For you to have a healthy landscape, you need a contractor who’s an expert in irrigation system design. The contractor should also be good at installing and maintaining the system.
Many homeowners choose automatic irrigation systems for the following reasons:
- They are convenient.
- They reduce the workload for watering.
- Timing is easy to control, especially if you want to irrigate early in the morning.
- They cover the whole landscape.
- They minimize plant loss during dry seasons.
- They add value to the property of your business or home.
An automatic irrigation system will deliver the right amount of water your lawn needs, and at the right time. It is the responsibility of the contractor to make sure you enjoy all the benefits previously mentioned.
So, before you choose an irrigation contractor, here is what you need to consider:
1. Proof of Workers’ Compensation Insurance and Safety
The law requires irrigation companies to insure their workers. This is to guarantee that, should anything happen in the course of a project, insurance companies will compensate them. If you hire a company without insurance, you’ll be liable for any injuries that occur on your premises.
An accident can happen at any time, even if the project is small. So, you need to have peace of mind while the contractor is on your property. It’s, therefore, advisable that before you hire an irrigation contractor, make sure you see its proof of workers’ compensation insurance.
The law does not obligate single-person companies to have insurance. Therefore, you should stay away from these companies.
Proof of Liability Insurance
All serious contractors must have liability insurance. Liability insurance is important to protect you, your family, the contractor, and any other person who is in your home legally.
It also protects your neighbors’ properties. It is possible that while installing an irrigation system, a person can receive an injury. It is also possible for there to be property damage. So, liability insurance is the only way to guarantee that everyone and everything has coverage. That’s why liability insurance is necessary. Work only with a contractor who has a Certificate of Insurance.
The certificate should show the issue date and the details of the contractor, such as the name and address. It should also indicate the amount it can cover in terms of general liability, and the coverage’s expiration date.
If you are in a region that experiences freezing temperatures, you should ask the contractor about the winterization procedure. Winterization is the process of removing water from an irrigation system.
When water freezes, it turns into ice and expands. This can damage an irrigation system.
The pipes or fittings can burst because of expansion. An expert landscape irrigation contractor should know when to carry out the winterization procedure to prevent this damage. You should know beforehand if there are any extra fees or charges for this procedure.
A contact is a legal document that binds both the contractor and the homeowner and ensures they meet their obligations. A reputable irrigation contractor cannot start working without a contract.
You, as the homeowner, should insist on a contract before the contractor begins any work. The contract stipulates the scope of what the contractor will do, when the project starts, and when it should end. It also outlines payment schedules and areas of responsibility, such as the provision of permits and underground service locations.
A good contract should also have a procedure to change its content. This is important if anything arises during the course of the project. This procedure allows the contractor to add the changes.
A warranty is very important for professional contractors. It is the statement that shows how committed they are to provide quality services. If a system breaks down within the warranty period, then the contracting company will restore it at its own cost.
A warranty should not be vague. It should spell out the warrantied items and the length for which there is coverage. Good irrigation companies offer longer warranties, while unprofessional contractors may not have any warranty at all.
Before you hire any irrigation contractor, ask about the warranty. This way, you can be sure you’ll get high-quality work.
Human and Other Resources
An irrigation company should have the capacity to handle your project. The capacity shows in the number of personnel it can deploy to undertake a project.
If you have a small project, then a small company with a few employees is adequate. However, for large projects, you’ll need a larger company with many employees. Capacity can also refer to the equipment and materials they have and can use.
Find out whether the company has enough tools and equipment to handle your project effectively. Hiring a company with all the necessary equipment will be more cost-effective than hiring a company that lacks some equipment.
Having the right equipment also guarantees the safety of the workers and your family members.
Experience is a very important factor when it comes to choosing a landscape irrigation contractor. Hiring a company with inexperienced employees may lead to shoddy work. Find out whether the company you’ve hired has qualified and experienced employees. You also need to find out whether it has the certification to carry out landscape irrigation.
The company should also be a member of some regional, national, or local association. Association membership shows an organization's commitment to integrity and professionalism.
Find out whether the company has an office (or offices), storage facilities, and administrative personnel, among others. Having these facilities indicates that the company is legitimate. It also shows it can deal with any problem after installation.
Landscape irrigation is very important to keep your property looking attractive. By relying on the above tips, you can get a good irrigation contractor to install and maintain your irrigation system. If you can’t get a contractor on your own, you can seek a referral from your friends or relatives.