Have you ever had a day where your entire agenda was a pot of coffee and a good book?
No laundry. No dishes. No raking leaves. Just sitting in quiet contemplation and occasionally reading another page or two?
You haven’t? Yeah, me neither. But if I were ever going to experience life where that kind of indulgent inaction were possible, it seems like getting myself a new sunroom would be a good starting point.
And before you go asking questions like, “Mr. Irrigation, how do you expect to be able to afford a fancy new sunroom when you’re spending all your time sitting around drinking cup after cup of coffee and trying to slog through Dostoyevsky and Pynchon?!?”
Well, when you put it like that, I guess I can see your point. But in my defense let me just say that this is my fantasy and I don’t need you coming along and raining on my parade. My wonderful coffee, sunroom, book parade.
And hey, your old pal Mr. Irrigation may not be able to afford a life of caffeine-fueled, literary luxury, but if you are one of those fortunate souls with cash to spend, books to read, and coffee to drink, boy do I have an article for you.
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We all agree that your new sunroom is going to be great; but the impact on your irrigation system that is currently camped out underground, in the exact real estate that your new sunroom is hoping to occupy, may may not be as great as your great new sunroom.
But let’s stay calm and formulate a game plan. If we prepare things correctly, this may not be a huge disruption for the irrigation system.
Sunrooms have a bunch of different options for foundations. They can be built on a concrete slab or with a crawl space underneath them. Sunrooms can be built on piers, beams, or posts, like a deck.
As far as the irrigation system is concerned, the foundation that your sunroom is built on doesn’t really matter all that much. This is because you are going to want to relocate or cap off and abandon the portion of the sprinkler system regardless of which direction you go with the foundation.
If you were fortunate to work with a quality irrigation contractor with some experience, hopefully they tried to avoid putting any of the really important sprinkler components directly behind the house where a sunroom, patio, or deck might someday conceivably be added.
Because this kind of predicament is not uncommon, an irrigation contractor who has been around for a while will often try to run the sprinkler mainline further out into the backyard to avoid future disruption.
If the mainline doesn’t run through the area where the sunroom will go, that will help quite a lot to keep costs down; and you will likely only need to cap, move, and adjust some sprinkler heads and feeder lines.
Moving sprinkler heads and lateral lines is less involved and therefore less expensive than moving sprinkler mainline and valves. To move sprinkler heads your sprinkler contractor will dig up the sprinkler heads, cut the pipes that feed them, extend the pipe, and then put the sprinkler heads in the new location.
Some sprinkler heads will likely be capped off because the new sunroom will be covering up grass or plants that currently need water.
Capping sprinkler heads is even easier than moving them. The sprinkler heads are dug up and a cap is attached to the pipe or pipe fitting.
If the mainline pipe or valves do need to be moved because they are in the way, the irrigation company will track down the mainline pipe (they can use electronic tracking equipment if the valve boxes are not immediately apparent because they have been covered with grass or mulch), cut it, and run the mainline pipe out of the impacted area.
The process will be similar for the sprinkler wire. The sprinkler wire generally runs alongside the mainline pipe.
After the wire has been cut and attached to the new wire with DBYs or direct bury splice kits, it can be relocated.
Now what? Ask your irrigation company to flag or mark any remaining sprinkler components in the area with lawn flags or marking paint to try to help ensure nothing is broken.
And then? Then, you let the sunroom installers know that you are ready for them to do their thing and get to work so that you can get to relaxing.