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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Landscaping & Gardening > Sprinkler System

Sprinkler System Cost


How Much Does a Sprinkler System Cost?

 
low costDo-It-Yourself: $700-$900average costMedium: $1,500-$2,500high costHigh: $2,500-$3,500
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  Typical costs:
  • Prices for underground sprinkler systems vary considerably by region and climate, but for an average 2,500-square-foot (50-x-50-foot) front yard, it's about $1,500-$2,500, while a sprinkler system for 5,000 square feet (front and back yards) costs about$2,500-$3,500. That's because the most expensive items are a proper (legal and functional) plumbing connection and the computerized controller (the system's "brains"); once you've got those, covering a larger area isn't as expensive per square foot.
  • Do-it-yourself kits run about $700-$900 for 2,500 square feet, but creating a proper design for soil conditions, slope, shade and other factors can be complicated, plus it's important to bury the pipes deep, so there's lots of digging and bending.
Related articles: Deck, Landscape Design, Sod

What should be included:
  • Check with your local building department about permits and other requirements. Some areas have extremely detailed rules about what type and quality of equipment is allowed, how the plumbing connection (preventing backflow) is made, how deep the pipes are buried, etc. Do-it-yourselfers need to call to find out exactly where all utility lines are buried; a contractor should do this for you.
  • Sprinklers are generally installed in "zones"--each zone waters a specific area and only one zone can be on at any time (which helps keep the water pressure up), GaltTech.com[1] gives a concise overview of how a system works and BobVila.com lists what to keep in mind when choosing a sprinkler system.
  • IrrigationTutorials.com[2] provides an extensive (and free) online course in designing a proper sprinkler system and ThisOldHouse.com[3] outlines step-by-step instructions for do-it-yourselfers. A proper sprinkler design takes into account the soil conditions, type of water source (well or city supply) water pressure, slope, sun exposure, and type of grass or plants being watered.
Shopping for a sprinkler system:
  • When giving an estimate, a contractor generally provides a plan diagram and usually plants small flags in the ground indicating what type of sprinkler heads (popup, inground, directional) will go where. Ask for a detailed explanation of what components are being used and how the design accounts for water pressure and separate planting areas, so the system covers the yard without wasting water. Installing sprinklers involves digging trenches at least a foot deep; ask if how they'll repair your yard when the work is done.
  • The Irrigation Association lists tips for hiring a contractor.
  • Referrals are available from the manufacturers Rainbird and Hunter[4] .
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments
Sprinkler head replace/install
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Pro Lawn Care 909 623-LAWN in Chino, CA.Posted: May 22nd, 2014 05:05PM
Sq Ft of Yard: Installer: Pro lawn care
Rain Bird / Hunter pop-up , installed with poly swing pipe and marlex street 90
4"......$27.50 (Good)
6"......$32.50 (Good)
4"....w / check valve...$32.50
6"....w/ check valve....$37.50
4" PRS SAM (best)....$37.50
6" PRS SAM (best)....$40.50
Add Rotary nozzle .... $8.00 ea
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What People Are Paying
Amount: $50.00
Posted by: The Landscaper in San Jose, CA.Posted: December 7th, 2013 10:12PM
Sq Ft of Yard: Installer: Me
Many factors when Designing & Installing an irrigation system, and some on repairs. Comment RE: guitarded230- Yes some contractors will pick up guys from homedepot. Is this the kind of contractor you want? Liability odds of getting sued is not worth it!
Installing a New Irrigation System: Step one: Understanding basic hydraulics. | Step two: Obtaining site information | Step four: Determining water and power supply | Step five: Selecting sprinklers and spacing ranges | Step six: Lateral layout, circuiting sprinklers into valve groups | Step seven: Sizing pipe and valves and calculating system pressure requirements | Step eight: Locating the controller and sizing the valve and power wires | Step nine: Preparing the final irri. design planes.
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A fair quote?
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: MRD in Falls Church, VA.Posted: September 23rd, 2013 11:09AM
Sq Ft of Yard: 4,500-5,000Installer:
Just got an installation estimate of a sprinkler system to cover 5-zone roughly 4,500 sq/ft lawn for $3,500 (including 5 yrs warranty) in Fairfax, VA. Can someone tell me is the estimate pretty much the market price in average in our area? Thanks.
JD
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100 a head
Amount: $500.00
Posted by: guitarded230 in las vegas, NV.Posted: February 24th, 2013 09:02PM
Sq Ft of Yard: Installer: me
you payed way to much you got robbed without them puting a gun to your head no pun , a sprinkler head at home depot any where fom 2 - 6 bucks you unscrew the old one and screw on the new one cost 2-6 bucks its the easyest thing on the plant to do 500.00 are you kidding me come on folks commonsence .
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Comment for AHS of Los Angeles
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Lynn P. in Winnetka, CA.Posted: October 4th, 2012 01:10PM
You seem like a knowledgable and experienced person on this matter. I am thinking about possibly investing in a sprinkler system soon. I live in Winnetka which is about 30 minutes northwest of Los Angeles. Do you work out that far? If not can you recommend a reasonably priced, reliable person?
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Irrigation Contractor
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Christopher in Alexandria, LA.Posted: September 14th, 2012 11:09AM
Sq Ft of Yard: 0Installer: none
I am an irrigation contractor now for 4 years. When adjusting sprinkler head we charge 10$ a head to adjust pressure or even change out top part of the sprinkler head. To replace a sprinkler head we charge 45$ a pop up and 65$ per rotor head. as for valve replacement we charge 75$ per valve. any new control is 350$ line repairs or onsite quotes. Does anyone on this forum believe these are good prices. i know people in this area charging 125 a head to replace so i think we are good.
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Totally blown away
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Lisa J. in Little Rock, AR.Posted: August 3rd, 2012 02:08PM
Sq Ft of Yard: 17,860Installer: None yet
I have just received two estimates for a sprinkler system at my new (as of Oct. 2011) residence. House was built in 66 and new had a system. 1st quote seemed high at $6,000 then I got the second one for $10,000. This is for front and rear yards and I do realize this is a large property (.40 acres) but YOW! I'm I crazy? Are these guys a little (especially the second) overpriced? Or am I condemned to letting 7 mature oak trees (and the rest of the existing plants) die? I just can't keep this manual watering up in 100+ degree temps and plus I need a more frugal system than hoses.
