Surveying the site and calling in the JULIE request is going to cost over $50.00 for an insured installer. And of course you would never hire some kid with a pickup to do this kind of work; along with getting injured or killed if he hits a power or gas line, the bill to fix it and all the hospital bills will be paid by YOU or your insurance company (who will promptly drop you and welcome to the world of high risk insurance premiums - if you can still get it). Repair costs will be north of $1500 for a simple electric feed line, $2k - $10k for a broken water line, and god forbid you hit a main fiber communications cable, which can run into $100k or more!I've had more than one quote for $400 just to dig holes. I finally found a local young man that does it for $50 for simple stuff.
I have one real estate customer and not taking any more. That said, digging holes with a post hole digger seemed like too much work, so I got a power auger from Harbor Freight for about $200. Problem solved? The first - and last - job I did with my power auger was at a site with very little margin for error, given the underground obstacles. (I had them marked.) That was stressful. Add to that, the power digger had to go through tree roots and didn't like that at all. Think I could have done it easier with a post hole digger (but I broke it on a previous job and didn't bother to buy another.) The job took me two hours in the hot sun.So you think I overbid it? I was going off another job we just did, a single 8x4 panel on two posts and it took us right around 3 hours (including travel time and picking up lumber/hardware along the way). So I added a bit to cover the extra labor & materials to do a corner sign.
I read the hole digging/auger thread with interest and have one of those on my shopping list.