About this pro
Douglas was amazing! We have two beautiful waterfalls that he designed and installed and we are so lucky we found the right person to handle this incredibly difficult task. He never stopped until the job was completed and left the site clean and tidy after completing a great and difficult task.Jun 1, 2015Verified
Doug is a modern day renaissance man. His expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas, all of which combine to create beautiful ponds and landscapes. I knew what I wanted and had pretty high expectations for my pond and Doug was able to surpass everything I had hoped for. It was amazing the way he was able to make every rock placement look so natural and at the same time serve a purpose. I was very impressed with the way he was able to make the pond look so natural in the yard, like the house was built beside this beautiful water feature. Doug is very professional and at the same time very down to earth and looking to make his customer happy. He loves what he does and it shows in the finished product. I highly recommend Doug to anyone who wants to ad the beauty and relaxation of a Pond to life.May 10, 2014VerifiedDouglas H.'s reply
So sorry to hear you had to sell your beautiful home, leaving your pond and waterfall for the new owners to enjoy. I wish you the very best in your new adventures in Northern California. I know how very much you loved and enjoyed your water feature. It was a pleasure to see the joy on your face when I began ripping out that ugly liner pond in order to rebuild it with reinforced concrete. What a pleasure it was working for you and experiencing your true appreciation of what I created for you to enjoy with you sweet dogs. All the best to you Duane, Doug
My extensive waterfall system was constructed 25 years ago and tree roots had caused major leaking. Doug came out and did a complete overhaul. He is not only a superb craftsman, but a true artist. I am so pleased with my beautiful new waterfalls, and I can't say enough good things about Doug. I would enthusiastically recommend him to anyone who wants to upgrade their waterfalls to a first class system.Oct 13, 2014Douglas H.'s reply
Thank you so much George, it was truly a pleasure to work for you and your lovely bride Dori. This project was one of the most challenging of the over two thousand projects I have done over the past 30 plus years. I' please to hear how pleased you are and I thank you for the kind compliments you shared on Thumbtack.
We had him come over and repair a pondless waterfall that we've been having leak problems for years. I gave up trying to self fix it. In a few hours he was able to completely repair the waterfall feature and even installed a water level sensor at cost. The work was done efficiently and cleanly, all without messing up the shrubbery that we had planted around the water feature. Both he and his wife were a pleasure to visit with. We feel we have an expert to call or email anytime there's an issue with our waterfall in the future. We highly recommend his services whether it's a new install or a repair.Apr 27, 2014Douglas H.'s reply
Thanks Rich for your kind comments and for your many years of selfless service to the community in Law enforcement. It was fun to be able to fix the problem and dress up your water feature so quickly. Thanks Rich for giving me the opportunity to fix your problem. Greatfully, Doug
Doug- you can quote me on this. I have spent the better part of a month trying to find a quality and cost effective solution for maintaining the water level of my indoor Buddha fountain. The old method of shuttling a bucket to and from the bathtub got old real quick and I had neither the time nor the inclination to design and build an electronic device to autofill my fountain. Mechanical float valves were out of the question as it's kept indoors, sitting on my $10,000 newly installed wood floors. Just when I was about to give up and move it outdoors, Doug and Aquamediagroup saved Buddha from becoming a bird bath. THANK YOU! Harry CampbellJun 12, 2013Douglas H.'s reply
Thanks for giving my AquaFill electronic water level controller a try. Be assured it will give you many years of reliable service. If you ever have an issue you can contact me at AquaFill.com
Photos and Videos
- What types of customers have you worked with?I replace many leaky pond liners and design and build professionally constructed concrete and rebar ponds and waterfalls. Also many remodels of poorly designed and constructed ponds including replacing cheap ineficient pond equipment, especially replacing inferior high energy consuming sump pumps with energy efficient centrifugal pumps that save 60% on energy costs..
- What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?Check for the number of years the water garden expert has been in business, check references, awards, and accomplishments. Because there is such a wide range of information to be learned on this topic of koi pond and waterfall construction and so much technical information out there, you may decide to seek professional assistance to complete part or all of the water features. Why is there so much talk about pond liners? Which ones are UV protected, or stronger, or last longer? I am by no means an expert on liner technology, nor have I ever used them in my 30 years of designing and building waterfalls. If you're a "liner guy" disciple, I'm sure you're thinking, "Oh no, here he goes." To tell the truth, I have been minding my own business for over two decades, just watching, reading and listening to all the "experts." . . I've listened to how "pond liners are simple to install," and "pond liners are inexpensive compared to concrete and steel," and "pond liners are quick to install." Or "pond liners last for 50 years," "pond liners bring higher profits to pond construction and waterfall construction," and "liners don't contaminate the water with alkali as does concrete construction." Yes, I've almost sold myself on listening to the facts of the "experts." Well, not quite, due to a few facts of my own. So, a pond liner is guaranteed for 40 to 50 years? I would have to agree with that, as long as you leave it in the box the whole time. Too bad a liner manufacturer's warranty doesn't include damage from gophers, ground squirrels, chipmunks, rats or mice. Or tree, plant and weed roots. Or from stretching and punctures in the liner due to heavy rocks and other sharp objects. Startling fact: a puncture only the size of a pin hole can cause a pond to lose one drip per second, or 5 gallons in just 24 hours. That's a pin hole, not a hole made by a pair of buck teeth on a burrowing mammal. Imagine along with me for a minute. You have spent $350 on a pond design and then $8,000 of your hard-earned money for a pond and waterfall. This water feature is impressive. They dug a big hole, piled up some dirt at one end, draped a large rubber liner over the whole thing, and placed giant boulders all around the fish pond and on the dirt mound. Smaller rocks fill in between the boulder and additional rocks cover the liner in the pond. Now, it's two years later and you've just come home from a two-week vacation to find the pond half empty (or half full, if you're a positive person). There must be a leak! How did this happen? Where is it? No problem, you think, I remember the salesman's pitch: "If you should ever get a leak, just clean off the area around the hole, dry it off, and using the directions enclosed in the patching kit, apply this patching material." But there's only one problem: Where is the leak? or leaks? How do I find them? And if I do find them, and I'm successful in patching them up, what's to keep it from leaking again? Okay, I'm going to snap my fingers and you'll wake up. "Snap!" Surprise! That was only a mental exercise with a happy ending. It wasn't real! Or was it? Actually, it was. The short story you just heard was true. One out of every eight projects we do involves replacing the leaky liner for an angry fish pond/leaky liner owner. Why am I finally speaking up now, after 30 years and well over 2,000 waterfalls and fish ponds? Because I'm angry, too! Not at the "liner guy" who sells the pond liners, but at his disciples around the country who are bragging how much money they make in just one or two days. I'm not upset at the fact that they make in two days what takes me six to seven days to make in constructing my fish ponds of rebar and 3000 psi concrete. My ire stems from having to charge $8,000 to replace a $6,000 liner pond that lasted only two years. (A pond liner with padding didn't stop a tree root which traveled 25 feet to do its destructive work.) For only an additional 16% in cost, that client could still be enjoying his original pond, stress-free, for his lifetime and that of his children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The main features touted by pond liner promoters are simplicity, low cost, quick installation, and extremely high profits. In an article published in his catalog/magazine of liners and accessories, the "liner messiah" has obviously taught his disciples well, as you can read in this excerpt: "If you hire us to install your pond, you get a choice of buying it with or without a stream. We offer no other choices! The pond we build covers an area of 11 by 16 feet, has a maximum depth of 2 feet, and a beautiful waterfall. We'll build your pond in one day. The basic pond costs $5,100 and if you want to connect the falls