The success of your irrigation system depends largely on the contractor you choose to design and install it. A contractor’s expertise and skills will affect your system’s efficiency and reliability. In fact, how your irrigation system is designed and installed will make the difference between a system that continues to keep your lawn healthy and green, and one that creates problems by wasting water and leaving your lawn unhealthy and brown. Choosing the right contractor is a big decision, but it is not as difficult as you may think. Here are a few things to consider that will help you select a contractor who will guarantee a professional installation.
Does the company use only contractor grade materials from manufacturers like Hunter and Rainbird?
How the contractor behaves and appears will be a good indication of how smoothly and professionally your job will go. The visual image the contractor presents should be appropriate. A neat, clean and professional appearance indicates pride and professionalism.
How long have they been in business and can they provide references from satisfied customers from 5-10+ years?
Will the company be capable and willing to perform the necessary after-sales service needed to maintain an irrigation system, tomorrow, 2 years or 10 years from now
Can the company provide written confirmation that a minimum of $2 million in liability insurance is held in order to protect their clients from any unforeseen workplace incidents?
Does the company have proper insurance on their vehicles and equipment?
Workplace Safety & Insurance Board
Is the company covered under the Workers Compensation Act? If so they must be willing to provide a current “WSIB- Clearance Certificate” in order to protect the consumer from companies who are not in compliance.
Associations & Memberships
Does the company insist on a very high level of training and experience for their employees? Are they a CERTIFIED IRRIGATION CONTRACTOR (CIC)? Do they have more than one person certified?
Is the contractor a member in good standing with Landscape Ontario and the Canadian Landscape Association? How long have they been members?
Contracts & Estimates
A written estimate and signed contract is necessary to provide peace of mind and clearly define the details of the project including, total costs, timing, payment schedules, complete description of the work to be done and a breakdown of the materials to be used. Guarantees of parts and labour should also be clearly written.
Equipment & Vehicles
Are the company vehicles and equipment well maintained and kept up so the installation will be able to be completed in a professional and efficient manner? Are the vehicles fully stocked and equipped prior to arrival at the site?
Shop & Storage
Does the company have a base of operations suitable for storing equipment, vehicles and materials?
Does the company employee full-time staff?
Are they available year round?
Warranty, Parts & Labour
What is the warranty on the system? Is it the industry standard of 1-2 years or is it a full 5 years? Is it parts only or parts and labour?
Does the company use outside workers (sub-contractors) or do their own employees install their systems?
Will there be a rain sensor installed?