How to bid a small pond installation.

Expanding from lawn care to offering pond installations shouldn’t be a difficult step for most lawn care business owners. Using the right tools can help you minimize the man hours spent on a job site. Before you start marketing pond installation services, you should consider building one on your own property at first, just to get the hang of it. A lawn care business owner was interested in knowing what kind of equipment should be used and how much he could charge for such a service.

He asked on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum “I have been reading up on how to install ponds lately. I am curious to know, what I should charge a customer who wants a pond installation. In my specific situation, they want a 10′ radius circular pond, with natural stone around the edge. No fish or no plants would be involved with the job.”

Another landscaper responded and said “I have completed quite a few ponds, ranging in size from a 10 foot round pond, 3 foot deep unit to some larger, pretty extensive designs. One I recently built was 12 feet across and 30 feet long almost 6 feet deep. I also did a couple of really small ones for a day care. They were simple enough because they used prefabricated inserts.

I charge a straight $115.00 an hour for the excavator use and $65.00 an hour to put the insert in which doesn’t take long. There usually is a 2 hour minimum on excavation and one hour minimum on the insert.

A while back I created a pond that utilized running water from a lake. It was quite a project as I had to dig a trench for the pipe. I plumbed it as it was pretty simple and sub-contracted an electrician to come in and run the electrical for the pump.

There seems to be a growing demand for pond installation services. I haven’t really haven’t advertised this service yet. Instead most all the jobs so far have come by word of mouth.

Depending on the size of the project, If you have to rent a mini excavator or backhoe, include the rental costs as an out of pocket expense. In your specific case, a 10 foot wide pond would take about 45 min to dig, 45 min to level out the fill, roll and seed.

So I would suggest you charge your hourly man hour rate along with all related material and equipment rental expenses.

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