Is artificial grass a good investment/ROI?

May 27, 2022

You might be checking this article on your way to researching whether or not artificial grass is a worthy investment. You might even still be skeptical of its pros and cons. Regardless of how you got here, you probably have a lawn you’re maintaining and you’re at least considering the possibility of making the switch. So let’s walk through what exactly is artificial grass and whether or not it’s for you.

What is artificial grass exactly?

Artificial grass is what it describes itself to be, but with a lot more perks than what you might expect. For one, artificial grass has come a long way where most people can’t tell the difference between an artificially installed turf or a beautifully manicured all natural garden. One of its main perks is that it offers a wider variety of applications - both indoor and outdoor, with a higher success rate for those not lucky to have been born with a green thumb. But beyond that, what are the other reasons for making the shift?

The Pros of Artificial Grass

There’s a handful of reasons for artificial grass’s popularity as a lawn alternative and they usually fall under the following points:

  • Water conservation
  • Environment friendly
  • Home Value Increase
  • Pet Friendly Yard

Water conservation

According to this study from the University of California, lawns have been singled out as the biggest water wasting culprits, estimated to use about 40-60% of landscape irrigation in the California state alone. This much waste tends to come from both inefficient irrigation methods and overwatering - the latter usually from attempts to fix patching in most lawn areas.

Artificial grass on lawns typically use less than half of that same amount of water with weekly or bi-weekly hose downs to spray down dust, debris, and pet waste if you have them. In places like Texas where droughts are common, an artificial grass covered lawn would save you from water restrictions.

Environment friendly

There’s a common misconception about artificial grass being bad for the environment, but the opposite is actually true. In the time of a climate crisis, we all have to do our part for the environment. For one thing, artificial grass doesn’t need fertilizers or chemical weed killers and pesticides - all products that not only tend to seep into groundwater, but whose manufacturing processes are great contributors to CO2 emissions.

The EPA attributes lawns adding up to at least 5% of America’s annual pollution on top of the typical roster of lawn maintenance chemicals. The total upkeep of the natural grass lawn is costly both financially and to the environment which is why artificial grass has been increasing in popularity as the eco-friendly alternative. Which also leads us to -

Home Value Increase

The American Dream of a home and white picket fence is nothing without a beautiful green lawn. The durability and weather resistance of an artificial lawn has been proven to increase a home’s value. Nothing like a low-maintenance yard to entice buyers into a deal of a lifetime for their dream home.

Pet Friendly Yard

For furparents everywhere, artificial grass might be the solution for some of the sore points of being a lawn-owner. Especially for dogs, natural grass usually can’t hold up to the rough play and lifestyle and fall victim to a handful of lawn issues like brown spots from their waste, mud tracking on wetter days, and the hole digging. There's not much you can do to work against an animal's natural instinct so the smart furparent would work with their pets. Installing fake grass would transform your yard into a pet-friendly haven that will last for years with much lower maintenance than a natural yard.

Whether you have a cat or dog or a much more unique pet, there’s a pet-friendly turf that could be the option for you. Additional considerations would need to be made for pet friendly set-ups and here’s a few of the recommended options:

  • Cooling infill to protect their pawpads

So is artificial grass worth it?

More often than not, the reality is that artificial grass is a smarter investment. The only other answer depends on individual situations and short term vs. long term goals. To help set your financial expectations, here’s a few realities:

  • Natural grass is cheaper to install but costly to maintain in time, money, and labor.
  • On top of watering your grass regularly, you may need to spend on fertilizers, weed killers, pesticides, and lawn mowing. All with increased regularity if you have active pets.
  • A natural lawn is also more vulnerable to the weather, most especially if you live in a state that has common droughts that could brown up your precious greenery.
  • Most of the higher costs for artificial grass come upfront with the installation. Its’ maintenance for fluffing, power brushing only happen once a month with more regular maintenance reserved for raking up leaves and debris as needed.
  • If you have pets, hosing down the turf once a week would be an additional maintenance task to help remove any residual urine.
  • Annual maintenance would be for reapplying infill.

When isn’t it worth it?

We all have different lives to live and we all vary in situations. While you may be considering the switch to artificial grass, here’s a few specific instances where the switch may not be worth the money:

  1. You can’t afford it yet. Yes, artificial turfs are always cheaper in the long-run but it’s not worth going into debt for if you can’t afford the initial investment. Better to save for the installation than to make the jump and spend your time on a beautiful lawn worrying about loans.
  2. You’re renting or you don’t plan to stay in your current home for long-term. Because of the aforementioned initial investment, it’s going to take about 3-6 years until the lawn starts to pay for itself. Unless you’re already in your forever home, best to hold off on that decision.
  3. City ordinances. Unfortunately, not all HOAs or city regulations allow for home and landowners to have a synthetic lawn. Make sure to check your local laws and regulations before going forward.
  4. Yard and garden work is your hobby. This is a no-brainer but if you’re the type of person that has found joy and fulfillment in doing the regular dirty work to create your own therapeutic landscape then you don’t really need to make that switch.

Except for these specific instances, artificial grass is a guaranteed good investment.

Ready to make the switch?

If you’re convinced to make the switch, then feel free to browse around our turf options, or connect with one of our turf professionals here on Turflow to help you get started.


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