There are many times when going the DIY route will save you a lot of money – but is laying your instant lawn one of them? You’ve probably seen people on TV laying instant turf and thought that it doesn’t look too hard. There are certainly circumstances where it might be better to install your instant turf yourself – and circumstances when it isn’t. Here’s a handy guide to help you decide whether to hire a professional to lay your new lawn – or give it a go yourself.
When you should hire a professional to install your lawn
If you have a large, steep, sloping or hard to access lawn
While an inexperienced gardener might be able to successfully turf a small, accessible area, it’s a lot harder when your lawn is large or difficult. If your lawn area contains steep slopes, terraces, hard to access areas, odd shapes or large trees that you want to keep, it might be better to get the professionals on the job. Difficult areas require a greater level of expertise to get good results, and will be much more time consuming to get right.
If you have no experience
If you’ve never laid instant turf before and are not particularly handy in the garden, it’s probably worth leaving the job to the professionals, rather than risk making a mess of it yourself. Installing an instant lawn is not just a matter of plonking your turf rolls down and hoping for the best. There are a number of steps you will need to take before you can even think about laying the turf, including:
• Accurately measuring your turf area so you can order the right amount of turf
• Preparing your soil to provide the best surface for your instant lawn to flourish
• Ensuring adequate drainage for the site
There are also best practice procedures that the professionals will follow to ensure your new lawn comes up looking fantastic. If you don’t have any kind of gardening experience and try to lay your lawn yourself, you may end up wasting the money you’ve spent on buying a beautiful instant lawn by installing it to a low standard.
If you have limited time available
If you’re a busy person with a lack of free time, it might be best to choose a professional to save you all the time the process will take. You’ll need to properly prepare the soil before the grass can be installed, which will include such tasks as:
• Removing all weeds and debris from the area
• Levelling the soil
• Determining and correcting the pH level of the soil
• Applying fertiliser
• Turning the soil to a depth of around 150mm
All of this can be time consuming, and you’ll need to allow at least a few weeks to get all these tasks done. Then you need to factor in the time needed to actually install the turf, which will depend on the size of your area. While a small area might be finished in a weekend, a larger area will naturally take a lot longer. And an inexperienced person will be much slower at the job than an experienced turf layer. If you want your lawn to happen quickly and don’t have much time to devote to the job, you should definitely hire a professional to make it happen.
If you have problematic soil
If you have to contend with thick clay, rocky soil or soil clogged with extensive root systems, you’re probably better off leaving it to a professional. All these problems will need to be dealt with before the grass can be installed, and difficult soil will require a lot more preparation and work. If your soil is problematic, you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches by using the services of an expert.
If money is not a factor
If you can afford to do so, it’s usually worth getting your turf professionally installed. The experts will be able to do the job much more quickly and easily than you can, and with a better outcome as well. The added expense is usually worth it to get a great looking lawn that will grow and last well into the future. If you can afford to hire a professional, then do so for a much more streamlined process.
If you want to achieve a high-quality lawn
It’s worth hiring professionals to lay your lawn if your aim is to create an impeccable quality garden that’s worth showing off. You don’t want to waste money by buying quality turf but failing to install it expertly. You’ll be doing your garden – and your bank account – a disservice. If your lawn is the centrepiece of your garden, you’d be better off getting the experts in to do the job to a high standard. You can be sure of great results, and an attractive, functional and usable lawn.
When you might be able to lay your lawn yourself
If you have a small and easily accessible lawn area
If the area to be turfed is small and easily accessible, you might be able to consider doing it yourself. A small, easy area won’t require as much time or expertise to install the lawn well, and will thus be more achievable for the average gardener.
If you have dream soil
If your soil is not clogged with roots, rocks or clay, you won’t need as much preparation before the grass can be installed. This will make it easier to prepare the soil yourself for the turf to be installed. Great soil will only require minimal work, so go ahead and give it a go yourself.
If you’re reasonably experienced
Anyone with a fair bit of gardening or lawn experience should find laying an instant lawn an achievable task. Get plenty of advice from the instant lawn experts before you begin, and make sure all your questions about the process are adequately answered. You can also watch videos showing how to correctly lay instant turf on YouTube to make the process even easier.
If you have plenty of time available
People with plenty of time on their hands that can be dedicated to preparing the site and laying the turf will be able to carry out the process much more easily than those who are busy and time-poor. The process does take a bit of time, so make sure you have that time available before committing to the DIY route.
If you have a limited budget
You should at least consider whether you can lay your instant turf yourself if money is tight and you have a limited budget. This will offer considerable savings in labour costs. Turn it into a weekend party and recruit handy friends to help speed up the process. For the cost of putting on a BBQ for your assistants, it may be well worth the saving in cost.
If you don’t need a perfect lawn
If you’re not planning on turning your garden into a showpiece and just want a usable and functional lawn, laying the turf yourself is a viable option. While you probably won’t achieve the impeccable quality that the professionals would, a functional lawn is achievable by most people with a reasonable degree of knowledge.
Make your choice
While there are pros and cons to each choice, keep your goals for your lawn in mind when deciding to use a professional or do it yourself. Take all these factors into consideration so that you can make the best choice and ensure the best outcome for both yourself and your lawn.
If you decide to go down the professional route, Horsham Turf can provide you with a hassle-free full installation by a qualified landscaping team. We can also provide you with advice plus a range of instant turf varieties if you prefer the DIY approach. Contact us today to see how we can help you get the lawn of your dreams.
To find out about the best time to install a new lawn, click here.