How much does sod installation cost?
How much does sod installation cost?
$1.00 – $2.00 sod cost per square foot installed (new lawn)
$1.50 – $4.00 sod cost per square foot installed (remove lawn & resod)
$1,000 – $3,000 average total cost to install sod (1,000 – 1,500 SF)
Sod installation cost
New sod installation costs $1 to $2 per square foot or $1,000 to $3,000 on average. The cost to resod an existing yard is $1.50 to $4.00 per square foot. The labor cost to lay sod is $0.50 to $1.00 per square foot, plus the cost of sod at $0.50 to $1.00 per square foot.
|Lawn size||Average cost installed|
|500 square feet||$500 – $1,000|
|1,000 square feet||$1,000 – $2,000|
|1,500 square feet||$1,500 – $3,000|
|2,000 square feet||$2,000 – $4,000|
|3,000 square feet||$3,000 – $6,000|
|5,000 square feet||$5,000 – $10,000|
|1/6 acre||$7,200 – $14,400|
|1/5 acre||$8,700 – $17,400|
|1/4 acre||$11,000 – $22,000|
|1/2 acre||$21,800 – $43,600|
|3/4 acre||$32,500 – $65,000|
|1 acre||$43,500 – $87,000|
*Not including old grass removal which adds $0.50 to $2.00 per square foot.
Average sod installation cost calculator
The following table shows the cost of sod installation for an average-size lawn of 1,000 to 1,500 square feet:
|National average cost||$2,000|
|Average range||$1,000 to $3,000|
*Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.
Cost to lay sod per square foot
The average cost to lay sod is $1 to $2 per square foot for basic prep, labor, and materials on sites with leveled bare dirt. Land cleared of all plants is essential for new sod grass to grow properly. Old grass removal adds $0.50 to $2.00 per square foot.
|Factor||Cost per square foot|
|New sod and delivery fees||$0.50 – $1.00|
|Basic prep work and installation labor||$0.50 – $1.00|
|Total cost to install||$1.00 – $2.00|
Cost factors include:
Yard size – Labor costs decrease for lawns larger than 1,000 square feet.
Accessibility & topography – Limited-access lawns or working around obstacles like tree roots, on curved lawns, and on steep hills takes longer.
Soil condition – Depleted soil requires extra fertilizers and additives. Excessively rocky, dry, and sandy ground also needs heavy tilling and new topsoil.
Grass type and quality – Sod prices vary according to the grass species, quality, local availability, and delivery fees.
Labor & prep work – Basic prep work includes marking utilities, fertilizing, and minor soil leveling with a rake before installing sod.
Permits – Sodding permits cost $40 to $300, depending on the lawn size. Not all cities require permits. Permits are most common for large-scale projects or lawns next to a public road.
Price of new sod by grass type
Sod prices alone are $130 to $360 per pallet, $3 to $8 per roll, or $0.30 to $0.80 per square foot, depending on the type, grade, and availability. Sod delivery costs $50 to $250 per load on average. Good-quality sod grass should be 1” to 2” tall, dense, even-colored, and have intertwined roots.
|Grass species||Material price per square foot||Best climate|
|St. Augustine||$0.30 – $0.80||Warm|
|Zoysia||$0.28 – $0.80||Transition|
|Bermuda||$0.30 – $0.85||Warm|
|Centipede||$0.35 – $0.90||Warm|
|Fescue||$0.35 – $0.70||Warm|
|Kentucky Bluegrass||$0.30 – $0.55||Cool / transition|
|Bahia||$0.20 – $0.40||Warm|
|Bentgrass||$0.50 – $0.70||Warm|
|Perennial Ryegrass||$0.40 – $0.85||Cool / transition|
Labor cost to lay sod
The labor cost to install sod is $0.50 to $1.00 per square foot on average or $35 to $80 per hour. Sod labor costs depend on the location, yard condition, landscaping complexity, and amount of prep work required.
Old grass removal – Lawn removal costs $0.50 to $2.00 per square foot, including hauling and disposal.
Land leveling – Regrading a yard costs $0.40 to $2.00 per square foot to fix any yard-drainage issues or reshape the landscaping.
Rototilling – Light tilling costs $50 to $100 minimum. Heavy duty tilling costs an additional $0.10 to $0.65 per square foot. Extra equipment rental fees may apply.
Soil testing – Soil testing costs $10 to $50 to determine which nutrients the ground needs to support new grass.
Topsoil – Adding topsoil costs $10 to $50 per cubic yard to help fill holes and create a healthy bed of 4” to 6” of soil. Replenishing the soil’s nutrients with compost costs $20 to $50 per cubic yard.
Weather – Labor fees can increase by 10% to 15% when outside temperatures are more than 95°F.
