It's a simple formula . . .
Grass and plants will not survive our summers without regular and well-timed watering. In many cases, homeowners are forced to replace expensive trees, bushes, evergreens, and plants. Or they may need to re-sod patches– or entire laws– that have died. Homeowners can safeguard landscape investments with a sprinkler and irrigation system professionally installed by Affordable.
Get Started with Affordable!
We are a full-service firm that offers design, installation, and maintenance services. Few companies have invested as much time and money to build capabilities and infrastructure similar to Affordable Outdoor Solutions. This is one of the things that distinguishes us as a leader in the Washington area.
Our irrigation and design specialists will visit your property for a free consultation. They will analyze your property and its watering needs to design the optimal system. They will discuss:
- What sections of the yard gets the most sun?
- Which plants have struggled due to too much or too little water?
- How much flexibility do you want with watering different sections of your yard?
- How have you been watering in the past?
After reviewing our design with you, we will provide detailed pricing for the system. Although many homeowners have the same size lot, pricing can vary depending on factors such as:
- Where will the plumbing connection be?
- How much landscaping do you have?
- Can we use our machine to install the water lines?
- How many other things have already been installed underground (outdoor lighting, pool pipes, drainage, etc)?
Benefits from Technology
Affordable offers “Smart Control Boxes” by Rainbird, Irritrol, and Weathermatics. These are simpler versions of what golf courses use. They communicate daily with weather stations to automatically adjust watering times. They result in ideal water conditions for your turf and grass and save the average homeowner $1,000’s of dollars over the life of your system.
We invest hundreds of hours annually to research and test new irrigation products for water efficiency and effectiveness. We’ve learned that not everything is a good fit for our region. For example, soil moisture sensors determine the moisture content of your lawn and shrub beds. If there is excessive moisture from recent rains or an extended forecast for clouds the system adjusts to enhance water conservation. It puts a system into “dormancy” until the sun and warm weather return. Soil moisture sensors have been quite effective on the Pacific coast but we’ve tested them here, and they don’t function as well in Northern Virginia.
Over the years, we have found “Smart Control Boxes” to be more water efficient and less problematic.
We are happy to answer any questions you have about all aspects of sprinkler and irrigation systems.
That depends if you are currently manually watering your lawn and shrubs. If you are, then no, you shouldn’t see a significant increase in your water bill. In fact, many customers have found decreases in their water bill after installing a lawn sprinkler system because running a sprinkler system is more efficient.
We can work off almost any well. There are many pros and cons with using well water. Every well is different, and we do need a well report to determine, at a minimum, how much water is available. Most of our residential irrigation systems are designed to use about 8-10 gallons per minute. If your well has a recovery rate of less than 10 gallons per minute we can design a system to use less water by using less heads per zone or using lower volume type heads. We can also program systems to run shorter time lengths and then use a time delay between watering zones to allow the well to recover. One of the biggest benefits of using well water is that there is no water bill associated with your water use. Also, a lot of the minerals in the well water are beneficial for the lawn and garden. Using well water does bring its challenges, though. Many of the pumps that are used for homes are on the smaller side and pump less water. The pressure tanks can use pressure switches that run at the lower end of what is required to have an irrigation system. We can recommend upgrading to a constant pressure pump or installing a booster to help with this. Another challenge can be the sediment and/or iron count in your well, which can lead to future maintenance challenges like clogged or stuck valves. We recommend upgrading to dirty water type valves and or a type of filter for a solution if this becomes a problem.
For most of our installations, we use a Ditchwitch vibratory plow machine that puts a pizza knife type slice in the lawn and pulls the pipe to minimize yard damage. We will need to hand dig where every head is placed as well as around any of the marked utility lines. We also need to hand dig in plant beds. For most plant bed areas, we move the mulch back and can dig around the existing plants to install the lines so it’s very hard to tell we did any digging in those areas when we are finished. In the lawn areas, a lot depends on the the existing lawn and the temperatures when we do the work. If the yard is healthy, the soil is good, and the temperatures are cool, then the damage is minimal. If the yard is not in good shape, and/or we are working with rocky soil, you will see more visible signs of digging. If it’s extremely warm out, you will also see the lawn areas wilt and yellow after we are finished. We recommend lightly watering the yard before we install and keeping the yard wet after we install to help with the quick recovery of lawn areas.
Standard residential irrigation systems use a combination of water volume with pressure to function. At a minimum, we look for 10 gallons per minute at 55 psi. Most homes on municipality water have a pressure reducer installed on the home’s main waterline. The reason is that, on average, a 5/8” home water meter in most areas is producing more than 15 gpm at pressures near or above 70psi. The reducer is used to protect smaller in-home water lines like the refrigerator and or dishwasher lines. When we install our waterline for irrigation systems, we recommend whenever possible to install the tie-in below the home’s pressure reducer to have the volume and pressure we need for irrigation. Homes that don’t have the minimum pressure required can upgrade the pressure with a booster pump.
Yes, we have a master plumbing license and are licensed and capable of installing sub meters in Virginia when requested. Each municipality is different. For example: If you are a resident in Fairfax County and reside outside of a local town and you receive a County water bill, then it is unnecessary to install a sub-meter because the County uses your average winter use to lock in your sewer cost quarterly. Loudoun County has a similar policy. However if you live in a city / town limit, such as City of Fairfax or Town of Vienna, then you can apply for a sub meter with the municipality. We can install and help you through that process. There can be quite a bit of added expense to do this so it’s important to first look at the size of your lot to determine if this is a cost savings benefit overall. If you have a small property, it may take you years to reap the cost savings of installing a sub-meter. Please ask our customer service and or sales representatives for more details.
Have more FAQs? Visit our FAQ Page.
Why Choose Us?
In 2002, hometown entrepreneurs Reed Libby and Ryan Muniz applied their love of landscaping and customer service to start Affordable Outdoor Solutions. Many years and thousands of customers later, Affordable has established itself as a highly trusted and top-rated irrigation, lighting and turf provider in the Washington, DC region.