Whether you are based in Melbourne (like us), or elsewhere, Synthetic grass is something that people have been using as an alternative to natural grass for a long time. Even if you have never used it yourself, you have likely seen and even walked on synthetic grass in the past. This type of grass is also referred to by many other names. Some people call it artificial turf, fake turf, or fake grass. No matter what you want to call it, the usefulness of synthetic turf cannot be denied. Our Melbourne clients regularly install synthetic turf both as a water saver, and to improve the look of the home where garden maintenance is not priority.
If you do not know a lot about what synthetic grass is, then you might feel a bit intimidated about installing it in your home. It is somewhat natural not to understand where to start or how to approach things. Thankfully, the process is not all that complicated when you break it down into steps. Today, you will be able to learn more about synthetic grass, while also focusing on DIY tips for installing it in your home, in Melbourne or elsewhere.
What Is Synthetic Grass?
Before going further, you will likely want to learn exactly what synthetic grass is. The artificial turf that people use each day is made to be very similar to natural grass. It has improved by leaps and bounds over the years, too. In modern times, artificial grass is used at many professional sporting events.
This synthetic grass is made out of man-made fibres and is going to look just like real grass. The construction process of artificial turf is actually very similar to how carpeting is made. Blades of grass are stitched onto a solid backing to get the best results possible. It looks as realistic as possible, while also being easier to maintain.
Unlike natural grass, synthetic grass does not require irrigation. This makes it a lot simpler to maintain, and it is going to be more practical for sporting events. The uses of synthetic grass are not limited to sporting events, though. Many people install fake grass in their homes every single year. In cities like Melbourne, this water saving feature is key as water restrictions are regularly imposed limiting the ability to water your Melbourne Synthetic Grass lawn.
People see artificial grass as a fantastic landscaping alternative to traditional grass. Synthetic grass installers in Melbourne have helped many people create a lawn that will last forever. It allows homeowners the chance to have a lawn that will remain beautiful throughout the entire year. If you’re thinking of installing some fake grass for yourself, then you can take advantage of the following DIY tips to make the process easier.
Preparing for Synthetic Turf
When you want to forego hiring professionals to help with the installation, you are going to need to do a significant amount of preparation work. The process of preparing your yard for the installation is going to be a bit time-consuming. This is something that you can accomplish yourself, but you need to know how to go about doing things properly. Below, you will be able to see all of the necessary steps to prepare your yard for synthetic grass installation.
Removing Your Current Lawn
The first step is going to be a bit arduous, but it has to be done. You need to remove your current lawn to be able to lay down the synthetic grass. This is going to involve removing all of the grass and finding a way to dispose of it. You will have a significant amount of yard debris to deal with when going through with this step.
One of the best things to do will be to hire a skip bin company. In Melbourne, this is as simple as a quick Google search to find a firm that can help – in your city, it’s likely to be the same. You can throw your old lawn debris into the skip and then have the company pick it up when you are all finished. This makes your life quite a bit easier and should save you some time. This is going to be similar to how professionals would go about removing your old lawn to install the synthetic turf.
In addition, you should consider renting a sod cutter to make this process a lot simpler than it would otherwise be. When you are removing a healthy lawn, it is not going to be simple to just pull things up. A sod cutter is going to allow you to cut whole sections of your lawn out at a time. It is definitely worthwhile to have access to a sod cutter, as it will save you a lot of time.
If your lawn is in poor condition, then you will likely have large clumps of grass that you’ll need to remove by hand. Don’t let this intimidate you, though. You can easily use your sod cutter or shovel to get it up, even if it doesn’t come up neatly. Place all of the clumps of grass into your skip, and you’ll be that much closer to being ready to install your synthetic grass.
What to Do With Your Sprinkler System
Of course, many people have sprinkler systems installed in their lawn as well. If you have sprinklers installed in the lawn, then it is probably going to be best to at least pull the heads off of the sprinklers during the preparation and installation process. It should be simple enough to put the sprinkler heads back on later. You don’t want them to get in your way, and it’s best to be prepared properly.
You could pull the entire sprinkler system up as well, but this is likely not necessary. If you only needed the sprinklers for your lawn, then you might not find them necessary any longer. Many people use these sprinkler systems to help water garden areas, though. Just know that taking the sprinkler heads off is likely going to be enough to get things out of your way during the installation.
Laying Down a Weed Barrier
Laying down a weed barrier is going to be very beneficial. You can cut the weed barrier to fit the shape of your artificial grass. This shouldn’t be too tough to do, and it is not going to take as much time as removing the lawn. If you want to keep your new turf looking good, then a weed barrier is going to prove to be a helpful addition.
A good weed control fabric barrier is not going to be overly expensive, and it will prevent weeds from growing up into your turf. For Melbourne based, or Australian readers, Bunnings or other retails have a range of weed control fabric products available, for those elsewhere check your local garden suppliers or retailers. If you decide not to use the weed barrier, then it’s possible that your lawn may experience some discoloration. Try to consider whether or not your lawn has problems with weeds at all before moving forward. The safest thing to do is just to go ahead and lay down the barrier, so if you’re in doubt, you should probably just go for it.
Some people have trouble getting the ground level when laying down a weed barrier like this. There are actually a couple of solutions to this problem. There are those who decide to lay down crushed stone to level things out. Most people wind up using a layer of sand to keep things even, which will be gone over in more detail later.
You will also want to use a tamper to smooth out the surface properly. Try not to rush the process, as you will want your weed barrier to be as smooth as it can be. If you use your tamper or a roller properly, then this should not be a big problem. You’ll have a smooth barrier and work to prevent problems with weeds moving forward.
