How Much Does a Sprinkler System Cost in 2024?

Homeowners pay an average of about $0.60 per square foot for an installed underground sprinkler system, and the total cost comes out to around $3,270 on average.

Sprinkler systems provide convenience and efficiency for homeowners who want to simplify their lawn care. But at what cost? Homeowners pay an average of about $0.60 per square foot for an installed sprinkler system, and the total cost comes out to around $3,270 on average.

If you think your job is a little smaller or larger than average, plan to budget anywhere from $2,200 to $4,600. Sprinklers for the smallest yards may cost as little as $1,130, while larger properties may require systems that cost over $12,000. Find out if the convenience is worth the cost in this guide.

water coming out of a sprinkler system in a lawn
Photo Credit: ptxgarfield / Canva Pro / License

Average Sprinkler System Costs in 2024

National average cost$3,270
Typical price range$2,200 to $4,600
Extreme low end$1,130
Extreme high end$12,600

Installing sprinklers on an average-sized lawn costs $2,200 to $4,600. You’ll pay as low as $1,130 for a small yard of about 2,000 square feet, while large properties of 1 acre or more can easily reach $12,600. 

The size of your lawn and the quality of the sprinkler components will be your major pricing determinants. To get a better deal and save some money:

  • Get several quotes from lawn care companies
  • Pay extra attention to parts pricing, which can vary for the same quality level
  • Consider a DIY installation if it’s a small area
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Sprinkler System Cost Estimator By Lawn Size

The size of your yard (or the area you want to be watered) is a major pricing factor. The average U.S. lawn size is about a quarter of an acre, or 10,890 square feet. 

Most sprinkler systems cost between $0.20 and $1 per square foot. The price per square foot is higher for smaller lawns and decreases for larger projects. 

Here’s how much you might spend on a new sprinkler system based on your lawn size.

Yard SizeTypical Cost 
⅛ acre$1,380 – $3,000
¼ acre$2,200 – $4,700
½ acre$4,100 – $7,800
1 acre$7,200 – $12,600

As you can see, if your yard is on the smaller side, that’s a huge cost-saving advantage. But, on the other hand, if you have a larger area to maintain, plan to pay quite a bit more to have an in-ground sprinkler system installed. 

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Other Factors That Affect Cost

Sprinkler system installation costs are influenced by various factors. Here are a few that may affect your bottom line:

Sprinkler Zones

Do you need to water several different areas in your lawn? You’ll need more sprinkler zones with different watering settings. They come with additional costs of $550 to $1,000 per zone

Who needs additional sprinkler zones? You’ll want to consider additional zones if you have flower beds, bush beds, or garden areas with different watering needs (amount and schedule). The typical number of zones for an average-sized yard is three to five. 

Sprinkler System Type

Sprinkler system costs are also affected by the type of sprinkler system. Here are some common types of sprinklers:

  • In-ground sprinklers have pipes and tubes buried underground in trenches. They are great for large yards but expensive to install. Pop-up models rise from underground when activated and retract when the watering cycle is completed. Expect to pay about $2,600 – $4,970 for an in-ground sprinkler system.
  • Above-ground sprinkler systems have tubes and piping above the surface and are much more affordable than in-ground systems. Installing an above-ground sprinkler system costs, on average, $1,800 to $2,000.
  • Stationary sprinklers cost $2 to $15 per piece and are an affordable option for small areas. Water jets out holes in the head of each sprinkler. How far the water sprays depends on the positioning of the holes and the water pressure. 
  • Misting sprinklers are moderately priced and the best type of sprinkler heads for delicate parts of the yard, such as flower beds. You can buy misting sprinklers at $4 to $20 per piece.
  • Rotary spray nozzles spin in a circle, with a slow water flow coming out of its three arms. They work great for lawns, bushes, trees, and flower beds because you can adjust the water flow. They cost $5 to $20 per piece, but also cover a larger area than stationary sprinklers, so you’ll need to buy fewer spray heads.

