Are you tired of dragging a garden hose around the yard to water your landscaping? A sprinkler system could save you time and effort in the long run. After all, your home’s landscaping requires plenty of water to flourish and maintain its sleek appearance – especially as you’re looking to sell.
Before you run out and install an irrigation system on your property, first consider the important aspects, benefits and considerations of the project.
The Advantages of Automated Watering
Since landscaping can be costly, protecting your investment should be a priority. While you can certainly maintain your yard the old-fashioned way with a water hose in hand, many homeowners don’t have the time to regularly water their lawns, a critical step to maintaining a lush, beautifully landscaped yard.
A sprinkler system set on a timer won’t miss a beat delivering water to your plants, shrubbery and lawn, and as a bonus, a well landscaped yard with an irrigation system holds massive appeal for many homebuyers. If you’re listing your property in the future, a sprinkler installation could be a valuable marketing tool.
Plumbing Challenges and Considerations
While installing an irrigation system seems like a great idea, it presents a number of challenges to overcome, including the locations of foundations, sidewalks, trees, shrubs and other obstacles that could hinder an easy installation.
Adequate water pressure is also necessary to avoid flow problems within your house, and in some cases, an additional pump is required to provide sufficient pressure to the irrigation system. This aspect depends on the existing pressure of your home’s plumbing system and the size of the planned irrigation system, so make sure your plumbing or irrigation contractor tests your plumbing system and discusses options with you afterward.
Water Source and Supply
Often, an irrigation system connects to your home’s water supply, but regardless of the water source, areas experiencing drought might be subjected to strict water use regulations. You should check with local authorities regarding lawn watering and residential irrigation regulations to avoid citations and costly fines.
Depending on your area, you might have access to reclaimed water, which is produced from filtered gray water from sewage treatment plants. Many municipalities produce reclaimed water to sell to their customers for irrigation. A separate meter is required to gauge the amount of reclaimed water you use, but reclaimed water usually carries a lesser cost and relaxed regulations for landscape watering. Contact your local authorities to discover if reclaimed water is available in your area.
Cost of a Sprinkler System
Irrigation system installation is best undertaken during home construction and before landscaping is placed. According to Home Depot, bare yard installations average $946 to $1,182. Many factors can affect the cost of your system installation, including the complexity and size of the irrigation system, additional pumps or potential obstacles, such as sidewalks, foundations and utility lines.
The average cost for established landscaped yards increases to $1,008–$1,354, due to the increased labor expense required to cut through sod and other landscaping to install the system. Additional expenses can be expected to restore sod and any plant life damaged during installation.
Return on Investment
While there’s not a huge monetary return on investment (only around 3 percent over what you spend, if you’re lucky), sprinkler systems offer other benefits:
- A sprinkler system regularly irrigates your landscaping and prevents damage that occurs from under-watering.
- It allows you to have more spare time, since the irrigation system does the watering for you. You can say goodbye to the days of dragging a garden hose around the yard after work.
- It provides you with a great marketing tool you can highlight, if you decide to sell your home in the future.
If you weigh the advantages and disadvantages and decide you want to install an irrigation system, a professionally installed system will provide the most efficiency. While you can install one on your own, a seasoned professional can design and install your system faster and easier, and they possess the know-how to customize a system and maximize your watering ability. System design and installation can be complicated, so hiring a professional will help you get the most out of your irrigation system.
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