I was troubleshooting a laser screed used to make a perfectly flat, perfectly smooth, and perfectly level concrete floor. It is a relatively inexpensive piece of machinery for concrete work. It is one of the smaller ones and is only $90,000 or so. It had a bad motor, a dc one about the size of a coffee can, and the replacement part was only $800 plus overnight air. The concrete pump used to move concrete from the mixer truck to the floor slab start at about $300,000, the mixer truck $400,000 and up, and the trucks used to haul the equipment start at $200,000. The men doing the work drive $40,000 pickups and live in $300,000 houses. I can not afford to pay the prices that are associated with maintaining the present system and if I wish to have a floor done, it requires that I either barter, I fix your screed and you owe me one, or go back one generation. The laser screed, $90,000, replaces 5 or 6 men with shovels and bull floats, $200 of equipment, and the $300,000 pump replaces 8 to 10 men with wheelbarrows, should already own one. If you need a small floor, you can do it yourself for about one third the price, if you do it the old hand way and with your own labor. This has been my experience, I am sure that all of the members here have similar experiences every day. Trading sweat for labor and being willing to accept less than perfect may allow you to prep for a fraction of the cost of having the system do it for you. Of course the system will do all it can to preserve itself, building codes, inspections, meaningless requirements and can be a real PITA.