When it comes to lawn-care, there are a few images that jump straight into our minds. Trimmed hedges, nice looking flower beds, and maybe even a sign that says “this is our home.” But the one universal factor that everyone considers when judging a yard is the grass; a beautifully manicured lawn can make a huge difference in your lawn’s appearance. But nowadays the time to manage a nice lawn can be hard to find, and the products and work that goes into it can be back-breaking.
An alternative to planting and maintaining a lawn of grass is “installing” an artificial lawn. But is synthetic grass really as nice as the real deal? Another thing to consider when looking at real grass vs. synthetic grass is the application. If you’re looking for your residence, there are factors that might make one better than the other. If you’re looking at a commercial location or building, such as in front of a business building, inside a gym, or even for an outdoor or indoor playground, those same factors might make the opposite true. Let’s dive into it and weigh the differences between the two, focusing on synthetic grass and what it offers.
Real Grass: What We All Know
So what is there to be said about real grass that we don’t already know? It’s beautiful when well maintained, and can make a yard and home look inviting. But the same can be said for synthetic grass in that regard as well. What a real lawn does offer is a sense of pride in the hard work that goes into it. And while a synthetic yard is surely beautiful, the natural feel of real grass is not something that can be achieved by plastic (well, maybe in the future). The natural choice also means no plastics being produced to do a job that grass can already do. It’s better for the environment, and the costs are cheaper starting out. But the costs don’t stay cheap, and that is for sure! The average yearly cost of maintaining a yard can range anywhere from a couple hundred to a couple of thousand dollars, depending on whether you use lawn care services or DIY jobs. Let’s move on to synthetic grass and the costs and factors that come along with it.
- No Maintenance
- Water Costs
- Not Environmentally Friendly
- Hot in Sunlight
- High Costs Initially
The first thing that appeals to me about synthetic grass is the hassle-free perk of having it around. Right from the start I’m in love with synthetic grass. But there is also a con that appears early as well—the cost of installation. Synthetic grass can range from $5 to $20 a square foot, which can get pricey quickly. That can equal a cost of just over $6000 for about 500 square feet of yard. Doing the math, when compared to the cost of installing sod, you would have to keep the yard for about 7 years for it to pay itself off when compared to a traditional yard in terms of upkeep. Considering that mortgages are 15 or 30 years long, I would say the initial cost is an investment worth making; but for some that could be a large cost to consider when moving into a new place.
Now those costs include the costs associated with watering said lawn, which is a huge perk in itself. Depending on where you live, watering your lawn once or even twice a day in the hot summer months can be a crucial factor in determining whether your lawn survives to see another year or not. With the advancement of smart home technology, it is easier to make sure this happens, but not all people want to fork over the money or effort to set up a Wi-Fi-enabled super sprinkler for their yard. Another convenience to consider is the time spent mowing your lawn every week or every other week and really just any maintenance time period. Imagine being able to enjoy your Sundays for the next 25 years knowing that your yard never has to cross your mind.
If you’re looking at options for a commercial space, I think the fight definitely leans in favor of synthetic grass. The start up cost would be high, but costs are factored differently for businesses. What appeals in this sense is the lack of maintenance. For commercial-sized lots and applications, the contracts required to have lawn-care workers maintain your property in addition to the extra water costs can be astronomical. This is where synthetic grass takes an easy victory. Aside from maintenance and costs, the 25-year longevity of a yard that will look beautiful year-round definitely appeal to all applications. There are other drawbacks to synthetic grass though. The fact that it is not biodegradable means that at some point it will have to be recycled. Synthetic grass can also be hot to the touch if it is in direct sunlight in high temperatures, so that is something to consider if you have kids or plan on being on the grass often in hot temperatures. I was able to find a few companies that have competitive rates and professional installation experience, such as Artificial Turf Brisbane SurfaceIT who specialize in a number of different synthetic grass applications from gyms and parks, to residential properties.
So Which is Best?
Honestly, I have to go with synthetic grass here. It costs more upfront but will pay itself off in a couple of years. It is made of plastic, but it can be recycled after it’s 25-year lifespan. It isn’t the real deal, but it looks amazing all the time and you don’t have to take care of it. The perks definitely outweigh the cons for synthetic grass every time for me!