Is your yard already equipped with an irrigation system? That’s great news for your grass, plants, and garden boxes. But it could mean trouble when installing a new fence. 


Thankfully, it’s not hard to work around an irrigation system that is properly installed and found within your property lines. However, to ensure your project runs smoothly and successfully, there are a few steps you must take. Follow these guidelines as you prepare your property for the arrival of a fencing installation team:

Know Where Your Irrigation Lines Run 

Ideally, you will already have a general idea of where your sprinkler lines run. If you don’t, that’s okay. 

To find the location of your irrigation lines, you can use one of the following techniques:

  • Check the irrigation system map provided by the professionals who installed the system.
  • Run your sprinkler system and draw an outline of a map connecting each sprinkler head to the next.
  • Use a metal detector or sprinkler head detector and do a sweep of the property. 

Keep in mind that it’s not necessary for you to have a hard-and-fast understanding of where each line resides. So long as you are confident that the lines don’t cross over onto another property, it’s not likely that a fence installer will run into it. 

Mark Your Sprinkler Heads

To protect your sprinkler heads from being stepped on, broken, or interfered with, you should mark them before the installation team arrives. This is a fairly simple step and only requires you to purchase either spray paint or a staked flag for each head. 

Circle each head with the spray paint or mark each spot with a flag. Either way, you’ll be informing the team about where those heads can be found. 

Choose an Experienced Fencing Contractor

Well-trained and experienced technicians know how to build a fence without interfering with an existing irrigation system. So, if you are confident that the lines were properly installed along the boundaries of your property, there should be nothing to worry about. Put your trust in the experts you’ve hired to install your new fence.

Don’t Panic If an Irrigation Line Gets Hit

If a sprinkler head or irrigation line does get nicked in the process of fence installation, don’t panic. Again, this will only happen if and when a system has been improperly installed. 

Together, you and your contractor will be able to identify who is at fault—be it a neighbor or the sprinkler system installers. And that party should be held responsible for the damage. Thankfully, any damage that does occur should be relatively easy and inexpensive to resolve.

If you find that you need to move an irrigation line, wait until after the fence has been installed. This will allow your fencing contractor to finish the project and be out of the way when the irrigation team arrives. 

Ask Your Contractor What Else You Should Do

If you still feel uneasy with the idea of having a fence installed around an irrigation system, call your fencing contractor. Any experienced installation team will be able to walk you through the process and provide you with advice specific to your situation.

At Mae Fence, we do whatever we can to put our clients’ minds at ease and ensure a smooth installation. Because most projects require our installers to work around an existing sprinkler system, this is a task we’ve done hundreds and hundreds of times. 

If you are willing to do a little work to prepare the site, there’s truly nothing you need to worry about. Just be ready to enjoy your beautiful new fence! 

When You Can: Install Fence First, Irrigation System Second

In a perfect world, we would all be able to install the fence first, add an irrigation system next, and lay the sod last. Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way…and that’s okay. As we mentioned, an experienced fencing contractor will be able to work around any existing setup you might have. 

However, if you are able to install your fence before the irrigation system, there are a few bonuses that come along with that plan:

  • Eliminates the risk of damaged sprinkler lines and heads
  • Ensures that the sprinkler system is optimized to the final layout of your yard
  • Makes it impossible for water lines or sprinkler heads to creep outside of your property boundaries

Whether you are pre- or post-irrigation installation, adding a new fence to your property is always a good idea. And if you have concerns about the process, you can always call your contractor for peace of mind. 

Did you know...

Marking your sprinkler heads are a great way to make sure everyone installing your fence knows exactly where your irrigation system is located.