Hire a Pro Advice: Install an In-Ground Sprinkler

Get help finding an irrigation system installer for an in-ground sprinking system and design advice about hiring a professional for the job.

By Gene and Katie Hamilton

Hire an irrigation system specialist to handle the entire job of installing an in-ground sprinkler, which includes planning and installation and usually plumbing connections, or have a contractor handle limited aspects of the project. For a complicated design, solicit professional help.

While landscaping contractors often install in-ground sprinkler systems with other landscaping work, they typically subcontract the actual work to specialists. Find companies in the Yellow Pages of your classified telephone directory under "Irrigation Systems & Equipment." On the Internet type "in-ground sprinkler installer in (your city)" in a search engine like Bing or Yahoo.

When planning the design of an in-ground sprinkler system, address any special considerations, such as sloping terrain, wind conditions and unique watering needs.

If money is an issue -- and when isn't it -- don't compromise on the overall design or quality of the materials you use just to save a few dollars. You're better off completing the project in stages. Do just the lawn first and loops for your other plantings at another time. Or save by installing a manual system and add a controller (timer, sensors, etc.) later.