If you live in a low-water area, or if you’re just tired of constant lawn maintenance, you’re in good company. More home owners are saving time, water — and their backs — by switching from real grass to artificial turf.
Synthetic grass for landscaping and recreation is growing 10% to 15% a year in the U.S. That means more and more home owners are using fakes for:
- Dog runs
- Play areas
- Pool surrounds
- Putting greens
- Decorative borders between patio pavers
Faking It is Right for You If…
- You’re tired of watering, weeding, fertilizing, and cutting real grass.
Your summer water bills are too high.
- You don’t want to use chemical fertilizers and herbicides.
You believe artificial grass looks as good as real grass — maybe better.
What Exactly is Artificial Grass?
Fake grass consists of filaments threaded into a backing that lets water through. The backing is laid on a drainage layer, usually compacted gravel, and fastened along the perimeter. Then it’s filled with recycled crumb rubber or sand to keep it from blowing away in a stiff breeze.
Today’s synthetic grass is made of nylon, polyethylene, or polypropylene that’s colored to look like various species.
Synlawn, one of the largest manufacturers of synthetic grass, offers: SYNBermuda, SYNFescue, SYNZoysia — you get the idea. Some grasses even have a thatch layer that makes a yard look less Stepford-like and more realistic.
Let’s Talk Money
Artificial grass comes with a big upfront cost — $5 to $20 per sq. ft., installed. Once it’s down, it’s free for the next 15 to 25 years.
Professionally laid sod, on the other hand, costs only 14-60 cents per sq. ft. But that’s where expenditures (and upkeep) begin. You’ve got to water, mow, fertilize — all of which cost money and take time. So let’s crunch some numbers on a hypothetical 500-sq.-ft. yard.
First year cost:
|Install artificial grass ($12.50 per sq. ft. average)||$6,250|
|Install natural sod (37 cents per sq. ft. average)||$185|
|Artificial grass total:||$0|
|Watering ($15 per month, 6 months a year)||$90|
|Fertilizing (20 cents per sq. ft.)||$100|
|Gardener/Lawn Man ($25/week for 26 weeks)||$650|
|Natural sod total:||$840|
So, it would take about 7 years for maintenance-free artificial grass to recoup its initial cost. If you’re planning on staying put for longer than that, you’ll begin to save money each year.
Alternatives to Fake Grass…
Read the full article here: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/lawns/fake-grass/#ixzz2UAKqWKl2