None of my friends have had work of this sort done, so I've called several local nurseries and a lawn service I've had good success with for references. Every one of these places said their primary recommendation was the same company in this area. Interestingly enough, when calling around to businesses in the area, I had the best "vibe" from this place even before seeking references. It's also nice that this business is less than 2 miles from my home.
This is a heavy business time for this work in our area, and so it may be a couple of weeks before someone can come out to look over my property and give me an estimate. A few other businesses in the area gave me a "rough quote" over the phone. A couple of businesses even gave me the specific price they charged for other homes in my neighborhood with yards and systems of similar size to mine. I'm prepared to pay whatever cost would be reasonable to get a high quality system. (We've saved a while to get this put in, and I want to have it done right.)
What kinds of questions should I specifically ask the representative when he comes by? Apart from the overall design of the system, placement of heads, types of heads used, manufacturer and warranty, are there any other good questions to ask?
Since this company is of such excellent reputation, I'd like to rely on their expertise, but at the same time I want to go into this fully informed as to potential pitfalls.
A year or so ago I sent my yard info off to Toro to have them spec out a system if I were to do it myself. The system was so intimidating, I decided a professional install would be the way to go. Is it likely that a local company would install a system very similar to the one Toro spec'd out, or was that system overkill (to sell more Toro heads and equipment)?
I'd really like to have a sophisticated controller since the sytem is likely to be spec'd out with several zones, and there is a difference in the type of grass and amount of sun present in each zone. Any recommendations on this kind of equipment? Is there a difference in the "high end" controllers and the el cheapo versions?
My yard does have a good number of trees in certain areas. They are very mature oak and magnolia trees. I don't think there'd be any reason that sprinkler lines would need to run extremely close to these trees, but I can see the trenching cutting some of the roots that are close to the lawn surface. Is this any great cause for concern?