Sod Installation Costs
Rolls of sod cost between $0.34 and $0.85 per square foot on average depending on the type of grass selected and amount purchased. Sod costs $680 to $1,700 to cover a 2,000 square foot lawn. If you hire a pro for installation, this price increases to $0.90 to $1.80 per square foot, or between $1,800 and $3,600 to cover 2,000 square feet.
|National Average Cost||$2,180|
|Average Range||$1,436 to $2,712|
Table Of Contents
Average Cost To Sod A Yard Per Square Foot
When hiring a professional, the average cost to sod a yard is $0.90 to $1.80 per square foot, or $2,180 to cover a 2,000 square foot lawn. When sodding a full 8,712 SF (0.2 acres) lawn from scratch, you can expect to pay between $4,530 and $9,931 on average. It will only take a professional a few hours of work to install it, and literally overnight your yard will be green and ready to flourish. 
|Type of Grass Sod||Sod Prices (SF)||Total Installed Cost|
|Bermuda||$0.57 – $0.84||$6,534 – $8,886|
|St. Augustine||$0.57 – $1.14||$6,534 – $9,931|
|Fescue||$0.39 – $0.46||$4,966 – $5,576|
|Kentucky Blue Grass||$0.34 – $0.41||$4,530 – $5,140|
|Zoysia||$0.62 – $0.85||$6,969 – $8,973|
Sod Prices Per Square Foot
Depending on the type of grass, rolls of sod typically cost between $0.34 and $0.85 per square foot. The average size of a modern yard is 1/5 of an acre or 8,712 SF which will cost about $6,708 on average for professional installation. Most landscapers will quote based on the square footage to be covered, the condition of your soil, and the grade of your land.
|Sod Type||Average Cost|
|Bentgrass||$0.56 – $0.62|
|Kentucky Blue Grass||$0.22 – $0.45|
|Fine Fescue||$0.39 – $0.46|
|Perennial Ryegrass||$0.80 – $0.84|
|Tall Fescue||$0.40 – $0.52|
|Centipede||$0.80 – $0.84|
|Bahia||$0.20 – $0.25|
|Bermuda||$0.57 – $0.84|
|St. Augustine||$0.57 – $1.14|
|Zoysia||$0.62 – $0.85|
Grass Installation Cost
Grass installation costs $1 to $2 per square foot total. If you already purchased the grass, landscaping professionals can be hired at an hourly rate of $40 to $80 per hour. Grass sod is significantly more expensive than seeding a lawn because the grass has to be grown somewhere else, looked after, watered, cut up, and transported to your home before being laid down.
Labor Cost To Install Sod
Expect to pay about 158% of the cost of your sod grass for its installation. It generally takes one hour to install 25 square yards (225 SF) of sod at a labor cost of $40 to $80 per hour, or around $0.18 per square foot of sod. A professional landscaper can cover 2,000 sq. ft with sod for approx. $360.
Get free quotes from sod installers near you. Your quote for fully installed sod will include:
- Cost of sod
- Delivery fees
- Unloading labor
- Laying all the sod flat and in place
- Cutting neatly to line up with curbs, paths, and driveways
Best Time To Lay Sod
Depending on your climate, the best time for sod installation is spring or summer. If your summer temps are sweltering in the 90s or 100s, early spring will offer your new sod a pleasant climate for growth. Very high summer temperatures can stress the sod, and it may not establish well. Winter temps might be too cold for the grass to develop a good root system.
A long stretch of heavy rain can undo all the hard work you’ve put into preparing the ground to receive the lawn sod. Check the forecast for the upcoming week to make sure you’re providing optimum-level conditions for the laying of your sod.
Cost Of Sod By Type
Of all the different types of grass that are suitable for a lawn, they generally fall into one of two categories: creeping and bunch. Creeping grass has a high tolerance for higher temperatures and is typically found in yards all across the south. It grows along runners either above or below ground. Bunchgrass grows in a manner more consistent with the majority of plant life: it spreads out from the center in bunches. Mowing it higher will protect the center.
