How much do automatic sprinklers cost?

Looking for an easier way to water your lawn? Find out how much it costs to install automatic sprinklers.

An automatic sprinkler system can help create a lush lawn while minimizing water use and related costs. Automatic sprinklers tie in to the plumbing system and pipes surrounding the home. Homeowners can choose to install an automatic sprinkler system themselves or to hire a professional contractor to do the job.

Typical Costs for Automatic Sprinklers

Underground sprinkler system: The cost for purchase and professional installation of an underground sprinkler system for an average-sized yard is typically in the range of $1,000-$3,500. The cost may increase based upon the number of zones, or areas, that require watering. 

DIY sprinkler kit: The cost for a do-it-yourself sprinkler kit for a standard yard is around $500-$1,000

Do-it-yourself: Videos and tutorials for do-it-yourself sprinkler installation projects are available at DIYnetwork.com and ThisOldHouse.com.

Low-End Estimate for Automatic Sprinklers

For do-it-yourself installation in a standard yard: About $500-$1,000.

High-End Estimate for Automatic Sprinklers

For professional installation in a standard yard: About $1,000-$3,500.

What to Expect

Materials: The materials needed for sprinkler installation include a plan diagram, marking flags, a trenching machine, PVC piping, PVC cement, gravel, shovels, trowels, the sprinkler heads, and the timer or control unit. If you decide to install a drip-irrigation system, you'll need additional materials including tubing, a utility knife, and ground stakes. 

Timing: Installation for an underground sprinkler system typically takes around 16-20 hours or several days of work. 

Mess: Sprinkler installation will require trench building and displacement of soil, grass, and landscaping elements in the area, so there will be a significant mess to clean up post-installation.

A Few More Tips About Automatic Sprinklers

Many contractors who handle sprinkler installations are not licensed plumbers. Since the pipes and plumbing systems in the yard will be adjusted during the installation process, it's best to hire a licensed plumber to avoid potential issues related to plumbing codes, standards, and best practices. 

There are two options for types of sprinkler heads: fixed and rotary. When planning a sprinkler installation process, is it important to evaluate the type that will work best for your lawn area. 

Rain sensors can work in combination with an automatic sprinkler system to conserve water and assist with landscape needs. The sensor is typically attached to the home and shuts off the sprinkler system when there is a specific volume of rain or moisture.

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