We're in upstate NY and are considering have a large pond (1/4 acre) put in next spring/summer and have started looking around for local installers. We found 3 and got estimates ranging from $4000-$6000. One guy said he would have to come in and dig "test holes" to make sure the property would sustain a pond and the other two guys didn't mention anything about that. They all mentioned the importance of drainage, but didn't seem interested in what I told them about areas of standing water, the current drainage, etc. Maybe they will ask all those questions once we are ready to get started. Anyway, I was wondering, what questions should I ask, what should I take into consideration? We want to have fish, and one guy told me we should go at least 12' deep if we want trout. We live in a rural area and our neighbors have backhoes, excavators, etc. and my wife thinks we should consider buying one and doing it ourselves. We have LOTS of other landscaping, tree clearing, etc. that we eventually plan to do, so it would certainly come in handy, but I don't know how feasible it is to try to do the work ourselves. Are there any good online resources? We talked to the DEC, but they said they no longer install ponds or do consulting on private property. Any chance of paying an installer to be a consultant and doing part of the work ourselves?? Just looking for any ideas, tips, help, etc. Thanks!!