Installing the right sprinkler system can save time and money, as well as conserve energy and water output. It can also increase the rich lushness and robust health of your lawn. Ready to get started? Not until you note the following tips.
Hire Well – As do-it-yourself jobs go, installing a sprinkler system is right up there with the most complicated tasks you might undertake. Some states require that sprinkler systems be installed by professionals only, so check the local ordinances first if you do decide to DIY. If you opt instead to hire a pro, research several by checking their online and local reviews as well as their listing in the Better Business Bureau. The professional you hire will be able to survey your landscape and make recommendations as to when your system should be installed and the most appropriate type for your climate and terrain. Ask about their knowledge of local electrical and plumbing codes and how they will install electrical wiring and water pipes.
Know Your Micro Climates – Different parts of your lawn will need varying amounts of irrigation, based upon the amount of sun received and what is planted where. Your contractor should base their design, drip emitter patterns and sprinkler head types on what you wish to grow or are currently growing. You can help make their job easier, as well as create a lovely and uniform look in your garden, by segregating flower beds into their own micro-climate areas. This will allow for better water management, higher conservation and lower water bills.
Opt for Happy Feet – If you have walking paths or concrete areas within or around your greenery, let your contractor know you would prefer they bore underneath to set up the sprinkler heads in those areas. If not, you will waste money by watering places where nothing grows and have perpetually soggy sandals from dodging water spray. This strategy will most likely raise the price of installation but lower the cost of water usage over time.
Research Brand Components and Nozzle Types – The more educated you are before you begin, the better. Research name brand components such as backflow preventers, irrigation controllers, valves, sprinkler heads and nozzles by name and model number, keeping an eye out for online customer complaints and performance reviews.
Calculate Your Energy and Water Efficiency – Discuss how you can up water and energy efficiency with your contractor. Make sure your system is geared towards optimizing the amount of water which lands on the ground instead of evaporating uselessly in the air. Efficient, low-arc heads and water nozzles can help with this. External sensors, which check for rain, wind and freezing conditions as well as time of day, will also limit your water usage and may be required within some municipalities. Intuitive controllers take conservation one step further by determining your watering needs based upon soil moisture conditions. The proper sprinkler system installation will support continual reduction in over-watering, runoff and water waste.
Get a Solid Warranty – Building in a maintenance plan and solid warranty is simply good sense. If your system is going to spring a figurative leak, the problem will most likely occur within the first two years of solid use, so strive to get a two-year warranty which includes stated pricing on spare part replacement and maintenance. Also ask your contractor to throw in extra supplies such as sprinkler heads, risers and nozzles.
Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.