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Sprinkler System Pricing
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: AHS in Los Angeles, CA.Posted: July 24th, 2012 11:07AM
Sq Ft of Yard: Installer: Self
Ken B hit the nail on the head. You get what you pay for when it comes to sprinkler systems. Money spent up front will save you time and money down the road. I have been messing with sprinkler systems for over 25 years and now that I do it professionally, I have seen it all.
Your PSI makes a huge difference in the planning of your system. Somebody with a low PSI might want to consider having a main supply line branched off the house main BEFORE the regulated pressure for the house. Homes (In CA) are set below 85 PSI. Sprinklers systems should be 90-95 PSI. If you have a main line installed, adding a high pressure regulator at the sprinkler valve manifold would be the way to go.
Yes....all this costs money. Probably money you didn't expect to spend when you thought of sprinklers. However, if done correctly, you should only need to do basic maintenance on your sprinklers throughout the years. I can't tell you how many clients end up calling me back and having me do what I told them to do in the first place.
Now for price. I don't like giving an overall number or price per sq ft. Each job I do has it's own unique set of problems. If I had to put a number on it, I would say between $500 and $2500 depending on parts and size of the yard.
I hope this helps you make the right decision.
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Pricing on Sprinkler System Installation
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Ken B in Orange, CA.Posted: May 14th, 2011 07:05AM
Sq Ft of Yard: Installer: Self
Yes we can save some money installing the system on the weekends. But the money you save now may cost you more over the life of the system. Water pressure, PSI and velocity (speed of water through the pipes)are critical and must be addressed first. If your installer does not have these numbers for you find someone that will provde it before attempting the installation. From a proper design perspective this is crucial. High pressure does not equate to unlimited sprinkler heads on a valve. If it did we would only need one valve to operate the system. Buy the best valve you can, it will last longer and save you money on repairs or replacement. Unless you really enjoy plumbing on the weekends. Always install a good shut off valve between the water main and the valves. If you have a valve failure you won't need to shut the water off to the house. If you need to cut material cost buy a cheaper timer now and upgrade later.Changing the timer is less time consuming that a valve. Most manufacturers produce the commercial type sprinkler heads, and the (cheaper) homeowner style. Once again do you like plumbing on the weekend? Always us a swing joint between the fitting and the sprinkler head. It will save a lot of time if you have to replace it. I repair sprinkler systems for a living so I see the problems. I hope some of my experience wil help you in the decision process. I installed the system at my home in 1990. In 21 years I have not had to change a sprinkler head because it blew off or the gardner hit it with the lawnmower.I have changed the nozzles and sometimes the seals. They do wear out over time. The effects (wear) water has flowing through the nozzle will decrease the is efficiency and coverage.
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New System
Amount: $700.00
Posted by: rbytheway in Price, UT.Posted: April 2nd, 2011 08:04PM
Sq Ft of Yard: 4000Installer: My Husband and I
My husband and I just installed our own sprinkler system. Overall it cost us less than a thousand dollars for the entire system. We are big DIYers though and I have a hard time hiring out something that is simple enough to do. Especially when they quote me 3 times as much as what it costs to do it myself. We installed a total of 28 sprinkler heads with 5 different zones. The most we spent per head was $10.
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New system
Amount: $4,000.00
Posted by: Sam_in_FranklinPark in Franklin Park, NJ.Posted: March 23rd, 2011 01:03PM
Got a quote for $4000 for 50 new heads (10 zones) to install a system- wondering if that is reasonable.
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3 new zones for spinkler spayers for 225 plants
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: joseph peterson in sebastian, FL.Posted: November 11th, 2010 06:11PM
Sq Ft of Yard: 30,000 sq ft +/-Installer: ?
looking for an approx estimate on following
3 new zones / 375' pvc / 660' sprinkle sprayer hose / 112 above ground spinkler sprayers / 3
control valves / 90' sprinkler wire + connect to main control box / 6 new 180 rotor sprinklers /
for 225 plants around perimeter of 3/4 acre
approx cost for entire job inc parts & labor
thanks for your time & effort
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Never had Irrigation system front or back
Amount: $850.00
Posted by: Ray321 in Redding, CA.Posted: August 2nd, 2010 12:08AM
Sq Ft of Yard: 5730Installer: Ray
We have a big yard with 85 rose bushes boarding the yard and anther 40 around the house. We just installed sprinkler system and micro drip system for the rose. It took me 2 weekends to dig under 3 sidewalk and to install 9 zones, I spent just under $850.00.
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New Sprinkler System w/grass seed
Amount: $900.00
Posted by: Lauren S in Gardena, CA.Posted: July 21st, 2010 02:07PM
Sq Ft of Yard: ~400Installer:
I have a small front yard that has never had a sprinkler system installed before. They are digging up under the sidewalk to install the sprinklers by the curb as well.
I live in a small house with a small front and backyard.
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Sprinkler heads
Amount: $350.00
Posted by: a user in Mt Laurel, NJ.Posted: July 2nd, 2010 08:07AM
I spent $350 with tax. The guy changed five sprinkler heads and said others are fine. He charged $45 per new head and $70 for labor.
I am debating now that $45 per head is really a good price?
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Replacing heads and Repair
Amount: $70.00
Posted by: Pro-Irrigation in Abilene, TX.Posted: September 18th, 2009 12:09PM
Sq Ft of Yard: Installer: Pro-Irrigation
I Work in Abilene Tx. I own Pro-Irrigation. I charge $70.00 per hr plus parts. About $10 per pop-up spray heads and $25 per Rotor. I think $100 per head was excessive. How long did it take them? Were there any problems?
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$100 a sprinkler head is rape
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: FunkDr.Spot in Sacramento, CA.Posted: September 13th, 2009 04:09PM
Sq Ft of Yard: 2000Installer: me
Nancy199, unless your sprinkler heads are made of gold, $100 a head is absolute rape. Sprinkler work is labor intensive but any able body can do it. Most contractors hire immigrants out of the front of Home Depot for dollars a day

