Nick Jones - SoilMovers LLC

Lake construction, pond building consulting services and site infrastructure evaluations.

Getting started on your dream project.


Nick Jones - SoilMovers LLC
Nick Jones – SoilMovers LLC

Lake construction and pond building projects are not rocket science; far from it.  Realistically, the lake building  projects are just a series of simple steps that must be done correctly and in order; which is easier said than done!  Due diligence in the initial construction planning is the only way to assure a successful lake construction project.  As the landowner wishing to build a recreational lake on a land tract you must find a qualified person that will come to your site to perform a thorough evaluation and render honest advice with recommendations.  You do NOT want someone that is trying to sell you services related to the task at hand!  They will tailor recommendations to favor their future employment possibilities in every case.


Free estimates – you get what you pay for

Local contractors can be a good source of information pertaining directly to your area and generally do “free estimates” as well.  The truth of the matter, learned after 40 years in business, is that most anyone who comes to your site to give a free estimate is usually looking for a job and might tell you everything  you want to hear in order to get the job rather than provide an honest assessment of your project.

The pitfalls of lake management companies

Internet searches will turn up a number of people advertising the lake construction and infrastructure services that you are seeking.  Most of these businesses will be in the “lake management” category.  These folks are usually college educated, well spoken, outstanding salesmen and have a fancy storefront.  Lake management people appear to have a lot of skin in the game but more than likely the most expensive asset that they will ever personally bring to your site is a pickup truck.  One reason they are lake managers revolves around simple economics and capital investments.  They don’t own dirt moving equipment where the cost of a new large Caterpillar dozer is almost $500,000, they can’t gain the experience and finesse of heavy equipment  operation in college.  It is economics.  With a degree in hand, they assemble some consultants, line up dirt contractors and fish sources,  buy a pickup truck with a fancy logo on the door and hire somebody to build them a website and manage their social media.  SoilMovers does not do social media and my retired brother (who does not make a living doing websites) designed SoilMovers first website way back in 2006 and is still doing it. The cold hard facts are that the “fish” part of your project is the easy part, the cheapest part and also the easiest and cheapest part to fix if it all goes wrong.  The lake management people wouldn’t want me to say this but most all of the information that you get from them is free and easy to get on the Internet from University and government websites. 

The realistic challenges of a lake building project

The most difficult, most challenging and certainly most expensive part of your lake building project will be the actual excavation process.  The dirt work is also the most difficult (and expensive) part of the lake building project to fix in the event of a failure.  Understandably, most clients are quickly taken in by the lake management folks because talking about stocking fish, feeding fish and catching fish is a lot more exciting and fun versus discussing dirt.  It is human nature and exploited to the highest level by the opportunistic management company sales force. Remember, they will one and all be outstanding sales people and telling you what you want to hear equates to their financial success.


Smart land clearing - Save those big trees!
Smart land clearing – Save those big trees!

Since the earthmoving process is the true cornerstone of the lake or pond building project you should focus your efforts on finding someone that knows proper lake excavation techniques and who will advise you honestly.  Over all, approximately 50% of pond and lake projects fail mechanically (i.e. hold water, exhibit proper drainage) due to the fact that Mother Nature makes it easy only a small part of the time.  A huge percentage of these projects fail aesthetically so if you want more than a generic hole in the ground you MUST find a qualified contractor with bonafide artistic abilities.

No substitute for experience and a proven track record

As the owner of SoilMovers I do all of the consults and site evaluations.  The lake building consultation and infrastructure report is only designed to help you get your lake project built – with no bias to whether or not I build it.  I will encourage you to talk with all of the other contractors first – even the lake management outfits!  Then you must step back and do an honest, measured and no pressure evaluation.  Circle back to SoilMovers if you wish for me to build your lake or pond project.  In other words I am not trying to sell you anything.  2019 will be my 40th year in business and very few people can bring that much construction experience to the table. If I build your project I will bring more than one million dollars’ worth of equipment (that I own) to your site.  Even more importantly I am on your site 99% of the time actually doing the work.


My lake building and ranch infrastructure consulting business covers most of North America and is primarily focused on Texas and Oklahoma.   Take a look at my job references and note what these past clients highlight in their evaluations.


If I can be of assistance with your project contact me today.



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