The Importance of Choosing an Irrigation Contractor:
How do you choose an Irrigation Contractor?
The success of your irrigation system depends largely on the contractor you choose to install it. A contractor's expertise and specialized skills are crucial in determining your system's efficiency and long-term reliability. In fact, how your irrigation system is designed and installed will make the difference between a system that is reliable and one that is constantly troublesome. It's a big decision, but choosing the right contractor isn't as difficult as it may seem.
What you should know:
There are several things you should think about and be prepared for, when choosing an irrigation system….
What to Expect
An efficient, well-organized contractor will be happy to provide you with all the information you need to make an informed choice. First, the contractor will want to view your property in order to determine soil conditions, water sources and pressure, planting materials, etc. He should then present a formal estimate detailing what he plans to do and the total price for materials and installation. Along with the estimate, the contractor should clearly explain all the specifics to you. There generally should be little disruption to existing foliage, and the average job should take less than a week.
What Questions to Ask
The best contractors will encourage you to ask a lot of questions. By asking questions, you will know exactly what you will be getting for your money and what to expect from your new sprinkler system. Here are a few important questions to get you started.
What type of product will be used and why? He should tell you what type of controller, valves and rotors or spray heads are best for your landscape. Is after-sale service provided? A professional contractor should be willing and able to provide after-sale service.
Is there a warranty on the system? His work should be guaranteed; a one-year warranty is typical. Also, be sure to ask him for names and telephone numbers of recent satisfied customers, so you can call and check his references!
Some Words of Warning
You Do Get What You Pay For
When choosing a contractor, you should be wary of those who offer to charge you significantly less than other contractors. Low bidders may not be licensed or insured and often use cost-cutting techniques that can jeopardize your lawn and shorten the life of your system.
Watch out for these commonly used tricks of the trade:
Not including a backflow preventer, this is required by local codes to protect your drinking water supply.
Installing sprinklers too far apart, this makes it impossible for certain areas to receive enough water and causes brown spots during the hot summer months.
Mixing sprinklers with different application rates on the same line, which causes one area to be over watered in order to sufficiently water another.
Not using connectors and a protective valve box to safeguard the electrical elements, this helps guard against short circuits and prevents corrosion.
Above all, you should choose a contractor you can trust and with whom you feel comfortable. It's important that he install professional series products such as those manufactured by Rain Bird, Toro, and Weathermatic. Choosing an irrigation contractor who uses quality professional series products is the best way to ensure the job will be done right.