How Much Do Lawn Irrigation Systems Cost? (Typical Homes)

An irrigation system not only saves you water but keeps your lawn looking lush and green. With that being said, setting up an irrigation system for your home yard can be pretty costly. However, we have found all the best types of irrigation for homeowners and gathered all the information needed, including the price, to help you pick your poison and keep you grass greener. The table below will give you an idea of the minimum costs for each irrigation type.

Irrigation TypeAverage Price
Surface Irrigation Setup<$40
Sprinkler System$1000+
Drip Irrigation Systems$2.50 to $4.50 per square foot
Blended Irrigation Systems$2000+ (depending on the area to cover)

What Are The Different Types Of Home Irrigation?

Surface Irrigation:

surface irrigation system
Typical hose and sprinkler setup.

This is probably the way you water your lawn now, as it is seen as the most common form of irrigation across the world today. The process of this irrigation waters the surface of the soil and allows the water to soak downward. An example of surface irrigation is using a hose and a sprinkler. 

However, this is seen as a pretty wasteful way to water your garden as some plants will receive water when they least need it. While, other plants in hard to reach locations will not receive enough. Due to watering needing to be a strict habit, these plants and trees will rarely receive the correct amount of water they need in order to establish deep roots to gain vigor and health. 

Some benefits of surface irrigation are low initial cost, compatibility with all types of soil, and the maintenance of the system is easy. 

Overall costs to implement: $20-$200 depending on the length of the hose and the # of oscillating sprinklers you choose. Browse our best oscillating sprinkler guide.

Sprinkler System Irrigation:

in-ground sprinkler systems
In-Ground Sprinkler System

This is a great form of irrigation that conserves water. You are able to divide the area into zones during the installation. Along with this, you can choose the correct sprinkler head to fit the conditions of each different zone. Added to this, the system is connected to a timer and sensors which makes the garden water itself. 

The sprinkler head either pops up when the system initializes or stays sitting above the ground permanently. They have the option to water the zone in a fixed pattern, distribute the water back and forth, or in circles around the area. 

However, they may not be an ideal choice if the land is on a steep slope, or if it has clay-based, or very sandy soil. These systems do waste some water due to evaporation and spray. This water lose is a lot more drastic when it is windy. With that being said, they are more efficient and convenient when compared to surface irrigation systems. The installation cost of a sprinkler are dependent on the amount of area that needs to be covered.

Overall costs to implement: For example, a quarter of an acre on average will cost $2,460 to install. 

Get quotes from Sprinkler System Installers in your area.

Drip Irrigation:

drip irrigation system

Drip, or also known as trickle irrigation is a great alternative to areas where there is a variety of shrubs, flowers, trees, and grass that all need different amounts of water. This choice of irrigation is very convenient as it allows you to customize water delivery. Because of this, water wastage and plant loss are prevented. Studies have been proven to indicate that well-designed and properly installed irrigation systems use a substantially less amount of water. 

The water is dropped directly towards the plants roots by use of “drippers”. This helps in establishing the ideal moisture level. They work well in any environment and setting. They are able to penetrate soils that are very sandy or clay-based, overspray is prevented, and added to this, some drip irrigation systems allow liquid fertilizer application which saves energy and are less time-consuming. 

However, flushing is required with the filters used in drip irrigation. Along with this, root development can be disrupted by the installation being completed improperly. The open tubing makes it vulnerable to damage. This could be by tools, animals, foot traffic, and sunlight. 

Average cost to implement: The cost of a drip irrigation system averages around $2.50 to $4.50 per square foot. However, this is dependent on your labor costs in your specific region. 

Blended Irrigation:

Today, we fortunately have the benefit to home irrigation systems that offer a blend of technologies. It is no longer a matter of choosing between a sprinkler irrigation system and a drip irrigation system. Instead, now we have access to irrigation systems that provide both cost-effective and efficient solutions to keeping your lawn looking amazing. 

An example of this could be that you have a large amount of flat land as well as an area that is packed with a variety of plants and trees. A sprinkler system will provide water effectively to the large amount of flat land. While, the low-flow drip irrigation will release the correct amounts of water needed for each plant and tree. 

Added to this, systems today offer effective programmable controllers which are used to manage a variety of different zones and start times, as well as monitoring the weather. Valves and regulators aid in controlling the water pressure. This helps in providing an even flow even with there being fluctuations to the property. 

Average cost to implement: Could be $5k and up depending on the area to cover.

Professional Irrigation Systems vs. DIY Irrigation

hire a professional sprinkler installer
Professional sprinkler installers vs DIY Irrigation

Obviously if you choose the professional installation of an irrigation system you are going to be spending more compared to just attaching a garden hose to a sprinkler head and calling it a day. So it’s best to determine if the cost is going to save you in the long run. You can determine this by getting a quote from a professional in your area and then determining the home value you are adding for when you go to sell the property. Not including the saving in time, effort, and wasted water from having to go out and move the hose around to different areas of the lawn.

Final Thoughts

Each lawn has its own specifications that are unique. Because of this, all aspects and needs of your yard need to be identified so that the correct irrigation system or systems, within price the budgeted price range, can be installed. This is to allow your lawn to receive the correct amount of water needed, while preventing a lot water wastage so that your lawn can flourish and you can get the most out of your money. Added to this, any specifications needed can be recognized, so that procedures can be put in place to reduce parts of the garden being rejected. 

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