Installing a sprinkler system can be a daunting task, especially if you have never done it before. However, DIY projects are becoming increasingly popular, probably because it's usually quite a bit cheaper to do it yourself, rather than hiring a contractor. But before you run out and start digging trenches and laying pipe, it would be a good idea to look over these points and decide if installation is a project you can tackle.
Before jumping in, take a look at your yard, and consider the following questions:
How large is your yard (front and back combined)?
How many obstacles (trees, pool, garage, driveway, deck, etc.) are in the yard? You need to remember that your speinkler system has to go around these obstacles. This can as much as double the time it takes to install.
What kind of watering coverage do you want? This can depend on what types of plants you have. For a lawn, you will want very uniform coverage, to prevent brown spots. If you are planning for a flower bed with only a few shrubs here and there, your coverage doesn't need to be as even.
If you want the least number of heads possible, rotor sprinkler heads are probably the best option. If you want uniform coverage, spray heads are probably the best option.
A few things to remember:
If you are the type of person who loves starting projects, but sometimes struggles to complete them, this might not be the route for you.
Once you start installing, it's important to do it right the first time. Cutting corners will cost you a lot of time, money, and headaches down the road, and you will probably end up hiring a contractor anyway, to come out and fix your system.
It's not as bad as it sounds. If you're willing to do a little homework, and get your hands dirty (literally), installing an irrigation system yourself is very doable. We even have free design service, provided by Toro and RainBird.
If you are still a little nervous about planning your system, you can always consult with a professional for a small fee, and have them advise you on what products they recommend, design/placement, and best practices for installing. This is still less expensive than hiring a contractor to do the whole thing, and it reduces the amount of homework you have to do.
Now that you've read over some of the things you need to consider, you should have a pretty good idea of whether or not this is the project for you.