I'll give you Aquascape's official answers for these questions.
1. An 11x16 pondkit usually retails for around $2500. Installed it would be around $5000-5500.
2. I'd rather not say what the cost for contractor is, being that anybody can get to this forum. If you would like to email me off list, I can help you out. Let's just say that there is a fair markup on the kits.
3. The only equipment that we own for putting in kits are a couple of trucks, wheelbarrows, and shovels. The only time we use excavators is on big jobs (over 30'x30') and then we bring in a sub-contractor.
4.We do not check for any kind of ordinances before we install most backyard ponds. We follow the Boca code which states anything under 250 sqft and less than 2' deep is considered a landscape addition. If you do ask, make sure you have them show you where is says "watergardens or ponds". Most likly they will pull up something that applies to swimming pools.
5.There is no special cert. or licensing for this field as far as we know.
6. I don't believe there is any special insurance for this, but I will check and let you know.
By the way, Pond Supplies and Aquascapes have similar systems, but there are a few very important details that seperate us. I don't want to get into a war on whose system is better, but if you would like to know what those details are, just let me know.
Hope this helps.
How much does an 11'x16' pond usually retail for? What is the average cost to the contractor? What equipment and materials are required to put one in? Do you have to check for city/county ordinances before you dig? Is there special certification/licensing required to do this? Do you have to have any different insurance other than general liability?