Artificial Grass – Making Sense of Installation Prices

moneyWhen you visit Purchase Green’s website you’ll find a huge variety of artificial grasses. Depending on the grass, the price per square-foot will be between $1.61 and $3.49. If you request a quote for an installation, however, you’ll discover the price range suddenly jumps.

What gives?

The prices you see on our site are for the grass itself. The final price you pay per square-foot depends on your installation. If you’re a DIYer and tackle the job yourself, you can expect to pay between $3 and $4 per square-foot. This price accounts for the grass, the infill and other things like bend-a-board, seaming tape, glue and nails.

But if you opt for a professional installation, you may see the final per square-foot price in the range of $8 to $12. Let’s take a look at why.

Labor

Much of the installation cost stems from labor.

Much of the installation cost stems from labor.

At Purchase Green we like to say that artificial grass isn’t a complicated job but it can be a labor intensive one. We offer plenty of instruction for the do-it-yourselfers out there. But for a variety of reasons some customers opt for a professional installation.

An install crew will usually consist of two or three workers. Generally there will be a foreman and one or two installers. As much as they love transforming yards with Purchase Green artificial grass, they also like getting paid. So part of the increase in the price-per-square-foot is simply a function of hiring workers to do the job.

Terrain

If you have a flat yard without any abnormal dimensions and nice, workable soil, then the installers will have an easier time and will charge less for the work. If, however, you have a yard that presents challenges – such as rocky soil, lots of roots, a significant slope or one that’s rich in clay – then the work becomes more difficult. As such the installers will raise the price of the installation.

A proper installation requires that about 3 inches worth of native soil is excavated first. So the difficulty of the dig will influence the installation price.

Access

Access to the job site can effect your install price.

Access to the job site can effect your install price.

Access to the actual project site is something that’s easy for a homeowner to forget to consider. Artificial grass comes in pretty big rolls (either 15’x100′ or 13.1’x100′). These rolls are really heavy. If the crew you’ve hired has easy access to the job site, the installation rate will come down. The farther away and more difficult it is to access (e.g. stairs, steps and slopes) the more the crew is likely to raise their rate.

Disposal

Excavating can yield a surprising amount of dirt.

Excavating can yield a surprising amount of dirt.

All that excavated soil has to go somewhere. Most of the time that means taking it to the local landfill. In California landfill fees differ in each county but you can expect your installer will pay somewhere around $50/ton to dispose of it.

That may not seem like much but an average cubic yard of soil will weigh north of 2,000 lbs. For simplicity let’s say your artificial grass installation is an area 50’x50′. Excavating that area to a depth of 3 inches will yield about 23 cubic yards of soil. That will result about $1,200 in disposal fees – plus the fuel your installer will use to get to and from the county landfill, possibly multiple times. It also means paying workers for time spent driving.

Sub-Base

Few of us have a dump truck parked in our driveway. Dump trucks are handy things, especially when you need a whole bunch of material delivered to your home to install the sub-base on which you’ll install artificial grass.

Fortunately, many companies offer just such a service. Of course, it costs money to procure the sub-base materials and then have them delivered. If you’re paying a professional to install your artificial grass, he or she will factor into your price the cost of that material and the cost to have it delivered.

Other Influencers

A proper artificial grass installation includes the use of products such as landscape bend-a-board. You also have a choice of infills, which range from good quality to premium and are priced accordingly. And, depending on the size of your project, your new lawn may require multiple seams, which means the added expense of seaming tape and glue.

Also consider that your installer will also have some really useful gadgets available – a plate compactor, a sod cutter, a power broom and more. To afford these cool tools, your installer passes a fraction of their cost on to you.

Now these are all relatively minor costs in the grand scheme, but taken together as part of your installation project they can also impact the final price.

diy install

Check out our handy DIY guide to save money on installation!

So as you can see, there a number of reasons why a professional installation costs a fair bit more than a DIY project. And for those reasons a number of our customers choose to do it themselves – something we encourage and will help you with as best we can.

But for those same reasons, plenty of people also choose to have professionals do the work. Yes, it costs more but you can be assured the job will be done the right way and will be done in a quick, courteous manner.

If you still have questions about installation prices, please let us know or stop by your local Purchase Green store. As always, at Purchase Green we’re happy, helpful and happy to help you!

 

Take a peek at the installation process with this DIY Easy Install Guide to get an idea of what you can expect.
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Posted on February 24, 2016