How Much Do Sprinkler Systems Cost?
Compare Sprinkler System Options and Prices
Tired of standing outside with the garden hose all spring and summer, or fussing with manual sprinklers for hours, only to miss spots? Want your lawn to look plush and green without all of the work? Or, maybe you’re not home often enough to water your lawn on a regular basis.
Lawn sprinkler systems are extremely popular for commercial properties, athletic fields and golf courses, but they’re also well-suited for residential use. They keep your lawn looking green without all the hassle, and they also conserve water. They’re ideal for large yards, busy homeowners and frequent travelers.
About Sprinkler Systems
There are several types of lawn sprinkler systems: above ground or underground; and automatic or manual.
Above-ground sprinkler systems are essentially just a series of interconnected hoses with holes in them, while underground systems are much more complex. Underground systems have a network of piping about a foot below ground that connects to the main water system. They have retractable sprinkler heads spaced throughout the lawn in “zones” that pop up when water starts flowing through the pipes and retract when the water stops. This way, you don’t ruin them with your lawnmower.
Most lawn sprinkler systems are automatic, meaning they are controlled by an electronic timer that turns the sprinklers on and off at various times of the day or night. The timer also tells the sprinklers how long to run, and many timers have sensors that tell the system not to turn on when it’s raining. Manual systems, as the name implies, need to be turned on and off by you.
Sprinkler System Prices
Prices vary from one region to another, but the cost of an automatic, underground sprinkler system usually depends on two factors: the size of your lawn and the quality of the parts that are used. For an average-sized lawn of 2,000 to 3,000 square feet, budget around $2,000 to $3,000 for materials and installation.
For larger yards, the price does not increase proportionally. Once the difficult job of plumbing is complete, it is relatively easy to add more zones. So a 5,000-square-foot lawn might cost $3,000 to $4,000.
Aside from the initial cost, you’ll need to budget for routine maintenance. Parts such as the timer, valves, rotor heads and spray heads need to be replaced from time to time. The parts themselves are fairly inexpensive - usually less than $100 - but labor can add hundreds or even thousands to the total price. If you know how, save money by replacing the parts yourself.
There are several ways to save on the cost of a new installation. Of course, you’ll want to get quotes from several companies to compare prices. Most companies offer free estimates. But you’ll also want to pay attention to the time of year. In the off season, usually fall or winter, lawn sprinkler systems sell for discounted prices.