What Is An Irrigation Specialist, And Are They Worth It?

Irrigation consists of watering plant life with artificial systems such as sprinklers, which is incredibly helpful for areas with dry climates. It is utilized for many applications, from agriculture to maintaining golf courses and beautifying one's lawn and garden. An irrigation specialist is called when a water system needs to be installed or repaired. Along with designing and implementing these systems, they also order all necessary parts, complete groundwork preparation, and advise you on an efficient watering schedule.

While this practice has many benefits, and hiring a specialist makes it much easier, it can quickly become expensive. Sprinklers cost, on average, between $2,000 and $4,000 to install at up to $1 per square foot. Irrigation specialists are typically paid between $20 to $30 an hour, and, depending on the job size, they can usually complete their work within one business day. However, it is possible to attempt to install these systems yourself. That being said, this DIY project takes careful planning and quite a bit of physical labor, so most homeowners will benefit from relying on a trusted pro to get the job done correctly. 

Is hiring an irrigation specialist worth it?

Installing an irrigation system on your own may look cheaper initially, but if you don't have the experience and tools to start with, you'll probably spend everything you saved on equipment and repairs. The time it takes a professional to install a sprinkler system is likely half the time it'll take a DIYer. An irrigation specialist will remove a lot of worries and save a ton of time; for many, that's worth the additional cost. These specialists don't just install your system and have all the necessary equipment; their team asses your property and designs the most efficient irrigation system for the application. As such, they'll zone the area properly, and create a system that gives the yard complete coverage, ensuring no vital spaces go unwatered. 

Additionally, a professional will often provide excellent advice on maintaining and getting the most out of your system. Many companies will also offer a warranty, allowing you to get any adjustments and repairs within an allotted time frame free of charge. On the surface, this seems like an easy job that someone can do with a YouTube video and some piping from Lowe's — and sure, some people can. But there is a science behind it that's hard to learn and get right if you're not experienced. Therefore, hiring an irrigation specialist is very much worth it if you seek a stable, long-term irrigation system.

Does your yard need an irrigation system?

Irrigation systems are often said to pay for themselves by lowering the water bill. Watering your lawn, garden, and flowerbeds with a hose is simple, but it can waste much more water than a timed sprinkler or drip system. These allow you to track how much water you use, which you can't do as efficiently with watering cans and hoses. It's easy to end up with dead plants and browning grass through incorrect water application. A sad-looking lawn is almost guaranteed if you water too much or not enough. This problem can be eliminated through irrigation systems that release the right amount of water at the correct intervals. Fertilizers can even be put in the system, adding to the list of things you don't need to worry about.

But, although irrigation systems offer lots of conveniences, your lawn and bills could be fine without them. You may live in an area with plenty of rainfall that keeps your grass and garden healthy. If you live somewhere that experiences a high amount of heavy winds, an irrigation system probably isn't the best bet, as that kind of rough weather can damage them. If you have the time, you can purchase a water-saving attachment for your hose and spend 15 to 20 minutes watering your yard daily. Assess your situation carefully and consider all the pros and cons of an irrigation system to ensure your lawn looks happy and healthy all summer.