FAQ – Outdoor Living Rebate

Save water while adding style and value to your home with a new outdoor living space. Learn how you can work with SAWS to plan your project and get a cash rebate after completion.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Outdoor Living Rebate program?

The program is a way to replace water-demanding turfgrass with a new, zero water-demanding wooden or composite deck, and/or hardscape. For hardscape, only features composed of 80 percent flagstone, stepping stones or pavers will be eligible for these types of transformations.

Decks must be built with pressure-treated wood, hardwood or composite material.  Safety measures such as the use of railing is strongly recommended.

The new outdoor living space must be pervious, allowing water through.

Can I apply for work previously completed?

No, only preapproved, newly constructed outdoor living features.

Is river rock, gravel, granite or anything similar covered in this rebate? Is artificial turf eligible?

River rock, gravel, or granite in any form can only be used to construct the permeable character of a hardscape feature covered by this rebate and cannot take up more than 20 percent. Areas constructed solely with these materials are not eligible for consideration for this rebate.

Artificial turf, playscapes and pools are not eligible for this rebate.

Can I do a walkway?

Walkways are not included in the total project size for the rebate offer. The outdoor living space (patio or deck) must be at least 10 feet wide and at least the minimum 200 square feet.

What is the minimum size of a project to qualify for the rebate?

At least 200 square feet of grass must be removed and replaced with a new Outdoor Living feature to qualify for rebate after a pre-inspection.

Must I have a pre-inspection by SAWS?

Yes, before any work is started. Previously started or completed projects will not qualify. At your pre-inspection, you will receive a rebate offer and suggestions for additional SAWS incentive programs. No irrigation is allowed in the new outdoor living area. If you have any irrigation, our consultant will run your system and make a rebate offer for removing any in that area.

Rebate offer is good for 12 months from the date of the approval email.

Can I hire a designer and/or contractor for design and construction?

Yes, you can hire a contractor and/or designer to work with you. The rebate is not based on the design or material costs you incur. It is based on your final project size, use of eligible materials, and irrigation status. You may not have irrigation in or on the new outdoor living space.

Can SAWS recommend a designer or deck/hardscape installer?

SAWS cannot recommend a designer or deck/hardscape installer.  SAWS does not endorse anyone, and is not responsible for any damages caused by an installer.

What if I need to make changes during construction?

Contact the SAWS conservation planner listed on your approval email to discuss any changes to avoid any issues with your rebate.

What do I need to do once my new outdoor living space is complete?

You will need to take pictures of your completed project and request a final inspection. Find the approval email with your rebate offer and the link to upload your pictures with the request. This must be completed within 12 months before your rebate offer expires.

How do I get a rebate?

Customers must pass an inspection of their completed project. The cash rebate will only be issued after passing inspection.

If your total rebates from SAWS exceed $600 in a year, you will need to complete an IRS W-9 form per federal tax code.

How long does it take to receive the rebate check?

Rebate checks will be issued in 6-8 weeks upon passing inspection.

I have more questions. Is there someone I can talk to SAWS?

Yes, call us at 210-704-SAVE (7283).

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