Pros and Cons of Custom Irrigation
How you take care of your yard needs some serious consideration. It’s not something you should treat flippantly — after all, it’s the first thing people see when they show up to your home, and you want to make a good impression! A dusty, crusty, brown lawn is not going to do you any favors. For that reason, you’ll need to take good care of your yard, and a custom irrigation system might be just the thing to keep it looking lush and inviting.
In this piece, we’ve endeavored to give you all the information you need about the pros and cons of installing a custom irrigation system in your yard. Now, to be clear, we obviously think the pros far outweigh the cons in the vast majority of circumstances. A home irrigation system is going to completely change the lawn care game for most folks. But, we still want to give you all the cons we can think of so that you know what you’re getting yourself into when you start a custom irrigation project.
With that out of the way, let’s get into it. We’ll start with the downsides of having a home irrigation system.
Cons of Custom Irrigation
We’ve got five different points to consider when it comes to the negative aspects of having a custom irrigation system installed in your lawn. They range from short-term inconveniences to Read on.
1. Your yard will take a beating.
Inground sprinklers that pop up at the correct watering time are usually the core components of any custom home irrigation system. Installing those requires digging up your yard to place the sprinklers and pipes. If you’ve already got some beautiful landscaping that you’re trying to preserve, this might be a bit of a hard sell. You don’t want workers stomping through your yard and digging up your grass.
However, you might be able to find a silver lining here. If you’re already getting a bigger landscaping project done, you might be able to add on some custom irrigation without increasing the footprint of the project too much. After all, if your yard is already getting torn up and put back together, you’re not going to be missing out on a pristine lawn.
2. The initial cost is steep.
Even if you try to do it yourself (and we’ll get to why that’s not a good idea in a minute), the materials alone aren’t going to come as cheap as your simple hose and sprinkler setup. When you factor in the time and labor of digging the trenches and installing all the different components, including the controller, then you’re likely looking at thousands of dollars. That’s simply not in everyone’s budget.
Now, before this puts you off the concept of custom irrigation entirely, know that we’ve got a point later on that combats this. We’ll get into the specifics later in the pros section, but for now, just know that other savings down the road can make this investment financially feasible. The initial cost is still nothing to sneeze at, though, and if you don’t have a few spare thousand dollars lying around, you’re going to be stuck out there with your hose this summer. A home irrigation system is definitely an investment.
3. You’ll need to keep up with maintenance and repairs.
Not only is the initial cost steep, but you’ll also have to continue to pay for maintenance and repairs throughout the life of your home irrigation system. Typical maintenance includes winterizing your system each year, and repairs might need to take place for a whole host of reasons. Tree roots might grow into the pipes or a sprinkler head might get knocked out of place, and that’s only the beginning when it comes to the various repairs you’ll need to make to your custom irrigation solutions over the years. If you’re not prepared to do them yourself, you’ll need to get the company that installed it (or another one) out to fix the system for you. That’s an extra headache, not to mention an expense.
4. Custom irrigation isn’t easy to do yourself.
Deciding to go it alone on a home irrigation system is serious business. Unless you’ve got a background in doing landscaping work or other in-depth lawn care, then you should really leave this one to the professionals. But if you don’t heed this warning and go about it without the help of an irrigation company, then there are a lot of cons to go along with the process.
You’ve got to figure out how to segment your yard into different zones and then identify the best ways to water each individual zone. Then, you’ve got to set all that up. That includes learning what forms of custom irrigation are best suited to each different type of area, gathering all the materials you’ll need for each of those projects, and installing them appropriately. That’s a lot to ask of anybody, and even if you get your buddies to come help you out, that’s going to be more than a weekend project.
For those who would rather take care of their lawns themselves, this is a serious detriment. That sense of self sufficiency is also relevant to our next point…
5. You’ll be losing part of your lawn care routine.
Of course, this is a major pro for a lot of people. They don’t want to be out there every day in the summer moving sprinklers from one spot to another, and they certainly wouldn’t mind a little extra time to actually enjoy their yards instead of working on them. However, we’re listing this under the cons category for a different type of person.
You probably have one in your neighborhood if you’re not them yourself. They’ve always got something important to do in the yard. Whether they’re mowing, watering, weeding, seeding, aerating, or any other yard work, they like being in-tune with the landscaping. If you’re somebody who wants to assess how much water each area of your yard is getting and adjust your sprinkler placement accordingly, then a custom irrigation solution is probably not for you. Those are geared more toward “set it and forget it” types, not somebody who’s deeply interested in their grass.