Cost Of Sod
Sod comes in many different types of grasses to fit your particular climate and at different prices. The average cost of sod is between $0.55 and $0.80 per square foot.
|Grass Sod Type||Traffic Durability||Best Climate||Cost Per Sq. Ft.|
|Bentgrass||Light||Warm||$0.56 – $0.62|
|Kentucky Bluegrass||Light||Warm||$0.22 – $0.45|
|Fine Fescue||Light||Warm||$0.39 – $0.46|
|Perennial Ryegrass||Heavy||Warm||$0.80 – $0.84|
|Tall Fescue||Heavy||Warm||$0.40 – $0.52|
|Centipede||Light||Cool||$0.80 – $0.84|
|Bahia||Light||Cool||$0.20 – $0.25|
|Bermuda||Heavy||Cool||$0.57 – $0.84|
|St. Augustine||Heavy||Cool||$0.57 – $1.14|
|Zoysia||Heavy||Cool||$0.62 – $0.85|
Pallet of Sod Cost
A pallet of new sod to cover 500 sq. ft. will cost an average of $499. A typical pallet of sod will cover from 450 to 500 sq. ft. and come in slabs that measure 18” x 24” or rolls that measure 24” x 54”.
Zoysia sod costs $0.62 to $0.85 per square foot. Zoysia is a slow-growing grass, which is great once it’s established because it won’t need mowing as often as other grasses; however, it also takes longer to establish itself and needs careful nurturing at first. It thrives in full sun and handles shade well. 
At $0.57 to $0.84 per square foot, Bermuda sod is quickly established, very hardy, and perfect for high-traffic areas of your lawn. It loves full sun and slightly acidic soil with a pH of 5.5–6.5, and it handles shade well. It does tend to take over and can creep into flowerbeds. It’s a good choice if you have scorching, dry summers. Bermuda costs approx. 
St. Augustine Sod
St. Augustine creates a dense, lush lawn quickly and is a popular choice with homeowners, but it’s pricier at $0.57 to $1.14 per square foot. St. Augustine grass sod can handle both full sun and shade. It tolerates humidity and also salt, and it grows well in sandy soil—making it a good choice for coastal areas.
Fescue sod costs between $0.39 and $0.52 per square foot on average. There are several kinds of fescue grass, but overall, they are the best types of grass for frigid winters combined with scorching summers. They grow fast, and fine fescue can handle shady areas well while tall fescue prefers partial shade. 
Kentucky Blue Grass Sod
At $0.22 to $0.45 per square foot, Kentucky Blue Grass is good for northern regions, and it will handle scorching summers as well as cold winters. It will fill in any bare spots but is an aggressive spreader. It grows well in full sun, moderate shade, and a pH 6.5-7 neutral soil, and it is good in high-traffic areas.
Other Popular Sod Grass
- Perennial Ryegrass – suitable in most soils and full sun but has seasonal availability at $0.84 per square foot.
- Bentgrass – tolerates acidic soil and full sun and costs $0.56 to $0.62 per square foot.
- Centipede – tolerates acidic soil and full or partial sun and costs average at $0.84 per square foot.
- Bahia – suitable in most soils and full or partial sun but has seasonal availability at $0.22 per square foot.
Some lawn sod companies will combine grasses to get better coverage and growth, like a mix of 60% bluegrass, 20% perennial rye, and 20% fine fescue, and call it super sod because of its combined strengths. 
Cost Factors To Lay Sod
In general, your final grass sod prices will depend on your location, the size of your yard, and the type of grass you wish to install.
Size of Area to Cover
More than any other factor, the area to be covered is the most substantial cost factor in sod installation. The larger the area, the more it will cost, as more workers are hired to install it.
Shape of Yard
Along with the size of the yard, when calculating the amount of sod you need, is the shape. A completely square or rectangular lawn will cost less to install than one with a curved edge, and different edge treatments mean more cuts in the length of sod to attain a more precise fitting arrangement of sod.
Access to the Yard
If the only way into your backyard is via a narrow pathway, it will cost more in labor hours to bring the sod through by hand. Similarly, if there is no driveway to bring the sod to the yard because it’s set back far from the house, it must be carried back there by other methods.
