Everything on the internet is NOT true……..  The pros and cons of the internet and digital technology when building your pond or lake.

Matured lake building project

Many clients take the time to tell me just how informative and “real” my website is compared to other lake building contractor companies. I tell them that they are looking at 40 years being self-employed in the construction business and actually doing the work as evidenced by the website pictures taken on my project sites for more than a decade.  Read on if you wish to know the truth about building a recreational pond or fishing lake on your land tract.

Current technology builds a better lake?

Back before cell phones you had to be savvy enough to make your phone calls before you left the office because there were no phones out in the field.  These days how many people can live without a smart phone within arm’s reach at all times? I remember the first answering machines, called a Code-A-Phone, and what a great tool it was for someone to leave you an important message.  Then it was fax machines and how cool was that to send a written page to someone OVER the phone?  Probably my most dynamic memory of “back in the day” was the first extended cab pickup truck that came to our farm.  A 1973 Dodge with two fold down “jump” seats in the back.  For the first time in my life four smelly farm hands did not all have to sit in the single front seat of the truck.  I remember thinking that it could not get much better than that but now we have crew cab pickups with leather heated seats as every day normal.

The “old days” were a hoot but has it really gotten better?  You bet it has as productivity is much greater and the work is physically easier. Heavy equipment operators, in the old days, had to have enough skill to cut a grade by “the seat of their pants”. Today’s operators, for the most part, only ride the equipment as a “seatwarmer” in a climate controlled cab letting an automatic laser adjust the machine to cut a proper grade.  That is of course **IF** the laser and associated technology is set up correctly and operating properly.  I pulled up on a job site one day where a sub contract crew had set up over 300 feet of dike pilings spaced 20 feet apart.  These pilings were supposed to be in a straight line but eyeballing them they obviously were not.  When I asked the foreman if the line of pilings was dead straight his reply was, “Absolutely, we set them with a GPS”.  This fellow refused to believe that his line of pilings was crooked UNTIL he actually took the time to visually check his work.  I cannot tell you how many times that I have witnessed this type of technology failure on a job site that is ALWAYS very expensive to correct.  Many contractors today are wholly dependent on technology to complete the job.  They would be better served if they understood construction practices and had years of experience putting those construction practices to work.  Technology is best used to enhance the quality of the completed job. It is not a substitute for experience, skill or knowledge.

Getting started on your lake building project

How can it get better? A gorgeous custom log home on the banks of your private fishing lake and a dock right out the front door!
How can it get better? A gorgeous custom log home on the banks of your private fishing lake and a dock right out the front door!


So, you have an excavation project on your dream land tract consisting of pond and lake construction along with land clearing and road building.  Your dream is for all the different components of your lake building project to fit together in an aesthetically pleasing fashion with the appearance of being natural. You can almost visualize it but not quite; where do you start? Surfing the Internet you come up with a list of different lake construction companies with impressive websites so you send out inquiries.  The more technologically advanced companies (with probably the least hands on experience) will dazzle you with a wide vocabulary along with a color 3D computer model and maybe, If you are lucky (??!!), a Youtube.  Some of these characters might even be publishing their own print magazine.

Over ten years ago I did some subcontract work for a well known pond magazine group.  These fellows were quite likeable, very successful and definitely had the “gift of gab”.  Early on I began to wonder just how these fellows were able to get so many great projects to build when the quality of their actual work was mediocre at best. Their success secret was outstanding marketing; NOT the actual work they did building your project.  As the landowner looking to hire someone to build your lake and infrastructure project do you want someone that is good at selling their services or someone that is good at actually doing the work?

Technology is a great tool IF one does not rely on it totally.  The problem these days is that it is hard to find someone who can actually do the work WITHOUT relying completely on the technology.  Building your recreational land tract complete with the construction of ponds, lakes, brush clearing and road building is a series of simple steps that must be done correctly and in order.  When the project is designed and laid out with a computer, the finished project will appear to be very “man-made” in appearance with a sterile, cold feeling.  The basic and critical mechanics of the project like holding water, drainage and elevation may or may not work as intended.  Remember the piling story that I mentioned earlier?

The lake of your dreams

Most clients want their dream project to appear more natural; fitting in with the existing landscape like it has been there 100 years.  The most advanced computer technology cannot achieve true natural landscape artistry but an artist with a bulldozer can.  Everybody is good at something and years ago I discovered that I was a pretty good artist when it came to building projects with heavy equipment. I learned to build projects like the one you desire even before technology made it easier. Now with the aid of technology and 40 years of experience in the construction business, SoilMovers has more to offer than most any of our competitors. I can make that statement with a high degree of surety after consulting on scores of failed projects over the years that these “internet experts” screwed up on from the get-go. A failed lake building project is always more expensive to fix than it would have been to do it right the first time.

Nick Jones

I will be happy to discuss your project with you via phone or email free of charge.  If you decide to hire me for a consult you will get an informative on site meeting done personally by me with a written report. The report is designed to help you get the project built, regardless if SoilMovers builds it.  The consult results are specific information on your intended project and most times I am able to provide insight and fresh ideas that neither you nor other contractors have even considered. The report contains a detailed account of how the project should be built with estimates to build the project that are supported by mathematical formulas.  If you decide to hire SoilMovers to build your project, I will be on site actually doing the work 99% of the time.  In my world, there is no substitute for experience.

Do not be taken in by fancy words and pretty pictures.  For the straight facts and the real story call or email me to schedule a consult.  I can build your dreams.

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