Artificial grass vs gravel

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Old 03-23-16, 06:17 PM
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Artificial grass vs gravel

Is it cheaper and easier to to put in artificial grass or gravel as a DIY project? Actually, should we hire someone for this job or is it a capable DIY project that can be done in two weekends?

I believe artificial grass would require us to dig off the an inch of the current top layer. Then stomp and level road base in that area before we lay the artificial grass.

The area is about 30 x 20.

Please feel free to share your pros and cons. We would like to avoid mulch (although cheap and quick solution) because during windy season, it will blow all over the property.

Thank You
 
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Old 03-24-16, 05:21 AM
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What is currently there now? If real grass, why not just leave that? That would be cheapest (aka...free)

Of the two choices you presented, I'd almost think gravel would be cheaper but could be wrong, particularly given the area you're trying to cover. It would take quite a bit to cover. Personally though, I'm not a fan of gravel. I have a small 10x10 pea gravel patio in my backyard that I'm trying to do something with...it's no good having a patio table and chairs there because the chairs just sink into the gravel.

And what purpose does this area serve? That would be a factor as well.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 06:24 AM
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My experience has been that grass and weeds grow right through the gravel unless it is several inches thick. Even then grass and weeds that are windblown will often germinate. Thick gravel is difficult to walk upon.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 06:56 AM
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You can install landscape cloth under the gravel to slow down the weeds coming thru but they will come thru sooner or later. It won't be totally non maintenance. Seems like I've heard of weeds coming thru artificial grass too but don't know for sure.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 06:59 AM
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Ah, good point about the weeds through gravel.

My pea gravel patio has a plastic sheeting under the pea gravel but even with that, I get weeds popping up through the gravel.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 07:04 AM
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The biggest issue with using plastic is there is no place for the water to be absorbed so it has to run off of the area and could take gravel with it if it's a downpour. Nature will carry dirt/seed onto the gravel over time. Gravel is great for drainage and country driveways - other than that I'm not a fan.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 07:04 AM
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Thank you for your replies fshannon3 and Furd.

Currently, it is real dead grass. Yes, that is the cheapest. However, we are buying this property to serve as a rental home. We want to respect the neighborhood since they keep their yards in prim condition. We also would like to keep it low maintenance.

I have been thinking about this. If we put in artificial grass, it would still requires a level of maintenance. Gravel is more durable. In the long run, I wouldn't have to replace gravel. I would have to replace patches of artificial grass if tenants drop hot charcoal from a BBQ.

I agree. Grass and weeds will germinate on gravel, including pavers.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 07:08 AM
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Gravel will sink into the soil so sooner or later it would need to be freshened up. If you ever change your mind you'd have to remove the majority of the gravel before you could plant grass. Personally I wouldn't want to live where the grass was replaced with gravel.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 07:09 AM
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For a rental property I would put in stone and would not even consider artificial turf.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 07:13 AM
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Thanks Mark and Pilot Dane.

Pilot Dane, can you provide a picture or a link of the stones you are referring to?
 
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Old 03-24-16, 09:03 AM
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If real grass, why not just leave that? That would be cheapest (aka...free)
I think a lot of people would not believe the price of water here in California. I worked on a house last week where the guy said he has a $500.00 per month bill. Mine is much lower but still expensive. So watering grass is out for a lot of folks and the grass will die without it.

A 30 x 20 area I would put in artificial grass, only because the cost would be reasonable as opposed to a large lot.
 
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Old 03-24-16, 10:08 AM
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WRDIY -

What do the neighbors have for a lawn? The relative curb appeal has a lot to do with renting and future resale.

Is the home in a development that is walled around the outside and 6' privacy walls between the individual back yards? - Or is it an area that is relatively wide open. When you rent, you have little or no ultimate control over the maintenance unless you do it yourself.

I always shudder when I see someone talks about "gravel" when it has a wide range of what it is and it could have fines in it or it could be something like a clean 1" material depending on the local or regional slang. Even road base is called "gravel" in some areas and most codes do the have a definition of "gravel" and specify the type of material by gradation and percentages of the various sizes of particles.

Dick
 
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Old 03-24-16, 12:33 PM
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I didn't realize people actually don't like living in a house full of gravel. Actually, thank you for sharing and it is good info. It makes me think that I should check with the new neighbors too if I do go the gravel route, out of respect for them.


This rental is located in a city made for Senior Citizens (retirement). The houses are clean and we did see a near by neighborhood where 11 houses in a row with decorative gravel in the front yard. You would think it looks like crap right? Nope, my wife and I were surprised that they were able to pull it off with the different color of gravel and dryscape with desert plants. It was very clean looking with the nicely built homes. But the house we are buying is located on a street where the folks have natural grass.


Hi Brian, I appreciate your input on this. I agree. Water bill in California is crazy! Our bill got to $90 for a couple months. As soon as we put in those new toilets, that literally cut the water bill by half. And the water rebate program also gave us about $500 back for the toilets too. I take a shower only once a month now, versus in the past, once a day. I have saved lots of water this way. Just kidding.


ConcreteMasonry, our neighbors "to be" have green grass lawns for the most part.


Originally Posted by ConcreteMasonry
The relative curb appeal has a lot to do with renting and future resale.
I agree.


Originally Posted by ConcreteMasonry
Is the home in a development that is walled around the outside and 6' privacy walls between the individual back yards?
This house has 6' block walls for the backyard (all 3 sides). I am less worry about the back yard than the front yard.


Originally Posted by ConcreteMasonry
When you rent, you have little or no ultimate control over the maintenance unless you do it yourself.
Agree and therefore, low maintenance as much as possible is the way to go. Mulch was great but then it attracts termites and also blows all around the property during the Santa Ana winds. But even with mulch, we still would have to replace it every year because it looks dull and ugly.


I guess that we are not looking for a "maintenance free" solution but more like a "low maintenance" solution vs cost effective vs blending in with the neighbors.

Thank you for your reply ConcreteMasonry(Dick)
 
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Old 04-10-17, 02:17 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Thanks for the additional information but this thread is over a year old.
 
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