The grass truly is greener on the other side of Brian and Judy James’ home.
Tired of the time and expense demanded by yard maintenance, they hired workers to pull out the sod, flowerbeds and trees last week and replace them with 1,800 square feet of artificial turf.
They couldn’t be happier.
“We have a motorhome and we travel and you come home and (the grass) is burned. Then you try to fix it, and then the weeds took over, and it just got out of control,” explained Judy James, who has lived on Errol Road East since 1979.
“We seriously considered moving. It was just getting overwhelming.”
But they love their home and the neighbourhood and nixed that idea. Then they recalled seeing some kind of synthetic grass at a Las Vegas resort and wondered if that might be a solution.
After calling around, the James’s learned it was possible to have their lawn replaced with artificial turf similar to what they saw on their travels.
Working with Sarnia’s SS Greenhouses they selected a polyurethane product called Rymar-81, which the company website says is designed to truly replicate grass.
“We typically do it in backyards, putting greens, around pools,” said Brett King, owner of SS Greenhouses.
Replacing an entire front yard is rare but the company will install it anywhere a customer asks, he said.
“I think once people start to see a few of them it will start to catch on.”
The lawn and topsoil of the James’ yard were removed and layers of crushed aggregate laid and leveled before the artificial turf was unrolled.
It took four workers four days to complete the project.
“It’s the same basic principle as putting in a patio,” King said.
The plastic grass costs $10 to $12 per square foot, and though the manufacturer warrantees it for eight years he suspects it will last closer to 20.
The James’ say the investment was worth it.
“We don’t have to water it, we don’t have to put chemicals on it. We don’t have to fertilize it. Salt doesn’t bother it,” said Judy James.
“What else do we have to do?” asked Brian with a laugh.
“In my estimation, sweep the lawn!”