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CostHelper > Home and Garden  > Landscaping & Gardening > Synthetic Grass

Synthetic Grass Cost


How Much Does Synthetic Grass Cost?

 
low costMaterials for a 750 Sq Ft Yard: $400-6,000average costInstalled on a 750 Sq Ft Yard: $4,500-$13,500
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Also called artificial lawn or turf, synthetic grass provides a permanently green "lawn" which requires no mowing, watering, fertilizing or re-seeding, and which isn't muddy in damp weather. Although not everyone likes the look[1] of artificial turf, modern synthetic grass has been significantly improved over 1960s Astroturf. The Irvine Ranch Water District displays before-and-after examples of synthetic grass installations.

Typical costs:

  • For do-it-yourself installation, basic materials run about $2-$8 a square foot, depending on product quality and the possible use of rental equipment (such as a sod cutter) or buying excess turf in order to minimize the number of seams. That works out to about $400-$6,000 for just the materials for a typical 750-square-foot yard; or $4,000-$16,000 for a more expansive 2,000-square-foot yard. A homeowner who took four days to install artificial grass without power equipment spent $5.94 a square foot; another who rented a sod cutter and a compactor took three days and spent $7.26 a square foot. Both required a helper for the project.
  • Having synthetic grass professionally installed can be $6-$20 or more a square foot depending on the quality of materials and the complexity of the installation (odd shapes, a slope, etc.). That works out to $4,500-$13,500 for a typical 750-square-foot yard, or $12,000-$40,000 for a more expansive 2,000-square-foot yard. Because there's a basic cost for bringing equipment and materials to a site, smaller projects will generally cost more per square foot, and larger projects may be less per square foot. A Knoxville homeowner[2] was given discount and spent about $18,000 for synthetic grass in her 5,000-square-foot front lawn.
What should be included:
  • An artificial lawn is basically an outdoor, weatherproof carpet. Most modern artificial grass has three layers -- drainage, shock absorbing and surface. The surface layer has plastic blades designed to look like a specific variety of natural grass plus several inches of "infill" that keeps the blades upright. = The Association of Artificial & Synthetic Grass Installers explains how[3] synthetic grass is manufactured and provides a glossary[4] of standard industry terms.
  • Although it can be used almost anywhere, synthetic grass is a particularly good option in an extreme climate (like the desert) or in spots where it's extremely difficult to grow natural lawn, such as where there's heavy foot traffic or permanent shade from trees or buildings. Artificial grass lass about 8-10 years with heavy usage, but can last 15-20 years or more.
  • Generally synthetic grass needs to be installed by professionals or handy do-it-yourselfers with basic landscaping skills who can closely follow the manufacturer's installation guidelines. A typical installation includes removing existing turf; preparing and stabilizing the site with porous construction-grade fabrics; spreading and compacting the base materials; rolling out, securing and seaming the surface "carpet"; trimming and finishing the edges; and grooming the surface with hand rakes, brooms or power brushes. The Association of Artificial & Synthetic Grass Installers describes the basic steps[5] for professional installation.
  • Check on the regulations governing your home. Some cities, counties or homeowner associations have rules governing or prohibiting[6] the installation of synthetic grass.
Additional costs:
  • Although some synthetic lawn manufacturers advertise absolutely no maintenance after installation, synthetic grass does require periodic raking, blowing or vacuuming to remove leaves and other debris. If dogs are using the yard, the synthetic grass will need to be rinsed off with water, and possibly sanitized.
Discounts:
  • Some local water agencies offer rebates[7] when natural lawn is replaced with a less water-intensive alternative such as synthetic grass.
Shopping for synthetic grass:
  • The Association of Artificial & Synthetic Grass Installers provides an overview[8] of the various types of artificial grass systems, what to do before getting an estimate, what to expect from a professional installer, and what to do before signing a contract.
  • Watch for synthetic lawns in your area, and ask the homeowner which company they used and how well the project went. Check with your local water agency to see if they list local synthetic grass companies. Most artificial grass dealers provide installation, but it can also be installed by a local landscaper with artificial grass training and experience.
  • Get several estimates; request references and visit several past jobs in person; and be sure you understand when materials will arrive and where they will be stored before and during installation. The written contract should include a job plan, specific descriptions of materials to be used, drawings and a construction schedule.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.mindfully.org/Plastic/Fake-Grass.htm
  2.  www.knoxnews.com/news/2008/aug/29/faux-grow/
  3.  www.asgi.us/34.htm
  4.  www.asgi.us/03.htm
  5.  www.asgi.us/37.htm
  6.  www.treehugger.com/corporate-responsibility/officials-say-no-to-faux-lawns.html
  7.  www.asgi.us/asgi_52_water_districts.htm
  8.  www.asgi.us/Synthetic_Turf_Buyer_Guide.pdf
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