How Much Does It Cost to Install An Irrigation System?

Michael Hatcher

Apr 12, 2017 8:58:47 AM

A green lawn and lush landscaping gives your property nice curb appeal. The dry, hot days of summer, however, can easily turn your space brown, cause your landscaping to wilt and, in turn, take away from the beauty of your property.

Yes, homeowners can move their sprinklers around their yard and water their landscaping by hand but, depending on the size of their property, these methods can be time consuming.

To enjoy your green space year-round, we suggest that you invest in installing an irrigation system.

Irrigation systems allow the right amount of water to be delivered to the right location and at the right time. In other words, irrigation systems will keep your lawn and landscaping beautiful and healthy, reduce the risk of disease and pests and leaves you more time to enjoy your property’s amenities with family and friends. 

So how much does it cost to install an irrigation system?

Like so many other landscaping questions, the answer depends on several different factors.

Property Size and Shape  

While it is true that a larger property size requires more materials, a bigger property doesn’t mean a bigger price tag when it comes to installing an irrigation system.

A significant factor in pricing an irrigation system is the degree of difficulty in installing it.

“Mature trees and other types of landscaping makes an irrigation system more difficult to install,” says Kelly Ogden, Director of Revenue at Michael Hatcher & Associates, Inc.

Property shape will also affect the pricing of an irrigation system. It is more cost effective to install irrigation where the shapes are few and simple, such as a simple border planting next to an open lawn, rather than complex shapes that will require hand digging and add to labor costs.


Number of Irrigation Zones Required

Different types of plants require different amounts of water and, therefore, need separate irrigation zones to fulfill their needs. These additional zones, along with their shapes, can affect the pricing of your irrigation system.

“Zoning an irrigation system takes the amount of sun and shade and water requirements into consideration,” continues Ogden. “A homeowner can have several small zones depending on their landscaping and its requirements.”


If your property is located on a slope it will likely need more than a single-zone irrigation system.


The areas near the top of your slope may not get the amount of water required while the bottom of the slope may get too much.

Add additional zones to solve this problem and keep the water flowing evenly throughout all areas of your property.


Soil Types

The type of soil on your property won’t directly affect the cost of installing your irrigation system. It will, however, affect the amount of water you use and, in turn, the cost of your system’s maintenance over time.

“Sandy loam is the type of soil that all Mid-South homeowners should aim for,” says Ogden. “Most of the new subdivisions, however, have clay soil which makes it more likely for water to sit at the roots causing root rot.”

Type of Irrigation System Controller

There are two types of irrigation system controllers on the market these days, the conventional type and weather based controllers.

The conventional type of controller must be manually programmed and requires you, the homeowner, to do the math to figure out how much and how often to water.

With weather based controllers, however, all you have to do is tell it what time of day you prefer it to run. From there, the device will run as often as it needs to, taking into consideration your rainfall and transpiration rates. 

“Weather based controllers are popular now as they do most of the calculations for you,” continued Ogden. “Homeowners can enter in plant type, soil type and sun/shade into these controllers as well.”  

Learn more about the Best Water Saving Technologies here.

Water Flow and Pressure

Water pressure can also influence the cost of installing an irrigation system. Lower water pressures result in lower flow which, in turn, can increase the number of zones needed. These additional zones will add to the cost of your irrigation system.

How Much Does It Cost to Install an Irrigation System in a New V. Existing Landscape?

New construction jobs tend to be less expensive when it comes to installing an irrigation system. This is because they are typically wide open with nothing in the way. Existing landscapes may be more difficult to access and often feature hedges, trees and other obstacles that require more hand digging.


The cost of installing an irrigation system depends on several different factors. To get an accurate estimate on an irrigation system for your home, call Kelly Ogden at Michael Hatcher & Associates, Inc. at 901-755-3207 to schedule a consultation.

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Michael Hatcher

Written by Michael Hatcher

Michael Hatcher is Founder and Chairman of Michael Hatcher & Associates.