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How much does turf cost?

Congratulations on deciding to upgrade part or all of your lawn!

A new lawn is a long-term investment that, when looked after properly, will bring joy for many years to come.

Improvements to what real estate agents call “street appeal” can also increase the value of your home if and when it comes time to sell.

Once you’ve settled on which type of turf is most suited to your situation, you’ll want to know how much it will cost.

The main factors affecting the cost of the project are; how big an area is to be turfed, the variety is chosen, and whether you will lay the turf yourself or hire a professional.

Starting from scratch

Sometimes it can be easier to tear up the whole lawn and start over again instead of trying to repair numerous patches of dead or damaged turf.

This makes a lot of sense if your lawn has suffered from drainage issues or poor soil quality because you get to fix those problems before the new turf is laid.

Landscaping and lawn installation charges are usually quoted as a per square metre rate.

Garden soil can cost $50-$90 per cubic metre (m3), plus delivery charges. A 1m3 load of soil weighing about 1.2 tonnes will cover an area of 10 square metres to a depth of 10cm.

Professional rates can vary a lot, so always request a detailed quote that includes prices for every component of the job, such as:

  • Cutting, removing and disposing of the old lawn – $6-$20 per square metre.
  • Supplying fresh topsoil and levelling it to a specified depth – $12-$25 per square metre.
  • Installing or upgrading an irrigation system – the price depends on complexity.
  • Supplying the turf in rolls or slabs – most varieties sell for $7-$15 per square metre.
  • Installing the turf – $5-$10 per square metre.

As an example, if you were to returf a 50 square metre area of lawn, you might expect to pay:

  • $500 to remove the old lawn.
  • $450 for new soil
  • $660 for Palmetto Buffalo turf
  • $400 for installation.

TOTAL =  $2000

What is turf?If you’re on a tight budget, the most cost-effective variety is probably Kenda Kikuyu, which sells for $7-$15 per square metre.

The best premium variety has to be the newly released Augusta Zoysia, which is currently only available in Sydney and south-east Queensland, for $22-$26 per square metre.

For an all-rounder, you won’t go wrong choosing Palmetto Buffalo ($10-$19) or Nara Native Zoysia ($11-$22). Both are suitable for use in most mainland states as well as being low maintenance and high wearing.

For more information about turf variety characteristics and pricing, you can refer to the Quick Lawn Selection Guide here.

Repairing a patch

Bare patches and dead spots in your lawn can be caused by any number of things; from pests, disease and drought to wear and tear from boisterous kids and pets.

Patches in your lawn can be repaired with seed or new turf, depending on your budget and which type of grass you want to use.

For a guide to repairing a bare or dead patch, you can read the article How to repair a lawn here.

Maintenance

But wait, have you thought about how much it’s going to cost to maintain your new lawn?

If you haven’t previously had a Kikuyu or Couch lawn you might be swayed by the cheaper upfront costs of installation, but bear in mind these are fast growing varieties and rated as requiring medium to high levels of maintenance.

This can translate into more frequent mowing – as often as every week in summer, compared to every fortnight for Nara Native Zoysia – as well as edging, watering and applying fertiliser more often.

That’s not a problem if you enjoy spending the time outdoors to keep your lawn in top shape, but it can be an important factor for the time-poor among us.

What else to consider?

You’ve done your homework, chosen a turf variety and researched how much it’s all going to cost.

This is where you get to decide how much time or effort you’re prepared to put into the project yourself.

Taking a do-it-yourself approach can be extremely satisfying as well as helping to reduce the bills.

If that’s not your cup of tea, you might prefer to pay a professional who knows all the tips and tricks for getting the best result.

And if you don’t have the money available to pay for the job now, some turf suppliers and landscaping companies offer interest-free payment terms that allow you to get your new lawn sooner. Just ask.

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