Understanding the Cost of Artificial Grass vs Real Grass.

When deciding between artificial grass and real grass for your Colorado property, understanding the cost of artificial grass vs real grass is important.

In this guide, we look at the initial investment and long-term costs to help you make an informed decision on what’s best for you.


Initial Investment: Artificial Grass vs Real Grass

Before diving into the cost, it’s important to understand that both artificial and real grass each have their own initial investment requirements, and they vary greatly depending on size, type, and other factors.

Upfront Cost of Artificial Grass

  • Artificial grass averages between $5 and $20 per square foot installed, depending on the type of artificial turf you choose.
  • This cost includes everything from ground preparation to installation, materials, and labor.

If you have a yard measuring 500 square feet, installing artificial turf could range from $2,500 to $10,000.


Initial Price of Natural Grass Installation

  • The price of installing natural grass is usually between $0.50 and $2 per square foot, again depending on the type of grass you choose.
  • This includes soil preparation, labor, grass seeding, or sod.

For instance, a homeowner with a 500-square-foot backyard could spend between $500 and $1,000 on installing a natural grass lawn.


Gardening Tools on Artificial Turf by wooden fence


Maintenance Costs: Synthetic Turf vs Natural Lawn

While initial costs for artificial grass are higher, it’s important to consider long-term maintenance costs when comparing the cost of artificial turf vs natural grass.

Let’s delve a little deeper into the maintenance costs of artificial turf vs natural grass:

Regular Maintenance Expenses for Artificial Turf

Artificial turf installations in Colorado have become popular due to their low maintenance costs.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • Less Water Bills: Unlike real grass, synthetic turf doesn’t need watering, only an occasional rinse to remove dust is sometimes required. So you’ll save on hefty water bills, especially during the scorching Colorado summers.
  • No Mowing: Artificial grass doesn’t grow, so there is no need for regular mowing, which saves you on fuel or electricity costs associated with lawn mowing equipment.
  • No Fertilizer or Pesticides: Synthetic turf remains lush and green without any need for fertilizers or pesticides, reducing your expenses on gardening supplies.
  • Durability: High-quality artificial grass can last for 15 – 20 years, ensuring long-term savings.

Consider a typical homeowner in Colorado with a 1,000-square-foot-foot lawn. On average, they might spend $150 a month on watering, $50 on mowing, and $40 on fertilizers and pesticides. With artificial grass, these costs are completely eliminated, saving the homeowner $240 each month.


Ongoing Maintenance Cost of Real Grass in Colorado

Maintaining a natural lawn in Colorado can be quite costly, as the expenses include:

  • Regular Watering: Keeping a natural lawn lush in Colorado’s dry climate can require a significant amount of water, leading to high monthly water bills.
  • Mowing: Regular trimming is necessary for maintaining the appearance of a natural lawn, which means recurring costs for fuel or electricity for lawnmowers.
  • Fertilizers and Pesticides: To keep the lawn healthy and pest-free, you have to invest in fertilizers and pesticides regularly.
  • Aeration, Overseeding, and Dethatching: These procedures are necessary for the health of a natural lawn and can incur additional costs.
  • Seasonal Care: Real grass needs extra care during Colorado’s harsh winters and hot summers which can add to the maintenance cost.

Using the same 1,000 square foot lawn in Colorado, the homeowner would need to spend around $240 a month or more, just to maintain a natural lawn. This doesn’t include the additional costs for aeration, overseeding, dethatching, and seasonal care which can add hundreds of dollars to the annual lawn maintenance budget.



Longevity and Durability Affecting the Cost of Artificial Grass vs Real Grass

When comparing artificial turf vs natural grass cost, it is important to consider the the durability and longevity of synthetic turf and real grass.

Let’s delve deeper into this:

Lifespan of Synthetic Turf

Synthetic turf’s lifespan is highly dependent on its maintenance and usage.

However, even with heavy use, it can easily outlast natural grass:

  • High-quality synthetic turf, or artificial grass, is designed to last for a long time and has on average, a lifespan of 15-20 years.
  • It can withstand all types of Colorado weather, from the scorching summer heat to the frosty winter conditions.
  • Unlike natural grass, synthetic turf doesn’t die off or turn brown in extreme conditions.
  • Regular maintenance can extend the lifespan even further.

Consider a homeowner in Colorado who installs artificial grass in their backyard. With minimal maintenance, they are able to enjoy a lush, green lawn for many years, without worrying about weather damage or constant upkeep.


Durability of Real Grass

While real grass may seem like the traditional choice, it may not always be the most durable, as:

  • Real grass is susceptible to weather changes, and it can become parched and brown in the heat, or freeze and die in the cold Colorado winters.
  • Its lifespan is significantly shorter, requiring reseeding or replacement every couple of years.
  • Real grass can be damaged easily, especially in high-traffic areas.


Economic Factors Affecting Grass Choices in Colorado

Colorado’s arid climate and water restrictions influence homeowners’ decisions when choosing between and comparing the cost of artificial turf vs natural grass.

Considering these economic factors can help you make an informed decision:

Water Consumption and Its Impact on Cost

  • Natural grass requires a significant amount of water, a resource that is particularly scarce and costly in Colorado.
  • A 1,000 sq ft lawn can consume up to 22,000 gallons of water annually, which adds up to your water bill.
  • Artificial grass, on the other hand, needs no watering, saving you both water and money over time.

For instance, switching to artificial grass in a 1,000 sq ft lawn can result in savings of $70 to $120 per month during the summer.


Seasonal Considerations for Grass Maintenance in Colorado

  • Natural grass in Colorado requires regular maintenance throughout the year, including fertilizing, mowing, and reseeding. This can be both time-consuming and expensive.
  • In winter, natural grass can become dormant and unattractive, requiring additional maintenance come spring.
  • Artificial grass stays green and attractive all year round, with little to no maintenance required.

A homeowner spending $100 per month on lawn maintenance can save $1,200 a year by switching to artificial grass.


Calculator lying on artificial turf


Understanding the ROI of Artificial Grass vs Natural Grass

Artificial grass has a high return on investment (ROI) when compared to natural grass, due to several factors that we have highlighted in this guide, including reduced water and maintenance costs, and longevity.

Value Added to Property by Artificial and Natural Grass

Both artificial and natural grass contribute to the overall aesthetic and value of a property.

However, artificial grass offers some distinct advantages which could help you when comparing and understanding the cost of artificial grass vs real grass, such as:

  • Curb Appeal: A well-maintained artificial grass lawn enhances curb appeal, potentially increasing property value.
  • Water Conservation: In a region like Colorado, where water conservation is crucial, artificial grass is a sustainable choice that can be attractive to eco-conscious buyers.
  • Usability: Regardless of the weather, artificial grass remains usable. This increased functionality can be a valuable selling point.

Consider a scenario where you’re selling a property in Colorado. Two houses are identical in all aspects except one has a natural grass lawn and the other has an artificial grass lawn. The property with the artificial grass may appeal more to buyers due to the factors mentioned above, potentially commanding a higher selling price.

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Make the Right Choice for Your Colorado Home with Artificial Turf

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