Outside The Box
How artificial turf helped Newtex Landscaping offer innovation & flexibility to a client
By Maureen Gilmer, landscape designer, author and LandscapingNetwork.com columnist
A poor economy can often open the doors to new revenue streams for contractors. It can also make designers and installers think outside the box to give their customers the very best value on quality landscaping.
For Newtex Landscape owner Mike Martinez, and designer/landscape architect Patrick Penticoff, the serious downturn in Las Vegas landscaping markets led to diversification of the landscape design and contracting company. When new jobs became few and far between, and the demand for green alternatives reached the residential world, Martinez invested in new green technology by purchasing Field Turf of Nevada. This company manufacturers, designs and installs such high quality artificial turf, it is the top brand for professional sports. So naturally, if it's resilient enough for the football field, it can certainly do well in American backyards.
Nowhere is it more apparent than a new project in northwest Las Vegas that was most welcome during the early years of the downturn when Newtex crews were willing to take on all clients. Owned by a retired building contractor, this city lot would become a joint venture between homeowner and landscape company. They came to Newtex from an advertisement in the Las Vegas newspaper. The goal was an overall design to create family space adjacent to the newly completed expansion of the existing home. All that would remain would be the pepper trees, and around this Penticoff created a fresh paving design for the site.
It would hinge upon plenty of green so that the family dogs and grandchildren would have space to play without demanding undue amounts of water for traditional turf grass. It would also feature crisp ribbons of green that are all the rage in cool, rainy northwestern homes. These accent strips criss crossed the precast paver patterned walks created to link all spaces to the new addition. While a hot summer climate like southern Nevada would prevent this look due to heat absorption that makes turf in paving next to impossible, the artificial turf proved an outstanding alternative that was also, blessedly, care free.
The beauty of this project shows that contractors who take on specialties such as this have an opportunity to provide them to clients at lower cost. Without the middleman, Newtex can offer top quality, realistic turf at a more competitive price. Customers know that artificial turf installed on Newtex Landscape projects will be properly incorporated into the project because the designer is fully aware of its opportunities and the nuances of proper installation.
In extreme high desert landscaping, artificial turf eliminates the need to overseed with annual rye to keep the dormant Bermuda grass lawn green all winter. Newtex offers clients the most porous and well drained brand of turf, and they can obtain it at minimal cost. It also allows the very popular strips of green in paving for this and other climates that all but eliminate this option.
It is not easy for contractors to work hand in hand with DIY homeowners. This was the first time Newtex had done so and the clients were thrilled. Like most sixty-something homeowners, the ability to save money and keep maintenance to a minimum is top priority. And while Newtex doesn't specialize in such joint ventures, such diversification, thinking outside the box, and the give and take of working closely with homeowners kept Newtex Landscape alive during such challenging times. This is a track record that appeals to future clients who seek a flexible designer-contractor who can help them save money. Above all, Newtex has invested in innovative green products that bring the look of turf to a water challenged city in the desert.
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Maureen "Mo" Gilmer is a landscape designer, author, and speaker about horticulture topics and landscape design.