How Much Does it Cost to Install an Irrigation System on Your Commercial Property?

Ben Collinsworth

irrigation_system_costYou don’t want to watch your plants and landscapes suffer and die because of drought or other extreme weather conditions. Your commercial property is an investment you want to protect.

One way you can take care of it — while also enjoying other benefits — is by installing an irrigation system.

Irrigation systems will cut your water usage, wastewater usage and utility costs. They will also help you better target areas of the landscape to give each zone the right amount of water.

With droughts and soil erosion causing real issues in Texas, it’s especially important for you to have an efficient, sustainable irrigation system.

To give you an idea of what you will pay, here’s a look at what it costs to install an irrigation system.


Cost Breakdown

The price to install an irrigation system on your commercial property will depend on a few different things.

Square footage is the biggest determinant for what it will cost: the larger the property, the higher the price. The landscape company will need to measure the site to calculate how much material will be needed for the install.

The site’s conditions also play a role. For example, if the company has to bore under existing concrete, sidewalks, or other hardscape , that will cost extra.

The amount of slope on the landscape can affect the cost, too. The greater the slope, the more difficult it will be to trench the area, and it can also cause pressure problems that will need to be addressed. The slope can either be graded so it isn’t as steep or the company can suggest a plan of action to work with the current conditions.

The landscape company will also look at the amount of microclimates on the property to determine if they need to design something different to work in those areas. The cost will be more if the landscape has a lot of areas with specific and different water requirements.

Other contributing factors to the overall cost will be the site’s water pressure, water meter size, controller type and wiring.

You can choose between a two-wire or conventional system. With a conventional system, you’ll need to connect each individual valve in the landscape back to the controller, which can require a lot of wiring. On the other hand, a two-wire system just needs to connect one end of the system to the controller.

Depending on your budget for installation, you should consider a smart controller and/or a two wire system. They may cost a little more up front, but they can pay off in the long run.  They are easier to manage and can be accessed remotely.  That will save time and money over the long term and give your contractor greater control when the system needs to be changed or shut down.

However, two-wire systems aren’t best for every property and require extra care with installation, so it’s best to talk with a commercial landscape company to see what they recommend for your site.


Choose a System

commercial irrigation system costEach type of irrigation system is different, so the kind you choose will affect the bottom line.

There are spray and drip systems, and each has its own advantages and price tag. The cost for a spray system can be up to $1,000 per zone, according to Landscaping Network. That would include the line and irrigation heads, along with labor, and that price will go down the more zones you add. You’ll also need to factor in the cost for any upgrades you want to add.

Drip irrigation systems can cost anywhere from $300 to $750 or more per zone, depending on how many plants need to be watered and the amount of pressure available at the site. These require less labor and materials, hence the lower price.

The amount of upgrades you add to the system will also affect the cost. These include flow sensors, rain/freeze sensors, soil moisture sensors, weather stations and ET systems. The upgrade costs vary greatly, but some are relatively inexpensive and can save you money long term.  We highly recommend the rain/freeze sensors and remote access clocks where possible.


Adding It Up

An irrigation system is an investment that can save you money and water on your commercial property.  It is also the best way to maintain the large amount of money you’ve invested in your landscape.  The plants, trees and flowers will last longer, be healthier and more attractive on your property.

While you will have an upfront cost for installation — which will vary depending on your site — the system can pay for itself overtime with these savings.

Talk with a commercial landscape company, like Native Land Design, to see exactly how much an irrigation system would cost to install on your project — and how quickly you could make back that expense.

Native Land Design’s irrigation and water management professionals are well versed in the industry’s most advanced irrigation technologies. We can help maintain the beauty of your site sustainably, while also reducing utility costs, reducing water and wastewater usage.

Contact Native Land Design today!

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Image Credit: Ewing

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Ben Collinsworth


Before Ben founded Native Land Design in 2001, he earned a Bachelor's degree in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture from Texas A&M University. He’s an active member of ASLA, HBA of Austin, NHBA, PLANET, and BOMA. Ben, his wife and their three children reside in the Cedar Park area.

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