LESLIE: Linda in Rhode Island is on the line with a question about artificial turf. How can we help you?
LINDA: I’ve been reviewing various companies that manufacture AstroTurf. And I can see how beneficial it can be. My only question is: what is the best time of the year, in the Northeast, to have it installed? And are there different grades? Will some stand up to the different changes of the season and does it fade? I don’t know what to look for or what is really the best.
TOM: And that’s a good question and a lot of folks are looking at these products these days. We’ve gotten some questions on this before. The AstroTurf or artificial turf has been around for a long time for sports fields but it hardly looked like a lawn. Today, there are new products on the market that look a lot more like the real thing.
Now, the downsides, though, of artificial turf are that it’s expensive and that a lot of homeowners claim it gets really hot and is uncomfortable to walk on or even lounge on when you’re in a lawn chair. Because the heat tends to radiate up through that product on a hot day. It does, of course, need professional installation. And like anything, there’s good products and there’s cheap products but there’s no good cheap products out there. So you need to consider that.
And I’d also think about how it impacts resale value. While you might think artificial turf is the best thing since sliced bread, a buyer may have their dreams of a beautiful, green lawn that they can smell and walk barefoot on crushed by it. So, I don’t think it’s a slam dunk either way. But I do think it’s something that you can look into and consider. But the thing that most people seem to complain about the most is the fact that it retains heat.
And the other thing I think you’re going to find is odd is this beautiful, green lawn is going to look perfectly natural in spring and summer. But when it snows and you’ve got the greenest house – the greenest lawn on the street, you’re going to stand out a little bit, OK?
LESLIE: This is true.
LINDA: I’m sure. And that was my question because sometimes we do have blizzards. And after the sun comes out and the snow starts to melt – but how long does it stay on the AstroTurf?
TOM: It basically melts right through it, you know.
LINDA: It does.
TOM: You’re going to have to clean it, rake it and shovel over it like anything else. So that’s why you’ve got to buy a really good-quality artificial turf product.
LINDA: I see. Well, that’s really interesting.
LINDA: I do appreciate all your help. Because after I looked at different ones, I really didn’t know which one would actually be the best.
LINDA: The main thing I was concerned about is the fact that many times, if there is a water shortage and they prevent the homeowners from using that to …
LESLIE: Regular watering.
LINDA: Right. Exactly. And then the whole lawn is lost and you start all over again. So that was …
TOM: Yeah, well, that happens. You’ll probably – if you do have artificial turf and your lawn looks so fantastic in a hot August when there’s a water shortage, I bet you you’re going to have some water official knocking at your door and going, “You’ve got to stop using water.”
LESLIE: Somebody knocking on the door.
LINDA: Exactly. Oh, very good. Well, thank you ever so much. Because it really does answer my questions now.
LINDA: If you were installing it, would you do that in the spring or the fall or …?
TOM: I wouldn’t do it in the winter. I’d probably do it in the spring, yeah.
LINDA: In the spring would be best. Well, I really appreciate all your help. It certainly has been beneficial to me.
TOM: Good. Good luck with that project. Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.
LINDA: Thank you.