How much should I expect to pay for new sod in my yard?

Liven up your lawn with some new sod. Find out how much sod costs and what it takes to install it.
Sod installation is a great alternative to seeding if you want to start a new lawn or repair a severely damaged one. Sod is a professionally-grown, mature lawn that comes in large patches or rolls. Sod is usually 99% weed-free, and it comes complete with soil and roots that establish themselves after a short time period. Other than a healthy dose of watering to establish your lawn?s roots in the beginning, a sod lawn will require little maintenance over time. Installing sod can be costly and require a great deal of preparation, but it can also reap great benefits for your money and effort.

Typical Costs for Sod Installation (Professional Services)

  • Low-End Estimate: $280 for 2,000 square feet

  • High-End Estimate: $1,000 for 2,000 square feet
    • Professionals will assess the slope and layout of the yard to help determine a price estimate for their services. The more difficult it is to move sod around the yard, the more you will pay.

    • Some professionals will use machinery to lay down the sod, cutting down on cost while saving time and effort.

    • Most companies will simply deliver and install the sod, so any prep work to till the ground beforehand often falls on the consumer. Expect to pay a company more if you need them to till the ground for you.
Typical Costs for Sod Installation (Do-It-Yourself Services)
  • Low-End Estimate: $160 for 2,000 square feet

  • High-End Estimate: $600 for 2,000 square feet
    • Figure out how much sod you?ll need by multiplying the width of your yard by the length of your yard to come up with a square footage number.

    • Most pallets to be delivered to your home will have enough sod to cover 504 square feet.

    • Be sure to specify where you want the pallets delivered in your yard. The hardest part of installing sod is moving it from the pallets to the area where they?ll be installed, so make sure you have the pallets separated by the approximate ground they will cover.

Additional Costs for Sod Installation (Professional Services)
  • Removing Trees or Shrubbery
    • Low-End Estimate: $30 per hour

    • High-End Estimate: $50 per hour

    • If you are installing sod where old plant beds existed, expect the professionals to charge more for the labor involved to remove trees and shrubs.
Additional Costs for Sod Installation (Do-It-Yourself Services)
  • Using a Rotor Tiller
    • Low-End Estimate: $60/day rental

    • High-End Estimate: $100/day rental

    • The ground where you will install the sod needs to be free of large rocks.

    • Breaking up the existing soil with a rotor tiller will promote proper root growth once you lay the sod.

  • Using a Lawn Roller
    • Low-End Estimate: $10/day rental

    • High-End Estimate: $15/day rental

    • The lawn roller smooths out the sod and removes any air pockets underneath.

  • Spreading Fertilizer
    • Low-End Estimate: $35 for 5,000 square feet

    • High-End Estimate: $45 for 5,000 square feet

    • Check with your local home and garden store to determine the best type of fertilizer for your yard as well as the best time of year to apply it.

    • Some fertilizers come with a weed-and-feed combination, while others help eliminate crabgrass that wants to invade your lawn.
Steps for Proper Sod Installation
  • Calculate the square footage of the yard to determine how much sod is needed.

  • Till the ground to remove any extra rocks and debris, breaking up the existing ground.

  • Make sure the ground is moist but not saturated with water.

  • Install your lawn immediately upon delivery.

  • Begin watering lawn within 30 minutes of installation.

  • In hot weather, protect unused turf by placing stacks in shade, watering as needed.

  • Begin installing turf along the longest straight line, such as a driveway or sidewalk.

  • Butt and push edges and ends against each other tightly without stretching. Avoid gaps or overlaps.

  • Stagger the joints in each row in a brick-like fashion.

  • After installing the turf, roll the entire area to improve turf/soil contact and remove air pockets.

  • Maintain a rigid watering schedule for 30 days to make sure the turf?s roots are established.

  • For more information, read these ten steps to installing sod from the Home Depot Garden Club.
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