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So, I have the crazy idea to give my grandparents what could be the ultimate Christmas present -- having their house (they own it outright) retrofit with fire sprinklers. It's a single-story ranch with a one-car attached garage and full basement of about 1100ft^2 finished area, fed by municipal water -- so on the face of it, a retrofit appears feasible. However, the house was built in 1947 -- so there are no blueprints for it. What information, other than a reverse-engineered floorplan of the rooms of course, would the sprinkler contractor need for a quote on the retrofit?

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Floorplan is not enough. They need to visit and take extensive measurements to engineer the system. If you want "bells and whistles" (there's lots of options) you need to decide on those too.

They will need to investigate the location, size, and routing of the service main as well. They should be able to determine minimum requirements for your locale by contacting the AHJ. NFPA has specific requirements too, but they only matter if adopted by your building code. This could be a very expensive gift. Significantly cheaper to get a high-end alarm system.

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  • I'm already pegging it at several thousand dollars -- (the house already has an alarm system, btw) Feb 25 '16 at 12:41
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I'd say you have everything you need for a quote. As long as you know where they live is all that's needed for a quote visit. Other than that, you need to find out what they want to save. For example: Grandpa wants himself, the TV & the cooking & cleaning wife & Grandma wants everything but the husband.

But, it should be cheaper to run & drop it from the attic, they just fill them with anti-freeze for the appropriate situation. From the basement might limit the throw of each sprinkler as affordability may stop the install at wall heads instead of ceiling heads.

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