Though little did we realize that our dream of a lush grassy yard would really become a Riot-fest style mudpit.
This was one of our early photos after we moved in. Imagine this after the rain, or even a big snowmelt:
We knew some people who had gotten artificial lawns, and we always thought that we would do that in the future.
But the more our yard became unusable, we decided if we were going to get it we might as well get it now so that we could actually use the yard.
We did a lot of research and investigating, and we actually ended up getting our artificial turf late last summer.
Here's a bit of a before and after photo:
Pricing (It's always changing and negotiable):
They can only install the lawn once it has been dry for awhile. Since we had a heavy snow-melt last year, and a lot of the lawns were soggy, it was shortening the installation season.
I had spoken to one company to get estimates in the spring, but when I called them again in the summer to say we were interested, they said they wouldn't honor my original estimate and the price actually went up.
We ended up going with a different company, and a mere 2 weeks after we had our lawn installed we got an email that offered a discount to have it installed now.
If you are looking to get artificial turf, wait until the end of summer/early fall when it's slower for the companies and you can probably negotiate a better rate.
You should also ask for piecemeal pricing, even if you intend on getting everything done. We asked for pricing for the front only and back only, and they usually offer a discount if you agree to go with both.
We have a smaller space, and we were getting estimates between $7-9 per square foot.
Types of Lawn:
The installation was the easiest part of the process. It only took one day, they were able to move anything we had in the space, and it was non-invasive.
What We Like:
city rats cross through our yard and it seems like they don't like the turf either and it's also more difficult to burrow in turf than natural grass.
It's easy to keep clean because it has little drainage holes and it's easy to just rinse the lawn if there is any poo reside.
It's really low maintenance and it looks natural. We don't have weeds and we don't need to spend time on our lawn anymore.
It really is like having a giant carpet outside. We can let the dogs go outside and we don't need to wipe their feet because they don't get muddy. They can also run on it without tearing divots in it.
Most importantly, the dogs can't 'graze' anymore. Whenever they found a lawn they used to spend their time like cows eating it.
Huck Finn Miss M enjoys eating our former lawn.
What we didn't like:
It gets hot in the sun. We don't really go on it barefoot--it is the city and strange things migrate into yards--but it does get really hot.
The artificial turf companies were difficult to work with. I called a couple of companies and it was often hard to even get a return phone call. The first company that we received an estimate from retracted their estimate and gave us a higher cost. We decided to go with Chicago Dream Grass, which is a slightly higher cost but we thought they did a really good quality job. The group installing it was really nice and they did a great job, and Alicia was really great, but the salesperson that we had to deal with was extremely abrasive and unprofessional. I probably wouldn't recommend working with this company just because of him. It was also frustrating that they offered a discount a mere 2 weeks after we had ours installed.
Even with all of the hassle and expense, we do love it and how it has made our yard usable.
I had forgotten about this one!
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