Installing a sprinkler system into your existing landscape will take preparation and planning. The following are the basic steps you can expect your installer to follow.
1. Site Survey
Every installation plan begins with a site survey. The installer will walk your property and begin putting together a site plan based upon your landscaping, exposure, and other site considerations. This is the time to discuss any challenges or concerns you have about your property. This way, the installer can add these concerns to the site plan.
2. Design Proposal
The information gathered during the site survey is then used to create one or more design proposals. Most installers will get back to you within a couple of days with a few designs to go over. Often, you will be presented with at least two designs, each at a different price point so you can choose one to fit your needs and budget. The proposal will include zoning for the system, the location of the underground lines, and the additional of additional lines such as to tree or garden beds.
3. Detail Selection
Once you settle on a design, it's time to discuss the smaller details like the type and quality of emitters that will be used. For example, you may have the choice between spray or rotary emitters. Generally, spray emitters lose less water to evaporation, but you need to install more of them compared to further reaching rotary heads. You will also need to select the type of control panel as well as accessories like soil moisture gauges.
Once the plan is decided upon, the actual installation work will begin. The first step, after the underground utilities are marked, is trenching out the areas where the sprinkler lines will be laid. The installer will first remove any sod over the area and store it safely under a tarp so it can be replaced once the lines are in. Then, the trenches for the lines will be dug. This process usually takes no more than a day, depending on the size of your lawn.
After trenching comes line installation. The network of sprinkler lines is first laid into the trench so the fit can be checked. Once everything looks right, the lines are connected to each other and then to the water valve. Finally, the emitters are attached. The system will be tested for leaks and proper operation. Then, the trenches are filled in and the sod is replaced. The entire process typically takes no more than a couple of days.
Contact a sprinkler system installation contractor to learn more.