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I have a bid for my 6500sq ft yard to be irrigated with 5 zones, approximetly 30-33 heads. Installer said he will be using a Rainbird controller with Hunter heads. The quote was $105 per head, which included installation of back flow and everything. Any opinions would help. Im in auto sales, so I am not looking for something for nothing and want to make sure guy gets paid for the work, but I have no clue where this quote stands. Thanks.
 

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ya for a small yard like that its a good price. price is good, dont know about the quality though. we'd try to charge a little bit more though. does he have to go under alot of sidewalks, driveways?

ML, spelling alert.
 

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I have a bid for my 6500sq ft yard to be irrigated with 5 zones, approximetly 30-33 heads. Installer said he will be using a Rainbird controller with Hunter heads. The quote was $105 per head, which included installation of back flow and everything. Any opinions would help. Im in auto sales, so I am not looking for something for nothing and want to make sure guy gets paid for the work, but I have no clue where this quote stands. Thanks.
Do you expect your customers to be gullible enough to stop in, find a car and pay whatever you tell them it is worth? Get a second or third bid. Ask some friends/neighbors what they paid for a system. Do some homework. You can't be competitive with someone off the internet who is several thousand miles away in a different market.
 

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It's really is not fair or accurate to judge an irrigation install by square feet or per head.

I could put a 750 rotor in the middle of a 100' rad. circle and only use one head. And what if I used a pump instead of a BFP?
And how far do I need to run mainline?
Etc. etc. etc.

as a general rule finished landscapes in Colorado (when I was working there) would come out between 2-3 bucks per sqaure foot.

But that doesnt mean you could get 1000 square feet done for 2000 bucks either. It was just an average and usually on much bigger projects (of course really big ones might come out to 1.60 a square).

Usually on irrigation the larger the project the lower the per head price is going to be, because there are more heads to break up the cost of the constants, like controllers and irrigation clocks which are more costly.

The only way to tell if you are getting a fair price is to get other estimates.

If prices are close and there is no fair way to tell if one guy will have quality higher than the other, go with the guy that showed up first with a professional quote. Not a ketchup stained napkin.

Do not take hand written or verbal quotes. If the guy can't take the time to have it typed, or at least have prefab business forms that he can write on for his quotes, he likely hasnt been doing it very long.
Longevity counts in irrigation because in many cases a manufacturers warranty will go for 5 years. (Rainbird will give 5 years if everything on the system is rainbird)
So if you guy is around long enough, and your clock goes out in 4. Yes you will have to pay for labor, but you wont have to pay for a new clock.

More often than not (It was 40% last year, dont have figures for this year but I think it is higher) a huge amount of my repair business comes from replacing stuff that should have been under warranty if you could find the guy.
Most distributors, can find and verify the parts and installation if you have the name of the contractor who bought the part from them.

But "some guy" from "a few years ago" doesn't even tell us which distributor to call and ask to see if this can be covered under warranty AND at leat around here, the distributors can warranty the part to the same contractor, but not to another one.

This came up this year. I knew who installed the clock, the company is still around but the customer did not want to use them any more. The clock was only a year old. I took the clock to exactly where he bought it from, they could credit the clock to his account but not to mine, the only toher way tod do it was a direct swap, same clock for same clock. the weird thing was that the former contractor used a 32 station ugradable clock for a 7 zone system that couldnt be upgraded (there was no more area to be irrigated it was full)
They could have used an esp 4 mod.
So, I was stuck at least with the direct swap out. IF this had been a few years older, it would have been alot harder to do, as the information on how old the clock was may not have been easily availble.

It is 1000 times easier to go through the original installer to get a warranty.

So I would always go with a guy who had been in business for awhile rather than the new kid on the block.
 

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best get three.

if the first quote is $10 and the second is $20 then there is no real comparison other than one is higher and one is lower.

If you have three quotes and they come out at $10, $12 and $20.
Then you have an idea of what is "average"

I have read alot of things that tell you to take the middle quote and not the bottom or the top.

However, you should give each man time to sell his quote to you.

Just like in the auto industry, I can get a 4 door sedan for $14000, $25,000 or $40,000. But they are all 4 door sedans, right?

The same can be true of an irrigation system.

For an example, of your own lawn. You have no specifications other than watering the lawn.

So a new and/or relatively inexperiened guy isnt going to be very creative.
So you will get a "basic" system.

Me? I'll probably desing one a little more mainteance freindly because I know I or someone I know will be back to service it.
I might inlude an upgradable clock, or a Rain sensor or some other things that I may consider "standard" equipment. (like spare wires incase one or two go bad down the line or you need to add extra zones, or a prefab manifold in case you add more trees and want another drip zone in the future and there is an extra space available to slap on another valve...etc)

OR The next guy ( and I know one of these people) will only install 2 wire irrigation systems and/or ET weather sensing clocks. (much more expensive)

So on a 5 zone system he is going to cost you 8 grand, where I might cost you 6 grand and the other guy came in at 5 grand.

What Im saying is you need to compare apples to apples.. Just like and auto.

If a 2008 Honda CRX with upgrade package B and Power package A costs 24 grand at one dealer and the same auto with the same packages costs 2 grand more at a anoter dealer, then you have compared the same apple.

But when do you ever find EXACTLY the same car these days? Usually dealers have packages they think sell best on their lot and order them that way.

So the CRX at dealer A has package B and C and the dealer down the street has Package C and F. So go to the dealer the next town over and you find pakages C and D. Compare the three prices and buy the car thats best for you.... IT may nor may not be the cheapest car, usually its not. Most of the time its the more expensive car with the most options.
In irrigation I would never go with the cheapest one, you will always regret it. IMO
 
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