With the demand for artificial grass becoming more popular every day, so does the amount of companies starting up and offering their services in this sector. We feel very concerned as to the quality of installs now being offered, as prices get squeezed and corners get cut.
We believe now after 9 years of practice we have the art of installation down to a tee, but we are very concerned about other companies’ ideas and ethics of this process and what they feel they can get away with to win the job. The amount of times over the last few months we have been asked to quote for a job and been told some of the prices our competitors are prepared to install their product for – alarm bells are starting to ring after stripping the quote down, as it means one thing and one thing only; they are simply doing a sub-standard job and not worrying about what it will look like in a few months time.
We are seeing the big names out there franchising themselves all over the country without any real thought as to what is going on in their name. Time and time again we are hearing (and seeing) horror stories. It seems you really have to be very careful who you are taking on and check there credentials thoroughly. Do not just think they are going to do a great job because they come under the name of one of the large artificial grass companies.
From joins being simply tied together, to grass being laid on top of soil or a thin layer of sharp sand as a base, take note – it will look awful very quickly!
Don’t Get Caught Out
Here is my checklist to making sure you do not have an artificial grass nightmare.
- Must have a base of up to 3 inches deep, made up of a sub-base of 2 inches of either type 1 or 10mm granite chippings. We use an inch of granite dust (sharp sand can be used) on top.
- Must have a thick membrane.
- Must have fixings – if you do not have any around the perimeter you will get worm casts and a curled up edge in a few months. We always have concreted in treated timbers or a concrete fillet we can attach the grass too.
- Must ask to see the grass rolled out before ordering. A high percentage of grass on today’s market is imported from China. The majority of the grass manufactured in China suffers from evident striping down the roll and thick glue covered backings which cause puffing on install.
- Must ask what tests have been carried out on the product and to what standard. As all our grasses are made in the EU, they adhere to high testing standards – i.e. toxicity of the backing, fibre pull, drainage time, UV stabilisation, flammability. If you’re not sure, ask; it’s your garden it is going in!
- Must carry out basic install techniques, like compacting the base, screeding with a timber to get a snooker table top finish, good standard of cutting (no gaps), good joining procedure (non visible), power brushed finish.
- Must get a few quotes, the cheapest is generally not the best…However there are also the overpriced rip off merchants out there too!
Tread carefully, ask the above questions and you will be fine, don’t forget we want people to see artificial grass and think WOW not URRRGHH!