with a stream, you're looking at an extra $1,000. That's it. End of story. No mas." That's what Ernie Selles, president of Patio Ponds and disciple of the "liner guy," said. Another quote from Ernie in the same catalog is, "I get out of bed every morning and look forward to going to work in a way that I never had before." I noticed he didn't mention how well he slept. Let's do the math on Ernie's installation. The pond, stream, and waterfall cost is $6,100. The actual retail cost of the kit is only $1,000. $5,100 profit for only one day of labor. Notice: unlike our package, they offer no lights, no autofill, and the pond is only two feet deep. Yet three feet minimum are required for koi fish. A two foot pond affords no protection from predators such as raccoons and herons, and the shallow depth is affected easily by rapid temperature changes, causing undue stress on the pond's inhabitants. They do not like to construct ponds over two feet deep, because they are more susceptible to cave-ins. We would build the same pond with a depth ranging from 3 to 4 feet, with no shallows for dining predators. It is constructed of rebar 18 inches on center with a shell of 3000 psi concrete (sidewalks and driveways are typically 2000 psi). This 7-sack, 60% pea with fiber mix is so dense that it's waterproof. However, we still coat it with ThoroSeal. The pond is equipped with two anti-vortex bottom suction drains, a skimmer to remove surface debris, and an out-of-pond pump that produces 5000 gallons per hour at only 2.6 amps, compared to the liner guy's pumps which are only 4200 gallons per hour at 7.6 amps - over twice the cost of energy! In addition, you have to pull his heavy cast iron monster pump out of the water to clean out debris. We would also include a state of the art Aqua Ultraviolet filter and UV light - the best money can buy. The liner guy's filter needs to be disassembled in order to clean it by hand. The Ultima II filter requires the simple turn of a handle to back flush the debris. This system has been operational in my water features for ten years with no problems. We include an ultraviolet light in our system that kills the bacteria that create smells, kills pathogens that cause disease and algae spores that turn the water green. This light has a wiper arm that cleans the internal lens without the need to open the light. We would also offer an automatic electronic water level control system, the "AquaFill" by Aquamedia Corp. that keeps the water level of the pond constant. Pond liner installers use floats that are mechanical like the float in a toilet tank. Mechanical fillers can corrode and stick, causing overflows and even poisoning the fish with excess chlorinated water. However, the AquaFill does not stick or corrode. Not only are all our ponds designed a minimum of three feet deep, we build caves for the turtles and fish to hide in. With pond liner construction, rocks cannot be cemented to the liner and consequently many are loose, creating a hazard if someone were to step on them. Kids will be kids and I promise they will eventually be running up and down the falls. We have no loose rock because they are all cemented in place with Aquamedia Mortar Mix, which is not only three times stronger than regular mortar, it is very dense. As a result, alkali will not leach out into the water and create a pH problem. Regular mortar mix is porous and water passes through the joints of the rock, carrying with it cement residue. This in turn creates stain trails high in pH, easily poisoning the fish. In conclusion, as an educated customer, would you pay $6,100 for a rubber pond liner or spend the same amount or a little more to get a shell made of concrete and steel that not only would never leak, but would last for decades. So what are we as contractors looking for? Exorbitant profits or peace of mind with long-term, happy clients? It is more enjoyable for me to get a call eight years down the road from a contented client than to get a complaint of a leaky pond. What does the "liner guy" disciple say? "Sorry, we only have a one year warranty"? Or do they go back and remove all the rocks, pull out the pond liner, clean it, repair the leaks, and replace all the rocks and equipment at no cost? Liners or professional installations? You say pond liners are professionally installed. Then why is the very same liner kit sold to homeowners and do-it-yourselfers? The reason is, it doesn't take an experienced professional to install one. All you need is "a garden hose and a shovel"! Look before you leap, and ponder before you weep. Happy koi, peace and joy. Watch a HowTo video at YouTube below HOWTO VIDEO http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYucMywpfJ4 Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/381194