For many people revamping their yards, they approach one project at a time. This approach can be great for simple jobs, but can cause problems when the projects are more extensive or potentially impact each other. A great example is installing fencing and a sprinkler system for the same area.
At first glance, it appears easy. Take measurements of your yard, make sure you are within your property's boundaries, plan out your posts and gates, and install your fence according to the manufacturer's directions. But, then you go to install your sprinkler system…and your posts are right where you want to run your pipes! Or you do it in the reverse, where you install your pipes first and then the pipes are too close to where your fence needs to be!
Professional fencing contractors who specialize in both fencing and sprinkler systems know how to address installing both at the same time or planning for a future installation of one or the other. Some of the things that a professional can address include:
- Locating sprinkler pipes too close to the fence. Even if it looks great to put those pipes (and sprinkler heads) right up next to the fence, it is a maintenance nightmare. The last thing you want to be doing is banging up against the cement bases for your fence posts when you have to repair a line. The sprinkler pipes should be a minimum of 18 inches from the actual fence; this also puts the sprinkler heads away from the fence so you don't end up watering your fence and creating ugly water stains.
- Planting grass versus landscape plants next to the fence. Having a nice, green lawn reach all the way to your fence looks great, but it does cause some problems. Experienced fencing and sprinkler experts will allow a 3 feet gap between the fence and the start of the lawn. This gap can be filled in with landscape shrubs, flowers, or other plants.
- Drip irrigation for planting beds near the fence versus sprinkler heads. If you plan out your entire landscape, then you can also install some of the "extras" that make yard maintenance easier. Instead of a sprinkler head in the planters or flower beds, install drip irrigation. This keeps water off of your fence and more efficiently waters your plants.
- Choosing the right wood for your fence. Some woods resist stains more than others. Staining also occurs when the wrong types of nails are used, leading to corrosion that stains your fence boards. Cedar, redwood, or cypress boards are naturally resistant to stains so are a good choice. For nails, you should use aluminum, polymer-coated, or stainless steel.
With a little advance planning, you can approach each of your lawn projects individually, but set yourself up for future success. A professional installation team can map out the right placement for the fence to accommodate a sprinkler system at a later date.