Homeowners are always looking for the best value possible. When making the decision to install artificial turf or keep their natural grass lawn, the final factor that allows them to make a wise choice is the cost. What does a natural grass lawn cost compared to the convenience and investment of artificial turf? In many cases, it isn't just the financial cost that will eventually sway a homeowner into choosing artificial turf. It also boils down to both the time and the impact that a natural grass lawn has on the environment that nudges them to side of artificial turf. This doesn't include the amount of monetary value that artificial turf will add to your home over the coming years. Along with the fact that the turf's warranty is transferable, the savings will immediately be inherited by the new owners if you ever choose to sell.
Lawn care is a must, especially if you live in drought-prone areas. Homeowners associations have strict rules on how a home's lawn must be maintained. The lawn must be kept free of debris, mowed, trimmed, irrigated and presentable at all times. Hiring a gardener to accomplish can cost you anywhere for $1,000 to $2,000 a year. If you do it yourself, you must not only maintain the lawn but the tools you use to keep it looking its best. This can include tillers, lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, lawn rakes, and other tools and utensils. Gas, oil, repairs and maintenance can cost you several hundred dollars per year depending on the size of your lawn.
Homeowners who have a 1,000 square foot lawn or larger spend at least an hour a week mowing. This does not include any other type of maintenance that may be needed, including trimming, watering, weeding, and fertilizing. Just an hour per week will add up to over two solid days each year that you must spend maintaining your property. This does not include maintaining any landscaped areas or sections of the lawn that need special care due to water pumps or flowering plants. With artificial turf, this number is cut down to almost zero hours per year.
In California, water usage is a topic of great concern among legislators and homeowners. With water restrictions in place for the long term, homeowners are having to explore other options to keep their lawns looking green and vibrant. As temperatures go up and the amount of water steadily decreases, lawns eventually turn brown and the grass becomes dry and brittle. It takes over 56,000 gallons of water each year to maintain a 1,000 square foot lawn. If the lawn is expected to thrive, it will need even more water. The amount of water needed far exceeds the limitations that have been put in place by California's state officials. Using that much each year would cost hundreds of dollars in fines and fees.
Impact on the Environment
Not only does natural grass take up what little water is readily available in aquifers and other natural sources, the chemicals used to fertilize the grass and eliminate the weeds is responsible for contaminating whatever isn't used. It is believed that close to 70% of all of the chemicals used in lawn maintenance, eventually ends up as run off that finds its way into lakes, ponds, streams, and underground water basins and aquifers. With that being said, natural grass can actually do twice the damage. First by monopolizing vital water resources and second, contaminating a majority of the rest.
It is important for homeowners to remember that when considering the cost of maintaining a natural grass lawn, the financial aspect is only the beginning. The cost goes far beyond dollars and cents. Looking at the big picture and adding up the cost over the next several years will show you just how much you are saving with the installation of artificial turf. With over $15,000 in cost over the next 15 years, artificial turf will pay for itself at least two times over if it remains in place for twenty years. When you compare the cost of natural grass for that same 15 year period, you can figure on spending close to $30,000, even more if the cost of gas and oil goes up. Look at the big picture and find out where your savings really are. You will find that with artificial turf, the money and time you save will go far beyond the turf's original price tag.