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Save Time & Water: Underground Automated Irrigation

There’s nothing worse than waking up to find a small lake in your yard. Landscaping can be tricky and expensive. The last thing you want is to lose plants because of over- or under-watering. For this reason, we built an irrigation research library to share with homeowners like you.

If you’ve got a blend of lawn, flowers, shrubs and trees, then installing an automatic sprinkler system will ensure proper watering duration at the right flow rate – something hand watering just can’t do. Plus, installing an automatic system will add significantly to your home’s market value.

An automated underground sprinkler system adds value to your home and lets you sleep peacefully at night knowing you didn’t accidentally leave the hose running. Plus, you can take a vacation with confidence during a sweltering summer week.

CalFinder landscape contractors will guide you through the entire process - from design to installation - of your new sprinkler system.


Labor accounts for about 30 to 40 percent of a professional installation.

Systems that are professionally installed cost between $1500 to several thousand, depending on how big your lot is. For a 2,500 square-foot lawn, the system will run somewhere between $1500 to $2500 with labor at around 35 percent, plumbing connection, piping, and heads another 50 percent, and an electronic controller at 15 percent.

Because your water pressure and flow rate will determine your sprinkler head’s performance, you’ll need to know these three things:

  • Water pressure flow
  • Water meter size
  • Flow rate

Most common sprinkler heads

Spray heads either pop up out of the ground when activated or they’re on top of above-ground pipes. The heads releases a large amount of water in a short time so spray heads are not recommended for slopes due to wasteful run-off.

Rotor heads have a lower application rate, making them ideal for slopes. The heads are also better suited for larger areas because they water more uniformly. A large yard filled mostly with lawn would benefit greatly from a rotor head spray system.


Controllers range anywhere from $35 to $400. It’s best to select one that can be set for different zones and schedules per week. If your budget permits, buy a controller with a rain sensor so your system will shut off automatically when it rains, thus conserving water.

Why a professional installation is highly recommended

A landscape contractor will conduct a careful analysis of your water pressure and they’ll check with the Department of Works for any underground cables or pipes. They’ll choose the proper components and make sure beds and lawn zones are separate. They’ll also ensure zone-to-zone coverage isn’t wasting water, is using enough water, and not overlapping. Plus, installers will do the job quickly, sometimes in as little as three days for 2,500 square feet of lawn.

When your irrigation installation is complete, you can easily program it to water on a regular schedule, set the watering duration, and enter the start time. And if you want to reminisce about your old hand-watering days, you can always hit the manual button.

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