Backyard Putting Green Cost is lower with artificial grass.
Updated July 2021:
Like any sport, getting good at golf requires a lot of practice. For those who’ve always dreamed of having their own personal putting green, or simply don’t have three or four hours a day to devote to going to a driving range or a lot of money to spend on green fees, installing a backyard putting green can be a cost-effective and convenient solution.
The Cost of Playing at a Golf Course
The cost of a round of golf in the U.S. varies depending on the tee time, the day of the week and season, the golf course (whether it’s public or private), where the golf course is located, etc. However, in general, the cost at daily-fee courses ranges from $25 per round (for 18 holes) to hundreds of dollars at a resort. This means the average golfer typically spends several thousand dollars to play golf each year, not counting the cost to rent a golf cart, buy golf equipment, and so on. Multiply that amount by several years and the costs can really add up!
The Cost of Having a Backyard Putting Green
Fortunately, putting in a backyard putting green costs a lot less than regularly going to a golf course, depending on the size and type of putting green. And, residential golfers can currently choose between two options: installing natural grass or artificial grass.
Natural Grass (FYI: Most expertsdon’t recommend this option for residential golfers.)
Natural turf putting greens (e.g., bent grass or Bermuda grass) can be great under the right conditions (such as when a golfer has a lot of money or also happens to be a professional gardner), but this option does require a lot of time, expertise, money, equipment, and extensive labor to keep green. The groundskeeper has to water every day and mow four to six times a week.
Cost: (For an approximately 1,000 square foot backyard putting green, according to the University of Arkansas)
Greens mower: $1,000-$5,000
Mower sharpening: $100 per year
Cup (hole) cutter, cups, and flagsticks: $300
Fertilizer: $75 per year
Fungicide: $150 per year
Insecticide: $50 per year
Creeping bentgrass seed: $50
Tifdwarf, TifEagle, or Miniverde sprigs: $150 to $300
Plus all the time required to mow, water, and maintain it.
In contrast, experts typically recommend installing synthetic putting greens due to greater manageability, as well as the improvements to artificial grass’ manufacturing technology. Artificial putting greens available in today’s market look and respond like real putting-green grass. More importantly, this type of grass can be quickly and easily installed in a backyard and is virtually maintenance-free.
Installing a backyard putting green can cost as little as $4 to $6 per square foot if completed as a DIY project, and can last more than a decade. What’s more, laying artificial grass is much more straightforward than you might expect.
If you’re concerned with the cost of a full artificial grass installation, then check out our guide to DIY installing artificial grass. That can certainly help reduce the project cost.
We’re proud to announce the publication of our new “DIY Install Guide”. If you’re looking for more information about how to install artificial grass yourself, this is the guide for you. Click here to read our “DIY Install Guide” and become the expert on artificial turf installation.
So, you’re interested in artificial grass for your home, but not really feelin’ the up-front cost of installation? Today, we’re going to show you how to install artificial grass inexpensively, making modifications along the way to bring your project’s price tag down.
Make no mistake, though. In order for this to work, you’ll need to be prepared to get your hands dirty, put in a substantial amount of time and energy, and problem-solve as you go.
Further, while all of the techniques discussed below will reduce your price point, they will also increase the amount of labor you’ll have to do yourself. You’ll be using hand tools, like a shovel, and carrying up to 50 pounds repeatedly, even if you have help.
Sound like the kind of challenge you’re up for? Let’s get to it!
There are four components to almost every installation that can be modified to reduce the cost of installing artificial grass without posing a significant threat to the performance and longevity of it. They are:
1. The Secret to Low-Cost Subbase
Subbase. What is it? Who needs it? Well, if you’re installing artificial grass, you do, my friend.
Subbase goes where your natural grass was once you’ve excavated down a few inches and before you install the grass. Its primary job is to prevent the natural expansion and contraction of your yard’s native soil from affecting the turf, thus preventing wrinkles from popping up.
In most professional installations, it’s one of three things:
crushed miscellaneous base – CMB,
class II road base, or
Decomposed granite is considered the best of the three due to its superior drainage and ability to render a consistently flat surface. Certain types of installations, like putting greens, need decomposed granite subbase more in order to perform and last.
The problem with decomposed granite is it’s expensive.
Is there a workaround?
In most cases, you can get good performance and longevity out of artificial grass with the use of only a small amount of decomposed granite. In fact, only the top few inches of subbase need to be decomposed granite in order to get good drainage and overall performance. This means you can fill most of your excavated area with inexpensive class II or CMB, then just spread a few inches of decomposed granite on the surface. This will bring down the cost considerably and produce fair results.
