The short answer is: it really depends on many variables. So let’s break this down…
The largest variables that can affect price include:
- The amount of turf required this is not the same as the square footage of your yard, as turf rolls only come in a 15’ width and the grass blades must run parallel on any seamed pieces (for example a 17×25’ area will likely require two pieces of 15×17’ for a total of 510 square ft, when the actual area is only 425 sq ft)
- The quality of your turf the larger the area you have, the more this will impact the final price. There is a wide range of turf products available that can be the difference of up to $2/square foot from high end to low end. Generally we recommend budgeting for the mid-grade or high-grade turf as it looks more realistic and will last longer.
- Access to your yard difficult access into the yard will increase the labour cost. Let’s pretend we have to move 15 tonnes of material back and forth, this is going to be far more labour intensive if the only access point is up a staircase or a big slope!
- What the application is if it’s a low-traffic area in the front yard (just for aesthetics), that will cost less than a higher traffic area that needs to be a soccer field for the kids and a bathroom for the dog!
Now that we know the variables, what should we expect to budget? We have created a table based on hundreds of past projects and, but as a disclaimer, we never charge “by the square foot”, this is just a simple way to give you a quick ballpark number:
So what exactly are you getting for that investment? Let’s take a closer look at the costs that go into a typical 500 sq ft installation…
Tools/Equipment Required: Heavy-duty truck with a roof rack, hydraulic dump trailer or dump truck, mini-excavator, equipment gas/maintenance/insurance, 4 shovels, 3 rakes, 2 wheelbarrows, plate compactor, glue box, carpet kicker, hand tamper, chalk line, hammers, tape measure, seam roller, utility blades, drop spreader, power broom, leaf blower, ratchet straps, equipment storage warehouse
Materials Involved: Roadbase, landscape cloth, turf, nails, glue, seam tape, infill sand, construction bags
Labour involved: Crew of 3-4 skilled labourers, loading/compacting the base, carrying a 300 lb turf roll, /unloading tools, picking up materials, project planning, excavating the old grass, wheelbarrowing base materials, raking/grading the base, cutting the turf, nailing the turf, installing seam tape and glue, installing edging, power brooming the turf, infilling the turf, power brooming the turf again, and a major job site clean-up
Overhead Involved: liability insurance, WorkSafe, warehouse space, project management software, and 50+ other things that all add up to run this type of business!
I think you get the picture… there’s A LOT of expenses incurred by your installer in order to provide you with that final product. Imagine what it would cost to attempt installing this yourself! Bottom line: It’s important to appreciate what it actually takes to run a trades business. If you try to squeeze every penny out of your contractor, you incentivise them to take “shortcuts” on your project just to break a small profit to afford the cost of living. How can you expect them to provide quality work when there’s no budget to work with? You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much a contractor can exceed your wildest expectations with the right budget…