Factors that contribute to the cost of installing a lawn sprinkler system include acquiring any necessary permits, the choice between manual digging and using a trenching tool, hiring plumbers and electricians, and the choice of material for the system. Minor costs, ranging from approximately $5 to $30, include spray paint for marking the system's planned location and faster turnaround on an installation plan ordered from a sprinkler system manufacturer.
The first step in installing a sprinkler system is creating a plan that maps important environmental features such as trees and buildings, irrigation zones, automatic sensors if needed, and system components including bubblers, sprinkler heads, water supply lines and the water supply shutoff valve. Information necessary for creating a plan includes the properties of the water supply system and the size of the area. Many sprinkler system manufacturers offer a free customized installation plan based on information provided by the customer.
Irrigation zones differ according to the amount of watering they receive and the time of day they receive it. Common zones include flower and vegetable zones, which have a mild flow that does not harm plants and berries; landscaping zones, which spray water from a height to ensure greater coverage; and lawn zones, which have spray heads tailored for watering a large expanse of grass. The sprinkler system relies on an automatic timer to water all irrigation zones.