That being said, there are some installations for which we never recommend skimping on decomposed granite subbase. If you receive lots of rainfall, or already have drainage issues in your yard, this strategy isn’t likely to work out. Be sure to discuss your project’s particulars with our turf experts for more guidance.
2. Saving Money by Reducing Material Waste
It’s virtually impossible that all the grass you use will be used up in your installation, unless your installation area is the exact shape and size of a roll of turf. Most likely, you’ll have to do some cutting and seaming together of multiple pieces, and some turf will be discarded. The trick here is to figure out how to make the most of a 13′ or 15′ wide roll of turf. One way to do that is to ignore grain direction.
Artificial grass grain direction is one of the main culprits behind wasted grass. Grain direction is the direction in which the grass blades are predominantly pointing. Crews typically install artificial grass pieces so that the grain is facing the same direction, creating the most aesthetically-pleasing lawn.
For irregularly-shaped installation sites, though, maintaining a consistent grain direction often means wasting a lot of grass.
If perfect aesthetics aren’t terribly important to you, there’s a good chance you can save money by installing the pieces of grass you’ve purchased however they best fit the installation site, regardless of their grain direction.
3. The Seaming Method Hack
As mentioned above, you’ll probably have to cut and seam together multiple pieces of turf when you install artificial grass. Most of the time, this is accomplished using seaming tape, seaming glue, and nails. This method is considered the most secure and reliable, but also the most expensive. While the cost of seaming tape and glue might be negligible for a small installation, it can become substantial for larger ones.
The cheap alternative? Just use nails – a lot of them. This is a perfectly viable seaming method for some installations, though not quite as secure. Nails can and often do work loose over time and with enough foot traffic, so we only recommend this method if your grass isn’t going to get a lot of that.
If you’ve got a large installation area that won’t see much foot traffic, a box or two of inexpensive 5-inch nails might just do it.
4. Cost-cutting Tools
When it comes to specialized tools for installing artificial grass, the options are endless. Professional install crews have a myriad of gizmos and gadgets at their disposal to make the work go faster, including tools like the sod cutter, plate compactor, power broom, turf cutter, turf gripper, puller, kicker, and the list goes on. If you wanted to do it by the book, you could rent all these tools to automate your installation project and impress your neighbors.
We’re guessing you’re not doing this by the book, though. If not, our recommendation to you is to ditch the fancy gear and get back to basics with hand tools. It turns out, just about everything those power tools do can be done with low-tech hand tools. Switch out the sod cutter for a pick-ax, the plate compactor for a hand compactor, the power broom for a push broom, and the turf cutter for a carpet knife. Just get ready to apply some serious elbow grease and work up a sweat!
Even though it’ll take some hard work, it’s well worth it. If you’re still unsure about how to install artificial grass, we have a super helpful DIY guide. The guide has step-by-step instructions on how to install artificial grass, so you’ll have all the info you need to have an easier install process. And, of course, our PG team is always happy to help if you come across any issues or have any questions before, during, or even after your install. Check out that guide to get the low-down on how to install artificial grass yourself!
Installing artificial grass yourself may appear to be a daunting task. While it’s certainly a lot of work, Purchase Green is here to make it as easy, painless, and inexpensive as possible.
We’re proud to announce the publication of our new “DIY Install Guide”. If you’re looking for more information about installing artificial grass yourself, this is the guide for you. It has great insights for any contractor how is looking to perfect their skills at artificial grass installation. Click here to read our “DIY Install Guide” and become the expert.
Whether you’re a landscape professional or a handy DIYer, the general guidelines for estimating a synthetic turf project are the same. We’ve laid out how to install artificial turf and how to plan out your project.
Below is a step-by-step guide for thoroughly evaluating a job site, identifying risk factors, and how to best prepare for a successful and lasting installation.
Step 1: Examine and Identify Risk Factors
First, observe the streets and path leading up to the install site and take notes if you see potential obstacles for either the crew, the tools, or delivery trucks. Narrow streets can be difficult or even impossible to maneuver with a large trailer, and narrow gates or steps can make it much more difficult to move material.
Next, seek out and take note of all risk factors, including irrigation or electrical systems, large rocks, trees, roots, and nearby reflective surfaces.
Job sites with irrigation systems often have their sprinklers capped at the pipe level. Although, some elect to leave sprinklers as they are and simply install the turf around them. The latter is usually recommended for DIYers, but it’s completely optional and up to personal preference.
To cap a sprinkler head, ensure that the new cap is compatible with the system. In most cases, a threaded half-inch cap will suffice, and in fewer cases, you may need a three-quarter-inch cap. To begin, turn off the water line and remove the dirt surrounding the head, creating a hole roughly two to three inches in diameter. Remove the pre-existing sprinkler head and lightly coat both the new cap and the opening of the sprinkler line with a primer and sealer. Once primed, screw on the new flat cap and refill the hole.
