When planning a complete outdoor renovation, including new hardscape, fresh sod, new plantings, and an advanced underground irrigation system, determining the order in which these projects should be tackled is a must. Avoid delays, inconvenience, and possible property damage by following these simple steps.
Rule #1: Irrigation Installation First
With some exceptions, a new sprinkler system must be installed before any other projects are undertaken.
Installing a new sprinkler system involves extensive turf cutting, digging trenches for irrigation piping, and boring holes for valve boxes. If an irrigation system is installed late in the landscape process, remember, fresh sod is fragile and will struggle to survive the sprinkler system installation process.
New sod requires significant and consistent watering to develop strong and robust root systems. Having a sprinkler system in place and “ready to rain” before sod is laid saves time and manual watering work, as the need for hand-watering by hose is eliminated.
An irrigation system should also be installed before any new plantings are in place. Shrubs, ground-cover, perennials, annuals, ornamental grasses, and small trees are obviously living things – plants that are easily and heavily stressed through the process of moving and planting. Further digging for a sprinkler system after planting can enhance their fragility and even cause disease or die-off.
But There Are Exceptions
Every rule has exceptions, and major hardscape renovations and large tree installations are those exceptions. Major hardscape installations run the risk of damaging underground irrigation systems because of the depth needs of retaining walls or other elevation changes necessary with a comprehensive hardscape install.
Likewise, large trees may require installers to perform broad excavations to place and plant tree roots properly, presenting more risk damage to irrigation systems.
Work With The Experts!
When planning a major outdoor renovation, ensure success and satisfaction by working with a team of experts who efficiently coordinate and implement every step of the installation process. Heinen’s landscape and irrigation teams have been designing and installing new landscapes, hardscapes, and irrigation systems for over 35 years. Working closely with homeowners, the Heinen team has effectively planned, coordinated, and installed hundreds of outdoor renovation projects for thousands of happy homeowners. The result has been the peace of mind of projects well planned and the pleasure of beautiful results afterward.