HOW TO COMPARE APPLES TO APPLES WITH ARTIFICIAL TURF QUOTES
Not all companies operate the same, so not all quotes will be the same. It is important to know what you are actually getting when receiving estimates. When it comes to artificial turf installation, there are several key factors that will always play a part in the quote amount for a project. Knowing and understanding these factors will help you make the best decision when choosing a company to do your project. We are here to teach you how to compare apples to apples with artificial turf quotes!
THE FIVE CONSISTENT FACTORS IN TURF QUOTES
When collecting estimates from multiple companies, there are five factors to fully understand and review before deciding:
- The square footage calculated
- The base depth being installed
- Where the artificial turf is manufactured
- The layout of the turf
- How many pounds per square foot of infill is being installed
WHAT IS THE CALCULATED SQUARE FOOTAGE?
Far too often we see companies calculating different square footage amounts for the same project. In this industry, accuracy is everything! It is important for a representative to take their time getting the correct measurements for an area. If you notice a difference in square footage across your estimates received, you should reach out the companies to find out how they came up with their numbers. The last thing anyone wants is a change order the day of installation.
A lower estimated square footage could mean they might be planning to install turf with a high number of seams, which will not look as nice but saves everyone money.
A higher estimated square footage could mean the company might be over-estimating the amount of turf needed to reduce seams. This will result in a nicer looking end product, but more material waste that needs to be accounted for.
Of course, any discrepancy in square footage could also mean that the sales representative measured the wrong area of the property. You should always join the rep when they take their measurements so that the quoted area is consistent.
WHAT IS THE BASE DEPTH?
How much is the company excavating from the area and what is the base depth in their scope of work? It is important to understand how far down the company is going to dig, and how much base they are going to install and compact for longevity reasons. Typically the base depth should be between 2” to 4”. The deeper the base depth, the better the foundation, which is the key to longevity and drainage. More excavating and more base means more money, so that will most change the price of a quote. If you received quotes with competing information on base depth, this should be a red flag because one of the companies inspected something that told them the deeper base would be necessary. You should both companies about the base and get to the bottom of what the correct base depth should be.
WHERE IS THE ARTIFICIAL TURF FROM?
Every company can claim they have “quality turf,” but the real question is where is the artificial turf from? Not just where was it made, but where is it from? A lot of companies will claim their artificial turf is “American-made” because they put the artificial turf roll together in America, but the artificial turf materials themselves are imported still. A true American-made product is completely manufactured in America. American-made products are more expensive because they last longer and are federally regulated, which means they do not contain lead. The quality of the product is just overall higher than an imported product.
Imported products cost less than American-made products, so the quoted amount will be less. Choosing an American-made product could also save you time and money though in the long run because you may have to pay for it to be redone if an imported product is defected.
Learn more about the importance of American-made turf.
WHAT IS THE LAYOUT?
When installing artificial turf, layout is a huge factor that can change the pricing per square foot. The less waste, the lower the price. Your layout can also change how many seams you could have. If you want fewer seams, you may have to purchase more artificial turf to do that because rolls typically come in 15 feet widths. If a company is “quilting” your lawn together with different sized pieces of artificial turf so that they can purchase less turf for your job, then that will bring down your price per square foot. You may have a lot of seams that are going to be visible. The fewer seams, the better the install.
It is important to ask the company how many seams they have in their layout because that could dramatically change the pricing and quality of the install.
HOW MANY POUNDS PER SQUARE OF INFILL ARE BEING INSTALLED?
The amount of infill a company puts on top of the artificial turf can determine how weighed down the turf is and how resilient it is. The more infill, the longer and better the fibers will stay up. If there is not enough infill added to the turf, the fibers will begin to lay flat and will mat down more easily. Matted down artificial turf causes the lawn to look shiny and flat. A lot of companies will save themselves and their customer’s money by not putting in enough infill. Most companies will install 2-6 pounds per square foot of infill depending on the weight of the products. It is important to compare how many pounds per square foot of infill each company is quoting in their estimate. This changes the contract amount and can also cost you a good-looking lawn if there is not enough of it.
Learn more about the different types of infills a company can quote you on by reading our “Different Types of Infill for Artificial Turf” post. The type of infill being installed will also change the contract amount, so it is important to note that when comparing estimates.
We know you probably have a lot of companies to choose from when it comes to installing artificial turf. If you are collecting quotes from multiple different companies, please make sure you are always comparing apples to apples. Simply selected on business over another because their quote is cheaper may seem like a sensible move, but such a decision can cost you even more money in the short term if you aren’t careful. Contact us today to request a free estimate for artificial turf installation!