Then, turn the water line back on and observe the capped sprinklers, making sure there are no leaks. If the sprinkler system for the lawn is an isolated system – meaning, all the sprinkler heads on that valve are located in only the installation area – you may cut and cap the line right at the valve; this is typically a one-inch non-threaded cap, which you would prime and seal in the same way.
Alternatively, drip lines can also be installed for more precise and conservative watering. However, if more complex solutions are needed, Purchase Green recommends seeking instruction from irrigation professionals before you install artificial turf.
Electrical systems and underground wiring may exist in landscapes to power lights, water features, and other elements. Electrical wiring is even a factor for some putting green projects that include our lighted cups. Unless the contractor or DIYer is familiar with handling these types of systems, again, Purchase Green recommends consulting with a professional before installing turf.
Identifying underground systems is critical in the estimation stage. Their exact location must be known and/or avoided during installation to prevent punctures.
As for trees, they can either be removed or installed around. Though, as you can imagine, installing around root systems can present certain challenges. The task is possible, just tedious. To be safe, Purchase Green suggests conferring with an arborist to ensure that the installation process will not harm the trees and their roots.
Installing artificial turf around tree trunks and roots takes careful planning and an eye for detail.
Beware Localized Heating
Another common risk factor is reflective surfaces, often from south or west-facing windows, resulting in localized heating – which is not covered by Purchase Green’s product warranty.
Localized heating occurs when reflective surfaces catch sunlight at a particular angle, then redirect and focus that light onto a surface below. In many cases, the reflected light creates temperatures that the surface material cannot withstand, so the material deforms.
Common culprits of localized heating are nearby metal objects, such as cars or barbeques, and even everyday objects like plastic pools, tarps, fire pits, white fences, or glass tables – even neighboring windows. Purchase Green recommends using turf samples to test potential areas of concern by placing them in the path of nearby reflective surfaces and observing. If it is recognized that there is potential for melting, you can opt to install window tints, awnings, solar screens, or not install turf in zones where there is a risk.
The presence of critters such as gophers or moles can be challenging, and while the process of excavating three to four inches typically deters them, it is still possible that they will return. To help curb this problem, you have the option of installing one or multiple layers of weed barrier, and in some instances even gopher wire; though it’s important to note that this is not a guaranteed solution, unfortunately.
Additionally, weeds can be just as stubborn. Like gophers, if weeds are preexisting in or around the installation site, it may be challenging to keep them away. However, there are proactive actions you can take to mitigate their invasion, such as applying a pre-emergent product to help prevent weeds from protruding and using non-toxic weed killers to eliminate those that do without damaging the turf. If the weeds are particularly invasive, installing a layer of weed barrier is recommended both below and above the subbase.
Step 2: Measuring Square Footage
Now it’s time to measure. You can begin with measuring the total linear footage of the perimeter – most easily achieved using a measuring wheel. Walking the perimeter line with your measuring wheel will allow you an opportunity to determine where a perimeter product should be installed and how much of it you need. Remember that steeply graded areas or areas without a constructed restraint, such as a retaining wall or sidewalk, will likely require a perimeter board – such as Bend-a-Board.
This 1.5″x1.5″x12′ Bend-a-Board acts as a perimeter for the artificial turf being installed against a fence.
Next, calculating the actual square footage. To do so, simply multiply the length and width of the install area, but don’t forget to subtract planters, trees, and other areas within the perimeter that would not be replaced with turf, as the goal is to establish the true square footage so that we know the minimum amount of artificial grass required. If needed, here is a handy square footage calculator.
After you’ve established the length of the perimeter and calculated the true square footage, you will have enough information to determine the linear footage of grass required for the project. Though, factors such as the grass’ roll width, the desired grain orientation, as well as the shape and size of the installation area will impact this number. For example, if a job site is odd-shaped and orienting the grass grain in the standard direction increases the material cost, then you may elect to install in a different direction. Alternatively, you could consider a 13-foot-wide product rather than a 15-foot-wide to reduce material waste.
Step 3: Illustrations and Visualization
Now to illustrate your estimate and calculations with drawings of the job site. These drawings should be to scale and as accurate as possible, seeing as they will be used as references when quoting and planning the job – such as indicating the placement of a perimeter product, seams, and the grain of the turf. Though there is no perfect plan, in the end, there are a variety of ways to approach every project; simply do your best to be smart and creative.
