How Much Does It Really Cost to Install a Sprinkler System?

It would be cool if buying a sprinkler system was like buying shoes, a phone or a pizza, with the price tag right in front of you.

That’ll be $7,346.15. Or $6,234.87.

If you’re lucky, buy one get one free! Which neighbor is your favorite?

But lawn sprinkler costs don’t work that way.

Ask “How much does a lawn irrigation system cost” and you’ll get a big “It depends.”

It depends on what?

Let’s take a look.

Lawn Sprinkler Costs: Starting From Scratch 

The cost to install a new sprinkler system from scratch ranges from $4,500 to $10,000 for a typical residential property.


Why the big spread? Lots of reasons. 

How Big is Your Yard? 

A larger property will require more components, from valves to sprinkler heads to lines. The more zones you need to adequately water the entire space, the greater the cost for materials and labor.

But even a small yard’s irrigation has more going on out there than you might think.

Small yards often need lots of smaller sprinkler heads to efficiently reach every inch of your yard without wasting water by over spraying. More heads, more money.

How Tricky is Your Terrain? 

Not every yard is a dream property for irrigation system installers, and some challenging situations can create more labor, adding to your lawn sprinkler cost.

Rocky soil? That can potentially cause damage to machinery, so these areas may require more labor-intensive hand digging.

Lots of tree roots? Ugh. That poses a challenge for laying the irrigation lines.

How Much Does it Cost to Winterize an Irrigation System

Slopes? You’re not making this easy. A sloping ground requires different levels of water flow and pressure to eliminate pooling or flooding.

Well water at your house? That can contain minerals that clog sprinkler valves, requiring the addition of a filtration system. With wells, we often have to dig down to connect to the well, which can take additional time and expense.

You get the idea. Tricky situations out there can boost sprinkler system costs.

The Cost for Skilled Irrigation Design

Included in the cost to install a sprinkler system is the skilled design it takes to get everything just right.

It’s not exactly magic. A lot of thought goes into a skillfully installed irrigation system — including what type of sprinkler heads to use and where to place them.

Poor design can waste a ton of water, spraying streets, driveways, and the side of your house.

Why Waste Water? Read our Guide to Smart Irrigation

Here’s a great example: that skinny 20-inch mow strip next to the street. No sprinkler heads are designed for such a tight space. They would overspray, wasting water. So, we bury a soaker hose underground. It delivers the exact amount of water needed with no waste. Bonus: cars parked along the curb don’t get sprayed with excess water.

Smart irrigation design matters. 

Sprinkler System Cost to Replace an Existing System

Sometimes you don’t need to start from scratch. Maybe you have a sprinkler system, but it’s outdated.

Newer systems are much more efficient, with better water conservation and cool convenient features.

lawn sprinkler head in a planting bed

If your lawn sprinkler system is a few years old, you might want to hear about some smart upgrades.

Sprinkler system upgrades will make sure your lawn only gets water when it’s needed, monitor how much water you’re using, and reduce waste. They can save you a bunch of money.

What's available? All kinds of cool stuff:

  • More efficient sprinkler heads use much less water and water pressure than the outdated sprinkler heads your system might be using.
  • Weather stations detect moisture, wind and temperature to keep your lawn sprinkler system from running in the rain, high wind or freezing temperatures. This is a popular upgrade for irrigation system installation in Idaho Falls, where we can have pretty crazy shifts in weather conditions.
  • Your irrigation controller is the brains of the whole operation, so shouldn’t it be as smart as possible? Set up, monitor and adjust your sprinkler system from anywhere, anytime once you have a smart system. Program customized zones, adding your yard’s exact sun exposure, plants and soil type. Give your Idaho Falls irrigation service remote access, so they can fix some irrigation problems from their office. You’ll love it.

The cost to replace an existing sprinkler system, including updated  heads, valves, and a new WiFi controller ranges from $3,500 to $7,500.

Sure, you’re shelling out some bucks to upgrade your sprinkler system, but you’ll get your money back, and probably more over time with the resulting water savings. 

Just Need a New Controller? How Much for this Sprinkler System Cost?

If you’ve been paying attention here, you just read how great upgrading to a smart irrigation controller can be. Need more proof? 

  • It keeps you posted. Handy notifications alert you when your sprinkler system turns on, or if it skipped watering that morning because it rained.
  • Your smart irrigation system calculates watering cycles to deliver just the right amount of water.
  • Smart irrigation systems also tell us when something goes wrong. If a part breaks or a zone doesn't start up, we receive a notification. Then, our irrigation techs can jump right on it — before your landscape dries out.

The price for all this magic? Plan to spend $650 to $1,250 to upgrade the controller on an existing system, including labor and programming to get you all set up and ready to relax.

Another Zone, Please 

Your hard-working sprinkler heads are arranged in sections called zones, set up with perfect spacing so that every part of your landscaping gets the perfect amount of water, with no wasted overspray. Most irrigation systems have 6-9 zones.


But you might need to add a zone or two along the way, if your landscaping changes.

What’s this lawn sprinkler cost? Plan to spend between $1500 and $2000.

Ready for a Lawn Irrigation Boost? Trust Outback

Whether you just need to add a cool new controller or it’s time to install a whole new irrigation system from scratch, Outback has you covered, with expert irrigation and landscaping services in Boise and Idaho Falls, ID.

We’ll assess your property and discover the best spray heads, controllers and components to meet your landscape’s needs.

We’ll stay on top of your irrigation maintenance, too.

Irrigation audits and tune-ups at least once a year ensure your sprinkler system is working properly so you can keep your property looking its best all year long.

During this tune-up, we'll adjust run times, look for opportunities to upgrade with new parts and inspect and adjust heads to make sure everything is in tip-top shape.

We’d love to hear from you.

Located in Idaho Falls, Idaho, we serve residential and commercial properties in Idaho Falls, Rexburg and Pocatello, Idaho, as well as Bonneville, Madison and Bannock counties. Call us at 208-656-3220, or fill out the form here to schedule an onsite consultation.

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