You may want added features or modifications, such as:

  • Drip irrigation systems are engineered to go straight to the base of the plant so its roots get a larger amount of water. They are typically placed in gardens and flower beds. Installing drip irrigation costs $310 to $815 for the average garden. 
  • Automatic sprinkler systems are super convenient, especially systems with smart controllers. They manage the system without your intervention, save water, money, and time, but also will increase the initial cost of installation. Depending on the model, a controller can add $35 to $310 to a standard sprinkler system price.
  • Rainwater collection systems are a great way to deal with water restrictions. They cost, on average, $735 and $3,700 to install, or you can start with a basic rain barrel for $120 to $160. Before collecting water, check for rainwater harvesting restrictions or incentives in your state.


If you decide on an in-ground system, the sprinkler installation company will have to dig trenches for the pipes and tubes. Soil type influences the cost of digging trenches. The easier it is to dig the trenches, the lower the price tag. Expect labor to cost more if your yard has rocky or dense soil. 

The average cost to dig trenches for a sprinkler system – 6 to 12 inches deep – ranges from $4.25 to $12 per linear foot. 


Maintenance is not an installation cost, but it is something to consider before you decide to take the plunge and install a sprinkler system. Homeowners typically have their installation company come to winterize and activate their sprinkler system in the fall and early spring. 

Many companies offer an annual maintenance contract, which may result in savings on maintenance fees and even include a mid-summer check-up to ensure everything is running well during peak use. The average cost to winterize your sprinkler system ranges between $60 and $120.

Many companies that install irrigation systems also do other types of landscaping work. You could save on landscaping or outdoor home maintenance services by bundling them with the same company that installs your sprinklers. 

Sprinkler Repair

The average cost of sprinkler system repairs ranges between $130 and $360. This price range covers problems like replacing leaking valves or faulty spray heads and repairing electrical wiring. Repair costs vary with the type of sprinkler system and the extent of the repairs.

Driveway Pressure Washing

Companies charge per hour, per job, or per square foot to pressure wash your driveway. The average cost is $50 to $145 per hour or about $0.30 to $0.50 per square foot. The cost to buy a pressure washer is about $245 on average.

Landscape Beds

If you are going to have a sprinkler system to keep your ornamentals regularly watered, why not add a few new landscape beds with plants and mulch while you’re at it? The average landscaping cost ranges from $5 to $24 per square foot.

Landscape Architect

It’s a good moment to consider what other improvements you’d like for your outdoor space. A landscape architect can help you upgrade your garden’s design and functionality and fix any drainage problems. Hiring a landscape architect ranges from $65 to $200 per hour.

Lawn Care

Installing a sprinkler system to water the grass correctly is only one part of growing dense, lush turf. Other lawn care tasks like mowing, aeration, and fertilization also impact the health of your grass. Here’s how much you can expect to pay if you decide to hire a professional for your lawn care routine:

Lawn Care ServiceAverage Cost
Mowing$35 – $100
Aeration$82 – $251
Dethatching$145 – $247
Fertilization$120 – $480
Pest control$55 – $170

Bush Trimming

If your bushes are scraggly or overgrown, you may have your landscapers trim them while they’re onsite. When the cost of bush trimming is priced per bush, you can expect to pay $6 to $15 per bush (depending on the size). If your landscaper charges per hour, $50 to $75 is the average range.

Gutter Cleaning

Gutter cleaning typically costs $105 to $375, and it should be done at least twice a year to prevent clogged gutters, which can flood your landscape or rot your home’s interior structure. 

While it may seem like a relatively easy chore, there are dangers to cleaning your own gutters. We recommend hiring a professional gutter cleaning company, but if you don’t want to hire someone, at least research how to clean gutters before doing it yourself. 

Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost

Installing an underground sprinkler system from scratch is labor-intensive. If you’re a novice, most experts recommend leaving this job to the professionals. But if you have enough DIY project experience, you can certainly attempt to plan and install your sprinkler system yourself and save money. 

According to one expert, the DIY cost is around $1,500. Assuming that most homeowners will leave underground sprinkler installation to the professionals, here we’ll discuss how to install a simple above-ground irrigation system, which can be used in flower beds, raised gardens, and other planting areas.