Below are some examples of project illustrations from our install managers:
Notice how the estimator draws arrows to indicate the main vantage point of the job site – where the majority of spectators will be when viewing the lawn. For the most aesthetic outcome, it is recommended to install turf in such a way that the grain or direction of the grass is pointing toward the main vantage point. As previously mentioned, installing turf in this way is not a hard and fast rule, and is often disregarded if orienting the turf in a different direction could conserve material.
Illustrations will also greatly assist in calculating the material and labor required for seams, if applicable. The estimator will draw dotted lines of the grass’ roll width to indicate where individual pieces would meet and be seamed. This visualization helps to accurately place and measure seam lengths so that you know exactly how many nails or how much seam tape your project requires.
How to Install Artificial Turf
This has been a pretty extensive guide on how to install artificial turf. It was a lot of information, but we think it’s hugely important for DIYers and homeowners looking for turnkey installation to have every bit of knowledge they can get.
Our goal is to educate our customers to make the best decisions for their projects, not sell them products that they don’t need. With this guide, you can be assured that you have the knowledge to start planning your artificial grass project, and the understanding of what our installation crews and team members do to help you get the lawn of your dreams.
Synthetic turf, a comparatively young industry, is taking the world by storm and ushering in a new age of modern landscape design.
In this blog, landscape design professionals discuss why they promote turf for the home and for business. They’ll also provide their own best practices for creating seamless landscapes.
Why Landscape Designers Prefer Synthetic Turf Over Sod
Once upon a time, landscapers and property owners scorned the mere mention of ‘AstroTurf.’ The resemblance to cheap, odd-colored carpet and its low-quality construction were the driving forces behind this disdain. But then, rather quickly, things just got better.
Manufacturing technology improved, chemistry enhanced the material quality, and the U.S carpet industry grew exponentially – making synthetic turf more readily available and at a much lower cost. As the West continues to endure extreme drought conditions and lawmakers push for greater restrictions on water use, artificial grass has become the hero for those of us still desiring a green dreamscape of our own.
“The tables have completely turned,” states Prem Penglin humorously, owner of Penglin Paving and Landscaping. “We originally started installing about ten years ago, and along the way we’ve learned a lot about product quality, that’s for sure. Back then, turf wasn’t a thing and was actually looked down upon. Also because there wasn’t so much of a drought as there is now, and sod was cheaper, but sod is on the downhill and turf has come up.”
Modern Landscape Design with Synthetic Turf
These days, artificial grass is no longer the up-and-coming player, but now a real challenger to sod in the landscaping industry. While initial costs of installation appear to be in sod’s favor, the long-term challenges and expenditures of maintaining an organic lawn add to the bill year after year. Turf, on the other hand, can often have a greater initial investment, but that investment pays for itself within the first 3-7 years on average.
“Turf brings a stress-free landscape. You’re able to save time and money between repairs, maintenance, watering, fertilizing, etc. So, in essence, artificial grass gives consumers a stress-free lifestyle,” explains Veer Singh, founder of Steve’s Landscaping. “Natural grass needs the correct amount of water – not too much and not too little, as well as weed prevention, the correct amount of nitrogen for the climate, fertilizer, and mow height. Even a gardener is often unable to constantly keep the optimal beauty of a natural lawn.”
When questioned about the potential limitations of turf in garden landscape designs, Veer responded, “I don’t see any limitations with artificial grass pertaining to landscape design. If anything, it opens up more options. For example, a common issue with landscape is drainage. By incorporating artificial grass into the design, we basically create a giant drywell underneath the turf. Water finds the path of least resistance, and once the water penetrates the grass, it travels through the base hitting the dry dirt below the base level. By adding artificial grass, we’re able to achieve a faster drain rate in our landscapes.”
Insane Drainage Rates
Veer has kindly provided the video below, demonstrating the turf’s ability to quickly drain water, even during a downpour.
In addition to increasing both the aesthetic and functional value of a property, synthetic turf provides an incredible opportunity for business owners as well. As Prem describes, “Turf is much more streamlined for the business, and the turnaround for it is a lot quicker. Turf also has a larger profit margin compared to sod. But even though it isn’t the main thing we do – it’s an accessory item – and it’s made all of the landscapes we’ve done look even more luxurious. If you’re working in an area that values luxury, turf is a must-have for your business.”
Veer also adds: “Turf is a simple service to add into any landscape, paver, or concrete company. The concept of pavers and concrete is similar to an artificial grass installation. By adding turf to any contractor’s service package, it will generate a higher close rate because a contractor can offer total landscape packages. When installing real grass contractors have a ton of return calls due to grass not taking into the native soil, dry spots, and simply poor post-install maintenance. For us, artificial grass has a return call rate of less than 5%.”