Cost of Grading Steep Sloped Land to Lay New Sod
It’s likely you’ll need to level out the yard to lay the sod to avoid the difficulty gravity adds to laying it. Changing the terrain of your land through re-sloping or grading will incur its own additional cost of $125 per cubic yard of dirt to be moved, or about $1,600 total. The contractor will need to be able to get some big equipment in, and that may require removing some fencing or gates.
Many landscaping options provide a lovely backyard but are not conducive to an easy sod installation. The more things that are in the way of unrolling the sod, the more it’s going to cost. Decorative boulders, flowerbeds and other things in the middle of a yard during sod installation requires cutting around each obstacle, so the sod lies nicely up to the edge of these features and takes root. This work requires more time and more experience.
Walkways are another obstacle that must be cut around, and sod needs to be fit to the trees. Any structures in your yard such as decks, hot tubs, or outbuildings will also require more cutting and fitting. Each obstacle adds to the amount of labor.
Ground Prep Work
Before you can lay new sod, you must get rid of any lawn you currently have. It’s not enough to just use Roundup on the old lawn, although you should do that, but once it dies, it must be removed. It can be dug up, but if there is a large area to be removed, you should rent a sod cutter (sod remover) to remove it at the cost of $69 (4 hours) or $98 (entire day). The grass’s dead root system also remains underground, and it needs to be removed before new sod can be laid.
If there is an existing sprinkler system, that may up the price, as it takes extra time and labor to work around each sprinkler head in the system.
Sod Grass Delivery Fee
The more grass sod you buy, the cheaper the delivery fee. Order over 1,000 sq. ft and it could even be free. 200–495 sq. ft of sod carries a $75 delivery fee, and 500–995 sq. ft. should be right around $50 to deliver. Having sod delivered is desirable due to its weight. It looks like a few rolls of grass, but each roll weighs about 35–50 lbs. so a small order of 10 rolls will weigh in at about 500 lbs.
Sod Prices Calculator
The state you live in will determine if you have a single grass type lawn or a blend of multiple grass types to ensure coverage throughout the year. Northern areas—from Northern California across to New York—will generally have a single grass planted. The zone from Southern California cutting across through northern Texas and finishing in North Carolina will usually feature mixed grasses, while the region to the south won’t require a blend, but single grasses suited to the heat.
To form your own sod calculator:
- Measure your square footage.
- Choose your grass type and find the sod price near you, based on rates at the beginning of this cost guide.
- Multiply the installed sod price by the square footage and add the delivery fee.
- Add the cost of any additional factors mentioned above.
Cost To Resod A Lawn
The average cost to resod a lawn is $0.80 to $1.80 per square foot including installation. However, you will likely need to remove your old lawn first at the cost of $1,000 or more. Be sure to ask your landscaper to include any removal costs in your bid. Your final price will depend on the size of your lawn, your lawn's current condition, and the type of sod you select.
Prepping Your Lawn For Sod
To give your sod its best chance to root and grow, you’ll need to properly prepare the area before sod installation is scheduled.
- Cleared - Make sure the site is cleared of all obstacles such as weeds plus their roots, rocks, and yard debris, and that all old grass is removed. You might need to rent a sod cutter, also called a sod remover, to lift old sod.
- Graded - The site should be roughly graded, making sure the land slopes gently away from the foundation of your home. Fill any low areas with dirt. Avoid drainage problems right from the start.
- Soil pH - Test your soil pH. Check with your county extension office to find out about the correct soil pH for your area, or talk to your landscape contractor.
- Tilling - The soil should be tilled to at least 2” to give the new sod’s roots the freedom to grow.
- Topsoil - After the soil is tilled, add another 2”–4” of topsoil or mulch. You should have 4”–6” of high-quality tilled topsoil.
- Fertilizer and Water - Apply a starter fertilizer that is high in phosphate to help the lawn sod get good root growth going, and keep the soil at a level of moistness that will encourage new growth without oversaturating.
- Tamped – All tiled and added soil must be tamped, but not too much, or it will be difficult for the roots to spread.
