June 6, 2016

Installing a permanent irrigation system adds value to your home and beauty to your landscape. Depending on the shape, size and location of your yard, your sprinkler system design and layout will require careful consideration and a unique eye.

Water SprinklerPhysical Boundaries and Permanent Structures
The location of property lines and placement of trenches for your irrigation system water lines is critical. If fence structures or other physical barriers are currently in place, trenching placement will be in accordance with the fence line. If a fence is planned for the future, the trenches must be placed accordingly.

Permanent structure placement and future design plans of your Ann Arbor MI landscape must also be taken into consideration as possible. In addition to your home, garage and fences, any stone patios, storage buildings, or pool placement must be considered in the layout and design of your watering system. These collaborative design decisions will save you a lot of water over time.

Items to consider in the design your sprinkler system include
1) controller location
2) rain sensor placement
3) spray head placement
4) fixed vs rotor spray head concerns

Rotors vs. Spray Heads
Rotors function best over distances. Rotors are designed to produce a designated sweep of water, and produce a “chattering” sound as they turn back and forth, spouting water across the landscape. They generally have a radius between fifteen and thirty-five feet, depending on the amount of water pressure in your system. Because rotors can cover longer distances, placing these will require less trenching but cost more per placement due to the price of the rotor mechanism. It is important to note that rotors may not function efficiently if water pressure in your area is low. A qualified landscape designer can help you determine any limitations to a rotor system.

Automatic sprinklers watering grassSpray heads are fixed in the landscape and produce a steady spray of water in one area, covering one circle of the landscape from their position. Depending on the size of the area to be watered, these may well be the most efficient option.

While many property owners prefer rotor heads to spray heads because there is less water lost to evaporation, unless your yard is large enough to offer an efficient use of the range offered by a rotor system, you may wind up watering fences, outbuildings, sidewalks and patios. Over time, excess water on these permanent structures can cause discoloration and damage. Ultimately, your sprinkler system needs to provide your landscape efficient, consistent water. If your landscape features curves, such as permanent paths or patio edges, a rotor system will be less efficient than a fixed spray head. Should your landscape contain long, narrow areas to be watered, there are sprinkler heads design to fan water over these stretches as well.

Your Ann Arbor MI landscape deserves the best professional treatment as you set out to enjoy the bounty and beauty of a Michigan summer. Contact a qualified professional landscape designer for expert advice in determining your needs.