Higher close rate, accelerated project turnaround, increased profit margin, and reduced go-backs – all while still providing a functional and affordable luxury product? Synthetic turf really is the hero of this story.
Design Tips for Turf
Make the most out of your synthetic lawn by including these design tips from the pros:
Choose the Right Turf for the Style of Your Home
Shopping for artificial grass can sometimes feel daunting – there are so many to choose from. But by asking yourself the right questions, you can quickly narrow down to your best options.
In every Purchase Green store is a ‘Menu Board,’ which aids customers in identifying their ideal turf. Step 1 is specifying which type of application you’re installing for. This helps by prioritizing certain types of products with specific features, such as an anti-bacterial turf for pet applications, or a grass with Charge Guard carbon fibers to reduce the build-up of static electricity for playgrounds.
Then, most importantly, consider the anticipated foot traffic of the installation site. Knowing the traffic will inform you of the minimum performance requirements you need from your turf – such as grass with a particular blade shape, pile height, or density. Unless you consider your foot traffic as ‘light’ or non-existent, this step narrows your options considerably.
Lastly, style. Artificial grasses come in an array of color combinations (sometimes up to 4 different colors in one product) and with varying degrees of sheen. The tip here is to pick a style or color of grass that contrasts the property. Veer Singh has had great success in pairing Spring or Apple green turf colors with property designs that have darker tones. Conversely, properties with lighter tones pair nicely with an Olive or Forest green turf.
If this styling method doesn’t float your boat, Purchase Green recommends matching your synthetic turf with that of the natural sod in the general vicinity of the property.
The Most Attractive Landscapes Have Variety
While a landscape that is solely turf can be the look that some prefer, design professionals suggest having variety in your front or backyard landscape design.
If possible, add curvatures to your perimeter, rather than straight lines.
Create smooth and beautiful transitions from your lawn by lining the perimeter with woods chips or rocks.
Add planters and shrubs for balance and color. You can also install turf AROUND trees and their roots!
Add Undulations to Create Realism
Undulations are slopes in the landscape, usually with slightly different heights and grades to them. Adding undulations to larger installation sites greatly improves the realism of the landscape. However, keep in mind this could marginally increase the material cost of the job.
The Orientation of Turf Impacts the Finished Look
The majority of synthetic grasses have an obvious directional grain, due to the way they are manufactured and stored.
The general rule of thumb is to orient the turf’s grain toward the main vantage point. This perspective of the grass blades is known to be the most realistic. If you’re installing in the front of a property, face the turf grain toward the street, where most of the viewers will be. Or, if you’re installing in a backyard, you can orient the turf toward the home.
However, some may elect to orient their turf non-traditionally, sometimes to minimize material waste or to orient toward a different vantage point – like a pool, BBQ, or cabana. It really just comes down to personal preference.
Alternatively, Purchase Green offers a line of multi-directional grasses. These are grasses with blades that are curled in every direction. This type of construction allows for greater flexibility when orienting and also makes hiding seams so much easier.
First and foremost, always dry seam before permanently securing the turf. Dry seaming is a method in which you freely position multiple pieces of turf before gluing them together to help ensure an invisible seam.
Next, you must consider which seaming method is best for the installation’s layout. The two most common seaming methods are in-line seams and butt seams. In-line seams are seams cut parallel to the stitch rows of the artificial turf backing. Butt seams, on the other hand, are cut perpendicular to the stitch rows. See an example below in which both of these methods might be used on one installation:
The vast majority of installations will only need in-line seams. In-line seams are also the simplest method, for both DIYers and installation professionals.
Not All Turf Styles Should Go Between Pavers
When you place strips of turf in-between pavers, make sure enough of the pile height is exposed above the hardscape edge, but not too much as it will overpower the concrete slabs. Designers recommend using a turf with a pile height between 1.6″ and 2″ for the best aesthetic.
Additionally, grasses with a firmer fiber have blades that will keep them standing straight and above the paver edges. Softer grasses, such as products with a flat blade shape, will compress and compact much easier and can be difficult to fluff up again once installed in narrow spaces.
Save Your Waste
Last but not least, save your material waste! It could come in handy someday.
Accidents happen and can sometimes result in damage – such as moving the BBQ to close and melting the turf blades. In instances like these, use excess material from the initial installation to patch damaged areas.
Many people also find creative ways to make use of their scraps, such as doormats, decorative table placements, or even keeping a roll of turf for the garage gym. You’re only limited by your imagination!
In 6 years, a Nevada sod ban will block certain uses and installation locations for natural sod. However, the advantages of this law will not just impact the environment, but local business owners, too. Here is how they can best prepare.
