You’ve decided that it’s time to have a lawn sprinkler system installed. Perhaps you’ve recently built or bought a new house, or you’ve just had enough of monitoring the watering of your lawn and garden. Having to drag the sprinklers and hoses around every so often is getting old. There are so many other more enjoyable things you’d rather be doing with your time. If you had a lawn sprinkler system, it would not only be easier to have a great looking lawn, but you would be adding value to your home as well.
Now, if you like to take the DIY route, you may be thinking about doing the job yourself. You could definitely save some money. You might even get a lot of satisfaction from a job well done, if you do everything correctly. The installation of a lawn sprinkler system can be, and has been successfully done, by home owners.
However, for every properly installed owner built system, there is probably another that has had disappointing results. If you are the serious “I can do anything concerning home installation and maintenance” type and you are willing to do the research and planning required for the project, then go for it. But don’t plan on it being just a weekend project. If your lawn is bigger than your living room and dining room, you can plan on working all day, every day for several weekends.
If you are the type who likes to do everything without professional help, who enjoys the occasional two or three hour plumbing, electrical or carpentry job, then installing a lawn sprinkler system might be one project better left to the professionals. But even if you have no interest in home maintenance projects, there is something you should do in preparation for the installation.
If your landscaping has not been done yet, you should plan where you will have trees, bushes, and plants. Some types of plants need a lot of water, while others cannot tolerate too much. Your planning should place the vegetation needing similar amounts of irrigation together. This is referred to as hydro-zoning. Your lawn sprinkler and irrigation system will be separated into zones that will operate at different times and deliver different amounts of water. Hydro-zoning reduces the chance that some plants will get too much water, while others get too little. You should sketch out the different planned or existing vegetation areas and discuss them with your installer.
Your installation contractor will do a survey of your property, including checking the static and flowing water pressure, as well as the flow rate in gallons per minute. He may already be familiar with these numbers in individual neighborhoods that are on a city water supply.
If your house is not in one of these neighborhoods or if you are on a well water system, these parameters must be checked in order to properly design your system. After doing the survey, the contractor will be able to develop a zone plan and plot the layout of your lawn sprinkler system. Then he will determine the number, location, type and size of sprinkler heads, and select the proper pipe sizes.
Installing a lawn sprinkler system will let you spend more time enjoying your yard, rather than time maintaining it. Your yard will be better looking with controlled irrigation, and will have more curb appeal. This all translates into more home value.