Help Pick My Irrigation Installer

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by bumine, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. bumine

    bumine LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Please help this undecided newbie!

    I am putting in a new sprinkler system at home; though I received 3 quotes, I am undecided between the last 2 companies (help…..).

    Company A:
    Have a very structured entity that does BOTH design and installation. Showed up with computerized print out and samples of all the head (rotors and spray heads).

    Suggested 8 zones, Toro S800 rotors, Toro 570Z spray heads, Toro Greenkeeper 212 Controller with a rain sensor and remote control – I believe all Toro equipments but I can change them if I want to.

    Will supply copy of design at the end, will get permit. My bed will have drip system.

    Company B:
    Slightly older, unpretentious man – I think old fashion guy and appear to be a ‘straight shooter’. Recommended by a co-worker (but only does service maintenance for co-worker). I am intrigue by him but still wary:

    Verbally explain the design – comes close to the certified designer of Company A.

    Suggested 7 zones, Hunter PGP rotors, Rainbird 1800, and a Rainbird ESP controller with rain sensor (but no remote control).

    Permit is optional that I should get on my own (he will do addition charge of $100+permit cost). Does the plumbing himself (top guy uses an outside plumber). My shrub bed will have ‘tiny’ spray heads.

    My ?s:

    (a) From my research here (thanks guys), and on the web, Company B probably have better mix of equipment, but is much better than all Toro lineup?
    (b) Is drip or spray heads better for my shrub bed?
    (c) Company B guy seems to be someone in the ‘dirt’ with his crew; company A guy looks like a ‘manager’
    (d) I am also bothered by Company B’s optional permit

    Who would you recommend?
    What is your take on the equipment? Any suggestion for a different mix of equipment? Does anybody use the Toro GreenKeeper – barely see anybody referring to it.

    I hope to decide by end of this week. Thanks for any contribution.
  2. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    I think your best bet is Company B. Personally I don't like Toro anything when it comes to irrigation, and many on here will concur. Sounds like they get a cheap price by using all one brand so that's what they do, not caring about what's good or bad in the long run.

    You CAN'T go wrong with Hunter or RainBird rotors, and Rainbird 1800 sprays are number one. Either a Rainbird or Hunter controler are also great choices.

    If you are worried about the permit then pay the extra $100 for him to get one for you.

    I would much rather deal with the person that does the work than some company salesperson anyday. Who do you call when you have questions with company A? Better yet, good luck talking to their guys working in your yard, if you know what i mean. Having the owner on site and doing the work insures that little details get done right, heads are placed, set, and leveled properly (usually) and so on...
  3. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Company B....This guy sounds like someone who has been in business for a while and has picked and chosen the parts that work.

    BTW, We also use the RB 1800 a nd Hunter PGP heads and ESP-M timer, you can't get any better.

    Aside from the a few toro products, we pretty much consider them a 4 letter word.

    As far as a landscape bed, We do both drip and spray depending on the situation, sounds like Company B wants to do microsprays. I don't like them particulary because they tend to be fragile, but they do work well.

    If you already have a established yard, do either of them use a vibratory plow? The damage will be much less, ask if they do.

    Finally, you didn't say anything about the prices between the two.
  4. bumine

    bumine LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks for sharing your time and knowledge (I didn't write about the prices b/c they were very much comparable).
  5. T.Wells

    T.Wells LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 86

    I vote for company B.

    I went thought this process last Sept. and I went with the guy who is similar to your statements about company B.

    He gave me a verbal discussion and when the quote came out it resembled those statements. When he came out to do the work, he used more heads (4 more rotors) than estimated and I thought that I was in for another couple hundred bucks to them. Well, he said that he wants to insure for 100% coverage and that there is no extra charge for the extra heads. I was happy and so was he as he takes pride in his work.

    FWIW, I went with the Hunter I-20 rotors, Hunter controler, and Rainbird rain sensor. I did not think there was a need for a remote control. Last year when I was lurking in the irrigation forum, they seem to prefer the I-20 over the PGP as the price difference is pretty small. Some only offer the I-20 and others offer it as an optional upgrade.

  6. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    Company B. Toro makes lawnmowers, not sprinklers. I think company A is eyeballing you for future service maintenance contracts with his Toro recommendations.
  7. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,613

    A little late with my suggestion here but company B all the way.

    Locally it is always the smaller guys that appear to be bums that do absolutely astounding work. They know exactly what they are doing and not trying to sell you by brands or a name. Why you may ask? Because usually they have alot more work to do than ponder their names, permits, etc.

    Whichever you choose, please post back your finished results and your satisfaction with the company. I wont even discuss toro irrigation products as it is a complete waste of time...

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