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Build a Deck-Top Pond

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Don't have room for a water garden? Try this beautiful pond-in-a-box alternative. To make one yourself, just follow these easy instructions.

deck top pond

Project Overview

Skill Level


Estimated Time

1 weekend

Estimated Cost


Tools and Materials


  • Circular saw
  • Drill
  • Level
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer


  • Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.
  • 2 1×8×8' cedar boards (or substitute pressure-treated boards)
  • 1 3/4×4×8' pressure-treated fir plywood
  • 1 1×2×8' cedar board (or substitute a pressure-treated board)
  • Waterproof polyurethane glue, #100575
  • Stainless-steel deck screws
  • 1 lb. box 6D galvanized nails
  • Rubberized sealant, or pond liner, #61250
  • Sta-Green potting mix, #99494
  • Fountain pump, #58375

Items may be Special Order in some stores. Product costs, availability, and item numbers may vary online or by market. Paint colors may vary slightly from those shown. Availability varies by market for lumber species and sizes.

Missing anything? Shop Online



Step 1

Starting with two 8-foot-long 1×8 cedar boards, use a circular saw to cut two 30-inch lengths for the side panels and three 15-inch lengths for the ends and divider.

Step 2

deck top pond

Then cut a 15×281/4-inch panel for the floorboard from 3/4-inch-thick pressure-treated plywood.


Step 1

Apply waterproof polyurethane glue to a long edge of the floorboard; use deck screws to fasten a side panel to the edge, leaving a 7/8-inch overhang for each end panel. Glue and fasten the two ends and other side panel the same way.

Step 2

deck top pond

To create a quarter section for a planting bed, glue the remaining 15-inch length in place as a divider. Secure with nails driven through the sides and floorboard. Cut four corner cleats from an 8-foot length of 1×2 cedar and coat the inside faces with wood glue. Position and nail the cleats onto box corners. Use bar clamps where needed to apply pressure to the joints while the glue dries.


Step 1

Paint the inside of the box with rubberized sealant, or install a pond liner (a liner is preferred if you're planning to add fish).

Step 2

deck top pond

On the garden side, drill two or three holes in the base to provide drainage for plants. Set the 30×15-inch box on bricks to elevate it.


Step 1

Fill the garden compartment with potting mix and your choice of plants.  Top with an ornamental rock, if desired. 

Step 2

deck-top pond

Add water and pond plants to the other compartment, as well as a fountain pump. 


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