(Updated on March 30, 2023)
No matter how enticing a style, product, or service may be, price always plays a role in determining whether you ultimately make it a part of your life or not. Artificial grass, one of the latest trends in sustainable landscape design, has a standard litany of appeal:
- No water
- Virtually no maintenance
- Incredible strides in design (making it sometimes indistinguishable from natural lawns)
- 3-years to a positive ROI
- Year-round perfect look
- Environmentally friendly (huge, like tens-of-thousands-of-gallons-of-water-each-year savings)
Of course, all the good stuff gets the spotlight. But the lingering question for many homeowners, business owners, or even suppliers is, “how much does it cost to install artificial grass?”
Surprisingly, not as much as you might think – but there are options that can move the needle to anywhere between, “oh, that didn’t hurt at all!,” to “Wow, that really hurts!”
Ways to install artificial grass
The price of artificial grass depends on several factors and can vary depending on your location. If you opt for a professional installation service, it can cost somewhere between $5 – $19 per square foot. Your application type (landscape, putting green, playground, etc.), your turf of choice, the installation method used, and your local service rates will impact where exactly you fall within that range. While installing the grass yourself is absolutely feasible, it may require a bit of elbow grease; things like excavating native soil, layering gravel, and seaming two pieces of grass together. If you install the grass yourself, product costs can typically range from $3 – $6 per sq. ft. Professional installers can install up to 700 sq. ft. per day (including excavation, etc.). If you’re doing it on your own, but plan on working some good 8-hour days over a weekend, a rookie could probably lay down about 500 sq. ft. over the course of two days. Of course, there is a range of items that can impact how much you can do and how fast such as:
- How accessible the install site is.
- How much you actually need to excavate.
- The number seams needed.
- Whether or not you use a perimeter board.
- Whether or not you use tape and glue.
Synthetic grass per square foot
Another determinant of the cost of an artificial lawn is the type of material you buy. Artificial grass is priced by square foot. Grass that costs more per square foot usually for one of two reasons: it’s denser (meaning more material per sq. ft.) or some type of treatment (usually to make it softer, reduce the shine, improve performance, or add realism). It’s not so much a matter of quality as, generally speaking, most products have the same warranty. Some treatments simply cost move. As an example, memory technology affected by resins cost more that memory technologies driven by yarn structure. Yet, the type you choose is usually driven by preference – as both approaches to memory are known to work really well. Depending on the kind of grass you buy, the cost per sq. ft. of any particular grass can range from $1.75 – 3.75 / square foot.
How long before the cost pays itself off in saved water bills?
The added bonus of sporting an evergreen artificial lawn is that you will ultimately save money on lawn care expenses and watering. It will only be a few years before the cost of the investment pays for itself.
Although water has been readily available in past decades, it’s becoming scarcer and scarcer. Likewise, the cost of water will continue to rise. A lawn uses roughly 37 gallons of water per square foot per year. If you have a 500 square foot lawn, over the course of a year, with an artificial lawn, you will save 18,500 gallons of water. That’s the equivalent of saving 74,000 of your favorite bottled water – in one year. Or over 1.1 million bottles of water of the expected useful life of the grass. The cost of water varies depending on where you live, and by the season.
Lawn care is another cost you will bypass with an artificial lawn. The lawnmower, fertilizing, and cutting add up to roughly $160 a month for a 500 square foot lawn. Annually, you’ll save roughly $1,920. (To calculate lawn maintenance costs in your zip code, check out this calculator.)
Assuming a lawn is covered with mid-range grass that cost $2.15 per square foot, and it’s installed with professional services, it will cost roughly $6,075 up front. The total money saved on annual maintenance costs will amount to roughly $2,845. In other words, the cost of the grass will be recouped in saved maintenance expenses within two years and three months. Depending on the quality of grass you purchase, the amount of time it will take you to recoup on your investment may vary.
Financing Options Available
Some more good news about artificial grass: The U.S. Government recognizes synthetic grass as an energy efficient and water efficient product. This means that when you purchase artificial grass, depending on where you live in the United States, you more likely than not qualify for financing. Various programs finance 100% of the costs of installation (including products). The programs are available to commercial and residential property owners. Purchase Green also offers finance options. Call us today to learn more about both programs!
And if you’re interested in learning more about how to install artificial grass yourself, be sure to download the free DIY Easy Install Guide which covers the entire process in detail, step-by-step.