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DIY OR NOT?

An in-ground sprinkler system dispenses the exact amount of water your lawn or garden needs, when and where it needs it. The sprinklers are connected by hoses, and a controller directs valves to open and close, much like a faucet turning on and off. A backflow valve prevents water in the garden hose from being sucked back into the water supply of the house. The system prevents damage from under- or overwatering, improves the health of the lawn or garden, and actually may lower your water bill by cutting down on waste. You can even water when you're not home by using the timer. An irrigation contractor will charge $2,013 to install an underground sprinkling system in a 2,000-square-foot area, which includes labor and materials. You can buy the components and install it yourself for $645, a savings of 68 percent. Sprinkler systems are sold at lawn and garden centers and online, where there's often help to plan and lay out the design. Check with your local building department about any requirements. To find more DIY project costs, and to post comments and questions, visit diyornot.com. Gene and Katie Hamilton, Tribune Media Services

Pro cost DIY cost Pro hours DIY hours DIY savings Percent saved $2,013 $645 30.6 42.5 $1,368 68% Source: Tribune Media Services

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