Since 2000, Nevada’s drought has limited the Las Vegas region’s opportunity for economic growth, indicating an unstable future. With the most intense drought period occurring just earlier this year, the need for lasting water conservation must be met soon.
On June 4th, Nevada State Governor Steve Sisolak signed a law that will restrict many public and commercial sites within the Southern Nevada Water Authority jurisdiction from using ‘nonfunctional’ natural sod. The Vegas area is expecting to replace roughly 31%, or approximately 6 square miles, of commercial landscape space.
The Nevada sod ban restrictions will apply to sites that receive little to no daily foot traffic. Affected locations include commercial courtyards, street medians, and entrances to housing developments. Single-family homes, parks, and golf courses do not meet the requirements for the sod ban.
What’s the Impact of Nevada’s Sod Ban?
With bipartisan support, as well as backings from various groups and associations, Nevada lawmakers are taking major strides to “allow for more sustainable and efficient use of resources, build resiliency to climate change, and help ensure the community’s current and future water needs continue to be met,” as stated by Southern Nevada Water Authority General Manager, John Entsminger.
Replacing 6 square miles of sod will result in saving around 11 gallons of water per person per day. This equals about a 10% reduction in water consumption from the region’s primary source – the Colorado River. Although, with clear environmental benefits, how might this ban impact Nevada locals on an individual level?
Purchase Green Supports Small Business
While limitations to the ban are still being defined, business owners and property managers can stay one step ahead. There’s time to determine the important needs regarding synthetic turf’s style, performance, and longevity – as not all are made equal.
Purchase Green Product Experts can identify the best possible turf from over 30 options, each with varying styles and functions. Grass features can increase usage and comfort by reducing the amount of heat retained from the sun. Or they can kill harmful bacteria and keeps surfaces sanitized. Some have multiple blade shapes and directions for the ultimate realistic look. Additionally, consider a professional installation by starting with a free on-site estimate.
Contractors are in a special position as well, with the opportunity to advertise themselves to a broader pool of prospects by offering turf as an additional product and/or service – if they are not already taking advantage of the turf market.
Purchase Green teams in Nevada – which service North Las Vegas, Henderson, and surrounding cities – maintain a reliable inventory of goods. Our warehouses stock up to 160,000 sq. ft. of turf at all times for fast order fulfillment, delivery, and same-day will call. With Purchase Green, contractors can also qualify for discounted material pricing or gain access to leads when they sign up as an Installation Partner.
Purchase Green is an organization that believes in the power of knowledge and creating genuine, lasting partnerships. Regardless of experience or industry, we’re confident that – with Purchase Green – contractors, landscapers, and business owners alike will find the solution they need!
We’re proud to announce the publication of our new “Pet Turf Guide”. If you’re looking for more information about pets and deep cleaning artificial turf, including how to keep your turf nice and fresh, this is the guide for you. Click here to read our “Pet Turf Guide” and become the expert on artificial grass and pets.
Synthetic turf means an end to mowing, fertilizing, and consuming large amounts of water to keep grass growing. While artificial turf is much easier to maintain than grass, regular cleaning is still an important part of its upkeep. Proper maintenance helps ensure the longevity of the synthetic material while preventing a buildup of dirt and grime.Continue reading →
We’re proud to announce the publication of our new “Pet Turf Guide”. If you’re looking for more information about pets and artificial grass, including how to choose the right grass and keep it clean and fresh, this is the guide for you. Become the expert on artificial grass and pets.
Artificial grass is becoming increasingly popular among homeowners looking for a drought-friendly alternative to a traditional lawn. Artificial grass demands less upkeep and maintenance, requires no water, and can be enjoyed year-round. However, many people have questions and concerns regarding their pets and how they might be affected by a switch to artificial grass. Continue reading →
Establishing a new brick and mortar is no small feat, often requiring countless hours of scouting, documenting, training, and marketing. Purchase Green, after opening 30+ locations since its founding in 2008, recognized this burden and has since formulated a Store Opening Procedure to minimize pain points in the onboarding process, for both corporate and franchise operations alike.
Even still, challenges persist no matter how prepared one might be. For this reason, newly opened Purchase Green stores are given a bit of reprieve for their first year, allowing these younger locations the opportunity to generate awareness and revenue – with the understanding that projected earnings will continue to rise over time.
So, it is quite remarkable when a Purchase Green store as young as six months has already breached $1 million in revenue – for the first time in this organization’s history – and with trends indicating there is still much to gain in their market. But how did Purchase Green Houston do it? And how might others mirror their success? We met with our Houston, Texas team for their insight into what they believe has set them apart.
The following interview was conducted by Parris King, our Content Marketing Manager, who spoke with Bob Felix, Regional Manager of Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, and Austin territories, as well as Jose Jimenez, Store Manager of Purchase Green Houston.
