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How Much Does It Cost To Install A Sprinkler System?

Typical Range: $1,703 - $3,526

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Updated: September 13, 2021

Sprinkler System Cost

Sprinkler system installation costs $2,539 on average, or typically between $1,703 and $3,526. The size of your yard and the quality of the materials make the biggest difference in price, with larger sprinkler irrigation systems costing nearly $10,000 per acre.

1. Lawn Sprinkler System Cost Estimator

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National Average $2,539
Typical Range $1,703 - $3,526
Low End - High End $380 - $5,000

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 7,156 HomeAdvisor members in .

2. Irrigation System Cost

the average cost to install a sprinkler system is $2,600 or $400 to $5,000

Installing an irrigation system on a one-quarter acre lawn costs from $450 to $3,400. Underground residential and commercial options are generally more expensive than drip irrigation.

The top cost factors to consider include:

  • Coverage area
  • Type of system
  • Number of zones
  • Labor

3. Sprinkler System Cost Per Square Foot or Acre

Cost of a Sprinkler System per Acre
AreaAverage Total Cost
Square foot$0.20 - $1
One-quarter are$2,460
One-third acre$3,280
One-half acre$4,920
1 acre$9,840
2 acres$19,680
2.5 acres$24,600
5 acres$49,200
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4. Average Cost to Install an Irrigation System by Type

TypeCost Per Quarter Acre
Underground$1,740 - $3,400Drip Irrigation$450 - $625Automatic$2,630

a. Underground Sprinkler System Costs

An underground sprinkler system costs anywhere from $1,740 to $3,400 to install on a one-quarter acre residential lawn. Larger lawn areas and yards with multiple zones will cost more to irrigate. This project requires you to pay the cost to dig a trench, purchase materials and complete the installation.

b. Drip Irrigation

The price of a drip irrigation system runs from about $450 to $625 per quarter acre according to the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. This is less expensive than a traditional option, which costs about $10,280 per acre on average. Drip lines sit on top of the ground rather than being buried. They’re often more efficient than other watering methods.

c. Automatic Sprinkler System Cost

An automatic sprinkler system costs $2,630 on average for a one-quarter acre yard. This includes the cost of an automatic controller, which runs from $10 to $325 on average. The most expensive options are typically smart controllers and ones that can be adjusted from your phone.

d. Commercial vs. Residential Sprinkler System Prices

The cost of a commercial irrigation system is generally higher than a residential one thanks to the larger pipes, more powerful equipment and extra-durable materials used. The true price of each project varies greatly depending on the size of the job and number of zones. Talk to a pro for an accurate estimate to install commercial irrigation.

5. Inground Sprinkler System Cost Per Zone

  • Garden Areas: Your garden requires special sprinkler heads which water more gently than the ones watering your grass. Tiny spray heads or bubblers carefully water areas with flowers or vegetables. This will keep plants from being bruised or torn.
  • Shrubs and Bushes: A landscaped area with shrubs and bushes requires high-rise sprinkler heads that cover taller plants.
  • Lawn: Large patches of grass require sprinkler heads that deliver a consistent, even spray over the entire area. The reach of the spray should cover the lawn without hitting sidewalks or porches.
Number of zonesCost
1$500 - $1,000
2$1,000 - $2,000
4$2,000 - $4,000*
6$3,000 - $6,000*
7$3,500 - $7,000*

*Some pros charge less per zone as the number of zones increases

You can calibrate your sprinkler to water different zones in your yard. Each zone likely has a different requirement for watering. A pro can set your system to water zones at different times of day or with varying amounts of water.

6. Sprinkler Installation Cost

Labor costs to install a sprinkler system varies based on the type of system, but generally falls between $50 and $100 per hour. Above-ground sprinklers are among the easiest to install, genearlly taking 2 to 4 hours. Underground systems fall on the other end of the spectrum at 8 to 16 hours.

a. Permits

Many areas require homeowners to have a permit in order to install a sprinkler system. Check with your local municipality to see the requirements in your neighborhood.

b. Lawn Trenches

Trenching an underground system costs $4 to $12 per linear foot. The amount of trenching required depends on the coverage area of your sprinkler heads.

7. Other Sprinkler Installation Cost Factors

Many factors go into the final cost of a sprinkler system installation. Everything from the layout of your property to your existing plumbing can have an impact. It’s a good idea to hire a land surveyor to tell you where your pipes exist already before starting this project. Here are a few things a pro will consider before providing a price estimate:

    Quality of parts: Investing in materials upfront will help the system last longer.
  • Types of landscaping: Different areas may require varying watering patterns.
  • State of yard: Slope of lawn and soil condition can affect the final bill.
  • Labor and time: Longer or more difficult projects are pricier.

8. Average Cost to Replace a Sprinkler System

It costs from $50 to $100 per hour of labor to remove your old sprinkler system, plus about $2,460 on average to install a new one. Some pros can install a new system without needing to remove the old irrigation. Service your sprinklers to see if it’s time to replace yours.

9. FAQs

a. Can I install my own sprinlker system?

DIY installing your system can help you save on the price of labor for this project, but it is a work-intensive job that requires a lot of skill. DIYers need to factor in the cost to rent digging equipment and the price of a permit (as needed). If you aren’t sure how to approach this project, ask a pro for a sprinkler system quote to get more information.

b. Is an irrigation system worth it?

An irrigation system is worth it for homeowners looking for a way to water their lawn and increase their home’s curb appeal. It may not be worth it for those with very small lawns, or those living in rocky areas.

Though the upfront cost of a sprinkler system may seem daunting, it can actually save you money on your water bills. Sprinklers evenly distribute water across the yard and allow you to set the time and duration of each watering. This conserves water and increases the efficiency of your lawn irrigation.

c. Does a sprinkler system add value to a home?

A sprinkler system can increase your home’s curb appeal and add value. If you have dry, crispy grass, then watering it regularly will keep it green and fresh. Plus, many homebuyers prioritize convenient irrigation.

d. What's the best time to install a sprinkler system?

The best time to install a sprinkler system is typically in early spring or early fall. The worst time to install one is the dead of winter.

e. How much does it cost to install or replace sprinkler parts?

The cost to repair or replace a sprinkler valve runs from $12.50 to $40 before labor costs. Sprinkler head replacements cost $2.50 to $30 per item before labor. Timers cost anywhere from $10 to $325 depending on features and number of zones. Installing a residential irrigation pump costs about $80 to $500 or more, plus the cost of labor.

f. How do you plan for an irrigation system?

While you’ll likely hire a pro to plan your irrigation system installation, you can take a few steps at home to make the process easier. Keep these things in mind as you start your project:

  • Make a map: Include the size of your yard, location of your house and major landscaping features like trees and gardens.
  • Label zones: Label each zone of your yard to show which areas need certain amounts of water at different times of day.
  • Find pipes: Call a professional to find pre-existing pipes and underground cables. Using this information, decide where the piping can run for your system.
  • Determine types of sprinkler heads: Make a list of which heads you’ll need for each zone in your yard. This includes traditional sprayers for the lawn, bubblers for the garden and high-rise sprayers for landscaped areas.
  • Plan location of sensors and shutoff valve: Decide where you’d like to place automatic sensors and the water shutoff valve.
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