Spreading Sand to Level Your Grass
You need your lawn to be level as well. There is a high likelihood that things are going to be incredibly uneven once you have removed the old lawn. If you install your synthetic grass now, then the results are going to be less than ideal. You need to take the time to level things out before going through with the installation.
The best thing to do is to spread sand to level out your grass. This will allow you to eliminate dips in your yard so that you can have a better experience. If you installed the weed barrier mentioned above, then you will want to spread sand over the top of it. You can also use crushed stone if you would prefer that, but using sand is likely going to be the most cost-effective method.
Once you have placed the sand over the top of your weed barrier, it’s going to be a good idea to use a power compactor to pack it down. You should use a roller or tamper of some sort if you do not have access to a power compactor. You should be able to get things to pack down properly with enough effort. If you’re having issues with this process, then you could always consider hiring synthetic grass installers instead of going the DIY route.
Consider Adding a Layer of Shock-Absorbent Material
This is a completely optional step, but it is still something that you might want to do. Walking on natural grass has a certain sponge-like feeling that is somewhat hard to describe. If you walk on artificial grass, it is not going to feel the same. The way that you can remedy this problem is by installing a layer of shock-absorbent material.
The shock-absorbent material can replicate the sponge-like feeling that you will get when stepping on natural grass. If you want your lawn to feel as authentic as it possibly can, then this is certainly worth doing. You should note that you will have to cut this shock-absorbent material to fit your lawn. Even so, it isn’t going to be a tough process and should be easy for most DIY enthusiasts.
Installing the Synthetic Grass
Now it is time to actually start installing the synthetic grass. DIY synthetic grass installers should know that the grass is going to come in rolls. These rolls should be convenient to use, and you will be able to cover large sections of your lawn using multiple strips. You just want to make sure that the grass is all facing in the right direction before moving forward.
Once you roll out a strip of artificial grass, you will then need to stake it into the ground. You will be using very large lawn spikes in order to accomplish this. These are sometimes referred to as galvanised nails as well. You will want to use a large hammer to drive them into the ground. You want to ensure that the spike is driven completely into the ground so that there are no edges showing.
After you have secured the artificial lawn to the ground, you will want to add a layer of sand to the top. Take a spreader and add a layer of silica sand to the lawn and move things around. The purpose of this is to add some weight to keep the synthetic grass from moving. Some people may not find this entirely necessary, but it’s worth knowing in case you encounter issues with the turf moving around a bit.
Now that you have installed your new synthetic grass, it’s going to be a good idea to keep a few things in mind. This artificial grass looks just like the real thing but there are several important differences to consider. For instance, the way that you will have to clean up after your pets is going to differ. Pets will take to using an artificial lawn just fine, but excrement and urine won’t cause discoloration of your lawn.
The smell is going to build up over time if you don’t clean things off, though. This is why you need to rinse off your artificial lawn from time to time. It shouldn’t take long to do this, and you’ll be able to eliminate most smells just fine. If the smell continues to give you problems, then you can buy specific products that are meant to remove smells from artificial grass.
You also need to know that artificial turf retains heat, which is particularly an issue for Melbourne readers on very hot summer days. This makes it more difficult to walk on the grass with bare feet during the summer months. It can be very hot when the sun is shining bright, so you will want to take special care with how your children are playing on the lawn. In a town like Melbourne, the synthetic grass is likely to get quite hot at many different points in the year.
It might be best to have your children keep their shoes on when playing in the yard. This will avoid any problems, and it will make things easier on you. You could also consider spraying your lawn with a hose to cool things down before your children start playing. Either way, you just need to be aware of the heat retention issue.
Is DIY Synthetic Grass Installation Practical?
Now that you have learned more about the process, you should be able to determine whether or not this is a good idea for you. Synthetic grass is very appealing, and it actually has many benefits when compared to traditional grass. Even so, there are many people who will not want to have to take the time to install things by themselves. This can be a fairly time-consuming process, and not everyone is going to be able to make the time to complete this project without significant help.
Depending on what your needs are, it might be better to consider hiring synthetic grass installers to take care of everything. There are professionals out there who will be more than happy to assist you. The DIY methods mentioned above are not going to be a good fit for everyone. This is something that you should be able to accomplish, but you might like the idea of letting professionals do it.
The advantage of hiring professionals is that they know what they are doing and they have the right equipment. You won’t have to worry about whether the job is going to be finished properly. Hiring experts will give you guaranteed results, and the job will be completed in a timely fashion. It can also be satisfying to take care of things yourself, though, so consider what you want to do carefully before deciding.
Install Your New Artificial Grass Today
If you are ready to start enjoying the benefits of synthetic grass, then you can start the installation process today. You know what to expect and have a detailed account of what needs to be done to get this job finished. Fake grass has the potential to look so much more beautiful than the real thing. It is a lot easier to maintain, and you will be able to enjoy it all year.
Those who are worried about conserving water will see the benefits of having synthetic grass, too. It’s simply a more practical option for certain people. You can even cut the artificial grass strips to wrap them around flower beds or natural curves in your property. Most people would benefit from having a lawn like this, so don’t hesitate to install one if you have been on the fence.
A synthetic lawn will prove to be a cost-effective decision that will make your property look more visually stunning than ever. As long as you follow the steps above, you’ll have a good experience. Whether you’re installing things yourself or you’re seeking professional help, you’ll be thrilled with how your synthetic lawn looks once things are finished. If you are a bit intimated by the DIY approach or the job is too large to tackle alone, don’t hesitate to contact us, as DD’s Landscaping are reputable Melbourne Synthetic Grass Installer with hundreds of successful projects under our belt.