Newbie question - Irrigation company vs general landscaper

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by raymont4, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 49,569

    Once you discard the original installer, you join the legion of "disposable homeowners" who wonder why they can't find a good repairman.
  2. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 22,821

    If the addition has any problems and the "landscaper" does not come back, not one of us, if called, would honor any sort of warranty; parts or labor.
  3. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,151

    What boots said.

    to the OP , if the original installer was right from town and named Rick , stay with him. He,s a good guy and has given you a honest , very reasonable price. Sounds like the landscaper is starving and willing to work for almost nothing to stay busy. Be careful of that. A lot of times when a contractor does that, he starts to regret it 1/2 way thru and " just wants to bang it out " to try to salvage at least the costs.
  4. ARGOS

    ARGOS LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,808

    I think $2300 sounds reasonable.

    I am curious why the landscaper is 30% less. That is a big difference. Can you ask him?
  5. raymont4

    raymont4 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 18

    he basically said it should not be over $60/head, assuming the plumbing/backflow/sensor/controller are already installed. I certainly dont want to screw with my warranty from my original installer
  6. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 49,569

    Original warranty goes up in a puff of smoke the instant the landscaper steps in.
  7. Autoflow

    Autoflow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 245

    I have fixed a lot of jobs where the home owner has gone for the landscaper instead of the irrigation guys. The landscapers do a great job on the landscape construction so the home owner figures they will do the same on the irrigation. Wrong. Irrigation is a specialized field and it may come back to bite you if you use the landscaper.

    The amount of times I have had to re install entire systems because it was done wrong is shocking. The home owners then have to pay almost twice, though if they paid that little bit more for a pro in the first place, and also their new lawns and gardens didn't get dug up 2 months after it was constructed because the pipes and sprinklers are in the wrong spot. One job I was the 3rd contractor to 'install it' after they first had the landscaper do it wrong, then a plumber, then finally me.

    I'm not saying all landscapers are clueless and will get it wrong, but just remember an excellent landscaper doesn't make an excellent irrigator.
  8. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 22,821

    I wish I had digital pics of all the H.O.s faces when I told them the system was not fixable, and barely replaceable because of all the hardscape. (Imagine drool coming down their chins)
  9. bcg

    bcg LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tx
    Messages: 1,865

    Here are some things to consider, much of it has already been mentioned -

    1 - If I had installed the system originally, I would have given you a 5 year warranty on workmanship. Basically, if anything went wrong that wasn't caused by physical force, I would have covered it and to be honest, I would have covered anything that was my work forever as long as no one else ever touched the system. As soon as someone else does anything to it, my warranty is void, on everything, parts and labor.

    2 - If the landscaper is that much cheaper, he's cutting corners somewhere to still have a profit. Is he actually going to use PGP's (or maybe the K-Rain clone) instead of I20's? Will he be using something other than the correct irrigation wire? Will he not be installing swing joints or not burying the pipe as deeply? There is a $700 difference somewhere and I bet if you ask enough questions, you'll find out where it is.

    3 - If the original installer has done a good job and been available for post-install service, why would you even shop it? He's been loyal to you, so...
  10. Autoflow

    Autoflow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 245

    It would make an interesting album :)
    I have been to sites where they have spent huge money on landscaping which looks great, but the irrigation is no good. They are shattered to learn there is no way of irrigating their rear lawn properly because the 1/2" poly below the hardscape linking the P.O.C. to the rear lawn is not sufficient to run 7 PGP's, and there is no way of running any more pipes without ripping it all up.

    The biggest issues I come across with landscapers is sprinkler placement, the amount of sprinklers, and pipe sizing, so it's more the design they get wrong. There is rarely head to head spacing, and they seem to scatter heads in the middle of lawns instead of lines on the outside throwing in. The home owner then wonders why they have all these dry/wet spots.

    Again I'm not saying all landscapers do this, but I have repaired stacks of sites where the HO says the landscapers said they knew what they were doing.
    Do your homework if you want to use the landscaper...

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