Lawn Sod By Grade
Apparently, the prices above vary significantly between the lowest to highest rate for each type of grass. This is because there are low and high standards adopted by a sod company regarding how much time and money they invest in nurturing the lawn sod to full growth.
It will also be evident how long sod has been sitting before arriving at your home by the amount of grass that has died in the waiting. That said, just because a sod company is charging more per square foot doesn’t mean the sod will automatically be in prime condition. You’ll find differences in:
- The quality of the soil bed the grass is grown on,
- The health and greenness of the grass from a proper watering and fertilization schedule (and it should have no weeds in it),
- The strength and thickness of the root system in the sod,
- The length of the grass blades, showing it’s been growing lusher over time, and
- The depth of soil the sod is cut to before it’s transported to your home. The thinner the sod, the more likely it is to break when it’s unrolled or lifted.
The only true way to know if the lawn sod you’re ordering is top grade is to read as many online reviews as you can about the quality of delivered sod from companies you’re considering.
Sod vs. Artificial Grass
Artificial grass or turf is an alternative to real lawn. It’s not for everybody, but it might suit those who care more about the curbside appeal and don’t have the time or inclination to look after real grass.
The initial cost of artificial grass is high at $6 to $20 per square foot. For example, artificial fescue turf is $3.08 per square foot at Home Depot while fescue sod is $10 per roll (10 SF). Once it’s laid down, however, there are virtually no more costs associated with it.  You’ll need to water it occasionally to hose off dust and pet messes, and some raking will be required in the fall if you have trees over it.
Artificial Turf Pros and Cons
|Maintenance free||Gets hot in the sun|
|Looks natural||If pet mess is not hosed off, it won’t dissipate, it will smell.|
|Save on water costs||Initial high cost|
|Some water companies will offer rebates for every square foot of grass replaced with artificial turf. ||Is not recyclable|
You can take advantage of artificial turf without sacrificing your entire lawn. Artificial grass is also used for pool areas, putting greens, pet runs, and children’s play areas. Typically sold in 15 ft. wide pieces, it is priced on average at $50 a linear foot at local garden stores. It comes in a variety of grass “looks” and colors.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Know How Much Sod To Buy?
Measure the area you want to sod. If the area is irregular, it can be helpful to draw out the area. Break the area into squares and rectangles, and then triangles, and then your odd shapes. Measure the width and length of each area, doing the odd shapes as best you can. Try to draw a square around it to give yourself an idea.
Figure the square footage and divide it by 9 to get the total number of square yards of sod needed. Order about 10% more. If you have a landscape contractor do the job, they will measure and order the sod efficiently.
How Much Is A Pallet Of Sod?
A pallet of new sod to cover 500 sq. ft. will cost an average of $499. Sod comes in many different types of grasses to fit your particular climate, and at different costs, but one 2.6 sq. ft roll of sod averages $2.90. A professional landscaper can cover 2,000 sq. ft with sod for approx. $2,180.
Sod Vs. Seed – Which Is The Cheapest To Install And Maintain?
Looking at a 2,000 sq. ft. lawn area, it is definitely cheaper to plant seed at about $124, than to install sod, which could run about $899 for planting and installation.  If you plan to seed a lawn, be aware it can take months before you have a yard you can use. It requires a consistent watering schedule while the grass seed sprouts and starts to lay down a root system. If it dries out, it can die. Sod, on the other hand, can be walked on after a few days and will quickly (depending on the grass species you choose) establish a root system. Laying sod is more expensive up front, but from then on, the maintenance is much easier—just water, fertilize, and mow as usual.
How Much Does A Pallet Of Sod Weigh?
A pallet of sod weighs about 2,500–3,000 lbs and will take heavy machinery to load and unload on a job site.
How Long After Sod Installation Can You Use Your Lawn?
It will be necessary to walk on the lawn during sod installation, and probably while watering with the sprinkler, but heavy use should wait about 10 days. The sod needs time to adjust and grow roots. You don’t want to stress the new grass; it could die off before the lawn really gets a good start. Treat the newly laid sod gently, and it will reward you with a strong, lush, and thick lawn.
