The Pros and Cons of Artificial Lawn or Grass
Having installed artificial lawn in my garden over 10 years ago, I am a big fan of the product, but like anything else, there are pros and cons to installing artificial lawn or grass.
A shady garden will benefit from the installation of artificial lawn that doesn't require sun or shade and looks great all year round.
I first installed artificial lawn right at the beginning when the product was first launched onto the local market by Belgotex. Prior to that, the instant lawn that was available was the AstroTurf that didn't even look like grass and was a plastic imitation. Now there are artificial grass varieties out there where it is hard to tell whether or not it is real or not. But, as with any product, there are pros and cons for artificial lawn, and we look at some of these below.
When combined with landscaping materials, the cost of artificial lawn is reduced and more affordable for smaller gardens where a low maintenance garden is the goal.
1. The Cost
One of the main cons associated with artificial lawn is the price tag. It is almost as expensive as fitting a luxury carpet in the home. But when you consider the savings and benefits and the fact that they do all that is required to prepare the garden for installation, it might be more affordable than you think.
When deciding to have an artificial lawn installed, look at how you can reduce the total cost by measuring accurately and limiting the area to be covered to only what you need. You can always install more later if the budget is tight.
Artificial lawn is perfect for smaller gardens that only require a lawn for aesthetics or where kiddies can play.
2. Don't Settle on a Cheap Product
As with most things in life, there are cheap options and expensive ones. Having obtained several quotes for the installation of my artificial lawn, I can confirm that there are huge differences in price when it comes to artificial lawn. There was even an instance where it was the same product offered by two companies with an R8000 difference in price. It pays to do your homework if you decide to install artificial lawn and don't be tempted to take the cheapest offer, as you could end up regretting this in the long run.
There are a lot of reasons why you shouldn't settle on a cheaper product:
• Not realistic
Today's artificial lawn resembles nothing as it used to years ago, but there are still some shady products on the market. Ask to see a sample of various options before choosing one that is best for you - and do this with everyone you ask to quote.
• Texture is important
Apart from the overall look of the artificial lawn, you also need to consider texture. Some products are designed for areas of high traffic, such as sports and athletic fields, and these are not as soft as you would like in your garden. Ask for advice on the product range available from each supplier and what they recommend. There will no doubt be differences since there are so many products to choose from but having a sample in front of you will let you determine for yourself.
• Environmental Impact
While artificial lawn is manufactured using plastics, there is a continuing debate as to the environmental impact for the product. Again, research is important if you want to ensure the product installed is done by a company that uses green manufacturing processes.
• Guarantee of Product
A cheaper product is not always a money-saving option, especially if they do not offer any warranty or guarantee that covers workmanship and installation. Select a company that offers a guarantee and contact previous references to see how the product withstood wear and tear.
The installation of artificial lawn will benefit those homeowners along the coastal areas that battle to establish a lush green lawn.
Artificial lawn provides a year-round lawn of lush green that doesn't need watering and only minimal maintenance.
3. Professional Installation
Another reason for not selecting the lowest quotation is the installation process. If anything is skimped on this, it will affect the overall installation. The area needs to be properly prepared and treated before the installation takes place. You also must consider other cons of poor installation such as:
• Visible joins
The last thing you want to see once your artificial lawn is installed are visible joins where the area was too wide or too long for a single sheet. To accommodate for this, suppliers usually have to install one or more cut sections to fill in. If this is not done properly, you will end up with visible joins where the sheets align.
• Edges lifting
Another consequence of poor installation is that the edge of the artificial lawn is not secured properly and ends up curling or lifting. This ruins the overall effect and makes the fact that you have installed artificial lawn obvious. Before signing on the dotted line, ask for confirmation on how the edges are fixed in place.
• Drainage and Flooding
If you already experience drainage problems in the garden, make sure to mention this at the original consultation so that this can be factored into the quotation and the problem remedied. Even if you know that the existing lawn becomes waterlogged after rains, discuss this with the supplier and installation team to ensure they allow extra drainage.
• Aesthetics and Practicality
Whether you are installing artificial lawn for the beauty of a lush green lawn all year round, putting in an artificial lawn for your children to play on, or like me, having artificial lawn installed due to trees creating a shady garden, keep in mind that it is a synthetic product and because of its composition it will hold more heat than natural grass.
Installing artificial lawn will cut out on using a lawnmower and weed eater or edge trimmer, it will also require far less maintenance than a natural grass lawn. Weeding will no longer be required, and you won't have to spend time watering or fertilizing an artificial lawn.
Having said that, artificial lawn does require occasional maintenance. If you want to keep the pile looking good, it is essential to use a brush to remove trapped debris that might flatten the pile. For those who have pets, you should immediately remove any mess and spray down areas where dogs tend to urinate.
Artificial lawn is tough and durable, making it ideal for installation in a children's play area.
Artificial lawn is not affected by salt water or chlorine swimming pools and is safer than the installation of hard materials around a pool.