How Much Does an Irrigation System Cost? – Garden Tips 2024

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You want to have a gorgeous, lush swath of green grass in your yard. Unfortunately, maintaining this requires frequent watering, which can become quite tiring to do. In order to cut down on your tasks, installing an irrigation system might be the way to go.

How much does an irrigation system cost: Homeowners may be wary about putting money into an irrigation system but after it is in, you’ll be amazed at how much time you save. You can also save money in the long run as you will use less water and don’t have to water at peak hours of the day, which costs more in water meter charges. There are different systems, including drip, sprinkler, and surface irrigation, so install the right setup that works for your garden or lawn.

Types of Home Irrigation System

Before we get into the actual costs of an irrigation system, let’s first cover the different types available. You may only need one system, depending on what kind of garden you have, or you may need multiple setups.

Sprinkler Irrigation

A sprinkler irrigation system can have a lot of moving parts and while you can certainly try to set it up yourself, you may find yourself needing the help of an expert. This is because there is a lot of planning, digging, and plumbing involved.

With a sprinkler irrigation system, you will need to map out where you want the sprinkler heads to be and then dig small but deep trenches to lay your pipes. Most people choose to place the sprinkler heads in the corners of their yards but if you have a very large area, then you may want to add a few more along the sides for full coverage.

Sprinkler irrigation is almost always used for grass and not for plants. This is because a lot of extra water on the surface of plant leaves can lead to mildew or rot.

Another part of your sprinkler irrigation system is connecting it to a central water source. You will then want to set up a timer system so that you can automatically program your sprinklers to go on at certain times.

A major benefit of having a sprinkler irrigation system is that you can program it to come on in the middle of the night. This is better for your grass as it will keep the water cool and thus absorb more slowly. It is also a time when you don’t have to pay for peak water usage rates.


As with everything, there are a lot of factors that determine the cost of a sprinkler irrigation system. How much you do yourself and whether you have to hire an expert will result in very different prices.

Overall, you can expect to pay between $1000 to $4000 for your sprinkler irrigation system, depending on how elaborate the setup is.

Drip Irrigation

For those that have a large garden area, whether it is full of plants or vegetables, a drip irrigation system is a must-have. You can connect large amounts of tubing so that the entire area is covered.

The tubing is all connected to a central outdoor tap and once you turn this on, water flows through the tubing and comes out through small holes that are lined up near your plants.

Drip irrigation is relatively easy to set up and you can find all the supplies you need at your local home improvement store. Another benefit is that you can easily make the system as long or short as you need.


When it comes to a drip irrigation system, the cost is directly tied to the length of your tubing. The more tubing you need, the more it will cost you.

Overall, you can expect to pay between $200 and $300 for a drip irrigation system. This includes the tubing, any connectors, and any emitters or sprayers.

Blended Irrigation

Expert gardeners will at some point realize they need a blended irrigation system. This is where you have one central water source but it is hooked up to both sprinkler irrigation and a drip irrigation system.

You then have one control panel to set up different timers and zones.


Because of its complexity, a blended irrigation system will be the most expensive option. You can expect to pay anywhere between $1000  and $4000 for the system.

Surface Irrigation

While incredibly common around the world, surface irrigation is mainly used for the growth of crops and not for backyard gardens. It requires a special setup of the land and is only useful when you need to water a lot of things at once.

With surface irrigation, a central tube is laid down the side of your growing area. Then, at specific areas, namely between the rows of crops, water comes out of the main tube via small holes.

This water then flows down the rows of crops thanks to a combination of water pressure and gravity. Eventually, the water makes its way down to the end of the crops.


Thanks to the simplicity of a surface irrigation system, the cost is relatively small. However, it will increase greatly depending on how many areas you need to cover.

A surface irrigation setup can start as low as $50 but increase as you require more tubing.

Does an irrigation system add value to YOur home?

Any time you have a system that requires less physical work from a homeowner, you do add value. The newer the system, the more you will get in value. This means, unfortunately, that if you have an older irrigation system that is starting to break down, there won’t be much value in it to new home buyers.

Is an irrigation system worth the cost?

An irrigation system can save you on many fronts. The most obvious is time as you no longer have to go out and hand water parts of your garden or lawn.

Furthermore, an irrigation system can save water as it is a more efficient method. Finally, it can save you money if you water at night because then you can avoid peak hour water metering charges.


Although there is an initial cost with any irrigation system, once you set one up you will be glad you did. Find the right system that works for your garden and maximize your energy output.

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