Artificial Grass Cost – Installation Price Guide - US Turf San Diego Artificial Grass Cost – Installation Price Guide - US Turf San Diego
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Artificial Grass Cost – Installation Price Guide

December 16, 2021

As artificial turf continues to grow in popularity, you may be considering a turf project of your own to reduce maintenance in a backyard or reduce your water usage. The cost of an artificial turf installation is likely at the front of your mind as you start the planning process, including any costs beyond the initial project fee.

We’re going to take a look at the average artificial grass cost in San Diego, including the options you’ll need to consider before moving forward with residential or commercial artificial turf.

artificial grass putting green

How Much Does Artificial Grass Cost?

Artificial grass cost

The average artificial grass cost in San Diego is $7-$12 and $13-$18 for putting greens per square foot. Your synthetic grass installation cost will vary, however, based on several factors:

  • Turf materials: There are different types of artificial turf. You may be fine with a basic style or require specialty grass if you’re looking for something to suit a specific need. Materials that need to be sourced from outside San Diego will also be more expensive than local materials.
  • Turf accessories: A home with pets may want an infill that includes a pet deodorizer. If you’re worried about weed growth, you may want to consider a weed barrier. Every non pet area has weed barrier included with installation from US Turf. Turf accessories are an added but often beneficial cost to a project.
  • Labor costs: Labor costs are included in any project bid and will vary based on the size of your project and the size of your crew. Labor price varries based on the scope of work, ie. putting green, banding strips, bocce ball, special work, etc.
  • Project size: A larger project will come with more considerable costs for labor and materials. Expansive commercial projects are typically more expensive than residential artificial turf projects. 
  • Level of surface preparation: Are you installing turf onto an existing natural lawn? Are you pulling up concrete or installing turf over an existing hard surface? The level of surface preparation needed to make your project a successful one will also factor into labor costs.
Costs associated with artificial grass installation

Materials for Installing Synthetic Turf

Your project costs will include more than just the synthetic lawn itself. There are a variety of materials needed for installing artificial grass the right way. Keep in mind that these are only examples of associated costs. For complete cost breakdowns of artificial grass materials for your project, contact US Turf for a free estimate.

Artificial Grass

Artificial turf prices will vary depending on the type of grass you choose for your project. Expect to pay anywhere from $2-$5 per square foot just on the grass alone. Nylon will be the most expensive, followed by Polypropylene. Polyethylene is the least costly turf material. 

If you’re looking at a DIY artificial turf installation, you’ll want to account for some waste in your measurement estimates.

Artificial grass cost graphic

Class II Road Base

Class II road base is a material made up of a variety of crushed rocks. It’s often used as a base material in artificial turf projects. Class II road base starts at an average of $.32-$0.40 per square foot. 

class 2 road base cost graphic

Weed Barrier Fabric

A weed barrier prevents most weeds from poking through your turf and is a good turf accessory to add if you’re already weeding a natural lawn where your turf will go. A roll of weed barrier fabric costs between $97-$195 per roll 900sf-1800sf on average. That roll can cover up to about 1,500 square feet.

Weed barrier fabric cost graphic

Bender Board or Mow Strip

A bender board is a plastic (plastic composite) edging that creates separation in your landscape. A mow strip is a narrow strip of material, often concrete, pavers, brick, or rubber typically 4” wide, used for that same purpose. A paver mow strip may work well with your project, especially if you have pavers elsewhere on your property. 

The total cost of your bender board or mow strips will depend on your project measurements. Expect to pay between $16-$26 per roll of bender board per linear foot. Stakes are an additional charge. Rolls are typically 20-feet long. Mow strips vary widely in price depending on the materials used.

Bender board cost graphic

Glue, nails, seaming tape, and stakes

Glue, nails, seaming tape, and stakes are typically included in a broad materials cost with any bid. How much of each is used will depend on your project size. Expect to pay around $190 for these miscellaneous supplies for a project about 1,000 square feet in size. For DIY these are included in installations.

