The average cost of a sprinkler system is $225 — however, this price can vary widely. A typical cost range for homeowners is between $90 and $800, but higher-end sprinkler and irrigation systems can cost $1,320 to $5,650.
Cost to install a sprinkler system:
National average cost
Average cost range
High-end cost range
Do you have broken sprinkler heads or valves and want to replace your entire system? Or, are you installing sprinklers for the first time? Either way, get a quick and accurate estimate for your lawn, by searching for sprinkler installers in your area on Thumbtack and ask for a cost estimate.
What’s in this cost guide?
One of the most important factors in your sprinkler or irrigation system's cost is how the professional set their prices for installation services. Some sprinkler companies may charge a flat rate based on lawn size and materials needed, among other factors. Other professionals may charge by the hour to install an irrigation system.
Average hourly rate
Low-end hourly rate
High-end hourly rate
Both fixed and hourly rates have their pros and cons. A flat rate is better for budgeting, but it carries the potential for overspending. An hourly installation charge can go above or below the estimate, depending on the circumstances.
If you desire a lush, green lawn, it needs some form of irrigation. An underground (or in-ground) sprinkler system is an excellent option. It costs approximately $2,500 and $3,500 for a one-quarter acre lot, or $1,000 to $1,400 for a two-zone system.
An underground sprinkler system is an efficient way to water your lawn. Sprinkler heads sit flush with the soil and rise to spray water over flower beds, lawn and other areas in need of irrigation. An underground system can consist of several different zones for different areas of your property. With an in-ground sprinkler system, you can also automate your watering schedule.
Automatic irrigation sprinkler systems cost $2,000 to $3,000 and can save you time — you don’t have to remember to turn the hose on or move the sprinklers around. You can have them turn on at the best time of day. This makes watering your lawn and landscaping a simple task. For example, you can set your automatic sprinkler system to water the lawn during the early morning, so the water soaks into the ground before the sun has a chance to evaporate it away.
In addition to the type of sprinkler system you choose, here are some other cost factors to consider:
Your installation costs will increase with the size of the area that needs watering. However, the price of a sprinkler system per square foot (or per acre) may decrease with larger lawns. But this depends on the company or contractor doing the installation work.
Lawn shape and slope
Irregularities in your lawn may require more installation time. And more installation time equals more money. If your lawn is irregularly shaped or aggressively sloped, installation costs can increase.
Number of zones and sprinkler heads
More zones and sprinkler heads mean more PVC pipe, an additional valve or other components and more time spent on installation. This will lead to a higher cost.
Installing a sprinkler system in your area could require a permit, which costs additional money.
Installing a brand new system cost thousands of dollars, but replacing parts (sprinkler heads, valves, pipes, etc.) may be more expensive in the long run if the whole system needs to be replaced anyway. Ask your sprinkler professional what the best course of action is, and research sprinkler repair costs to find out how much a new valve or sprinkler head may cost you.
Related content: How to repair your sprinkler system.
Here are some ways homeowners can save money when choosing a sprinkler system:
- Shop around. Different professionals may give you different prices. Consult several professionals to get a feel for pricing.
- Ask for free estimates. Don’t be afraid to ask for free cost estimates — many professionals are willing to oblige.
- Install in the off-season. Spring and summer are peak times for installation. You may be able to get off-season rates if you install in the fall or winter, weather permitting.
Here are some of the reasons why installing a sprinkler system is worth the cost:
- Saved time. Automatic, in-ground or drip installations save you time spent lugging hoses and sprinklers from place to place.
- Better targeting. Water is targeted at the spots that need it. This prevents waste and helps plants grow.
- Clean lawn and yard. No more hoses and portable sprinklers cluttering the yard anymore — you’ll have a sleek system that hides from view when it’s done working.
- More flexibility. Because your lawn care is mostly automated, you have more time to do other things than take care of your lawn.
Start your search for a sprinkler installation professional by reading customer reviews online and paying extra attention to customer-uploaded photos of completed jobs. Contact several different professionals who look promising, and ask them questions. For example, you can ask:
- What is your availability?
- How do you charge (hourly/flat rate)?
- Can I get a free cost estimate?
- Are you licensed to install irrigation systems?
- Do you belong to a professional association?
Let the professional know your yard’s shape and condition, its square footage and any details on your existing system.
Your state may require a license to install irrigation systems, according to the Irrigation Association. Check to see if you live in one of them, and be sure whoever you hire is complying with local regulations.
Imagine green grass, vibrant flowers, and rich soil — all without you ever having to reel out your hose. Put your landscaping in good hands by hiring a reputable professional. Turn to Thumbtack to get free estimates from sprinkler companies near you.
Can you install a sprinkler system yourself?
Yes, you can install a sprinkler system yourself if you have the right tools and skills. However, it’s not an easy DIY project and is often best left to the pros.
How do I know if my sprinkler line is leaking?
Here are some tell-tale signs of a leak:
- A drop in water pressure
- Mold or fungus growth
- A spike in your water bill
- Holes or bubbling in the yard
- Signs of animals burrowing
If you suspect your sprinkler is broken, contact repair professionals near you.
How often should lawn sprinkler heads be replaced?
Lawn sprinkler heads should last 10 to 14 years. But you should replace them whenever they break.
How much does a fire sprinkler system cost?
Installing a fire sprinkler system in a home costs $1.35 per square foot, according to the National Fire Sprinkler Association. If you want to install these types of sprinklers, contact fire sprinkler professionals near you and ask for free cost estimates.
- Popular Mechanics
- This Old House
- The Spruce
- United States Department of Agriculture