How Much Does Sod Replacement And Removal Cost?
Replacing the sod will cost the same as if it was new sod at $1.34 to $1.62 per square foot. Plus, you’ll have the added expense of removing the dead or dying grass. You can save some money by removing the old sod yourself by renting a sod cutter, also called a sod remover, for $69 (4 hours) or $98 (entire day).  If the area to be removed is over 300 sq. ft, seriously consider the sod cutter.
How Many Square Feet Are In A Pallet Of Sod?
A pallet of sod covers 450–500 sq. ft.
What Is The Cost To Install Topsoil?
Topsoil costs about $36 a cubic yard coupled with a spreading fee of $90 a cubic yard. A cubic yard of topsoil weighs about 1 ton. Delivery fees vary based on how far you live from the topsoil company, but they can be about $65 for a load. The company that delivers the topsoil will either dump it on your curb or spread it for you for an additional cost. 
DIY Costs of Installing Sod Vs. Hiring a Pro
Besides the knowledge and experience of the pro, there is also the cost of equipment. A landscape contractor will own what’s needed, while you will have to buy or rent it all. Some items will need to be purchased such as shovels, rakes, and smaller pieces. All this contributes to the bottom line. You may have some or all of these on hand. If you don’t, some things can be rented. (A soil test costs about $20.) 
DIY Sod Installation Equipment and Materials
|Tools and Equipment||What You’ll Use It For||Purchase Cost |
|Small Hand Trowel||Gathering soil samples||$5–$7|
|Tape Measure||Measuring the area||$10–$20|
$65 daily rental
|Spading Fork||Mixing in organic materials||$25|
|Soil/Garden Rake||Smoothing the surface||$15|
|Lawn Edger (Hand)||Cutting curves and edges||$20|
|Stiff Push Broom||Helping to fill in seams||$10–$40|
|Lawn Roller||Pushing sod firmly to dirt||$104–$274
$14 daily rental
|Garden Hose||Delivering water to mobile sprinkler||$10–$100|
|Sprinkler||Watering the new grass||$3–$25|
Saving Money Through DIY Sod Installation
DIY sod installation is a great project if you’ve got the muscle for this kind of labor. It’s dirty and even tedious after the first row or so, but with a couple of strong helpers, it can go pretty quickly, and the results are rewarding. If you have any kind of back problems, this is probably not for you. Laying lawn sod requires hauling about 35 lb. pieces of sod and bending up and down with that 35 lbs. over and over again—it generally takes one person two hours to lay down one pallet of sod.
A landscape contractor can lay down 2,000 sq. ft of sod for $2,176 or you can do it yourself for about $843. The savings are significant, making it worth consideration. 
Keep in mind that some aspects of laying sod are not so easy, such as creating tight seams between lines of sod. If you have slopes or lots of curved edges making up your lawn, that is a bit more of a challenge. Learning how to use equipment you’ve rented might be frustrating and time-consuming too.
Advantages of Hiring a Sod Installation Contractor
- Experience – They’ve got lawn sod installation down to a fine art and can finish it out beautifully.
- Equipment – They already have the needed equipment and tools to do the job.
- Knowledge – They can advise you on the best type of sod for your lawn and lawn shade on your property, helping you avoid expensive purchasing mistakes. Installing the wrong kind of grass is an expensive mistake as it will all need to be removed. They can also do any type of grading work, and are well connected to sod suppliers in the area, giving them access to discounted prices.
- Warranties – Many landscape contractors have warranties covering the work they do, so if a section of your lawn doesn’t establish itself and dies, it may only require a phone call to fix it rather than another day of labor for you. If you do the work yourself, you don’t have that cost protection.
- Liability Insurance – Professional landscape contractors have insurance covering the jobs they do. If you get injured laying sod (hurting your back, for instance) the cost of recovery is on you. If they get injured on the job, that cost does not fall to you.
- Time – Prepping the ground can take a day, as can laying the sod. Time is money.
- Labor – As mentioned above, laying lawn sod can be backbreaking work.
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