Understanding Artificial Turf Costs and Investment

While the Southern California drought may have abated for now, water prices still remain high, as does the amount of weekend work it takes to nurture a lovely, natural lawn. As more and more artificial turf lawns pop up in your neighborhood, each one looking more natural than the last, you may wonder whether artificial turf makes the most sense for you. Of course, the cost is a primary concern.  


There’s a big difference between the initial installation costs . . . until you factor in the artificial turf company’s financing, which distributes that upfront cost over 5 to 10 year monthly payments. $5,500 amortized at a 7% rate over 5 years is a monthly payment of $115.  


Initial Expense Artificial Turf Natural Sod
Installation (500 square feet) $5,500 ($11 per square foot) $750 ($1.50 per square foot)
Lawn Equipment $0 $400
Irrigation system  $0 $225
Total $5,500 $1,375


After reviewing yearly maintenance costs, those with a long-term view will quickly see that the ten or even five-year savings make artificial turf the money-saving, home-value-boosting option.


Follow the sample calculation below for 500 square feet to see that the artificial lawn will pay for itself in less than two years.


Comparing the Costs 


Consider the monthly expenses for the two types of San Diego lawn. 


Annual Expense Artificial Turf Natural Sod
Water $10 $65 
Fertilizer and Aeration $0 $12 (4 fertilizations @ $75 each / 12 months)
Maintenance $10 $100 (2 x $50 gardener visits) 
Supplies  $5 $50
Total Costs Monthly $25 $227
Total Costs Annually  $300 $2724
Total Costs over 5 years $1,500 $13,620










As you can see, the annual costs for maintaining a natural lawn year-round are drastically higher than for synthetic grass. You only need water for cleaning stains or pet waste from your artificial turf, and a twice-annual power brooming. In a year, you save $2424 in lawn maintenance; over 5 years, total savings is $12,120. And imagine all the effort you save over those 260 weekends. That’s time saved to spend with family or on hobbies. 


5-Years’ Costs 

Artificial Turf Natural Grass
Initial Installation $5,500 $1,375
5 Years Maintenance $1,500 $13,620
5 Years Toal Expenses $6,500 $14,995


As you can see above, over a period of 5 years, artificial turf saves the average San Diego homeowner a total of $8,495 or close to $1,700 each year. 


Synthetic lawns offer an ideal alternative to those who want a low-maintenance, affordable landscape. 

The Specifics: How You Save Money with an Artificial Lawn in San Diego

There are many ways your artificial lawn can save you money and improve the value of your property. Replacing natural grass helps reduce water use and maintenance costs while increasing property value.


Conserve Water 

One of the most noticeable benefits of synthetic turf is how much money you’ll save on water. Most individuals notice a 50% reduction in their water bill. Showers, dishes and laundry demands remain the same, so the savings all come from the reduced lawn needs. The only time you need to use water on your artificial grass is to clean it occasionally. 


Keep in mind, too, that synthetic lawns provide an ideal ground cover for your summer BBQs, family gatherings, and other outdoor activities—all without the costly water bill. 


Significantly Reduce Upkeep Time AND Expenses

Artificial grass is low-maintenance, which means you’ll save money on pesticides, fertilizers, weed whackers, mowing, irrigation, mechanical repairs, and other expenses associated with lawn care. Send the lawnmower to Goodwill and use a brush and broom to realign the blades of artificial grass as needed. Most stains are simple to clean away with soap and water.


Natural grass is also less durable than its synthetic counterpart. Areas damaged from heavy foot traffic, burrowing rodents, flooding, swimming pools, and other issues caused by regular use often require replacement sod. The costs of reseeding can add up over the years. In contrast, artificial turf always maintains its color.


Higher Property Value 

Real estate agents agree: low-maintenance, cost-saving artificial turf increases the asking price for a San Diego home. Not only do prospective buyers appreciate the lower water bills, they see an area of artificial turf as added living space. 


Too many San Diego homeowners, dismayed by high water bills and intense maintenance, let their lawns go to dirt and dead leaves. This view does not appeal to buyers.


When front and back lawns are carefully maintained and include perimeters of live trees, flowers, and other elements for those finishing touches, buyers assume the house, too, has enjoyed consistent care. Families with children or pets will appreciate that the ground cover provides a safe surface for their loved ones.  


Final Thoughts

Within two years, most synthetic lawns start to deliver a return on investment compared to the constant outlays involved with natural sod upkeep. The total savings depends on several factors, such as the size of your yard, type of artificial turf you select, and cleaning frequency.


Artificial turf for San Diego residents may cost more initially, but will further increase the value and appeal of your home and landscape. Supremely customizable, artificial grass options ensure your grass fits with your family’s use and purpose. For example, if you’re covering a children’s play area, you can select a material with heat-blocking technology to keep the surface cool, soft, and flexible.


Whether you’re shopping artificial grass wholesale or for an individual residence, contact the experts at Synlawn San Diego to find out more about artificial turf costs and return on investment.

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