Installing an Irrigation System for Your Lawn: Pros and Cons

Irrigation system watering a residential lawn.

The secret to maintaining a beautiful lawn is finding the right balance of sunlight, fertilization, and water—but finding the right combination can be time-consuming and, if done incorrectly, ineffective. `Installing an irrigation system for your lawn can make maintaining a healthy, green lawn a lot easier.

Different Types of Irrigation Systems

Although all irrigation systems are designed to make watering your lawn and/or garden easier and more efficient, they are not all created equal. Different types of irrigation systems are designed to do different things, which means a system designed for your garden may not work well for your lawn, and visa versa. For example, a drip irrigation system uses a constant flow of water, delivered in small amounts, to provide plants and flowers with proper hydration. While this is ideal for your garden, it would not work as well for your lawn because it would not provide it with enough water to grow healthy and strong.

Conversely, a conventional irrigation system that delivers water through a series of pipes and sprinklers that are strategically placed around your property, is just what your lawn needs to flourish. While this system can also work for you garden, you have to carefully monitor the amount of water it delivers to ensure you are not over watering, which can kill you plants and flowers.

An irrigation system is great way for busy homeowners to manage water usage when it comes to lawn maintenance. However, if you don’t have an irrigation system and are thinking of installing one, there are some things you need to know before you make a final decision. To help you decide, we’ve put together a list of irrigation installation pros and cons.

Related Content: Drip Irrigation vs. Sprinklers: What’s the Difference?

The Pros and Cons of Irrigation Systems

On the fence about installing an irrigation system for your home or business? Check out our list of pros and cons.

Pros: The Advantages of Installing a Lawn Irrigation System:

Saves Time and Effort: Hand watering or using a manual sprinkler to water your lawn and garden requires a significant time investment and is usually not as efficient.

The ideal time to water your landscaping is between 4 a.m. and 10 a.m., which makes it a challenge for those with larger properties or limited time to water properly.

With an irrigation system, you can set the timer to start and stop watering at specific times for maximum effectiveness and time-savings.

Intentional Watering by Design: professionally designed irrigation system can strategically position sprinklers to direct the water to specific areas, at a certain time, and without watering sidewalks or driveways, which waste water.

Easy on the Eyes: Forget about unsightly hoses and sprinklers. Your lawn will always look uncluttered because sprinkler heads are only visible when in use and retract neatly out of sight when they’re not.

Improved Lawn Health: Most lawns require 30 to 60 minutes of watering once or twice weekly (depending on climate). An irrigation system allows you to easily adjust watering to your area’s climate and soil conditions.

Remember that too much or too little water will result in an unhealthy landscape. A properly scheduled irrigation system lets you rest easy knowing your lawn and garden will receive the proper amount of water with little waste.

Convenience & Flexibility: Don’t make plans around your watering schedule—with an automated system, you can sleep in, go on vacation, or take the day off without worrying about your yard suffering from a lack of water.

Unlike manual sprinklers, which have a limited range of coverage, professionally installed sprinklers can be customized to accommodate any size property with complete coverage.

Reduces Water Waste: A strategic placed and automated irrigation system will waste less water and result in lower monthly water bills. Some research indicates that as much as seven percent of water waste is the result of poor and inefficient residential water usage.

Eco-friendly irrigation systems that are used properly can significantly reduce water waste.

Cons: The Potential Pitfalls of Lawn Irrigation Systems

  1. Bi-Annual Maintenance, Repairs: Seasonal maintenance will need to be performed in the spring to open your system and in the fall to prepare it for the winter and to prevent damage from freezing.

Over time, sprinkler heads may become damaged, and system components, including the control box, can wear or malfunction and need to be repaired.

Pest Damage: Underground pests can damage your irrigation system, causing leaks to water lines and components.

Weather Impacts: High winds can reduce the effectiveness of your irrigation system by blowing the water in an unintended direction, resulting in some spaces receiving too much or too little water.

Breaking Ground: If you’re considering installing a new irrigation system, you will need to dig up the soil around your property to install the water lines. You may also need to obtain local permits depending on the guidelines and requirements for your region.

Related ContentThe Benefits of a Sprinkler System

How Much Does an Irrigation System Cost to Install?

The average cost of an irrigation system installation varies depending on the size of the area you plan to cover, the amount of excavation required, and the material used. On average, costs vary between $2,000 to $4,000 for a quarter-acre lot. Here are some other factors that contribute to the installation cost of an irrigation system:

  • Size and slope of the property.
  • The type of soil that needs to be excavated (including trees, stumps, and rocks).
  • Brand of system selected. Some are more automated than others.
  • Labour costs in your specific region.
  • Any local zoning permits that are required.

Is an Irrigation System Worth It?

Although an irrigation system can have a high upfront cost, it also has the potential to save you money over time by decreasing your monthly water bill.

Lawn irrigation systems ensure that your grass is adequately watered—and because it’s automated, you can set it and forget it. Plus, these systems can help increase your home's curb appeal because a good-looking yard and flower beds is much more attractive than one that is dying or in decline, which can potentially add value to your home when it’s time to sell.

Have Your Irrigation System Professionally Installed.

Maintaining a lush, green lawn can be a full-time job. If you want a healthy, green lawn but don’t have the time to invest, invest in The Ground Guys® instead. We are your local lawn care experts. We can assess your property and walk you through all the options to help you achieve the lawn you’ve always wanted. We can install a new irrigation system or repair your old one. To get started, request a job estimate online today!