Synthetic grass is gaining in popularity, with the industry growing some 10 to 15 percent a year, according to HouseLogic, as homeowners look to cut down on maintenance trouble and costs from watering to fertilizer to gas and oil for mowers and trimmers. Once it is installed, artificial turf needs relatively maintenance and can pay for itself compared to natural sod costs in about seven years, HouseLogic says. Prices differ based on where you live and the supplier and product you choose. As of 2014, an artificial turn installer in Southern California noted that "medium to high-grade" synthetic grass in his area cost anywhere from about $2 to $3 per square foot -- but that's just the beginning of the project cost.
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Other costs can add as much as 75 percent to the overall cost of your artificial lawn. Site preparation includes removing present vegetation, applying weed killer and laying down weed barrier cloth. You'll need to consider how to finish the edges and what fastening method and materials you'll need to hold down the artificial turf. After it's installed, an infill material added on top of the synthetic grass finishes the job. You may have to rent special equipment and pay for dump fees and hauling or delivery fees.
Factors to Consider
Different qualities and styles of artificial turf are available. Low-cost products can have an unnatural color and appearance. Mid- to high-range products look more natural. Artificial turf can last 25 years and does need some regular maintenance, such as blowing or sweeping off debris and flushing away pet urine. It's not as cool as natural sod and there can be wastage when installing it on irregularly shaped lawns.