Is Artificial Grass Right for Your Lawn?

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L Klapp

Subject: Artificial Turf

I have a "Putting Green", installed by previous owner, in my back yard. I love it. As a senior, it certainly minimizes the amount of maintenance for me. My dog likes it, too, but just the long "grass". That's where she does her stuff and lays down.
The problem with this yard, being in the Pacific Northwest, is the moss that collects on the short area. What is best to clean that, and still be safe for my dog?


Subject: Love my Artificial Turf

I see that this article is 2 years old and I think there must have been drastic changes in the quality of artificial turf in the last couple of years. I had mine installed this past spring and all throughout the summer it stayed cool in hot LA weather. If you do your homework, you'll easily be able to find artificial grass that stays cool. In fact, cooler than natural grass. One other benefit the article doesn't mention is that by getting artificial turf you get rid of natural allergens in your environment. I've been suffering from allergies by whole life and it's gotten much better since I got rid of the natural grass in my yard and got the artificial stuff. This is in no way a sponsorship, but I have to say I'm super happy with Stay Green America (they installed my artificial grass). They're the ones that took the time to explain all the benefits of getting artificial turf.

Jason Brown

Subject: Subjective article

As someone with a degree in turfgrass management from Colorado State, I can tell you they sweeped over the cons of a artificial turf lawn and it sounds a bit too good to be true. Artificial turf lawns can increase to temperatures over 160 degrees on an 85 degree day, most artificial turf sports fields have irrigation systems to cool them down. I have seen artificial turf in residential lawns where weeds grow hardy along the edges of the driveway and walkways, and other areas. Pine needles and leaves will accumulate in the artificial turf as well and overtime, dirt will come in from wind and you will begin to have soil on top of your artificial lawn. They will also wear from UV rays and from what I have heard, need to be replaced every 10 years or so. Lastly, with real living turfgrass, a benefit is the water released from the plants helps cool the area around your home by evapotranspiration. If you take this factor away, the yard becomes a furnace, killing all other living plants nearby and increasing the cooling costs of your home in the winter. There are definitely pros and cons to both, but this article didn't quite explain all of those. Hope this helps someone in the future.

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.