PDA

View Full Version : Newbie question - Irrigation company vs general landscaper


raymont4
08-12-2011, 02:29 PM
Hi all - Iíve posted a few other questions and have had great success. I recently renovated my front yard, and a professional irrigation company installed my system with backflow, wireless rain sensor, Hunter PRO-C controller and I20 heads (7 zones with 25 heads).
Now I am looking to expand this to my side yard and I can get this cheaper through my landscaper vs this irrigation company. My question, is now that the plumbing, backflow, etc is ok, do you think its safe to go with my landscaper? He does irrigation, but I have a hard time not going with the dedicated irrigation company, since this is what they do all day every day. He has done a great job on my yard and seems to know what he is talking about. My side yard will be an additional 25 heads or so, so I assume weíll just need another module. The difference in price is $700. Curious what everyones thoughts are

FIMCO-MEISTER
08-12-2011, 02:42 PM
Is this the same irrigation company that did the original install? If you are happy with it then go with the irrigation company. Tell the landscaper to come on the forum sometime. We'll check him out for you.

Wet_Boots
08-12-2011, 02:58 PM
It is not very difficult for a scrub to install $700 worth of headaches with those 25 heads.

raymont4
08-12-2011, 03:11 PM
Sorry, let me clarify....yes I was going to have my original irrigation company come back and install the side yard. Price for 25 I20 heads and module, is $2,300. Then my landscaper said he could do the same thing for $1600...so $700 in savings, not $700 for the job.
I'd like to use my landscaper, he did a great job on my yard and would like to give him the business...just dont want to do that and then in 3 months i have to call that irrigation company to come fix it. If its pretty straight forward, then I may just go with the landscaper

FIMCO-MEISTER
08-12-2011, 03:16 PM
Send the landscaper over to us. we'll let you know if he's worth 700 less.

Wet_Boots
08-12-2011, 03:17 PM
Just be prepared to have to shop around for service in the future, or to have to do it yourself.

Eagleseye
08-12-2011, 03:21 PM
1600 seems cheap to me, for basically 5 zones. Get some info on his past jobs of irrigation and check them out.. One question, why didn't you use the landscaper in the first place? Also you may want to ask the irrigation co. if they can meet the price, you never know.

Dripit good
08-12-2011, 03:21 PM
What is your situation? How painful is it for you to spend the extra $700.00? You know the job will be done right.

Could be it's well worth it in the long run. I know I wouldn't be thrilled coming back to your yard knowing someone hacked into "my system". It may reside in your yard, but it is his system.

Did you approach the original installer to see if he's willing to move on his number? He may knock a little off for you....

raymont4
08-12-2011, 03:27 PM
Thanks guys, all very useful. I went with the irrigation co the first time as I figured it would be pretty complex installing. I agree that $700 is probably worth it to ensure it gets done right. I tried having the irrigation co come down, they did throw in 3 more heads (area I initially wasnít going to include) and 1st year winterization which is about $80. So still at $2300.

Eagleseye
08-12-2011, 03:33 PM
who are you going to have a longer relationship with? If its the landscaper, then I would give him a try and save the $. Just be home when they do the istall to ensure that is being done the same way.

Wet_Boots
08-12-2011, 03:34 PM
Once you discard the original installer, you join the legion of "disposable homeowners" who wonder why they can't find a good repairman.

Mike Leary
08-12-2011, 04:01 PM
If the addition has any problems and the "landscaper" does not come back, not one of us, if called, would honor any sort of warranty; parts or labor.

AI Inc
08-12-2011, 04:07 PM
Once you discard the original installer, you join the legion of "disposable homeowners" who wonder why they can't find a good repairman.

What boots said.

to the OP , if the original installer was right from town and named Rick , stay with him. He,s a good guy and has given you a honest , very reasonable price. Sounds like the landscaper is starving and willing to work for almost nothing to stay busy. Be careful of that. A lot of times when a contractor does that, he starts to regret it 1/2 way thru and " just wants to bang it out " to try to salvage at least the costs.

ARGOS
08-12-2011, 05:30 PM
I think $2300 sounds reasonable.

I am curious why the landscaper is 30% less. That is a big difference. Can you ask him?

raymont4
08-12-2011, 06:33 PM
he basically said it should not be over $60/head, assuming the plumbing/backflow/sensor/controller are already installed. I certainly dont want to screw with my warranty from my original installer

Wet_Boots
08-12-2011, 06:35 PM
Original warranty goes up in a puff of smoke the instant the landscaper steps in.

Autoflow
08-12-2011, 06:41 PM
I have fixed a lot of jobs where the home owner has gone for the landscaper instead of the irrigation guys. The landscapers do a great job on the landscape construction so the home owner figures they will do the same on the irrigation. Wrong. Irrigation is a specialized field and it may come back to bite you if you use the landscaper.

The amount of times I have had to re install entire systems because it was done wrong is shocking. The home owners then have to pay almost twice, though if they paid that little bit more for a pro in the first place, and also their new lawns and gardens didn't get dug up 2 months after it was constructed because the pipes and sprinklers are in the wrong spot. One job I was the 3rd contractor to 'install it' after they first had the landscaper do it wrong, then a plumber, then finally me.

