While homeowners are beginning to understand all the ecological and environmental benefits to installing an artificial turf lawn, many consumers are put off by the initial costs of such a project. Investing in a synthetic yard typically costs far greater than laying down some sod and natural grass. However, the financial benefits of synthetic turf are well displayed over time. After several years the prices of both options generally evens out. After a period of about a decade, the answer is clear: A synthetic turf lawn will save you money.
One of the main culprits of a grass lawn is the water bill, especially in Southern California where rainfall is sparse and a sprinkling system is a necessity. While the costs of watering your grass may be just $50 per month, those months add up. Each year you’re paying $600. In 5 years, that’s $3,000, roughly half the cost of installing an artificial lawn. Now let’s talk about upkeep. A decent lawn mower costs several hundred dollars. Additionally, you have to consider the recurring costs of gas for your mower, which will add up over the years, especially when gas prices start going up again. And then consider the time you spend mowing your lawn and the things you could otherwise be doing. Say it takes you half an hour to mow your lawn. You mow the lawn every week, so that’s roughly 25 hours per year you’re spending just to keep your grass at the right height.
Perhaps you value your spare time so you choose to hire a professional gardener to mow it for you instead. Usually this costs about $25 per visit. After a year, you’re looking at roughly $1,300. Within 5 years that cost alone has paid for your synthetic lawn.
Another problem with real grass yards is that they aren’t perfect. Brown spots emerge where the sprinkler misses part of the grass or where your lawn lies in the shade. Or perhaps the soil is simply not providing the necessary nutrients for your grass. You invest in some fertilizer. The average homeowner spends about $100 a year on such pricey fertilizers, many of which often fail to do the job. The result after 5 years is another $500 down the lawn drain and a spotty yard.
When you consider that an artificial turf lawn can last 15 to 20 years with minimal maintenance costs, you’ll find that owning a natural lawn can cost 3 to 4 times as much as the synthetic version, despite the initial costs. Check out our Return on Your Investment page for a comparison of the costs. Also, consider all the time you’ll spend fretting over your grass. The dog may dig holes in your yard (many artificial lawns are pet resistant), moles may dig numerous paths throughout your yard, destroying grass along the way, and numerous bugs and pests will move in. Meanwhile, you could be enjoying your artificial grass lawn year after year without any of these worries or burdensome costs. The answer is clear. With the rising costs of water and the current California drought, owning a synthetic turf yard will save you thousands of dollars in the long run.