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Lou2221

New Member

1

Sunday, August 8th 2010, 10:35am

Wide Variations Between Four Contractors' Designs

I have received proposals from four reputable sprinkler system contractors in the DFW area. They vary widely in number of zones (6 - 12), and types and numbers of heads (spray 50 - 88, Hunter MP 0 - 88 ).

How can I determine which plan is "right?"

I'm considering trying the Rainbird design service.

hi.todd

Supreme Member

Posts: 415

Location: Houston, Texas

2

Sunday, August 8th 2010, 9:55pm

There is no right answer. Every designer will have a different design based on experience, cost consideration, brand loyalty, and profit margin, and their pain threshold for getting call backs. Try to understand what is their design criteria and do they use software or by hand. How long have they been designing irrigation not just selling it? Is the person you met the licensed irrigator or a sales person?



It is not often you get a design from a contractor with out a commitment. It is hard for a nonsprinkler professional to understand much about the design process anyway. I am sure you have better things to do than learn a new discipline that is not easy for first timers. You just need to check references and see sample designs of other jobs. If you give a contractor the contract you should be able to see the design in advance and approve or veto the plan to make changes.



Good Luck :thumbsup: :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
:thumbup: :thumbsup:

HooKooDooKu

Supreme Member

3

Monday, August 9th 2010, 5:06pm

This reminds me of my recent experience trying to hire an A/C contractor. The 1st contractor will install Carrier, the 2nd will install Goodman, the 3rd will install Trane, etc. Everyone will give you an exact quote (specific dollar amount and even part numbers), but because everyone is different, you can't make an apples-to-apples comparison.

So bottom line, it becomes impossible to see which contractor will do "X" for the least amount of money, because the 1st will do "A", the 2nd "B", etc. And on top of that, the quality of the instilation can be even more important than the equipement used. So in these situations, you have to try to determine which contractor is the "best". That means trying to make a judgement call on which contractor seems the most honest, the most knowledgable (i.e. experienced), and recommended by others.

And bottom line, you can pretty much NEVER make the "right" choise based on price. What I find you generally need is 3 to 5 bid/quotes, toss out the ones that are more than about 20 percent above OR BELOW the average. For those left, ignore the price and use your instincts to hire the one that seems to be the "best".

Lou2221

New Member

4

Monday, August 9th 2010, 6:32pm

All the designers are licensed irrigators, and I felt comfortable that all were competent. All except one who had no file at the BBB had A or better ratings at the BBB. All have been in business 10 years or longer.

The bids are so close that price is not factor.

Two designs were all spray heads and two were a combination of spray and rotators, the latter making more sense to me becasuse of the irregular shape of my backyard because of a curve shaped pool deck. The front yard is rectangular.

One explained that the rotators screwed into spray bodies. Is that acceptable?

Thanks for your input.

hi.todd

Supreme Member

Posts: 415

Location: Houston, Texas

5

Tuesday, August 10th 2010, 11:37am

Yes that is how the MP rotators work. They use less water and are a good head when spaced correctly.



:thumbup: :thumbsup:
:thumbup: :thumbsup:

HooKooDooKu

Supreme Member

6

Tuesday, August 10th 2010, 1:44pm

One explained that the rotators screwed into spray bodies. Is that acceptable?


That't the MP Rotators... they are great because they have a relatively low flow rate (compared to sprays), seem to work reliably (at least mine do) and are sort of fun to watch.

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