How to Find A Good Artificial Turf Installer Near Me?
According to Home Guide, the national average cost for landscaping maintenance is about $150 per month. An artificial turf gives the same look of a real lawn all-year round without all the maintenance. Your artificial turf would save you more money than landscape maintenance fees. Covering a 1,800 square feet lawn with synthetic turf will save your home 99,000 gallons of water yearly, which is about 70 percent of a homeowner's water bill. While there are still more benefits with installing a synthetic lawn, including reduced exposure to pesticides used in lawn treatment and increased curb appeal, it is recommended you leave the installation to a professional.
To realize all benefits that come with an artificial turf installation, materials and manpower employed must meet the minimum industry standards. Usually, the price for a faulty installation is a total re-installation. Therefore, upon deciding to install artificial turf on your property, ensure to make the following inquiries with any artificial turf installer near you:
Artificial turf installation is handled by professionals in the landscaping industry who may hold a landscaping license or a general contractor license. Except for Massachusetts and South Carolina, landscaping professionals are required to be licensed to carry on trade in any state. Licensure requirements vary by state and states like Arizona provide for special licenses to artificial turf installers. You may confirm from your state licensing department or local consumer protection agency what the specific licensing requirements are for artificial turf installers in your area.
Request to see a copy of your installer’s license before you conclude on the contract. Most states like Ohio and Wisconsin also offer license verification services online, you can make use of this online tool to confirm the license status of an artificial turf installer near you. Otherwise, contact the licensing agency for verification of your artificial turf installer’s license status.
Similarly, your turf installer may claim affiliation with a leading professional body in the trade like the Synthetic Turf Council (STC) or the Association of Synthetic Grass Installers(ASGi). Certifications from these bodies are additional proof of your contractors’ trade skills. If your contractor claims affiliation to a professional body, ask for a membership proof and verify on the associations’ website. Like government occupational licensing, professional licensing comes with continuing education programs and standard ethics.
Every profession has its own attendant risks. For synthetic turf field installers, the risks they are exposed to may include physical injury during job execution, damage to clients' property, and accidents arising from faulty installations. In 2019, the Bureau of Labour Statistics revealed that landscaping workers sustained 12,380 occupational injuries and 124 fatalities. Hence, hiring only professionals who carry valid and comprehensive insurance policies is of utmost importance. Some of the most common insurance for contractors and professionals include General Liability Insurance, Professional Liability Insurance, and Workers' Compensation Insurance.
- General Liability Insurance: This type of insurance coverage provides protection against financial loss arising from physical injury, property damage, medical bills, settlement bonds, and work-related lawsuits.
- Professional Liability Insurance: This kind of insurance policy covers financial loss arising from professional malpractice, negligence, and service errors.
- Workers’ Compensation: Companies are required to hold a valid workers' compensation insurance policy which provides cover for injured workers in the form of medical expenses and uninterrupted salary.
Ensure to ask to see a proof of valid insurance and confirm the validity date of the policy. On the other hand, bonds serve to protect you against service default by the contractor. If a contractor carries a valid surety bond, it will ensure that your job is completed in the event of a contract default. The surety company will cover the cost of completing what is left of your job. Given the high initial cost of installing artificial turf, it is advisable that you hire only bonded installers near you to prevent a half-completed project.
Given the diverse uses of artificial turfs, the turf installer nearby you will be hiring must be experienced in exactly the type of work you want to hire them for. Three of the most popular specializations in the industry include:
- Sports Specialization: This involves installing synthetic fields for sporting activities. Some of the most common sports where artificial turfs are being heavily used include football, golf, and rugby. Professional sports turf installers can identify the right products which can withstand heavy use and are befitting for the intended use.
- Landscape and Recreational Specialization: This specialization covers the domestic installation of synthetic turfs such as in property gardens, hotel lawns, public parks, etc. Professional installers in this category will be able to identify the appropriate kind of turf to install and where to get top quality products.
- Pets Turf Specialization: Some artificial turfs are made to accommodate domestic animals such as dogs, cats, etc. Pets turf specialists know what kind of turf is suitable for your pet; comfy, odor-repellent, stain-resistant, non-toxic and easy to clean. To keep your home all-inclusive after a synthetic turf installation, pets turf specialists are the go-to professionals.
