Irrigation in NC

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by muddstopper, Dec 23, 2002.

  1. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    I have been asked by sevaral customes about doing irrigation. I do hydroseeding and lawn prep. I dont do landscape or lawn maint. But since I do plant grass I have noticed that one of the biggest reasons for a failed lawn is lack of water. Can anyone here at this site point out some of the rules and regulations for the State of NC for irrigation installations. I am the first to admit that I dont have a clue on how to install an irrigation system. But I am checking into some of the training courses offered by some of the equipment manufactors. Currently there isnt anybody in my area that advertises irrigation and we are getting a lot of retired people relocating here so the market might be a good one to start an Irrigation Company in. I may or maynot venture into this, but I do like keeping my options open.
    Any help or suggestions will be appreciated.

    muddstopper
     
  2. devildog

    devildog LawnSite Senior Member
    from sc
    Posts: 270

    Without experience, the first year will be difficult and not as profitable as you might think, due to the learning curve. However, you are in an area where apparently there are no low-ballers, so I say go for it.

    Your first call should be to the CIA (Carolianas Irrigation Association). Find out when they have design 101 scheduled and go to it. Find out when ALL the vendors have design 101 scheduled, go to them all...! You'll find not all instructors are not the same, thus will pick up different things from them all. And be prepared for the sales pitch that comes with the instruction. Take it with a grain of salt. I don't want to end up this thread with who's got better stuff. Experience will teach you that.

    Backflow is a "big thing" in NC, I believe must have a plummer do that (call the plummers in your area) and certain municiplities may require certification of some sort, check into that.

    Having said all that, you are going to make some nice profit, if the low-ballers don't show up ...but don't get greedy...they will show up sooner! In my opinion, it takes 2-3 seasons for someone to become fully competent, just take it slow the first season ...don't over commit. With Regards... devildog
     
  3. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    Thanks Devildog,
    An Amen on the learning curve, I helped a retired irrigation man from Fla. (about 80 years old) install one for hisself. I have a small trencher and I trenched in about 400 feet of pvc for $100 bucks. Didnt care about the money just wanted the experience. This person used to own an irrigation comp in Fla. so I thought that I could tap into that experience by helping. I was somewhat disappointed as he didnt actually do anything except lay the pipe in the ditch and then decides he will finish it up later. He is 80 years old after all, so I guess he just wasnt able to do all of the work at one time. I dont really think that irrigation will be a major money maker in my area as most water supplies are on community wells in almost all of the major developements. The individual homeowners with their own wells will probably be the only ones with enough water to irrigate.
    I didnt know there was an carolina irrigation association until you post, so I will definitly check into them. As for the design 101 courses I will probably have to go to GA. for this, as that is where most of them seem to be offered, or at least the ones that are close enough for me to attend. I am only 110 miles from Atlanta. Ewing has courses several time a year in the atlanta area, I just missed the most recent ones in Woodstock. I am planning on attendig some of the courses at the GIE show in Athens Ga ,Jan. 23th. But this will be for the pest control classes. Never can get enough EDUCATION.
    muddstopper
     
  4. devildog

    devildog LawnSite Senior Member
    from sc
    Posts: 270

    I don't know where you at in NC, but there must be a distributor, ie toro - rainbird - nelson - Krain - JD - someone in your territory who will have classes this winter. Maybe it is easy for you to go to Ga from your location. Your going to be in touch with the local for pricing and delivery to job site.....

    You are correct, contact the CIA first. You will get the info you need to get started in the decision process, not a sales pitch on products. Another hint, if the sales rep does not offer to come the field to help to get started, or come to the field when your in over your head (not talking about delivery), buy from someone else. This first year your going to need all the "field expertise" you can get. With Regards... devildog
     
  5. turfman59

    turfman59 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 801

    Muddrunner
    the thing I would reccomend is ask yourself is this actually work that I am going to love doing? If money is the main motivator you will be so- so on developing that part of the business. I can see a big difference on this site from Lawn Maintenance pros and this irrigation site. It is a totaly different culture all toegether. Read as many posts as time will allow and ask as may questions on here as you can. If it seems that you are still laying awake at night thinking about developing irrigation as a segment of your business then I would suggest ordering the study guide materials from the Irrigation Association ( around 90 bucks ) but a great resource. The thing about wathcing someone else do it or explain it to you, you dont know how accurate either are, ( EZ way to pick up bad habits too! I would be willing to bet that once you research this field a little bit your market area already has at least a handful contractors doing it, at what level of expertise is another question.
     
  6. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    Devildog, the only supplier around here is a Homedepot located in N. Georgia. Not excatly a great sourse of help. As for it being easier for me to go to Georgia, well I only live a couple of miles from the state line and Atlanta is closer to me than any city of size in NC. There are classes being offered in georgia and I am intending on attending some., but sometimes its hard to adjust to their time tables. But I do like your advise.

    Turfman59, I agree with what you are saying about loving your work. Find a job you love doing and you will never have to work a day in your life. My goals are a little different than everybodies else, as are yours. I still work for a large Corp. and am planning on retireing from them in 4 more years,( I'll be 49 then) I am trying to build a small company in something that I like doing. I have always enjoyed working out doors and have had good success with the Hydro-Seeding. Irrigation just seems like a natural next step. I like planting grass I just hate mowing it. LOL
     
  7. devildog

    devildog LawnSite Senior Member
    from sc
    Posts: 270

    The plot deepens, without the support of a local distributor / vendor, the first year will be extremely difficult. The "big box" sells the knock-off stuff that will give you nothing but warranty / reliablity problems. ITS NOT THE SAME STUFF REGARDSLESS OF THE NAME ON THE BOX.

    Check the web sites of the major manufactures to find their closest distributors / vendors. They may have a delivery schedule that brings product to your area. Check with CIA, they will likely have lists of the distributors / vendors in your region. Check with the local pluming supply co's in your area Some do sell irr supplies), if nothing else, you can get pipe & fittings from them. Check the web for large wholesale distributors (several on the west coast) who wholesale across the country and will take your plastic. They can ship alot of stuff (a whole system of components) in a UPS box. With regards... devildog
     
  8. longviewlawncare

    longviewlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 298

    where in nc are you. The major suppliers of irrigation that i use are Smith turf and Irrigation out of charolette sells toro, Simmions irrigation sell rainbird and hunter products plus alot more. Both will ship right to your door. try here www.smithturf. com and http://www.simmonsirrigation.com Both are great dealers and have salesman that check up often to see what you need and will help layout a system and help you pick which products are best. Hope this helps
     
  9. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    Devildog,
    I agree about home depot, The one here isnt even as good as the ones located in other cities. I am doing searches for suppliers but I havnt contacted any yet, I wouldnt know what to ask them if I did. I have a fairly large time span so I can take my time.

    longviewlawncare,
    You asked where I am located, I am in the far western corner of NC. About 240 miles from Charolette, I will check out smithturf and simmionsirrigation. There should be someone that services my area. Finding the best one will probably be the hardest part. I think it would probably be best if I take o few classes first befor I hook up with a distributor. I would rather do my first system right than do all the trail and error stuff and have to go back a dozen times. Word of mouth can kill you around here.
     
  10. longviewlawncare

    longviewlawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 298

    i know that smithturf offers classes sometime durring the first month or two of the year and simmons might also. Both have salesman that cover nc,sc, and virgina. Best of luck Josh
     

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