931 SE 11th Ave.

Cape Coral, FL 33990

Phone: (239) 772-2607

Fax: (239) 242-0988

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Installing A Sprinkler As An Owner/Builder

sod-installationWhen installing a new irrigation system a property owner has the choice to:

1.  Install It Themselves

2.  Hire a Licensed Contractor

If they decide they are going to install it without the assistance of a licensed contractor they still need to have a permit.  Normally the contractor pulls the permit, installs and oversees the project and calls in the inspection.

If an owner chooses to take on installing a sprinkler system themselves they will need to submit an owner/builder affidavit and apply for a permit.  This states that the owner takes the responsibility of overseeing the project themselves.  The property owner is NOT permitted to hire an unlicensed contractor to install the irrigation system.  All construction must be done in accordance with building codes and zoning regulations.  Performing an owner/builder affidavit means the property owner is taking responsibility for the project in its entirety.

An owner/builder becomes liable and responsible for any persons he hires to assist in the sprinkler system installation.  This includes proper licensing, workers compensation coverage, social security tax withholding, liability insurance coverage, proper deduction for unemployment compensation and federal tax withholding.

Submitting an owner/builder affidavit says that you are agreeing that you are physically providing the labor and expertise to install an irrigation system yourself or that you have friends or family members that you are supervising to perform the work for you at no charge (meaning you are not employing them).  If you cannot commit to these conditions then you must commit to hiring a licensed contractor that can do so.

Failure to adhere to these requirements will result in a stop work order, fines up to $1,000 and the possibility of up to one year in jail.  If this occurs then the owner/builder will have to hire a licensed contractor anyway that carries the proper workers compensation and liability insurance levels to take over and complete the project.  Failure to do so means the building department will not lift the stop work order or pass the final inspection.  Most reputable irrigation contractors will not take over a project that an owner has started nor will they use the materials the owner purchased since they are likely of inferior quality.  If they do install owner supplied product they will likely not agree to provide any type of warranty.

Hiring a licensed irrigation contractor to install your sprinkler system might seem like it costs too much.  Installing the system yourself might sound simple and inexpensive.  Now take the time to figure in the money you are going to pay for lower quality materials, the number of hours of labor involved to complete a project you are inexperienced at installing, the lack of equipment needed for the installation (an irrigation contractor with a trencher can dig your system in a few hours, it will take a person a few days to do it by hand) and the headache of getting it installed correctly.  Furthermore, there will not be a warranty on the system since it wasn’t installed by a contractor.  The only person to call if it doesn’t work properly is yourself.

In the end, hiring a licensed and insured company like R & R Sprinkler and Landscape that posses decades of combined work experience, the right equipment and a higher grade product to install an irrigation system on your property is really a better solution.



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