I'm not saying all landscapers are clueless and will get it wrong, but just remember an excellent landscaper doesn't make an excellent irrigator.

Mike Leary
08-12-2011, 06:55 PM
I wish I had digital pics of all the H.O.s faces when I told them the system was not fixable, and barely replaceable because of all the hardscape. (Imagine drool coming down their chins)

bcg
08-12-2011, 07:18 PM
Here are some things to consider, much of it has already been mentioned -

1 - If I had installed the system originally, I would have given you a 5 year warranty on workmanship. Basically, if anything went wrong that wasn't caused by physical force, I would have covered it and to be honest, I would have covered anything that was my work forever as long as no one else ever touched the system. As soon as someone else does anything to it, my warranty is void, on everything, parts and labor.

2 - If the landscaper is that much cheaper, he's cutting corners somewhere to still have a profit. Is he actually going to use PGP's (or maybe the K-Rain clone) instead of I20's? Will he be using something other than the correct irrigation wire? Will he not be installing swing joints or not burying the pipe as deeply? There is a $700 difference somewhere and I bet if you ask enough questions, you'll find out where it is.

3 - If the original installer has done a good job and been available for post-install service, why would you even shop it? He's been loyal to you, so...

Autoflow
08-12-2011, 07:45 PM
I wish I had digital pics of all the H.O.s faces when I told them the system was not fixable, and barely replaceable because of all the hardscape. (Imagine drool coming down their chins)

It would make an interesting album :)
I have been to sites where they have spent huge money on landscaping which looks great, but the irrigation is no good. They are shattered to learn there is no way of irrigating their rear lawn properly because the 1/2" poly below the hardscape linking the P.O.C. to the rear lawn is not sufficient to run 7 PGP's, and there is no way of running any more pipes without ripping it all up.

The biggest issues I come across with landscapers is sprinkler placement, the amount of sprinklers, and pipe sizing, so it's more the design they get wrong. There is rarely head to head spacing, and they seem to scatter heads in the middle of lawns instead of lines on the outside throwing in. The home owner then wonders why they have all these dry/wet spots.

Again I'm not saying all landscapers do this, but I have repaired stacks of sites where the HO says the landscapers said they knew what they were doing.
Do your homework if you want to use the landscaper...

Mike Leary
08-12-2011, 08:04 PM
One of my early ads said: "Where sprinklers are not a sideline."

Wet_Boots
08-12-2011, 08:14 PM
One of my early ads said: "Don't be a Hoser." :)

Mike Leary
08-12-2011, 08:37 PM
One of my early ads said: "Don't be a Hoser." :)

I didn't realize you were from Indiana.

Mjtrole
08-12-2011, 09:33 PM
If you decide to go with the landscaper make sure he uses his own guys and doesn't sub it out to some part time irrigation guy.

Mdirrigation
08-12-2011, 10:26 PM
When your central air system needs replacing , call a professional , then call your landscaper and see if you can save some money . Go with the original installer , do it once , keep your warranty . You cant beat a man at his trade .

mitchgo
08-13-2011, 12:14 AM
I agree

I had to say this to a HO the other day as he was arguing with me on everything because he was an 'engineer'

Everyone is a professional in their own field.. You can only specialize in so many things, thereafter you only have limited or general knowledge. Just because you know how to change the oil in your car, doesn't make you a mechanic.

ZX12R
08-13-2011, 12:32 AM
When your central air system needs replacing , call a professional , then call your landscaper and see if you can save some money . Go with the original installer , do it once , keep your warranty . You cant beat a man at his trade .

I agree too, pay the extra $700 .You know you will be happy and the irrigation company will be happy.

AI Inc
08-13-2011, 06:01 AM
he basically said it should not be over $60/head, assuming the plumbing/backflow/sensor/controller are already installed. I certainly dont want to screw with my warranty from my original installer

Then he is an idiot an should not be doing irrigation. Curious here, does he live in his moms basement?

FIMCO-MEISTER
08-13-2011, 09:05 AM
I was wondering when a fellow NHitewould weigh in.
Posted via Mobile Device

AI Inc
08-13-2011, 09:17 AM
I was wondering when a fellow NHitewould weigh in.
Posted via Mobile Device

Next town over

txirrigation
08-14-2011, 02:15 PM
Thanks guys, all very useful. I went with the irrigation co the first time as I figured it would be pretty complex installing. I agree that $700 is probably worth it to ensure it gets done right. I tried having the irrigation co come down, they did throw in 3 more heads (area I initially wasnít going to include) and 1st year winterization which is about $80. So still at $2300.

If I installed a system, and did a good job and got passed up for the expansion I might get offended a little. Also when it is time for you to call the legit irrigation co to come and fix the landscapers problems, dont expect any breaks on the repair.

Also- I do not know what your legit irrigation co's contract looks like, but that would void any warranty I had offered. You might check into the warranty before hand, bc if the landscaper is not as good as he says he could eat up your 700 in savings fast.