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New homeowner shares transformation photos after shrinking their lawn to avoid hefty water bills: 'It seemed inconceivable'

"Flippers rolled out sod right before we moved in."

Xeriscaping, transform a grass lawn

Photo Credit: u/Fresh-Possibility-75 / Reddit

Traditional grass lawns demand a lot of time, resources, and money to maintain. One cost-cutting Redditor found a cheaper, more environmentally friendly alternative by creating a drought-resistant oasis in their Southern California backyard.

The Redditor posted before-and-after photos of their backyard. The before photo shows a large expanse of bare grass. "Flippers rolled out sod right before we moved in," the poster wrote. "I was absolutely rocked by our first few water bills … It seemed inconceivable that the lawn was costing so much, but we decided to scale back watering, and saw considerable savings the next month." 

Eventually, the original poster wrote, they stopped watering altogether to save money.

Photo Credit: u/Fresh-Possibility-75 / Reddit

The transformed yard embraces the SoCal climate. Grass was replaced with desert plants, a walkway, and a patio with a table and couch. "DIY'ed the dry bed, edging, flagstone, and all of the plantings," the poster wrote.

Most lawns need to be watered one to two times per week, but in hotter climates, lawns may require up to three waterings per week. All that water adds up — both for your wallet and for the environment. By replacing grass with drought-resistant plants, you can save on your water bill and reduce your water usage.

The poster's new backyard is an example of xeriscaping, the process of designing a landscape to reduce water usage. Xeriscaping can reduce your water usage by 50% to 75%, saving you money and ensuring you're not wasting water.

Commenters admired the original poster's remade backyard. "Love how you transformed the space!" one wrote

One wondered how the cost of watering a sod lawn compared to the cost of the renovation. 

"At the height of summer when we were still watering, our bill was around $400. The following summer at the same time without watering, it was around $80. I anticipate it will be around $100 this year with the new landscaping" the original poster replied

They admitted that the renovation cost more than what they were paying to water the lawn, but the huge water bill was only part of the equation. "We regularly have county-imposed water restrictions due to drought that would have made it impossible to keep a lawn of this size, and drought tolerant landscaping adds significant value to homes in our market," they explained.

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