Installing and maintaining an irrigation system is a crucial investment for homeowners and businesses. An irrigation system plays a vital role in nurturing and sustaining the health and beauty of your lawn or landscape. Their qualifications and expertise are paramount when selecting the right professional for the job. Certified irrigation professionals possess the necessary skills and knowledge to assess your specific needs, design an efficient system, and ensure optimal water conservation while meeting the requirements of your landscape.
As a consumer, you must conduct thorough research and select a professional who can deliver the standards and quality you expect. This guide will assist you in determining whether the irrigation professionals you interview are well-suited for the job.
Begin by evaluating the qualifications of the professional. A certified irrigation professional should be able to provide information about their formal training, references, certification by the Irrigation Association, and contractor’s license. These credentials indicate that the contractor possesses the knowledge and skills required for the job.
Certification by the Irrigation Association (IA) signifies that the contractor has passed comprehensive exams demonstrating their in-depth understanding of proper irrigation practices. To maintain their certification, contractors must actively participate in continuing education, ensuring they stay up to date with the latest developments in irrigation practices. Other reputable irrigation training organizations include irrigation equipment manufacturers, colleges, and trade schools.
A contractor should also hold a valid business license. Membership in trade associations demonstrates a contractor’s commitment to the industry and drive to stay updated on technological advancements, irrigation standards, and trends. Moreover, a professional irrigation business should be able to outline its safety training and education programs, ensuring its employees perform their work safely and consistently.
It is essential for a contractor to readily provide proof of their professional certifications, training, and any state or local government-required licensing.
Reputable irrigation professionals always carry appropriate insurance policies. The contractor should have worker’s compensation insurance to protect you from potential liability in case of injuries to contractors working on your property. Additionally, they should have general liability insurance with adequate limits, typically between $300,000 and $500,000 for residential work. This coverage safeguards you in case of unforeseen problems, such as flooding or landslides on your property.
Any professional irrigation contractor should be able to provide you with certificates of insurance to verify their coverage.
Bids and Contracts
When seeking an irrigation contractor, obtaining multiple bids to compare prices and the scope of work is advisable. Request written bids from each contractor and ensure they include the exact details, such as the irrigation product brands to use. Remember, the lowest bid does not necessarily indicate the best value. While contracting with a licensed and certified professional may come at a higher cost, the long-term benefits of a well-chosen and properly installed irrigation system can outweigh these initial expenses.
Once you have selected a contractor, insist on a written contract to protect yourself. The contract should include comprehensive identification of workers, including their names and license numbers, a detailed description of the work to be done and the materials to be used, payment arrangements, information on product warranties or work guarantees, an approximate completion date, and a statement assuring cleanup and debris removal upon project completion. If any changes or modifications are made during the project, ensure they are documented in writing.
Above all, an irrigation professional should possess extensive knowledge regarding assessing your property’s water needs, designing an efficient irrigation system that conserves water, and instruction on proper system use. A smart irrigation system is only as intelligent as the professional installing it and the customer using it. Maximize the return on your investment by hiring a certified irrigation professional.
To find an IA-certified professional who can design, install, maintain, or audit your irrigation system, visit www.irrigation.org/hirecertified.
In conclusion, when selecting an irrigation professional for the installation, maintenance, or upgrade of your system, it is crucial to choose someone certified and with the necessary qualifications. A certified professional can assure you that they have the expertise to meet your specific needs while maximizing water savings and ensuring the health of your landscape. Conduct thorough research, assess their qualifications, verify insurance coverage, obtain written bids and contracts, and prioritize expert knowledge. By choosing a certified irrigation professional, you can maximize your investment and enjoy the long-term benefits of a well-designed and properly maintained irrigation system.