Planning for an Irrigation System

April 27, 2021 (Reston, Virginia)

A well-designed and thoughtfully programmed irrigation system can save time, facilitate more attractive and healthier lawns and gardens, and use less water than a non-programmable sprinkler or manual watering. Many homeowners are inclined to install a system right away when they move into a new home—but it’s often smarter to wait.

It makes sense to get a new lawn off to a healthy start, but it’s important to first think through what other features and landscaping you want to incorporate into your lot before pulling the trigger. For many families, it’s helpful to live in a new home for a few months to grow familiar with their site, then choose outdoor features to enhance their home and family life… and many of those features might require costly updates or even replacement of an existing irrigation system.

A garden, shrubs, hedges, or trees all have different water requirements than a lawn… and installing them may require moving and modifying major parts of an irrigation system. Many plants do better with drip irrigation than spraying, meaning you might eventually want two approaches to watering, rather than one. Adding a water feature, walkways, garden shed, walls, fencing, or raised planters can require system adjustments. Installing an outdoor living space, such as a deck, patio, kitchen, or pool, is even more likely to change the irrigation locations and requirements.

Gulick Group recommends that homeowners plan for an eventual irrigation system while the home is under construction. It’s easy and cost effective to run a water line for irrigation before your driveway is paved and to install required electrical in the garage to accommodate a system later.

About Gulick Group, Inc.: Established in 1987, Reston-based Gulick Group has developed communities throughout Fairfax and Loudoun Counties, including One Cameron Place and Newport Shores in Reston, The Reserve in McLean, Autumn Wood, Grovemont, and the three Riverbend Communities in Great Falls, Red Cedar West in Leesburg, and Wild Meadow in Ashburn.