Adrian Buttress, managing director at PermaLawn, discusses the difference between cheap and high-quality artificial grass options
Cheap products may have an unbelievably attractive price, but if they start failing sooner than you think, the project can end up becoming a reputation-damaging job for contractors, as well as a very costly investment for homeowners.
With this in mind, it’s inaccurate to only compare price when supporting a customer in their decision-making – and artificial grass is no exception to the rule. Cost comparison in any industry is always on a like-for-like basis. However, in the grass market, that difference is far more than simply pile height and price.
There is only so far you can go when cutting production costs before you start hitting problems. When something is cheaper, it’s usually because you are getting less product. For example, while it all looks the same when it is brand new on the roll, that will change once the artificial grass has been exposed to the elements.
Protecting your reputation
It’s tempting to try and undercut your competitors by using cheap materials in order to be able to offer a reduced quote, but it’s something than can cost contractors in the long run. A good reputation will work wonders for a business – but it’s important to remember that a negative one is just as influential.
If something goes wrong down the line, even if the failures are down to the material itself as opposed to the installation, a contractor will end up getting the blame. So, recommending good quality artificial grass upfront and explaining your reasons – namely saving homeowners money over the years – behind this to clients is crucial, even it does mean your quote is higher than other installers.
Choosing a lawn that looks realistic and stands the test of time
Like most things, manufacturers can take shortcuts in the production process to save themselves time and money, which allows them to offer their artificial grass at a lower price than their competitors. However, it’s important to remember that these cheap prices only come by sacrificing quality.
To help steer your clients away from purchasing artificial grass they may regret installing in the future and to maintain your reputation, there are a few key signs that can help you spot poor quality products – ensuring your customers enjoy the many benefits that having an ever green and ever mowed lawn brings for years to come.
A certain level of yarn loss is to be expected, but it shouldn’t be excessive. The easiest way to test this is to pull the tufts from the middle of a sample – if you get good resistance and no shedding, the product is solid.
When purchasing artificial grass for a job, you should also ask about the stich rate, which is the number of stitches per 10cm. As a general rule of thumb, better quality grass as a higher stitch rate.
There’s more to artificial grass than just the plastic fibres
The secondary backing material, which tends to be made up of either latex or polyurethane, holds the tufts in place and allows the fake grass to lie flat. One of the keys to a long-lasting fake lawn is artificial grass that has been manufactured with sufficiently high quantities of latex.
Generally, artificial grass made in Europe tends to be of much higher quality because of the European Union’s stringent standards and regulations that manufacturers have to comply with. PermaLawn works with a renowned European manufacturer with decades of proven background and experience – ensuring the artificial grass we supply is well worth the money.
It’s also important to check the warranty that comes with your artificial grass – some cheaper options will only guarantee the product for five years, whereas PermaLawn products are guaranteed for seven.
Getting the stock you want, when you want it
Many stockists will have to wait up to 12-weeks for a delivery to be imported from the manufacturer, meaning homeowners will need to plan their garden renovations months in advance and contractors will be waiting for a while before getting started on the project. However, PermaLawn purposefully sits on 100,000m2 of stock all year round at our headquarters in Derbyshire and deliver just the amount you need for your garden.
Artificial grass is a smart, convenient and aesthetically pleasing solution. And for a lawn that lasts, and makes others green with envy, it is worth recommending that clients invest upfront in a quality product.
For further information on PermaLawn and to become an installer, visit perma-lawn.co.uk/