irrigation systems. anyone install???

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by whitefrog1, May 16, 2008.

  1. whitefrog1

    whitefrog1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    Do any of you guys install irrigation systems? It seems quite a few guys in my turf classes that mow say they have people asking for them to put one in every once in a while, but they aren't comfortable doing one since they never have. My question is, is there a steady market for that? Seems with the prices I hear going around people can make pretty good off an install. Do you guys get any interest from your customers in them? And if you do install them what kind of profit can you pull off an install? I realize it depends on the size of the system though, but I was just wondering if it's quite profitable. I heard some people around here were charging $45+ an hr to troubleshoot and work on them. Also I heard if you buy the parts from most major companies they will draw up the design of the system for you. Anyone know if this is true. Maybe rainbird or JD?
  2. tamadrummer

    tamadrummer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,102

    Develop a relationship with an irrigation installer/repair guy and give him refferals and when he is working out in the field he will do the same for you.

    It just isn't worth having too many irons in the fire, concentrate on one thing and get as good as you can at it and as fast as you can so your profits go up because you are great and fast.

    I have a go to for irrigation/fertilization/pressure washing and tree trimming.

    Each of these guys in turn gives me referals. The fert guys even sends me $25 pre-loaded visas for every customer I get him even though I have told him not to.

    Just my .02
  3. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    You are asking in the wrong forum - go to the irrigation section if you haven't already.
    Irrigation is like any other business, profit depends upon knowledge of overhead, accuracy of work and a market.
    That said my company (which I own) does roughly $100K plus a year in installs alone.
    Commercial repairs start at $65.00 per labor hour, with material charged at full retail rate +/- at least 15% mark up. Depending upon residentials, for seniors service rates average around $52.00 per labor hour up to the commercial rate depending upon degree of difficulty.
    To trace wire defects, the 521 is billed at a flat $185.00 hook up fee plus labor rates.
    As a final note, profit margins on a accurate install averages about 24% to 27%.
  4. ACA L&L

    ACA L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,102

    so you are charging $185 an hour to install a timer?
  5. Torrey Patton

    Torrey Patton LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    i charge 75 an hour on commercial, and 65 for residential. as for installs, my company which i own, does roughly 122k a year for install work. there is a 20-35% mark up on top of full retail plus labor charge. obviously, anyone who wants a full install, irrigation is included. there is always a demand, we never stop building, and hardly anyone x-scapes. my company is total property maintenance, landscape design/install and snow removal. we do it all
  6. ACA L&L

    ACA L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,102

    xeriscapes and lawns are in high demand here. This year has started off with a bang.
  7. txgrassguy

    txgrassguy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,083

    Why would I charge $185.00/hour to install a timer????
    This is a one time charge to hook up, and more importantly - understand!!!!, what the wire tracer is telling me about wire problems.
    I charge retail plus 20% per irrigation controller replacement not including the $65.00/hour charge for me.
    Re-read my earlier post.
  8. ACA L&L

    ACA L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,102

    Nice clarifacation!!!Got It
  9. LawnMastersTx

    LawnMastersTx LawnSite Member
    Messages: 222

    There is a ton of money in irrigation, if you know what you are doing and do it correctly.

    This is my first season for irrigation, got my licensed from the state after going through their classes and take the big test. I have tripled my income already. I went from 4k a month to between 12-17k a month now, but I work with just one worker too; i will soon be changing it to two crews. The banks around here are thinking of installing systems on houses that were foreclosed on to help sell them faster. I get my first list of houses to go give bids on, first list consist of 70 installs. In total they are looking at 700 installs in my area. Life is good =)
  10. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,592

    I don't get it ....putting the tracer on is 2 minutes. I understand that it might take 6 hours to trace a open wire but a lot of stuff is found in a short time. And what does the tracer have to do with the controller replacement? Volt meter generally can tell a lot on controller. I am not being critical just trying to learn. And we have been undercharging for irrigation repairs for many years but now that my son is on board that is over.

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