Author Topic: DIY artificial grass lawn?  (Read 675 times)

cupcakes4all

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DIY artificial grass lawn?
« on: November 01, 2018, 02:02:24 PM »
Has anyone worked with artificial grass? I'm considering putting it down in our small back yard (25'x25'). We're in SF and on a large hill. Where the fence stops there is a steep drop-off in the back. We just want to make the area safe(ish) for our one year old to play in. The area is currently covered with terrible, large pavers that we would have to remove but it's semi level up to the fence. We'd probably want to make sure it's level and draining away from the house. My biggest concern is the retaining wall so leaning towards hiring a pro to look at that. But I think I'd be able to lay down the artificial grass ourselves. Thought/tips?

robartsd

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Re: DIY artificial grass lawn?
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2018, 03:37:21 PM »
Is your whole back yard 25x25 or just the part you want artificial grass on? Steep slope beyond is currently not stabilized by a retaining wall, but within your property lines? It is a good idea to get a pro involved for designing and installing the retaining wall - especially in earthquake territory.

For the artificial grass, I'd look to have a 2-4% grade away from the house (6-12 inches of drop across 25 foot width) to ensure easy drainage without feeling too inclined (ADA accessibility guidelines require cross slopes no greater than 2% for accessible paths). I'd want it as flat (regardless of how level it is) as possible to make installing the artificial grass easier. For safety I'd want a 42" high guardrail or fence at the top of the retaining wall.

Cassie

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Re: DIY artificial grass lawn?
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2018, 03:45:11 PM »
We live in Nevada and got it 5 years ago. Itís holding up really well with 4 dogs. My husband did it himself but you need to prep the yard and he had to lay down something else first that he bought from the same company. He watched a video on how to install.

cupcakes4all

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Re: DIY artificial grass lawn?
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2018, 07:24:16 PM »
Thanks for the advice. Yes the whole backyard is 25x25 basically. The property line extends beyond the fence but itís the steel cliff. Neighbors also donít extend their fence past the drop off. The yard size is from the house to the fence.

robartsd

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Re: DIY artificial grass lawn?
« Reply #4 on: November 02, 2018, 09:44:53 AM »
One thing you might consider is planting trees or shrubs along the back fence line (I'd look into dwarf fruit trees myself) as a way to contribute to slope stability without the expense of a retaining wall. It would also provide a buffer between the drop off and the installed artificial grass in case the slope does need some work in the future. If you make the back 10 feet a garden area, you could get a seamless artificial lawn as artificial turf is available in 15 foot wide rolls cut to length, but that might be much more planting area than you'd like to maintain.

cupcakes4all

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Re: DIY artificial grass lawn?
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2018, 12:57:39 PM »
That sounds like a great idea! My husband would like to build a small concrete porch next to the house. We could split the difference. Maybe 5í porch next to the house and 5í feet of tree line. I saw some videos of installing the 15í wide carpets and I think we could manage that.

affordablehousing

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Re: DIY artificial grass lawn?
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2018, 01:29:27 PM »
The prep seems to be the main thing. You might be an excellent candidate for checking out a new groundcover/sod alternative called Kurapia. Its a spreading 1" high groundcover, that for your application, has the added benefit of a vast root structure that helps retain soil on hillsides. It's used a lot to stabilize drainage canals. It is drought tolerant, pretty, attracts pollinators with white flowers, is obviously 100x easier to install than artificial turf, and safe for your kid. Just a thought.

robartsd

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Re: DIY artificial grass lawn?
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2018, 02:12:16 PM »
The prep seems to be the main thing. You might be an excellent candidate for checking out a new groundcover/sod alternative called Kurapia. Its a spreading 1" high groundcover, that for your application, has the added benefit of a vast root structure that helps retain soil on hillsides. It's used a lot to stabilize drainage canals. It is drought tolerant, pretty, attracts pollinators with white flowers, is obviously 100x easier to install than artificial turf, and safe for your kid. Just a thought.
Attracting bees could easily mean increased chance of bee stings while playing in the yard.

affordablehousing

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Re: DIY artificial grass lawn?
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2018, 02:35:23 PM »
or if you don't like bees then you mow the kurapia. Honestly if you want no maintenance I would just put in hardscape. In San Francisco, I think the housing prices demand it.

cupcakes4all

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Re: DIY artificial grass lawn?
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2018, 02:56:15 PM »
Kurapia sounds great except for the bees. I don't want to have to have to mow or maintain something super regularly.

I'm leaning towards a paved deck along the house, 15' artificial grass, and succulents along the fence line. Prep for the grass shouldn't be too much since there are already pavers down. We'd probably just need to top-off and re-level a bit. The small retaining wall may need some work but we probably won't know the status of that until we pull up the pavers (oh and have the asbestos popcorn celling removed that the remodelers buried under some straw along the fence).

RunningWithScissors

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Re: DIY artificial grass lawn?
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2018, 03:23:46 PM »
Itís totally doable as a DIY project. We did a 15í x 18í patch in our front yard this summer.  Having concrete perimeter pavers and lots of lush planting around it made it look great.  The key is to have a solid, compacted and smooth base.  If your existing base is good, just use fine sand to ensure a smooth, level surface.  Check out the videos on YouTube, too.  Small details like the orienting the direction of the grain correctly is important.

We shopped around and got a premium product that looked totally natural for $1/ft2 (local landscape centre was selling off remnants).