How to Make a Lazy River in Your Backyard

Are you looking for a way to kick back and relax this summer? It is important to know how to make a lazy river in your backyard. Why not give your backyard the ultimate upgrade by building a lazy river? With just some basic materials, you can create the perfect paradise—no matter the size of your yard.

How to Make a Lazy River in Your Backyard

Whether it’s a wide river flowing all the way around trickling through, designing and digging out your water feature is an exciting project that can be accomplished in as little as one weekend. 

Follow our DIY steps below to find out how to make a beautiful (and serene!) lazy river right in your backyard!

Tools You Will Need

  • Garden hose
  • Shovel
  • Level
  • Rake
  • Gravel
  • Rocks and stones
  • PVC piping (1/2 inch to 4 inches depending on the size of your river)

6 Steps Guide on How to Make a Lazy River in Your Backyard

1. Decide the Size and Shape of Your Lazy River

Creating a lazy river in your backyard is one of the best ways to relax and enjoy yourself during the hot summer months. Before you start digging, you need to first decide on the size and shape of your lazy river. Consider how long you want it to be if you’d like it to be wide or narrow, where it should start, and where it will end. 

A great way to get a sense of what your finished project might look like before any construction begins is to use a garden hose to lay out its path. This will also help you estimate how much turf needs to be removed for the river’s construction. With just a little bit of planning, you can have your very own backyard oasis!

2. Start Digging 

Using a shovel or an excavator, dig out a trench that’s at least 12 inches deep and wide enough for your PVC pipe (if you plan on using one) plus 8–12 inches of extra space all around. Make sure to take frequent measurements with your level to ensure the bottom of your river is still flat and in line.

When it comes to digging a trench for your lazy river project, it’s important to create one that is 12 inches deep, as this is considered an optimal depth for creating a successful lazy river.

Digging a Trench Lazy River

Make sure the bottom of the trench is level with a measuring tool like a spirit or water level, or even use a string method by stretching rope along the boundaries at a few points, checking and adjusting until it’s perfectly flat all around. 

Once everything has been marked off accordingly, both the excavation process within the outlined area and the construction of any piping or mechanisms can begin without any worries about unevenness in your backyard. With these steps taken care of, you can get one step closer to having a beautiful river in your backyard before you know it!

3. Line the Bottom of the Trench

Making a lazy river in your backyard can be an exciting, albeit daunting, endeavor. By constructing raised banks and adding a slight downward grade with a rubber liner underneath, you can create a magical aquatic oasis even in relatively confined spaces. 

Moreover, it’s essential to ensure the trench is lined correctly when making a lazy river; it should commence with pea gravel at the base of the trench before being filled up the rest of the way with rocks or stones- whichever aesthetic you’re aiming for. 

A strong and secure foundation is vital for this process as any faults here could result in leaks or less reliable diversion of water. Once complete, watch as your homemade lazy river slowly but surely becomes encircled by plants to produce amazing visual effects!

4. Place Your Pvc Pipe

Securing your PVC pipe with landscape staples provides not only an added layer of support but also helps maintain the speed and flow of your river. Without this extra step, the water might become sluggish or move too fast to enjoy its beauty. 

Having a secure foundation for your pipe will help ensure optimum water flow, making it easier for you to relax and enjoy your homemade lazy river. So don’t forget to insert your PVC pipe in the center of the trench and secure it with landscape staples for an unforgettable experience!

5. Cover the Pvc Pipe

Adding gravel, rocks, or stones to cover a PVC pipe is an essential part of building a lazy river in your backyard. Not only does it help with the aesthetics of the project, but it also serves an important purpose by allowing water to flow calmly around bends and curves.

The amount of gravel that should be used will vary depending on the size of your project, so be sure to consider that when laying it down. 

Additionally, you may need extra materials for support if the pipe is further than six inches deep. This is something important to factor in before starting your river and provides another layer of safety on top of the sturdy reinforcement of PVC piping. Ultimately, stacking pebbles and rocks around a PVC pipe can make all the difference in creating a functional and aesthetically-pleasing lazy river in your backyard.

Stacking Pebbles and Rocks

6. Fill Up Your Lazy River With Water

When you add the finishing touches to your backyard lazy river, you can finally relax and enjoy! To make the experience even more enjoyable, consider adding some decorations or lights. 

Floating decorations will add a fun pop of color to the water, while well-placed lighting can give it a tranquil mood in the evening. 

You could also opt for an array of colors that change throughout the night. Either way, prepare to take a dip in your luxurious makeshift oasis and experience a nice little getaway without ever leaving home.

With these steps, you can create a truly relaxing experience in your very own backyard. 

Tips to Make a Lazy River in Your Backyard

  1. The first step is to determine the size and shape of your lazy river. It is important to consider the size of your backyard and how much space you have available. You will also need to decide if you want a straight or curved lazy river.
  2. The next step is to choose the location for your lazy river. It is important to choose a location that is level and has good drainage. You will also need to make sure there are no underground utilities in the area where you plan to dig.
  3. Once you have chosen the location, you will need to excavate the area for your lazy river. The depth of the excavation will depend on the height of your liner. The width of the excavation should be twice the width of your liner.
  4. After the excavation is complete, you will need to install a liner in the excavated area. The liner will need to be made of a material that is resistant to UV rays and punctures.
  5. Once the liner is installed, you will need to fill the lazy river with water. The water should be at least 2 feet deep to allow for proper circulation.
  6. To circulate the water in your lazy river, you will need to install a pump. The size of the pump will depend on the size of your lazy river.
  7. To keep your water clean, you will need to install a filtration system. The type of filtration system you choose will depend on the size of your lazy river and your budget.
  8. To add some decoration to your lazy river, you can add rocks, plants, or other objects around the edge of the pool. Make sure any things you add are safe and will not damage the liner or injure anyone who is using the pool.
  9. Finally, enjoy your new backyard oasis! Lazy rivers are a great way to relax and enjoy time with family and friends.
Lazy Rivers Are a Great Way to Relax

How to Make an Affordable and Beautiful Lazy River at Home?

Building a lazy river in your backyard is a rewarding and exciting process. You can create an affordable and beautiful version without spending too much money. All you need is some basic materials like hoses and PVC piping, soil, plants, and grass seed. 

The process itself is quite simple – just dig out an area shaped like a meandering riverbed, then surround it with the soil. As for the hoses, run them through the course of the waterway and make sure sandbags secure them to stop the water from overflowing onto other areas of your backyard. 

For decoration, you can add pebbles or gravel lining the edge of the river along with planted flowers or native grasses that are suitable for your climate. Once everything is built up ready to fill with water and enjoy a unique vacation spot right at home!

Creating a Tranquil Oasis: How To Build Your Backyard Lazy River

If you’ve always dreamed of having a backyard getaway, a lazy river is a perfect addition to creating an oasis of tranquility. A DIY project that anyone can enjoy, all it takes to build your lazy river are suitable materials and a few hours of work. 

With basic items such as PVC pipe, rock, and sand, along with simple tools such as a shovel and saw, you’ll be able to construct your paradise in no time! Once your lazy river is complete, enjoy the gorgeous views while floating along or simply relaxing alongside its edges. You’ll never want to leave your tranquil oasis!

Basic Items Such as Pvc Pipe


If you have the space, the time, and the resources, building a lazy river in your backyard can be a fun and rewarding experience. You should carefully determine how to make a lazy river in your backyard. 

With a little bit of creativity, you can design and build a lazy river that is perfect for relaxing on hot summer days. We hope these tips have inspired you to start planning your backyard lazy river. Happy building!

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