Artificial turf contractors work on multiple projects at the same time, hence, it is important to know the specific project manager that will be responsible for your work. Depending on the extent of the job and expertise required, contractors may also subcontract a part of the job or come along with more co-workers and apprentices. This is done to ensure the timely completion of the project. Find out the names of the project manager and workers delegated to complete your job. Also, enquire if it is the same team that will stay on till the project completion.
In addition, ask to see the proof of license, qualification and insurance from the exact persons who will be handling your job, this is specifically recommended by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) guidelines on hiring a contractor. The insurance cover held by the contracting company may not cover the workers. Do not take for granted that the contractor and the apprentices live near you not to ask for proper documentation. Allowing workers without a valid license or insurance policy leaves you liable if they sustain injuries while working on your property.
It is not out of place to ask for a service warranty from a professional service provider near you. However, since artificial turf installation will usually involve buying a product and paying for service simultaneously, it is necessary to ask for both service and turf warranty. Ask for a clear statement of coverage, preferably written, of the service warranty. Typically, a service warranty will cover defects that occur as a result of poor installation, subject to good use of the turf.
You can also enjoy a manufacturer’s warranty on the artificial turf purchases. If you are provided a manufacturer’s warranty for your turf note the following:
- What the warranty covers: Does it cover all manufacturing defects such as discoloration, improper turf drainage, turf blade wrinkling, etc? Or does it only cover a few selects?
- For how long is the warranty valid?: Typical turf product warranties cover up to eight years of turf life. Ensure to check out if your warranty will be valid for that long. A validity period less than the industry standard is a red flag.
- WIll there be a replacement or repair if the product fails?: If the product fails completely, ask whether it will be replaced or your money refunded. However, it is best if the warranty cover allows you to decide between the two options.
- What are the limitations to the validity of a warranty? Using the turf for something other than the purpose for which it was bought could possibly invalidate your warranty cover, for example using a recreational turf for sports activities. Ask and check for the conditions which may remove your warranty cover.
- Will the warranty cater for the consequences of the product or service defect? If your cat or dog gets an infection from the turf due to misleading product description, will the warranty cater for the medical cost and care of your pet?
Generally, it is better to consider how long the manufacturer or service provider has been in business when choosing a product - and warranty. Businesses with a long history of quality products and services are less likely to default as they have a reputation to protect. The same may not be said of new industry arrivals.
Certain health and environmental safety requirements apply in the synthetic turf industry. Typically, permits for artificial turf installation are granted by municipal governments and the requirements vary by jurisdiction. Contact the local building authority office near you about the kind of permit required and the conditions to obtain such a permit. Besides, a professional synthetic turf installer will be conversant with the permit requirements in your locality and will help secure the necessary authorization for the installation.
A proven professional will have no problem providing you with past work references. These references can further help you assess their service quality and professionalism. They also offer a glance into what type of installation they are experienced in by presenting a portfolio of past projects. It is recommended to request at least three past references when giving a job to a contractor. You may make inquiries from these references about their satisfaction with the contractor’s job.
You may also find online reviews of your artificial turf installer services from customers near you via third-party websites like Yelp, Google Review, and Better Business Bureau.
A business license attests to the fact that the turf installation company has met requirements to conduct their licensed line of business in the location in question. A business certificate will usually contain information such as the name and address of the contractor, and a license ID. Note, this is different from a professional certification which is only a proof of proficiency in the chosen occupation.
Request to see a copy of your synthetic turf installer’s business license. You may consult your state's Office of The Secretary of State to verify their licenses.
Much like every other asset, artificial turfs may develop problems which require the services of a certified professional to be fixed. Some of these problems include:
- Drainage Issues: This is the leading problem plaguing artificial turf installation, and it arises from faulty installation. Here, the turf begins to collect water in puddles across its surface whenever it rains.
- Sinking Base: This problem occurs when the base of the artificial turf field begins to give way. It is usually an indication of faulty installation where the base was not properly prepared before the installation. The holes created may become breeding spaces for insects and unwanted reptiles.
- Grass and Weed Growth: This happens when unwanted weeds begin to sprout in between your artificial grass blades. This may arise as a result of the absence of a good turf membrane. A weed membrane kills grass and avoids weeds growth.
- Lifted Edges: When rolls of artificial turf are not properly laid, there are bound to be swollen edges. These edges, in addition to making your installation look unattractive, are also fall traps for users.