Glue, nails, seaming tape, and stakes cost graphic

Artificial Grass Infill

The infill can make the difference when it comes to turf drainage and the longevity of your turf. An expert at US Turf can help you choose the infill that will best suit your needs and plans for your turf. A higher-end infill will start at about $0.85 per square foot, with more budget-friendly options around the $0.50 range. Infill cost per 50lb bags ranges between $10-$30. For installations, we include sand at no additional cost and charge between $.50-$1/sf for specialty infill.

Artificial grass infill cost graphic


Turf accessories come at an additional cost when planning for your artificial lawn cost. If you’re adding a putting green to your yard, you may want to pick up an aluminum putting set while you’re at it. A deodorizer may be non-negotiable if you plan to use your turf as a pet relief area. If you’re setting up a play space for kids, you may consider padding for your artificial lawn.

A turf installation company can help you decide on the miscellaneous add-ons that would pull your project together. 

swimming pool surrounded by artificial grass

Operation Fees

Operation fees cover the transport of materials to and from your project. For material delivery for projects under 500sf, we charge $85. For projects over 500sf, we provide complimentary delivery. For deliveries that are further than 60miles delivery fees are quoted individually based on distance and location. US Turf installations have all of these fees included in them.

Operation fees cost graphic

Dump Fees

Average debris removal in San Diego is about $233 per load however, the price for dump fees ranges widely. Yard waste will be less expensive than construction debris. Typically, you’ll be charged a per square foot rate for removal at installations depending on the type of removal, additional fees will incur for things like bush, tree, planter box, and concrete on a case-by-case basis. Assume at least two loads in a medium-sized project of about 1,000 square feet. 

Dump fees for DIY projects will differ greatly depending on the size of the trailer or truck, the type of material being dumped, and the dump yard it is taken to. Typically 1,000sf standard removal will require 2-3 loads with a 10ft trailer.

Dump fees cost graphic

Fueling costs

Fueling costs will vary based on the cost of fuel at the time and how many trips are being taken from the job site to the dump and vice versa. These can all be coordinated for drop-off or pick-up with no travel by the homeowner needed. All fuel costs are included in a US Turf installation. 

For DIY projects that are using their own truck, expect to spend a couple of hundred dollars worth of fuel in total.

Front yard landscaped with synthetic turf

Delivery Fees

Delivery fees cover the cost of the delivery of materials for your project. This will depend on where the materials are coming from. Local materials will be less expensive overall. Expect another couple hundred dollars in delivery fees in the total bid.

Labor Costs

Labor costs are often totaled together with materials and contractor fees in a bid for service. Average labor costs for an artificial turf project in San Diego are around the $4.50-$9 per square foot range, depending on the size of your project and the size of the crew needed to see the project through completion. A more experienced team will be at the upper end of that range.

Labor costs graphic

Total Cost of Installing an Artificial Lawn

Your initial bid for service may not get into as much detail, but this guide should give you an overall idea of how much you should expect to spend for artificial turf in San Diego. 

So how much is artificial turf? The range of pricing for artificial turf for homes in San Diego is $7-$12 and $13-$18 for putting greens per square foot. Large commercial or residential turf projects that include added landscaping and turf accessories may fall at the higher end. A free estimate from US Turf is a great start to help get you a better idea of your total project cost.

Total cost of artificial grass installation graphic

Artificial Grass vs Real Grass Costs

One of the major benefits of artificial grass is the money you’ll save over time. When considering artificial grass pros and cons, keep in mind that a synthetic turf installation is a long-term investment. 

Installation Cost

It costs more upfront to install an artificial lawn, as the payoff comes from the cost savings associated with annual maintenance. Expect to pay $0.14-$0.60 per square foot for the sod alone for a natural lawn. Installing a sprinkler system comes at a higher cost of an additional $2 per square foot on average.

artificial grass installation cost

Watering Cost

You won’t spend much money watering an artificial lawn. The only water you’ll use is for a regular rinse to keep your surface clean. That means you’ll save quite a bit and keep things eco-friendly in a state often affected by drought if you choose turf over a natural lawn. 