In comparison, a single sprinkler would probably take an hour to dig up and a new head is like $5
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Replacing sprinkler heads
Amount: $450.00
Posted by: a user in Sugar Land, TX.Posted: July 17th, 2009 03:07PM
Sq Ft of Yard: 2000Installer: Local Company
I spent $75 for large heads and $25 for smaller ones.
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New Sprinkler System
Amount: $3,200.00
Posted by: a user in O'Falon, IL.Posted: July 2nd, 2009 08:07PM
Sq Ft of Yard: 9500Installer: Gateway
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sprinkle repair
Amount: $430.00
Posted by: vivian00 in houston, TX.Posted: July 2nd, 2009 10:07AM
my husband does landscaping and one of our client wanted some sprinkles to be repair we repair some and add 8 new ones 13 heads total and the price came up to $430 labor included our client was satisfied and so do we
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Cost For A Replacement Head
Amount: $500.00
Posted by: Nancy199 in Fall River, MA.Posted: May 2nd, 2009 10:05PM
My landscaper told me that it would cost $100 per sprinkler head, to replace the bad ones. My sprinkler system is only three years old. I have already spent $500.00, to replace five heads. Isn't this price excessive?
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External Resources:
  1.  www.galttech.com/research/household-DIY-tools/best-sprinkler-system-irrigation.php
  2.  www.irrigationtutorials.com/
  3.  www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/how-to/intro/0,,641780,00.html
  4.  www.hunterindustries.com/Support/Referral/referral.asp
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