Installation - What to look for?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Chris Wagner, Jun 30, 2003.

  1. Chris Wagner

    Chris Wagner LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    We're checking out a few companies to install irrigation at the church where I landscape.

    Irrigation is new to me. What should I look for in the companies? How do I know they'll do a good job? What types of heads, etc., should we look for / purchase?

    We've already provided two services with a plot of survey for the property.

    Thanks for the help!

  2. rvsuper

    rvsuper Senior Member
    Messages: 930

  3. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    see if they have a CID (Certfified Irrigation Designer) on staff, or if they use one for design. Absent of that, I would ask for references and follow up on them. I'm partial to Rainbird heads, but have used/serviced Hunter, Toro, Buckner, Nelson, WeatherMatic, among others.

  4. brentlent

    brentlent LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    Don't decide just on price. Irrigation is like most other trades, except with irrigation it's 99% buried and you won't notice the differences until problems (leaks, poor coverage, etc.) occur.

    Also, if they are doing the design, make sure your comparing apples to apples. One company may use residential rotors while another specs. large turf commercial rotors. Additionally, take a close look at how beds and turf are separated. If you have beds for annuals, you will want to have them on a separate zone.

    If the system has a dedicated water tap (and meter), make sure you know who pays the tap fee. In my area it's about $2k for a commercial water tap and meter.

    Like others have said, check references.
  5. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Ask to look at jobs the contractor has completed.
  6. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,928

    A couple of areas not mentioned,
    Other landscape maintenance people---check for reference\if used before
    Find a local irrigation suplly store... They always can tell a good irrigation person from a once in a blue moon installer.
    Also, check with other nurseries and ask for references. Does your state require irrigation license(contractor)? If so, go thru your state board to see if any problems are on file.
    And don't forget your local better business bureau!
  7. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,214

    Warranty? How long?
    After installation service. Do they have techs to work on the system?
    If cold climate - do they winterize system? Is it included with install the first year?
    Ask about a rain sensor
    Are they licensed if necessary for your area
    Different companies use diff manufactures. And if they get professional grade parts it shouldn't matter if they use Hunter, RB, Toro, Irritrol or whatever. Some companies won't use a specific manufacturer if you request it.
    Ask for extra wires to the manifolds and extra capability for more zones at the timer. Just in case you add on later.
  8. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    The better business bureau is not a quality indicator of ALL qualified contractors in your area. We have never joined the BBB for several reasons......not a part of this thread....start another so I can rant!
  9. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Agreed with SprinklerGuy on that last comment regarding the BBB. While it IS probably a good idea to check with the BBB to see if they have any outstanding or unresolved complaints, it ISN'T important that the company be an actual BBB Member. There are several reasons why a company might not want to become a member. And just because they aren't a member doesn't mean there's anything wrong with them.
  10. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    THANKS JIM! Never had anyone agree with me before!

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