Any Ideas?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by patmorrissey72, Dec 26, 2005.

  1. patmorrissey72

    patmorrissey72 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    So I've worked in landscaping since I was a sophomore in highschool. I continued to work my way through college as a foreman in the summers, and part time during the school year. I've done a little bit of everything, including hardscapes, pavers, mowing. The company that I worked for the past year did mostly irrigation systems, so I am fairly new to the whole deal. I graduated college this past December with a degree in finance and accounting. The problem is that I really love working outdoors and with my hands, and don't see myself sitting behind a desk all day. I would really like to get into the landscaping business myself, working more in irrigation. Is there any advice that veterans may have. I was also wondering if anyone has taken any good classes, read any good books, or knows of any good sites out there involving the design and installation of irrigation systems. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,041

    The best designs and installations come from the guys that have done sprinkler system repairs, and know what not to do on new installs. You have a better chance staying out in the field as a service guy, than as an installer, if it's the field work that you want. If you find someone hiring service help, you can gain useful knowledge on someone else's dime.
     
  3. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,690

    I'd have to agree with Haze. The best way to learn your way around different systems is to work with them repairing mistakes that others have made. Do that until you are comfortable with it and either branch off into construction/installs for the company you work for, or do it off and on your own. I assume Michigan is the same as here, but anytime you are doing plumbing/irrigation and work of the like, you'll need to be licensed or work under someone that is. Good luck, there's plenty of work and you'll enjoy it.
     
  4. You earned that degree...any advice that would include not using your degree would be bad advice indeed. If you insist upon getting into this business with the rest of us....find a great job that uses the skills you have acquired the last 4 years..and save yourself the pain and suffering most of us went through the first couple of years in business....and the last couple of years...and a couple of years in between....get the pic?

    Congrats on your degree....you earned it now go use it ;)
     
  5. Broker

    Broker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    It sounds like my story almost word for word. To bad you did not have another year under your belt in irrigation. We all know that there are different types of people when it comes to the learning curve. What don't you feel comfortable with?? I would take a service and design class from your local supplier. The design will give you a good perspective on design. And the service on will help you understand how to troubleshoot electric problems. But I would strongly encourage you to try to use your degree to get a job and then start your business on the side. Then in about 2-3 years you can decide what makes you happier. Working 8-5 M-F. Or being your own boss and working 7-8 M-Su. Good Luck.
     
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,041

    There's no reason one can't combine the college education with working outdoors. Some people aren't constructed to spend their days in fuorescent lighting, no matter what their educational background. That being said, there's a lot of rea$on$ to put that education to profitable use right away, with outdoor time during off hours. For one thing, you can put aside enough money to get a comfortable start for your future endeavors.

    Just don't get so warped that we have a real-life reenactment of the Monty Python chartered accountant who longs to be a lion tamer. (<i>"I have a hat!"</i>)
     
  7. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    One thing you can do right now is to just LOOK.Everywhere you go look at whats watering that landscape,look for the heads and how they are laid out,if your at the dentist or the mall walk around the buildings,if you can find the valves and give them a whirl for a minute or so to see where everything is spraying(this is just right on fun sometimes in strange places!)Shhhhh don't tell!Observe observe and look and ask questions.Every relative you know that has a system..go out and run it.Note what you think is badly designed and what works too.This is just a suggestion to add to all of the others above
    .P.s. dont do this in winter though!
     
  8. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Sheshovel has some good ideas about observations. However, if you observe any sprinkler systems like the following picture please note that no one on this forum installed it. :eek:
     

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  9. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    Don't bet the farm on it. I actually installed a hose bib and connected a very similar sprinkler for a customer a few years back to water a small landscape bed. She used the bib for other things as well, but wanted to be able to run her little sprinkler in the landscape bed from her timer. I don't remember for sure, but I think it was a turtle, not a frog though. :)
     
  10. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Maybe this one is your handy work??? :p
     

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