Parris: “Bob, you are a Purchase Green veteran. By now you’ve helped establish several of our stores – so, what do you think are Houston’s key strengths and/or advantages that have set it up for success?”
Bob: “We found that the further we are moving into the Southeast, there is less direct competition; and what competition is here, they have a much higher markup. Houston is fairly untapped with a strong middle class, and even though it did take a little bit of time for people to find us, we were still able to make a splash as soon as we got here.”
Parris: “Interesting. Following that, what do you think sets Purchase Green Houston apart from the competition that is there?”
Jose: “We’re focused on building relationships with our contractors; and because of that networking, we’re receiving new contractor customers every week.”
Bob: “Yes, exactly. We have a number of relationships that we heavily nurture – it also helps to not have to rely on our Master Distribution Center in California for materials, but instead grow the Houston warehouse as the next ‘hub’, so we always have stock on hand. But we still have to groom installers out here – there’s just not a big installer culture in Texas like there is in California. We’re trying to educate them, but we’re just barely breaking the first couple of layers on that.”
Parris: “I love how focused your team is on your contractor customer base. Purchase Green as an organization really does encourage that for all of our stores because contractors will ultimately be your bread and butter. Jose, you really hit the nail on the head there with emphasizing those relationships – and from your experience, what would you say is necessary to have or do in order to build a strong network of contractors?”
Jose: “Well, I treat them like they’re a part of the Purchase Green family – because they are, really. To me, I talk to them like they’re my friends, and I know they appreciate that.”
Bob: “That’s a big deal, and I try to do the same thing in other stores – you want to make the conversations loose but with the education aspect on point. Maintain that sort of atmosphere in the store if you can because when you think about it from the customer’s perspective, they’re finally away from the job – they’ve been out on the field all day or running estimates, and by the time they get to you they need a place to decompress. I’ve even had people tell me, ‘This place is like my living room’ – especially when you’ve created an inviting showroom space with plants, furniture, and other decorative elements – I mean, I love Purchase Green Houston’s showroom atmosphere.”
Parris: “Absolutely. Customer service at that level truly boosts the potential of a store, in addition to creating a comfortable environment. Although, as we head toward the close of Houston’s first fiscal year and gear up for the 2022 season, what do you see as being possible next steps to advance Houston even further?
Bob: “We’re still trying to rev up our Install Partners. When you land in these markets that are more-or-less un-tapped, it’s tough to manage all of the incoming leads when you have a limited capacity for installations. You know, you have to make all of these relationships with contractors when you’re new to the area and learn who’s who – and you can’t go to the next step without having that reliable pool of quality Install Partners first. So, for Purchase Green Houston, we’re trying to meet as many contractors as we can to build our Partner program, and then we can begin to work on In-House Installation teams.”
Parris: “What is your process for identifying quality artificial grass installers?”
Jose: “One of the things that I like to do, as one example, is after a contractor purchases from us I’ll do a personal follow up call to ask how the job went, if they could send any pictures, or if there’s anything else they needed – and at that time they usually share their learning experiences from that job.”
Bob: “Yes, you should be given, or you should request pictures of their installs, but also try to visit them on-site if you can. And there is a certain level of professionalism that you should expect from your partners, so I like to meet with them in-store to get a sense of how they are in person. Also the simple things, like going out to look at their truck and getting a sense of how they present themselves.”
Parris: “And how do you approach the balance of maintaining an in-house crew with Installation Partners?”
Bob: “You have to get your Install Partners strong before you think about in-house. In-house teams are a whole other type of responsibility; you have to make sure you can be on top of training the crew as well as your estimators. I would say focus on your partners for the first year, at least.”
Parris: “So, it’s getting a handle on who is available to you in the area, nurturing those partnerships, and then building your own in-house team over time – although while still maintaining those contractor relationships even after the fact?”
Bob: “Oh yeah, there’s enough to go around – especially in large markets like Houston.”
Parris: “Got it. Well, that’s all the time we have for this call – thank you guys for sharing your availability with me, I appreciate your time. We’ll talk soon!”
Learning from Purchase Green Houston’s Success
The path to growth and prosperity may present differently to others, but there are key fundamentals conducive to the longevity of a store, such as hiring the right team members for the goals you have in mind and maintaining a positive corporate culture. The discussion with Bob and Jose highlighted the task of hiring individuals with skill sets that complement the needs of your store, developing your team for excellence by emphasizing the value of knowledge, and encouraging them along their process of learning.
