Backyard water features and ponds offer a multitude of benefits. Not only do they increase the aesthetic and monetary value of your property, they also positively impact the health of those living in your home. The sound of water proves calming, lowering stress levels, and the water itself humidifies the air, reducing allergens and moisturizing skin. After the initial filling, a feature or pond also requires less water to maintain than a lawn. And let's not forget the wildlife attracted to water, including birds and butterflies. With so many pluses, how could you not want to add a water feature or pond to your backyard?

DIY
You can build your own water feature or pond, with or without help from your professional handyman , depending on your skill level and the amount of time you can devote to the project. The steps involved will vary depending on the type of water feature or pond you want. For example, the installation of a basic pond will require designing the pond and its surrounding landscape, excavating the area and leveling the edges. You will then need to prep the base, properly line the pond, fill it, and install a pump system. Finally, you would need to create a border and landscape the area to complete the project.

Keep It Simple
If the above sounds like a bigger task than you want to take on, consider installing a simple garden fountain. Options range from small wall fountains to large standalone fountains with multiple tiers. Simple garden fountains come in a variety of materials, from basic concrete to bronze. When shopping for a water fountain for your backyard, keep the design of your home and existing landscaping in mind. For example, if you have a modern-style home and have created a meditation garden out back, look for a fountain with Asian influences in the design, such as a bamboo spout and glazed pot with clean lines. Or if your home has more of a Southwestern feel, look for a fountain with Mexican tiles in complementary colors.

Make It Fit
Before picking out a water feature or designing a pond, measure the area where it will go carefully to ensure you do not pick out or create something too big for your backyard. The last thing you want is to have a water feature that overpowers the other elements in your yard or to not have enough room to navigate easily around a pond.

If you are tight on space, look at pondless waterfalls. These re-circulating waterfalls don't require the presence of a pond, nor the maintenance associated with a pond. This also can be a DIY project, again with or without help from your handyman, depending on your skill level and the amount of time you have to devote. You will need to excavate the area, digging a hole much deeper than you would for a normal pond, and install a pump system to sit on the bottom underneath rock and gravel. After you fill the area with water, the pump will circulate water from beneath the rock and gravel through a pipe and into an overflowing waterfall and back down into the reservoir. Because the water in the reservoir never rises above the rock and gravel, these water features make an excellent addition to backyards in which children play, as they do not present a drowning risk as ponds can. They also can cost less to install and maintain.

Whether you opt for a water feature or a pond, the many benefits of running water will make your backyard a pleasant gathering place for both family members and friends.