Whats first?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Lisk, Oct 27, 2005.

  1. Lisk

    Lisk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    I'm planning on starting a fairly large landscaping/hardscaping job. My question is....can the irrigation be installed when all of the hardscaping and landscaping is finished OR should i do it first, before any of the landscaping and hardscaping? Thanks.......
  2. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    We usually do it in two stages. We like to come in early on the project, and get main line ran, sleeving, wiring etc done.

    Then once the landscape and hardscape is finalized and finished grade is set, we come in and finish the irrigation.

    The other thing we do is install the whole system except for the heads (we just leave a swing pipe tail popping out of the dirt), once the yard is installed, we go back and install heads. It works real well if the property is going to get power raked after we do the install.
  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Get your main lines in and under where needed 1st
  4. Archer

    Archer LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    I would recommend installing as much of the irrigation as you could first. Save installing the heads for last to ensure proper placement (swing pipe up and mark). Seeing how you're also the landscaper it should be a breeze - saving no major design changes. We only do irrigation systems and when we have the option we always go before the landscaper - making sure the beds are marked properly is a biggie! Going before or after topsoil is another issue, do you trust the guy on the tractor/skid? Some don't like working around all the valves and heads. In a perfect world we will go after topsoil is placed and graded and right before edging/plants. The upside is you end up with the exact height your heads/valve boxes need to be. The downside is if your in rocky ground you'll spend a little to a lot more time cleaning up, and tamping ditches.
  5. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    In a nutshell... it all depends on what is being done. Coordination of irrigation, landscaping and hardscaping is sometimes tricky but is a necessity. Put hardscape where an irrigation line is supposed to run and you end up wasting time/money having to bore the thing. Chases/sleeves (pipe under hardscape to either run another pipe or wire through) are a must (unless you want to bore) and need to be coordinated to be installed before the hardscaping goes down. I personally prefer that the hardscape and rough grade be completed so you know exactly what you're dealing with and what the true perimeters of the zones will be. Other times I'll want the entire main line and wiring in ground before the hardscape. The irrigation zones can be put in with or without heads depending on personal taste and who is going to do the soil prep, final grade and planting AND what equipment will need to be used to accomplish this. If a planter area is going to have drip put in then I prefer the plants be in prior to the drip so I'll know exactly where to run the poly lines. In the case where a planter will have micro pop-ups, spray pop-ups or a drip octopus then I want to put the hard pipe and sprinklers in before the plants are placed.

    Basically what I'm saying is that each project stands on its own merit and the overall coordination has to be taken into consideration; in other words "phased in." :)
  6. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Just another note on large commercial jobs. Sometimes building codes will dictate what order some items have to be accomplished. For example, if an irrigation main, wiring and/or lateral line are to run under a drive or parking lot then these items (or portions capped, conduited, make-up boxes, etc.) have to be installed prior to the final hardscaping because of compaction and/or depth below base requirements and often require inspection. On large projects the project manager or inspector will dictate what order items are installed.
  7. Broker

    Broker LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    Like others said it depends on a lot of variables you know how much work it is going to be you should be able to decide in what manor it would be most efficient. We would request sleeves under the hardscapes and for us not to do any work until everything except the seed and rockhound work is done.
  8. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Speaking of sleeves... cement contractors are usually not the best people in the world for installing these. On site renovations we often require notification 24 hours in advance and then we go out and install the sleeves before they put their forms up. That way we know exactly what's waiting for us when we go in and design/redesign areas later.

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