Additionally, relationship-building with not only your in-house team but also your clients is essential to their advocacy of your business – and is what ultimately broadens your network. Something simple to employ but also easy to forgo is the personalization of your service. Ask thoughtful questions about their line of work or how their last install went. Try to identify a need and offer value – possibly by way of industry insights, installation tips, and, in some circumstances, maybe a business partnership. Managers that are focused on customer support often find many creative ways to be the most helpful and valuable to their clients, and those are the clients that keep coming back.
The Purchase Green Houston team has been an excellent example of what it means to be ‘Happy, Helpful, and Happy to Help’ – and we’re eager to watch them grow even more!
The latest generation of the landscape industry has taken root, growing exponentially in the last several decades – and, ironically, it’s synthetic.
Artificial grass, since its initial introduction to the residential market in the early 1990s, has steadily gained traction as a result of the opportunities it presents in resource and environmental conservation, its versatility in design and application, as well as its potential for profitability in a variety of business models.
But has the market already capped? Have aspiring business owners missed their window? Is there any more room for advancement, innovation, or growth? We asked artificial turf industry experts for their take on artificial turf’s viability and sustainability in the economic landscape.
Growth and Sustained Success in a Fragmented Market
Many of us still remember the earliest generations of artificial grass – reminiscent of our grandparents’ carpet from the ’60s. Compared to today’s synthetic products, it’s easy to appreciate the progress made in manufacturing technology and the utilization of applied sciences in material production – further propelling market value amidst significant cultural shifts.
Anthony Vena, President and CEO of Purchase Green Artificial Grass – a business begun as a small startup in Southern California in early 2008 with now more than 30 locations nationwide – describes his witness of these industry advancements and the subsequent changes in consumer perception:
“Improvements in manufacturing combined with an increase in available skilled labor and water conservation efforts have created a more natural appearance at a cost that is now more acceptable to a significantly larger base of homeowners, while simultaneously offering a viable solution to water conservation. Additionally, with a broader cultural change – with more folks valuing free time over the “therapeutic” benefits of gardening & landscaping – it offers a solution: a beautiful, natural-looking, low maintenance yard.”
As production quality improved and consumer demand increased, the early 2000s experienced an emergence of commercial manufacturers, distributors, and installers, seemingly saturating and dominating the market. However, as reported by Mordor Intelligence in an artificial turf market forecast for the 2021 to 2026 fiscal years, the market is in fact moderately fragmented – presenting few obstacles and limiting boundaries for those wanting to enter the industry.
“Generally, folks looking to start a business or enter a business want to be involved in emerging industries”, states Anthony Vena, “Rarely do folks want to enter a mature industry with little growth outlook. Artificial grass IS that growth industry. It is still in the early stages of adoption with lots of untapped markets and geographies; in states where it is a bit more mature (like the southwest), it is still growing at >15% per year. With improvements in manufacturing technology, there are more and more use applications available to folks within the industry, which adds to the growth outlook.”
The Future of the Artificial Turf Industry is Green
Having been initially produced for sport applications, today nearly one-third of the global turf market caters to landscape and recreational uses, with the market projected to reach $7 billion by 2025 – as reported by IndustryARC in their own market forecast for 2020 to 2025.
Scott Lowrie, President of Controlled Products – a renowned organization that has led the artificial turf industry in manufacturing technology for over 25 years – encourages contractors, landscapers, and other industry professionals to consider the profitability of artificial grass: “Artificial grass is a rapidly growing industry with adoption rates that suggest it will continue this trend for decades to come. The market is still in its infancy and for those who are looking for new products and new markets, artificial turf is a great product to promote.“
Custom builders, landscape architects, real estate agents and management firms, as well as local governments are seeking the benefits of synthetic turf in increasing numbers. An Administrative Draft Report for the City of Novato, prepared by Carducci Associates Landscape Architects and Planners San Francisco, CA states:
“The City of San Francisco has demonstrated that synthetic turf athletic fields accommodate two or three times more use than natural grass fields and that thousands of children and adults from community sports leagues can have a place to play soccer/lacrosse year-round. One synthetic turf field can accommodate up to 3,000 hours of use per year, equal to about 1,500 two-hour games.“
Furthermore, “There is potential for increased revenue from synthetic turf. A synthetic turf field received City Council support because it can cost less to maintain per hour than a natural grass field and generate revenues that make the synthetic turf field self-sustaining.”
As stated by Scott Lowrie, “The market has enormous white space for growth in so many different ways. It will be exciting to watch this industry continue to grow and prosper.”
To answer the question, “Is the future of the artificial turf industry grim or green?” there is a great potential for growth in a market that may appear from the outside to be mature and oversaturated. Synthetic turf is truly a market in its infancy that is projected to grow exponentially over the next decade.