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DIY Sprinkler Kits

The easiest way to go is to buy a kit. These range from about $15 to $50 for a small patio or $100 to $250 for kits with above-ground sprinkler heads to water lawn zones of $1,000 to 3,000 square feet. All components are included in the kit. Common components include:

  • ½ inch drip tubing
  • ¼ inch PVC tubing
  • Timer
  • Hose connector
  • Faucet connector
  • Filter
  • PSI regulator
  • Backflow valve
  • Couplers 
  • Tubing tees
  • Teflon tape
  • Micro sprinkler heads
  • Stakes

How to Install a DIY Sprinkler System in 6 Steps

Below is a step-by-step guide to installing a simple above-ground irrigation system with a kit. You can buy kits with above-ground sprinkler heads or even simpler drip hose kits with micro-sprinklers.

Step 1: Draw a map of your garden (or take a photo). Draw where the lines, stakes, and micro sprayers will go (or use a photo editing tool). 

Step 2: Lay out your drip hose and install your stakes and above-ground sprinkler heads if you have them.

Step 3: Connect the timer (if using one) to the water supply.

Step 4: If you are using a backflow preventer, PSI regulator, or hose adaptor, connect these to the timer.

Step 5: Connect the drip hose. 

Step 6: Turn on the timer.

Cost of a Sprinkler System By Location

The cost of a sprinkler system can vary according to these local factors:

  • Permits: If you are tapping into a municipal water source, you will most likely need a permit. Your installation crew should take care of this for you, but don’t be surprised when you see this item on your bill. Permits typically cost between $45 and $200 but vary by location.
  • HOA restrictions: Your HOA may have rules about installing sprinklers in your yard. In addition, some HOAs enforce watering restrictions, and some require that your plans and permits be approved before you start work on the project. Remember to check with them first, or you may be subject to an unwelcome fine.
  • Water bills: Sprinkler systems with timers and sensors help reduce water usage. But, if you only counted on rain to water your lawn, you may notice an increase in your water bill after installing sprinklers. Water prices vary by location.
  • Labor costs: The higher the cost of living, the higher the labor costs. If you live in an expensive area, expect to pay more for a professional installation. Labor costs range from $50 to $100 per hour and can add up to $110 to $1,600 for the average-sized project.

FAQ About Sprinklers

1. When is the Best Time to Winterize and Activate My Sprinkler System?

Plan to winterize your lawn sprinkler system when the grass goes dormant or when temperatures start to dip between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Plan to activate your system in the spring when temps are no longer in danger of dropping below freezing. 

2. Can Alexa Help Me Water My Lawn?

Absolutely. There are several smartphone and smart home-compatible sprinkler controller systems. Do a little research to find which one you want before hiring your pro.

3. What are Some Tips for Choosing a Sprinkler System Contractor?

Here are a few things to ask potential installers:

  • How long have you been in business? (Aim for a company with at least five years of experience.)
  • Do you have licensing and insurance? (Always a good question to gauge professionalism and keep yourself free from liability.)
  • Do you require money upfront? (The answer should always be no.)
  • How long will it take to install the system, and do you seed or sod over the trenching? (Most installations take one to two days, and most companies include re-seeding or laying sod strips in their total cost.)
  • Have you worked with HOAs before? (This only applies if you live in an HOA community.)
  • Which systems or brands do you use? How long is their lifespan? Are they commercial or residential grade, and do they come with a manufacturer’s warranty?
  • Will you take care of any necessary permits? What costs or fees should I expect besides parts and labor?

Get Your Lawn a Sprinkler System Today!

Sprinkler systems are not an obvious home improvement choice to increase curb appeal, but they can do magic. A professionally installed sprinkler system helps your yard put on a green, lush, healthy look in no time and is an attractive feature for home buyers. 

Use the LawnStarter website or app and find the best lawn care professional in your area to install the sprinkler system you need. Your free quote is just a click away!

Note: LawnStarter may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.

Main Photo Credit: Ivan Radic / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Sarah Bahr

Sarah Bahr

Sarah is a writer who has previously worked in the lawn care industry. In her spare time, she likes to garden, raise chickens, and mow the grass with her battery-powered lawn mower.