DIY Artificial Grass (PRO Tips BEFORE You Begin Installing)
With the growing popularity of artificial grass and the increasing availability of turf products at garden centers and home improvement stores, it is no surprise that some homeowners are wondering if they can install synthetic lawns without the help of a professional.
DIY Artificial Grass: Can I Install Artificial Grass Myself?
The short answer is yes. Artificial grass products are now widely available to the public, there are lots of how-to videos online, and many homeowners have chosen to take this on as a do-it-yourself project. Some of these homeowners have been satisfied with the end of result, while others have not had as much success and may have even called in professionals to replace their DIY fake grass with a properly installed synthetic lawn.
Saving money is the number one reason folks consider installing their own turf, which is understandable, since almost any home improvement project is less expensive if you can do it yourself. Of course, DIY projects always come with a higher risk of not going well or needing to be fixed by professionals, but some folks find that taking this chance is worth the potential savings.
Let’s look at some of the things you should consider if you are thinking about installing a DIY artificial grass lawn.
1. Synthetic turf products sold at garden centers and home improvement stores are often lower-quality products meant to appeal to the masses. Since these stores cannot stock a wide variety of fake grasses, they generally have a few options that are intended to meet the needs of the broadest array of customers. This might be okay if you are looking for a generic grass for a small area, but their offerings may not suit your needs as well if you want to install artificial turf in a dog run or a high-traffic area.
2. Turf products available at garden centers and home improvement stores sometimes do not look as realistic as those available through a professional. This is not always the case, but because their stock is often limited, brick-and-mortar stores may not have the blade shape or grass color that will look most realistic in your setting.
3. A professional synthetic grass design consultant or installer can work with you to understand your needs and choose one or more grass products that are right for your installation. He or she can also guide you through selecting other products that are necessary for a successful installation, such as edging materials that work with your landscaping or drainage tiles for installation on hard surfaces. This is particularly important with special installations, such as installing artificial grass on a deck or concrete.
4. Proper synthetic turf installation requires several steps before you ever get around to laying out the grass, and this prep work is incredibly important to the success of the install and your overall satisfaction with your lawn. Properly preparing the ground for the lawn to be installed helps to limit weed growth, ensure proper drainage, provide a level surface with reduced tripping hazards for kids and pets, and extend the life of your lawn.
A professionally installed artificial grass lawn can last up to 20 years – or even longer – so this, alone, may be reason enough to work with a professional.
5. Most artificial grass installation companies offer some type of warranty on your grass installation. While you may never need to use it, it is nice to know that there is a company you can call if you experience problems with your lawn during that warranty period.
6. Part of what makes artificial grass look like real grass is the seaming. When you work with a design consultant, he or she can help create a design with as few seams as possible. This is an important part of making your lawn look more realistic. Plus, making synthetic grass seams is not always easy, but if your grass is not seamed well, the seams will show, and this will significantly detract from your lawn’s overall visual appeal. If you plan to install your own artificial grass, be sure to practice making seams until you are completely comfortable with your skill level.
It can be particularly challenging to make your fake grass look and function like natural grass if you are installing it around existing landscaping features or plan to include a walkway or other features in your lawn. This additional cutting, seaming and designing can be challenging for folks who are not experienced in installing artificial grass.
DIY Artificial Grass: Final Thoughts
DIY artificial grass installation might be right for you if you have a particularly tight budget and the project is small and simple. However, even if you are working with a small budget, we recommend at least getting a quote from a professional to see how much your project would cost. It might be less than you think.
To better understand the artificial turf installation process and get an idea of the cost, check out these guides: