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Installing a Sprinkler System Can Lead to the Perfect Lawn

June 30 2008

Having a perfectly manicured lawn starts with appropriate watering, and there is no better way to provide even watering than with a sprinkler system. While it sounds daunting, even an amateur can select and install a sprinkler system that will make his or her lawn and landscaping  the envy of the neighbors.

Sprinkler Systems


In order to choose the most appropriate system, you need to start by measuring your property. What areas do you want covered? Is it just your back lawn, or your entire backyard landscaping project, including your gardens? Avoid any areas that have live electrical connections and measure the area you’ll need covered. You also need to consider areas where the elevation of the land changes or areas that receive more direct sunlight.

From here, you can sketch out a design layout that includes all the areas that need water, while avoiding landscaping design elements that do not need irrigation. Contact any utilities so they can inform you of any unseen concerns.

Under Pressure

Once you’ve established the areas that need to be covered, you’ll need to check the water pressure and flow rate. There are a few simple ways to do this. To check the flow rate, fill a one-gallon bucket with your hose turned open fully. Take the total time it takes to fill the bucket and divide it by 60 to provide a “gallons-per-minute,” ratio. This will help you determine the speed your sprinkler system will hydrate your lawn. At this point, you can simulate coverage by placing sprinklers on your property and determining how much area they cover. Make sure that your sprinkler system doesn’t spray onto sidewalks or driveways, unnecessarily wasting water.


Once you’ve determined the number of sprinkler heads, you need to cover your property. You can also determine the length of piping needed according to your plans. Other materials will also be needed–including a timer, valves, and pipe fittings. A sales representative at your local hardware store should be able to point out all the needed materials.


Consult your local municipality on rules and regulations on identifying all utility lines that may exist on your property. Most municipalities do not permit random digging without prior permission and identification. Once you’ve acquired the materials, you’ll need to dig the trenches that will connect the sprinkler system. Connect all the piping above ground so that you can check to make sure there are no leaks in the connections during all stages of system installation. An electrician can easily connect a timer if desired.

These tips can help you build a near maintenance-free system that will be an attractive addition to any property listing. One more thing to consider before you start is that value the system will add to your home.  A Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate sales associate will be able to educate you on element trends and returns on desirable selling features.