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Sprinkler System Installation Costs 2023 (Irrigation Systems)

lawn irrigation sprinkler

Even though irrigation systems are a must for many professional lawns and gardens, they are expensive. On average, sprinkler systems cost thousands of dollars to install, but there are ways that you can save some money on the installation process.

To learn how much it costs to install a sprinkler or irrigation system this year, read on.

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How Much Does a Sprinkler System Cost to Install?

On average, new sprinkler systems cost about $2,400, but the range can be anywhere between $500 and $5,000. If you’re looking for a full irrigation system, expect the price to be much higher. Irrigation systems often cost between $1,800 and $3,400, but there have been some systems installed that cost over $10,000.

Of course, many factors impact the final cost, such as the type of irrigation system you select, permits, and the size of the area needing to be watered. You should be able to get a better estimate about how much your irrigation system will cost to install by learning about factors that impact the cost below.

a water sprinkler in the grass
Image By: Pixabay

Types of Irrigation Systems

There are two primary irrigation systems available: low flow or high flow. Within each category, there are individual types of irrigation systems. It’s important to select the right irrigation system for your home to maximize your dollar and enhance the yard or lawn.

Low Flow Systems

Low flow systems obviously emit much less water at a time with less pressure. Although some people may choose a micro spray low flow system, most people opt for a drip system if they want a low flow option.

Drip lines are ideal if you have continuously rooting groundcovers. The drip line system will deliver water where you need it, but it will also reduce the area of weeds when installed correctly. Be careful if you have a lot of animals in the area. Squirrels, rabbits, and other animals chew the tubing and emitters.

Drip irrigation systems cost about $2,150 per acre, though the price can range anywhere from $1,800 to $2,500 per acre. As far as the installation, the installation can cost as little as $50 in small home gardens, but larger areas will be more expensive for installation.

High Flow Systems

When most people think of irrigation systems, they think of high flow systems. The high flow systems are almost always overhead sprinklers, which deliver water per square foot so that all grass within the vicinity gets the same amount of water. If needed, you can convert overhead sprinklers to a drip irrigation system.

High flow systems often cost between $0.20 to $1 per square foot of lawn. With a professional installer, the average home spends about $5,500 on a high-flow system installation.

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Factors That Affect Sprinkler System Installation Costs

As mentioned above, many factors will impact how much your sprinkler system costs to install. Of course, the individual sprinkler system brand may cost more or less than another brand.

Regardless of what brand you select, there are six factors you need to consider when estimating the cost of your irrigation system installation: property size, slopes, soil type, contractor, materials, and permits.

water sprinkler for irrigation
Image Credit: Pixabay

1. Property Size

The larger the property is, the more resources you will need. As a result, larger properties cost more to install a sprinkler system than smaller ones. There is very little you can do to change this price but knowing how much area you need to cover can help you better estimate the final costs.

Likewise, properties with a lot of flowerbeds and other landscaping features will cost more than those with grass and minimal landscapes. That’s because you will have to be more careful about where and how you install the irrigation system.

2. Slopes

If your yard has any slopes, the cost to install the irrigation system will be more than a flat one. Slopes make it more difficult for the irrigation system to reach everywhere you want it. So, you will have to install more nozzles to maximize the reach on slopes.

3. Soil Type

Your soil type impacts how much the irrigation system will cost in more than one way. Most importantly, the soil type determines what kind of sprinkler head and nozzle you buy. For example, clay and sandy soils require stainless steel nozzles, which costs more than plastic. More so, certain soils may need more irrigation than others, further increasing the price.

lawn sprinkler with tripod
Image Credit: Pixabay

4. Contractor

Whether or not you decide to hire a contractor to install your irrigation system is up to you. Hiring a contractor will be the most expensive option, but it ensures that the work is done correctly.

In contrast, you can DIY the irrigation installation. A DIY job will be more affordable if you do it correctly, but you run the risk of butchering the job, which will end up costing more than outright hiring a contractor in the first place.

5. Materials

It takes a lot of materials and tools to install an irrigation system. You will obviously have to buy the piping and other materials needed to create the system itself. It’s a good idea to purchase extra parts in case some break in the installation process.

You also need to purchase the tools and equipment needed to install the irrigation system. For example, you will need a trenching tool, front loader, and skid steer. If you do not have these tools already, you will have to rent the equipment, making the installation price go up even more.

6. Permits

Depending on where you live, there may be permits required for installing an irrigation system. Certain permits will cost more than others. Contact your governing officials to learn about permits required in your area for irrigation installation.

water sprinkler with hose connection
Image Credit: Pixabay

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Ways to Save Money on Your Irrigation System Installation

If you need to save some money when installing your irrigation system, here are some tips to keep in mind:


Installing the irrigation system yourself will be much cheaper than hiring a contractor. If you feel confident in your DIY abilities, consider installing it yourself to save money.

Take Your Time

If you decide to DIY the installation, make sure to take your time. If you butcher the irrigation system installation, not only will you have to buy new parts, but you will have to repair the lawn too. This will likely cost more money than if you had hired a contractor from the get-go.

So, take your time to make sure you do it right the first time. That way, you don’t have to pay to get the system and lawn fixed.

Shop Brands

Certain brands cost more than others. Shop various brands of the tools you will be using to get the best deal. That being said, don’t just purchase a product because it is cheap. You still want to purchase good tools and parts that are durable so that you don’t have to replace parts prematurely.

If you are not installing the irrigation system yourself, shop contractors. You should be able to contact contractors and ask them for an estimate. That way, you can hire the best contractor in terms of performance and price value.

Borrow If Able

Renting the equipment will be one of the most expensive parts of installing an irrigation system yourself. If you know anyone who owns the equipment needed, see if they will be willing to loan the equipment to you temporarily or rent it to you at a discounted price.

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Even though there are ways that you can get a discount on your irrigation system installation, it will still be expensive. Shop around to get the best irrigation system for your needs at the best price per value.

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Featured Image Credit: Pixabay


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