- Visible Join Points: If not properly done, in the long run, the points where turf rolls are joined together become apparent and thereby disfigure the look and curb appeal of your artificial grass. This problem reduces the aesthetic value of the turf and drives away users out of fear of further unapparent problems with the installation.
Artificial turf installations are typically expensive when compared to the cost of growing natural grass. However the cost savings are apparent in the long run. The full cost of installation will comprise the cost of preparatory groundwork, the cost of the synthetic turf, and installation costs. The standard cost of a square foot sized artificial turf is between $5.00 - $20.00, although this depends on the type of artificial turf and brand. Furthermore, service costs generally depend on the location in question. Below are cost outlays for the most common installations:
(standard price; no additional cost)
(additional to cost of turf)
The cost of installing artificial turf varies across locations. Some other important factors which affect the cost of installation include:
- Product Type: Nylon, Polyethylene, or Polypropylene
- Brand type: EasyTurf, AstroTurf, OneLawn, ProGreen, etc
- Cost of Labor
- Cost of Installation Materials
- Type and size of Installation: Residential, Recreational, Sporting, Commercial, etc.
Note, hiring a good Artificial Turf installer near you may help reduce some of these costs due to proximity.
Artificial turf installation is a more technical job, requiring more hands-on training and work experience than formal education. Professional associations of synthetic turf installers such as the Synthetic Turf Council (STC) and the Association of Synthetic Grass Installers (ASGi) offer training and certification programs for members across different specializations.
The STC awards a Certified Turf Installer - Landscape (CTI-L) certificate to professionals as proof of investment in professional development. Professionals who hold this certification are committed to industry guidelines and best practices and demonstrate knowledge and skill in landscape artificial grass installation.
The ASGi also offers training and certification programs for members through tailored course structures and examinations. The two training and certification tracks include:
- ASGi Design/Estimator
- ASGi Project Manager/OPS
These certification programs require individuals to possess substantial work experience in artificial turf installation, or for beginners, who already have some landscaping experience and wish to venture into synthetic turf installation.
The huge cost of installing artificial turf is enough reason to engage only trained and well-experienced professionals. Aside from the risk of sustaining injuries on your job, the complexities involved in a full installation leave your job susceptible to damaging technical errors if handled by any handyman near you.
Further, for your turf to attain the more than 8 years projected life span, the various stages of Installation such as preparatory groundwork and base building, laying of weed blocking fabric and the turf, cutting and edging of the sides, blade pulling, and infill spreading should only be handled by trained installers. That way, errors which may cost you a fortune to fix in the near future can be spotted and avoided.
After installation, the typical synthetic turf needs constant maintenance to keep it looking neat and prolong its lifespan. Some of the maintenance expenses you will incur after installation include:
- Rinsing: To keep your artificial turf clean and tidy, you will need to constantly wet with the use of a water hose. This will help to remove accumulated dust and stains.
- Brushing: You will typically have to wait for up to eight weeks after the sand infills must have settled before beginning to brush up your turf blades. Weather and foot traffic over time may cause your turf to become flat. Brushing, which is typically done with stiff-bristled brushes, helps to keep the blades upright and looking lush.
- Applying Herbicides: When stubborn weeds begin to grow among the lawn blades, you may tackle them with herbicides to prevent having to constantly hand weed your turf. It is advisable to stick to water-based herbicides to preserve the integrity of your turf.
- Cleaning-off Pets Mess: If your turf is installed in the home for garden use, for example, there is a possibility that your pets also use the garden. Unlike natural grass, artificial lawns are not able to break down and absorb pets' urine and poo. You, therefore, have to constantly remove them and clean the turf to prevent it from stinking.
Homeowner insurance policies typically cover fire, burglary, storm, smoke, and other natural disasters. Such an insurance policy may not cover renovation or home redesign works. However, if an existing installation is damaged by an event that a property is insured against such as burglary or fire, then the cost of replacement may be covered by the homeowner insurance.
It is advisable, however, to ensure that the coverage of your homeowner policy is clearly defined. This will make it easy to determine which home repair or replacement work is covered by this policy.
Yes, you can. In the same way you consider digital payment safe, fast, and convenient, the contractor also prefers a secure payment means. Furthermore, proof of digital payments are easily retrievable and serve records purposes. You should however inform your contractor/installer beforehand what means you intend to use to pay for their services. This is the only way to know if they are able to accept digital payments too.