In areas with less-than-average rainfall, it is necessary to water lawns and landscaping manually in order for them not to become dry. While manual watering can be time-consuming, a sprinkler system saves homeowners money both through its efficient delivery of the water as well as conserving up to 25% more by distributing the same volume over a larger area. Sprinkler systems are cheaper than most homeowners think and DIY installation is also an option, that provides savings upwards of 30%-40%.
How a Lawn Sprinkler System Works
In order to maintain a perfect lawn, American homeowners spend around $6.4 billion each year on lawn care, in an effort to ensure that they have the nicest looking grass on the street. One major step towards guaranteeing this is by installing a sprinkler system. You might have already seen the water-spitting sprinkler heads, but a sprinkler system is a lot more complex than that, with other parts like:
- The controller, which is a small computer that controls your sprinkler system. It is set up in an out-of-the-way place and can be installed inside the garage or anywhere else convenient for you.
- The valves, which connect to the controller, control how much water flows into underground pipes leading to the sprinklers on your lawn.
- Piping is usually made of PVC pipes that are buried 1-2 feet below the lawn’s surface carry water to sprinklers’ heads.
- Sprinkler Heads: Each “zone” has around 5-10 pop-up heads that distribute water when activated and cover a wide area of ground.
Lawn Sprinkler System Average Costs
Lawn sprinkler systems are a great way to keep your lawn green and healthy. But how much does it cost? Well, the actual costs depend on factors like property size, the shape of land or slope if applicable; soil condition which could affect installation process as well as maintenance practices; the number of zones needed for coverage area; type and quality of components used in this system, and labor.
The price for a professionally installed lawn irrigation system is typically $500-$1,000 per zone, or between $2,500 and $5,000 on average for a common half an acre lot. However note that zones are more cost-effective to install, meaning that a 2000 sq ft area won’t be exactly half as expensive as a 4000 sq ft area needing the same type of sprinklers installed.
The DIY Installation
You will spend considerably less on the whole sprinkler system if you choose to install it yourself. The only drawback is that you will have to learn how to actually do this. It might seem like a hard thing to learn, but youtube is full of videos with step-by-step information on how to install and operate a sprinkler system for your lawn. This Old House also shows you how to install in-ground sprinklers in one of its guides.
Other costs to prepare for
Sprinkler systems require some maintenance, and this can get expensive pretty fast. A new timer might cost about $100 – 150 for a single zone, valves are around $25 per zone, and valve boxes typically run between $20-30 each. These costs don’t stop there though because you’ll also need rotor heads (costing roughly $10-$15) and spray heads costing anywhere from $5-$10 apiece. And to top it all up, professional winterizing services will charge approximately $75 -$150 yearly, usually during the fall season.