Odd Question

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by BMS, Jun 14, 2004.

  1. BMS

    BMS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I want to ask a question of those of you in the business. I recently had a very reputable irrigation company come to my house and give me an estimate for installing a complely new system in my front and side yards. I got a very nicely done package with an $1800 plus price tag. A little more than I expected. He has it spelled out as 3 zones, 14 rotors, 10 sprays, valves, controler, (all Hunter equipment) and BFP. I have a private well, 4" with 1-1/4 PVC from the well to the tank in the house basement.

    Now, it seems I have access to a rental Ditch Witch plow for no charge. I have much experience with plumbing and electrical work so the actual install/hookup I could do easily. I even maintain the large system at my job so I have some experience installing heads, changing faulty valves, tracing bad wires, etc. What I can't do is what the irrigation guy went to school for and that is figure out which heads and where, how many on a run, proper pipe size, and stuff like that.

    Finally my question: Would you guys be offended if a person you did an estimate for, decided to do the install himself, but asked for and is willing to pay for a drawing showing head placement and model, pipe size, and basicly a blueprint of the proposed system? This guy will get all my winterizing business as well if that matters.

    I'm not asking for a freeby. I'm willing to pay a reasonable fee for his "consult" work. So tell me guys, how would you react to a request like this?

  2. greenwayirrigation

    greenwayirrigation LawnSite Member
    from ma
    Messages: 24

    some companies will design a system for you for a price.
  3. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    The price is a bit low for my area , I have designed systems for people that wanted to DIY , I get $ 400.00 for a design.
  4. Acute Cut

    Acute Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 980

    Sometimes you can take a drawing of your house and yard to a irrigation store (Sprinkler store?) and they may help you lay it out. Just know your working psi and gph. They can use that info and the measurements of the yard to lay it out for you. Well, they did that for me on my first install anyways. Gl.
  5. kbenvironmental

    kbenvironmental LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    Lots of people take the designs, shop with other contractors and run, never paying for the ideas or drawings. So I'd be surprised if he balked at getting payed for designwork. Especially with you using him for future work.
    Get your sprinkler system designed for free at an irrigation store or dept at Home Depot. Free blank plot maps are in the irrigation isle. Add your lot measurements & psi. Special services desk will mail it to Rainbird/Toro, etc... and in a week you'll have a CAD drawing with a complete parts list. PS most residential lines are 1" off the main or 3/4 off the copper stub.

    Depending on the lot and system size, standard yards call for 3/4 main line down the center, T 1/2 to the risers.
  6. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    I would have to disagree with Kbenvironmental , I have been asked to bid designs that were drawn up by sending a plot plan in and getting a drawing. The problem is that the designer never looks at the site, and the homeowner never gives all the information. And those designs are worthless. Most residential lines in this area are 3/4 inch , if I run across a 1 inch I check the meter , its generally a 3/4 meter.
  7. aquamtic

    aquamtic LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    I agree with Md- Not only do they know nothing about actual site but they over design with more materials than needed at times.
  8. kbenvironmental

    kbenvironmental LawnSite Member
    Messages: 80

    Guys, if you notice, I didn't say he should get the designs done at HD over the contractor's. What I said was to 1st offer the contractor fair $$ for his designs. Most contractor's are jaded to people stealing their intelectual work, and I'd bet he would appreciate the offer, if you have decided to do the work yourself.
    2nd, if you decide to not take his designs, a lesser, but still viable option is HD. If the homeowner is doing ALL of the installation, already is familiar with irrigation, and is using common sense, could do the average job. Most of the plot plans ask for the grade and some ask for the soil condition. I didn't mean to infer HD's plans would be just as good as a contractor's, just adequate. Years ago (when I was in college) I used HD's RainBird service and they even asked for a photograph of the lot. Not the best, but a handy homeowner can make it work.

    Put it this way, if your lawn has anything complex with it's grade or shape, pay the contractor for his designs.
  9. czjmp6

    czjmp6 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Along these lines, do any of you folks ever do partial jobs for the DIY crowd? For example, the customer does his own design and hires you just to pull the pipe?
  10. JeffY

    JeffY LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    We have a contractor that subs us out to just put lines in and he does all the other work. Every once in a while, a client will buy a package from us to where we put in the lines and give them the materials and they would do all the other work themselves.

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