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#491696 - 06/12/18 01:04 PM TROUBLE with my new pond digger.
Wolverine Offline

Registered: 03/05/18
Posts: 4
I am having a new 1/2 acre pond dug in Michigan which has taken 5 weeks so far and is still only 20% complete. My soils are sand and it is a water table pond and the guy digging it refuses to bring in a trash pump and is basically digging out water with a little sand and piling it and the water is going back into the hole. The hole is 7 feet deep at max and he is suppost to get to 15+ feet. I made a serious mistake in not getting a signed contract with him and I'm not sure what to do. I do have text from our conversations which state that the pond is to be 1/2 acre with 3:1 slopes to 15 feet or more. He is now wanting more money (I've paid him $2,000 of the $9,000 agreement) and saying he isn't going to be able to get to 15 feet with his 60' Long Reach. I'm not sure what to do. Advice Please! Thanks


Edited by Wolverine (06/12/18 01:20 PM)

#491698 - 06/12/18 01:21 PM Re: TROUBLE with my new pond digger. [Re: Wolverine]
BrianL Offline

Registered: 03/31/14
Posts: 777
Loc: Paris, TX
You need to have a sit down with your pond builder and talk money ASAP. You have agreed to X size for X amount. You need to ask and be told y size for Y amount if something is going to be different. I'm guessing the first bid was for about 3600 yards at $2.50/yard. How many yards less is he going to dig? Around here you can get it dug for about $2-2.5 a yard.

I suggest recording or getting it in writing or both.

Edited by BrianL (06/12/18 01:28 PM)
1.8 acre pond with FHM(gone), CNBG, RES, HSB, and LMB
Trophy Hunter feeder.

#491700 - 06/12/18 02:11 PM Re: TROUBLE with my new pond digger. [Re: Wolverine]
RAH Offline

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4265
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
I have been where you are. My advice is to lick your wounds and move on ASAP. Get good pictures and keep all your emails and texts in case you end up in small claims court.

#491710 - 06/12/18 03:41 PM Re: TROUBLE with my new pond digger. [Re: Wolverine]
canyoncreek Offline

Registered: 05/07/13
Posts: 1917
Loc: West Michigan
yet another proof (painful proof) that this forum needs a list of reputable pond builders and contractors that can earn their place on the list through PBF members favorable reviews. Then Wolverine would have a resource list that he can refer to that gives reputable MI pond builders and have a plan B.

It doesn't sound like his current 'dirt mover' feels he can keep his end of the deal and is stating that right now. I certainly would meet, decide to break off any further work and try to come to an agreement on how much should be paid for the work done. Certainly I would not throw more money at it.

Then if you feel you want to pursue it further you either get your own trash pump and pump yourself or get a new contract with a new pond builder. You then have the option to spell it out more clearly and have some legal protections. A shame that you have to go all out with contracts and signatures and all the caveats but since there may only be a small number (5 or less?) pond builders that can do it right in any one state it might be hard to find a replacement in your geographic area.

On the other hand, if you find a good experienced pond builder they would walk up to the pond, see the problem and would build their quote around the fact that they would have to dewater as they go and would have that plan built in their quote.

Edited by canyoncreek (06/12/18 05:08 PM)


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