Here is my situation. I am mainly a maintenance contractor. I will do an occasional new install for an existing customer/referral, but stick to turf, mulch, trimming... <p>I was at a party over the winter at a friends house. I didn't know many there, but heard a conversation across the room about landscaping. Apparantly, some folks there were discussing their dissatisfaction with a local landscaping company that had done some work for them this past summer. This is one of our areas largest landscaping companies. I have heard many similar stories about them. I was staying out of the conversation, and no one in the room knew that I was in the trade. I was just sitting back, enjoying hearing them bash my competition. At mid conversation, the host of the party walked past, and heard landscaping being discussed, and pointed to me, and said" he's the one you want to talk to about landscaping". Well, I really wanted to hear un-biased comments about my competitor. Now the stories really started to fly. I heard many disturbing stories about my competitors and their experiences with these folks. I passed out one business card to a guy that asked for it. I didn't want to come off as a slesman. <p>I got a call from the guy a few weeks ago, and quoted him on a few projects around his house. We mulched there last week, and have scheduled a lawn renovation for later this month. <p>So what does this have to do with ponds???<p>The day we went over to mulch, we were given instructions by the mans daughter not to mulch one area, as they were planning some changes to the area. No big deal, maybe about 1 yard. <p>I called the guy that evening after we had finished the mulch work, to follow up with him. He had told me that he was putting a pond in, and that I could do it. I flat out told him that I have never done anything like this beofre, and didn't know much about them either. He didn't seem too worried. <p>I stopped over this past weekend, to look around, and talk a little further with him about his expectatioins. <p>He bought a kit, hard plastic liner, pump, fountain... It is 150 gallon capicity. The box is maybe 5'x5'x2'. I again told him that I didn't know anything about them, nor did I have any idea of the time involved, or costs involved to do such a job. He said that he knew that I would be fair. <p>So, here is my question, (finally) Are there any tips, tricks, gotcha's, do's, dont's... that I need to be aware of? They are planning to do the plantings around the area themselves. I know that a hole will need to be dug, but am wondering if it needs to be a bit larger than the pond kit, and lined with sand? <p>What happens if water gets under the plastic of the pond, can it float the liner? What needs to be done in the winter? How long should this project take? <p>The area is right off the driveway, so access for hauling out the dirt is excellent. Would it be worth renting a small backhoe to do the digging? I think that they go for about $200 per day. Would the cost of rental exceed the man hours required to dig by hand? <p>As you can tell, I have absolutely no experience in this area. I am looking foreword to this project, for nothing more than a learning experience. <p>Hoping to hear some of your thoughts on this situation.