Before long, both commercial and residential property owners desiring growing, green lawns this spring will be shopping around for the ideal irrigation contractor.
Does such a thing exist? It’s hard to say. Ideals vary from consumer to consumer. However, the real question should be: is your irrigation contractor honest? Are they reliable? Do they stick to their word, and can they deliver on-time, within budget, and with little interruption to your day-to-day existence? When the project is complete, do they follow-up to ensure your satisfaction?
If you are looking to have an automatic sprinkler system installed on your property, here are three additional, important questions to ask prospective contractors:
- Are you licensed and insured? Many cities and municipalities require distinct permits for various landscaping projects. Avoid fines and court fees by ensuring that your contractor will secure all necessary permits long before the digging begins. Professional contractors should carry sufficient insurance to protect themselves and their clients from injury and harm. Additionally, you will want to inquire about the prospect’s certifications, which show that the contractor is current with industry standards.
- Do you provide a scale drawing depicting sprinkler head placement, lateran and main lines, and zoning, etc.? These precise schematics are commonplace throughout the industry, and help to ward off potential damage to pipes, lines, and fittings as any additional construction or yard work is completed in and around your landscape. For this reason, it is important to obtain a final copy of this detailed plan for your records after installation has been completed.
- What are the warranty details? What is covered in terms of labor and parts? Find out what brand – or brands – of materials your contractor intends to use, as each individual part should come with its own warranty through the manufacturer. Industry standard is one year for parts and labor. Most manufacturers provide a “to the trade” warranty on products for up to five years. Chesapeake extends that warranty to the client, whereas most contractors do not. You should also inquire about winterization service, which is often provided free of charge during the first year, as well as the following spring’s start up and evaluation.
Be wary of contractors who offer everything and more, particularly if they offer a “to good to be true” price tag. Some catch-all companies absolutely have the goods to back up their claims. Others simply make promises that they can install your automatic sprinkler system, mow your lawn, mend your fences, and groom your dog all at the same time simply to get their foot in the door. Make certain that the contractor you hire has the tools, the time, and the crew to properly fulfill his or her primary objective.
When in doubt, ask for referrals. Check references. Visit previous work sites whenever possible. An automatic irrigation system is a substantial investment. Make sure your decision to hire doesn’t leave you all wet.
At Chesapeake Irrigation & Lighting, our specialists can provide an accurate assessment of your specific irrigation needs and implement a plan perfectly suited to your landscape design.
Contact us today to schedule a free estimate for your irrigation or outdoor lighting needs.