Natural lawns need even more water in hot, dry months where water comes at a premium. Watering a small lawn can cost you about $80/month.

real grass vs fake grass watering cost

Fertilizing Cost

You don’t need to fertilize a synthetic lawn, either. If you hire a service, expect to pay at least $250 for a small yard in fertilizer costs. Most natural lawns should be fertilized once or twice per year.

Real grass vs fake grass fertilizing cost

Maintenance Cost

You’ll want to rinse, rake and brush your artificial turf to keep it looking good. All of that comes at minimal expense to you. A natural lawn requires much more maintenance. That can include weed killers, bug repellants, mowing, aerating, seeding, and fertilizing, with more maintenance needed during dry summers. 

Hiring someone for regular mowing costs at least $30/visit, with additional costs associated with aeration ($50/visit) and seeding (starts at $150/visit).

real grass vs fake grass maintenance cost

Annual Cost

The difference in cost of artificial grass vs. real grass is most obvious when some time has passed. It can cost over $1,000 per year to cover the maintenance costs alone of a natural lawn. Add reseeding, rising watering costs, and any services you hire to care for that lawn, and you should expect to pay anywhere from $37,000-$41,000 over the next 25 years. 

Most of the costs associated with your artificial turf are upfront. Including installation, expect to pay between nearly nothing over the 25-year maximum lifespan of a synthetic lawn. 

real grass vs fake grass total cost

Artificial Grass Installation Process

Now that you have a broad idea of artificial turf cost, let’s look at what to expect from the process if you decide to hire professionals over DIY. 

artificial grass installation process

Step 1: Professional Consultation

A professional consultation is important in making sure your vision is realized. This is where a turf expert will go over the feasibility of your project, the scope of work and give you an estimate on your artificial grass installation price.

Couple having a professional landscaping consultation

Step 2: Design Phase

Your vision is realized in the design phase of your project. You’ll choose the turf materials and any accessories you’d like to see in the project and share thoughts on things like mixed-use landscaping, pavers, and any additional features to be incorporated into the design.

Person drawing the landscape of a backyard

Step 3: Pre-installation

Your turf experts will make sure your surface is prepped and ready before installing the artificial turf. This includes removing any old materials, including a natural lawn, and grading the area to allow for a smooth surface.

wheelbarrow and shovel sitting on a pile of dirt in a backyard

Step 4: Ground Prep

Every successful turf project includes a solid base level. Ground prep includes installing a base level to go underneath your turf. This will allow for proper drainage for years to come. Weed barriers as an added accessory also come at this stage.

weed barrier laying on top of synthetic grass

Step 5: Artificial Grass Installation

It’s finally time to install your artificial grass. A professional turf company will ensure that sections are cut properly, and any excess is trimmed and seamed. Corners are tucked in, and any bumps are flattened to prepare for the next step.

Person installing artificial grass

Step 6: Infill the Artificial Grass

Your artificial turf infill helps give your synthetic lawn some weight and allows blades to bounce back after heavy use. It also provides the blades something to stand up against, offering it some protection from the sun and foot traffic.

Infill being put down into artificial grass

Step 7: Final Groom

The last step is a final brushing to allow the turf infill to settle in. Final grooming also removes any debris leftover from the project. Expect to do some light raking and brushing of your own to maintain that clean look over time.

person brushing artificial grass

Step 8: Enjoy!

With some light maintenance, expect to enjoy your beautiful new synthetic lawn for up to 25 years. You’ll find that your investment more than pays for itself within its lifetime. Keep your lawn looking great with regular cleanup and grooming. If you notice any issues with your turf, such as tears or pooling water, your turf experts can come and fix those problems on the spot.

Dog running across artificial grass

DIY Artificial Grass Installation vs. Hiring a Pro

If you’re looking for a more complex installation (seams needed, shaping large areas, special cutwork), we recommend using a professional team US Turf Avoid common mistakes that can come with a DIY installation from the get-go, and get your turf installed right the first time. 

For a better idea of what your turf project will cost, get a free estimate from US Turf, San Diego’s artificial turf experts. If you’re coming in with a budget in mind, we can work with you on a plan that meets your needs and fits your budget.

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