I’m considering installing an automatic irrigation system for the lawn in my new house. I’d like to perform the installation myself. If anyone has done this, I’d love to hear your opinions on whether it was worth it or not as well as tips and suggestions.
I installed a 6 zone automatic irrigation system 3 years ago myself for roughly $900, covering approximately 10,000 square feet of lawn and shrubs/flower area. I also installed a shallow well to provide the water, but that’s another project story. It was a lot of work, but definitely worth it and very satisfying. Best way to get started for planning is to visit the local Home Depot or Home Quarters, and pick up the Orbit and Toro planning guides (try to get both guides – each has some unique value). Also visit http://www.lawngenie.com – excellent do-it-yourself site. Rain Bird and Toro also have sites. If I recall correctly, at least a couple of these sites offer free design services – unfortunately I didn’t discover the internet until after installation was complete. It’s best to rent a trencher to do the digging. A few things to consider that aren’t covered in the planning guides: consider installing a master irrigation valve between the main water valve and the manifold irrigation valves (will be more understandable after you read the guides), if you have a sloped yard I’d recommend getting sprinkler heads with built in check valves, buy a controller timer with 2 more zones than seem be needed after you finish you design (will come in useful if you expand your system later). Also, consider a dedicated zone for any large flower/shrub areas. The plumbing can be a little complex – you might want to consider subcontracting that work. Feel free to contact me with any questions. Steve