock walls and floor tiles placed, rock and gravel was spread out around the perimeter of the pond. Water would still fill in this part, but it would be much more shallow – a true wading area.

23. Just Add Water

Finally, it was time to add water to the pool. A hose was placed into the deep area and it began to fill up.

24. More Water!

It wasn’t long before water filled all parts of the pool – both deep and shallow. The project was almost done!

25. Nice New Fence

While a privacy fence and sunroom were adjacent to the pond on two sides, an ugly chain link fence bordered it on the other. But if you take a peek at this photo, that fence was replaced with another nice privacy fence with shrubs planted around the border.

26. Take A Dip

Though not finished yet, we can’t help but want to jump in for a swim by the looks of it.

27. Underwater Lighting

When we say that all the stops were pulled out for this project, we mean it. Look no further than the awesome underwater lighting for swimming after dark. What a great touch for hosting parties and evening gatherings!

28. Winter is Coming

The project spanned several seasons, so it wasn’t long before the pond froze due to cold winter temperatures. The project was halted until the spring thaw as a result.

29. Shinny Hockey

And while the pond is intended to be used for recreational purposes in warm weather months, that’s not to say you can’t take up a game of shinny hockey when it freezes over! If you can’t work on it, why not?

30. Back to Work

Though the pond/pool was now pretty much complete, the backyard was not. And when spring came, work resumed on the final steps of the project.

31. The Deck!

What the backyard really needed to complete its magical transformation was none other than an awesome deck overlooking the pond. This was designed to come off of the sunroom.

32. Right Up Against It

As you can see, the deck was going to be built right up against the pond.

33. The Deck Structure

Gravel was placed underneath the deck. Then supports were positioned and the timber was placed. The deck was designed to wrap around the pond.

34. A Real Wraparound

As you can see, the deck didn’t stop just off of the sunroom – it wrapped around three-quarters of the whole pond! What a cool idea.

35. A Backyard Paradise

The backyard went from a dead patch of grass into paradise. With a full, tiered wraparound deck, it’s great for hosting parties and barbecues. And, of course, you can swim too.

36. Nothing Cheap

Despite the heat that VonBubenberg took online when news of his plan hit the Internet, you can see that the final project is far from “cheap.” A better term might be “paradise.” It just goes to show what you can do when there’s a desire to do it.

37. $34,000 in the Making

In fact, the pond/pool was estimated to have cost about $34,000 U.S. to complete. The average cost of a standard in-ground pool runs around $22,000 U.S. While the Internet trolls were out in full force at the start of the project, they were silenced at the end of it.

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