Building a New Home: Prepare Your Irrigation Infrastructure
Are you building a new home? There are seven critical things you should organise before the concrete is poured or before pavers are down around your new home or renovation.
It has been said, “prior preparation prevents poor performance”—also known as the 5 Ps.
This is certainly the case when navigating the new home build or adding an extension to your existing home, because once the concrete has been poured, it’s game over for the irrigation technician and your automated irrigation system.
From my years of experience, below are the critical issues you should plan for when your building is nearly finished, prior to hard spaces concrete or paving surround your dwelling.
Irrigation Infrastructure Preparation
- Start by drawing a plan of your lawn and garden (remember, fail to plan and plan to fail). This plan should include all lawn areas, gardens, water points and conduits you are fitting under your proposed hard spaces. This can be completed as you go through your preparation and will help anyone who is involved in any future work.
- A weatherproof power point on an outside wall to support your irrigation controller, located close to your meter box is generally the easiest and most cost-efficient way to go. Your irrigation controller should never be fitted inside the meter box. If you’re planning on installing low voltage garden lighting, a multiple power point may be a better option.
- Fit controller cable in a plastic conduit from controller location to front and rear garden to support solenoid valvebox locations, and garden lighting if required in a separate conduit to areas of proposed lighting. Make sure you leave a few metres of cable at either end of the conduit for the final fit, and tape the end and wrap the cable to protect it.
- Mains pressure water lines will be required to service front and rear solenoid valve box assemblies. Taking water from the house tap is normally a bad idea, due to the restricted pipe size, and with new homes pressure is usually reduced. With a new home the best option is to install a designated water line from the water meter down the side of the house branching off to the solenoid valve locations.
- Water to each area of the garden and lawn areas is achieved by installing conduit from the solenoid valve box location to every place to be irrigated that will be surrounded by hard space. For instance, concrete path, gravelled or paved area. It is always better to have a bigger pipe than one that is too small. I would normally use 40mm SWV pipe and bury it deeper than the bottom of the concrete to avoid it being cut off—should the concrete need to be trimmed.
- To locate all of your cables and conduit points after concreting has been completed, cut some short hardwood stakes with high viz tape or paint on the end of them and bang them in flush to the ground at the end of the conduit.
- A last-minute check is not a bad idea when the concreter has prepared for his pour to ensure all your work is still intact, and all the above is providing what you will need.
Well Prepared = Peace of Mind
Once you have this infrastructure in place you can take your time and build your irrigation system in stages—as you complete you landscape works.
Prior preparation prevents poor performance and provides peace of mind.
Still not sure? Give me a call, or seek a professional that has understanding in this area.