Your home is supposed to be a place of rest and relaxation as you unwind and de-stress from being out in the world, at your job, or running errands. In addition to the rejuvenation, it’s hopefully a place where you can actually enjoy life, whether it’s on your own or with those that you love. As such, your home shouldn’t eat up too much of your time, but instead be a source of great free time.
While cleaning and maintenance are always going to be necessities of home ownership, modern technology makes it possible to spare yourself some of the mundane and routine chores that could actually eat up a lot of your time.
Having a green, lush, well-maintained yard full of life not only is appealing to come home to, but makes for a nice place to stretch out and read a book or take a nap, or even play with family members. You can also watch birds land and trot around or enjoy butterflies and hummingbirds. The right custom irrigation system design and installation make it much easier to keep all this watered, and if you’re thinking about getting something like this done, ask the following 10 questions of yourself and others involved in the process:
1) Is this legal where I live? For various reasons, some municipalities ban custom irrigation systems and their installation. Don’t tempt fines or wrangling with local government if you can avoid the hassle. The worst thing is spending a lot of money on a system you’re never allowed to activate or even worse, have to dig up and dispose of.
2) Does my HOA have anything to say about this? This can vary from community to community, so check to see if you even have an HOA covering your property.
3) How long will it take for grass to grow back from the digging? Most irrigation systems are put partially into the soil, although some do just lay across the ground. If the digging is going to be extensive, see if they are going to replace the topsoil with matching terrain or even sod. This is also a good time to ask how deep they dig so they don’t hit power lines, your cable, phone, natural gas, or water.
4) Can I control when it will water and when it won’t? You might have an automated schedule for the watering, but if it is a time when you want to sit outside and tan or read a book or even nap, you don’t want the sprinklers hitting you. Depending on how powerful and high the water streams are, you might even use it to annoy trespassers in your yard late at night.
5) Are there water restrictions for such systems? Drought-stricken regions sometimes require xeriscaping or put serious restrictions on water use for yards and plants. Your irrigation system has to follow those rules.
6) Will it automatically adjust for rainfall? If there is enough rainfall, your vegetation and plants might not need artificial watering at times. A robust system can track precipitation and figure out appropriate water levels.
7) How much will it cost? A system that doesn’t fit your budget is never a good idea.
8) What kind of maintenance is going to be necessary? Irrigation systems tend to be pretty simple plumbing, but occasional inspections and fixes might be needed. Can you do the work yourself or will you need to pay service technicians?
9) What is the warranty going to be? Don’t get a system without a warranty of at least multiple years.
10) Will my homeowners insurance protect this, or do I need additional coverage? Should an accident or act of God damage or destroy the system, will your current coverage take care of it like the rest of your property? Or are you paying out of pocket?
These 10 questions are certainly not the only ones that you can ask as you consider the possibilities and shop around area providers, but they make a good starting point.