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Fake lawns no longer a faux pas, landscapers say

By Mike Wheatley | July 25, 2019

Homeowners are increasingly leaning towards artificial grass which can be found at sites like, instead of real grass in their yards, landscapers say.

In an article in the Wall Street Journal, Christopher Brandon of Brandon Architects in Costa Mesa, California said that around 75% of all projects he takes on for modern homes now ask for maintenance-free faux turf, rather than real grass. The main point he said is that artificial grass doesn’t require water or regular mowing, and stays vibrantly green all-year round. In many cases, homeowners like to mix synthetic grass with real plants to hide the fact that it’s man made.

The trend is becoming more widespread and people are not shy about opening their wallets, the Journal reported. For example, homeowner Hillary Ryan, who lives in Napa Valley, said she’d spent $60,000 on artificial turf for her 3,600 square-foot of land.

“[Real] grass is messy,” Ryan said. “We paid six times more to have the faux grass installed.”

Experts say that artificial grass is often a more sensible choice in drought-prone areas such as California. In addition, its also more durable, able to withstand sports activities for example.

Tommy Beadel, co-founder at Thomas James Homes in Aliso Viejo, California, told the Journal that although real grass is cheaper at the start, it can prove to be more expensive in the long run. Real grass costs less than $2 per square foot, whereas high-end synthetic grass costs between $11 to $19 per square-foot. But the only maintenance required with artificial turf is pulling out the occasional weed that might pop up, and it can last for up to 20 years, Beadel said.

The trend marks a departure from the time when artificial lawns had a very negative reputation. This was because faux grass products offered to homeowners were generally the same ones used on sports fields. But synthetic lawns nowadays are a combination of nylon, polyethylene and polypropylene, and tend to have better drainage, stay cooler in the sun, and feel softer. New fake lawns look more like regular grass from pigment variation that mimics the color of natural grass, and with proper artificial turf maintenance, they can be a real problem-solver in high-traffic areas of the garden, such as between walkway pavers or on driveway strips.

“Even the mention of the word fake sends peoples toes curling,” said Grahame Hubbard, a New York-based landscape designer specializing in terraces and rooftops.

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
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