If you enjoy your nightly watering routine, you might not be the perfect candidate for a home irrigation system.
Pros of Custom Irrigation
Now that we’ve gotten all the negatives out of the way, it’s time to sing the praises of custom home irrigation systems. We’ve got five positives of this type of home irrigation system, and in the interest of fairness, we’ve laid them out just like we did the cons. Let’s get into it.
1. You can get a mix of solutions.
Like we said earlier, an in-ground sprinkler system is the bread and butter of any professionally installed home irrigation system. However, there are a lot of other options when it comes to custom irrigation. You might have a flower bed that would greatly benefit from drip irrigation, which is a type of watering system that dispenses water slowly and steadily, unlike the on/off nature of a sprinkler system. Getting a professional, custom irrigation system is going to open you up to those highly specialized possibilities, ensuring that your yard is getting the best possible treatment.
We’ll get into that performance element of home irrigation systems in a later section, but for now, we’ll focus on the fact that there are a whole lot of other ways to water plants rather than just sticking to your old, faithful sprinkler. Exploring some of those options can’t hurt.
2. Professional, custom irrigation is much more convenient.
When you’ve got a sprinkler system you can set and forget, you’re going to gain so much time. It might not be apparent at first. But just think about all the time you spend planning out your watering schedule around the weather, moving sprinklers around, realizing you’ve forgotten you left the sprinkler on for two extra hours, winding up the hose and putting it away in the dark, and all the other efforts and snafus that come with trying to water your yard manually.
With a home irrigation system, all of that is a thing of the past. A smart controller will turn your custom irrigation on and off automatically, and you won’t have to worry about a thing until it comes time to shut the system off for the winter.
3. You’ll save over time.
We already talked about how serious of an initial investment a home irrigation system requires. However, we haven’t talked about how it can pay for itself over time. Especially if you’re prone to over watering your yard, having a smart controller can save tons of water, and you’ll see those savings on your summer water bills. Those savings will add up over time. All those costs we listed earlier are definitely still relevant, of course, but they can be offset by all of the positive points we’re listing here.
The smart controllers we’ve mentioned a couple of times now are the main way custom irrigation systems accomplish these savings. They’re much more sophisticated than a simple timer, which is the kind of thing you might be thinking of if you haven’t been shopping for a home irrigation system for some years. They can connect to the internet and weather data, so they’ll know when it’s just rained and they don’t need to kick the system on for the day.
Not to mention all the time you’ll be saving. You don’t have to worry about moving the sprinkler around and watering everything by hand. If you’re somebody who enjoys that process, of course, then you won’t be as thrilled about no longer being needed in your yard on the daily in the summer to combat the drought. However, most of us wouldn’t turn down a few extra minutes to relax in our backyards, and that’s something a custom irrigation solution can give you.
4. Your yard will be watered correctly.
Take the guesswork out of watering your lawn. When you get a professional irrigation system installed, you know you’re getting the exact right amount of water to each zone in your yard. Doing it by hand leaves you vulnerable to overwatering or underwatering your yard. Many people err to the side of overwatering, but did you know excess water can be just as problematic for your yard as not enough? It can suffocate your grass by replacing the pockets of air in the soil. The root system will also underdevelop since water’s so easy to come by, and an overwatered lawn is way more susceptible to fungi.
So, even if you think you’re on top of the watering game, you could still benefit from a professional home irrigation system making sure you’re not overdoing it.
5. A custom irrigation system increases the value of your home.
Maybe this one doesn’t appeal to you right away — after all, if you’re trying to make an inviting yard for yourself and your family, you’re probably not looking at selling your house anytime soon. But down the line, you’ll be glad you had a home irrigation system installed. It’s definitely a plus for many buyers. Plus, a well-watered lawn is definitely going to boost your curb appeal. This is another way that the initial investment into a home irrigation system can pay off over time.
Custom irrigation could be just the right solution for your yard.
Now that you’ve read through all of our pros and cons of custom home irrigation systems, you’re ready to move closer to a decision. There are monetary motivations at play, as well as personal convenience and broader environmental concerns. Whatever your main motivators are, you should be able to think more thoroughly through them after reading this piece.
If you’ve decided to take a deeper look into professional custom irrigation, you can always start with us here at Hydro Dynamics. We pride ourselves on our home irrigation systems, and we’d be happy to see if our services might be a good fit for your yard. You can learn a little more about us here, and don’t be afraid to reach out with any questions.