If you want to keep your lawn healthy and looking great year round (and let’s be honest, who doesn’t?) then you can’t go wrong with a professionally designed and installed residential irrigation system. Of course, as much as we’d love for you to say “sounds great, sign us up”, you’ll surely want to do some research on your own and preemptively get some basic questions answered; perhaps none more glaring than “what does an irrigation system cost?”
Irrigation System Cost
Before we mention any dollar figures, it’s important to note that even the cheapest irrigation system is going to cost quite a bit more than a garden hose and a $10 plastic oscillating sprinkler. Remember, an irrigation system for your home is a long-term investment that is not going to “pay for itself” over the course of a month or two.
That being said, irrigation system costs are going to vary depending on a number of different elements (see below for a few examples). But GENERALLY, homeowners with an average quarter-acre yard can expect to pay around $3,500 to $4,500 in installation. Half-acre yards run in the neighborhood of $5,500 to $6,500 while one-acre properties can cost anywhere between $10,000 to $12,000 for installation. These estimated costs will increase if there are landscape beds and foundation plantrings to cover in addition to the lawn irrigation. Those with the time, tools, and know-how who wish to try installing a system themselves can potentially save a few hundred bucks, but we strongly discourage going at it alone unless you’ve had some experience in the home irrigation system arena before.
Now, these are, of course, just estimates and not quotes you can expect any professional installer to blindly honor. To get a ballpark figure specific to your own property, you’ll want to consult with a professional irrigation company and let them come up with a plan that works for your lawn and your budget. Variables that can affect an irrigation system cost include:
Size of Lawn
We touched on this briefly, but it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that a large lawn is going to cost more than a small one. Your installation company will almost certainly need to plan a visit to your home and measure before providing any sort of written estimates.
Depending on your city/state ordinances or your HOA bylaws, you may be required to obtain specific permits before beginning any sort of irrigation system installation projects. Any reputable irrigation system company should know the proper steps to take here as to not ruffle any feathers. However, you can expect that any permit costs or other residential fees will make their way back to you.
Your installation company will be able to give you a rough idea of exactly how labor-intensive your lawn will be before starting, although unforeseen circumstances can always arise. Basically, the more complicated or time-consuming a job is, the more you can expect to pay.
Is an Irrigation System Worth It?
Looking past the initial installation costs for a minute, one concern we hear all too often is that a professional irrigation system will cause your water bill to increase due to unnecessary overwatering. But keep in mind, irrigation systems have come a long way in recent years and today’s systems have additional equipment available with sensors to monitor rainfall, temperature, moisture, and other variables. Rest assured, a modern irrigation system will only water your lawn when appropriate and will not stay on longer than it needs to. And of course you’ll always have complete control over your system should you need to adjust settings for any reason. They can be customized to fit your yard, and the watering needs of specific areas.
In addition to water cost savings, the right irrigation system will save you in time and energy that you’d otherwise spend watering and maintaining your lawn. In terms of equipment maintenance, our best advice would be to partner with your installation company and set up a regular maintenance schedule (providing this is a service they offer). This is the best and most convenient way to keep your irrigation system performing as it should for years to come.
So is an irrigation system worth it? That is a call you’re going to have to make yourself by weighing the potential advantages (water savings, time, energy, home value, etc.) against the upfront costs. But if you feel that an irrigation system is right for your home, or if you have any questions surrounding home irrigation systems and irrigation system costs, feel free to contact us!