Cost to install a pallet of sod
The total cost to install a pallet of sod is $400 to $1,000 on average, which covers 400 to 500 square feet, without old grass removal. One pallet of sod takes 4 to 5 hours to install, including site prep, fertilization, and site cleanup.
Cost to install sprinkler system and sod
The cost to install a sprinkler system is $1,800 to $5,200 on average, plus $1 to $4 per square foot to put in sod. Adding an irrigation system before installing sod ensures a healthy, uniform lawn surface. Installing a new sprinkler system is cheaper with a new lawn installation.
Cost to resod a yard
The average cost to resod a yard is $1.50 to $4.00 per square foot. Resodding a lawn includes removal and disposal of the old lawn, basic yard prep, and new sod installation. Costs increase for adding more topsoil, grading, weed spraying, and fertilizing.
|Resodding charges||Cost per square foot||Average cost*|
|Remove old sod||$0.50 – $2.00||$500 – $3,000|
|Install new sod||$1.00 – $2.00||$1,000 – $3,000|
|Total cost||$1.50 – $4.00||$1,500 – $6,000|
*For a 1,000- to 1,500-square-foot lawn.
Cost to remove grass when laying sod
Sod removal costs $0.50 to $2.00 per square foot, including disposal. Contractors must remove the old lawn to prepare the ground for new sod by fertilizing, tilling, and raking it to level the surface. Removal of old grass is necessary for new sod to root well.
Grass installation cost alternatives
Lawn replacement costs $1 to $3 per square foot on average for turf removal, new topsoil spreading, seeding, and fertilizing. While seeding is 30% to 50% cheaper than resodding a lawn, seeds take longer to grow and don’t always fill in the lawn evenly.
The cost to seed a lawn is $0.04 to $0.18 per square foot when overseeding an existing lawn.
Hydroseeding costs $0.07 to $0.22 per square foot for planting on bare dirt.
Installing artificial turf costs $6 to $17 per square foot, depending on the ground prep required.
DIY cost for sodding a lawn
The DIY cost to sod a backyard is $250 to $850 for tools and supplies, plus $0.30 to $0.80 per square feet for new sod grass. Laying sod yourself saves up to 50% of the cost of a professional installation, but takes a lot of prep work.
|Sod||$0.30 – $0.80 per square foot|
|Starter lawn fertilizer||$15 – $65|
|Broadcast spreader for fertilizer||$40 – $200|
|Soil-testing kit||$10 – $40|
|Renting a rototiller||$50 – $100 per day|
|Renting a lawn roller||$10 – $25 per day|
|Hand tamper||$30 – $80|
|Wheelbarrow||$50 – $150|
|Tools (tape measure, shovel, sod cutting knife)||$50 – $200|
*All prices excluding labor.
Sod laying FAQs
What is the cost for sod maintenance?
The following cost factors apply for maintaining new sod grass:
Weed control costs $50 to $125.
Lawn mowing costs $30 to $65.
The cost to fertilize a lawn is $65 to $100.
Grub control costs $50 to $150 per treatment for eliminating grass-eating pests.
Landscapers cost $50 to $100 per hour for general yard work.
When to install sod?
The best times to install sod are spring or fall at least 1 to 2 months before the first freeze. Installers cannot lay sod on frozen ground. Do not install sod in the middle of summer because extreme heat can cause some types of new grass to die off quickly.
Who installs sod?
Find professionals to install sod at:
Golf- and sports-turf management businesses
Large garden centers
Some plant nurseries
How long does sod take to root?
Sod takes 10 to 14 days to sprout shallow roots, and the roots stabilize in 4 to 6 weeks. Don’t walk on or cut the grass in the first 14 days to encourage growth. You’ll know the sod has rooted when lifting a corner of sod becomes difficult.
How long after sod installation can you use your lawn?
You can walk on your lawn 10 to 14 days after new sod installation. After 4 to 6 weeks, you can start mowing, edging, and fertilizing. Water 1 to 2 times daily for the first week. After that, water every other day for another 2 weeks, depending on the climate.
Getting estimates and quotes from sod installers
Before hiring a sod installation company near you, be sure to:
Compare 3 or more estimates from different companies.
Look at online reviews on Google and HomeGuide.
Beware of low estimates that can mean low-quality service.
Ask if they have landscaping contractor licenses required in some states.
See if they’ve taken courses on landscaping design, safety, or irrigation systems.
Choose insured and bonded lawn care companies.
Ask for a contract copy with an itemized list of costs and payment information.
Check with the local government or homeowners association (HOA) to make sure the sod-removal method complies with regulations.
Never pay in full upfront.
Questions to ask
How long have you been installing sod in this area?
Can I see a list of your references?
How will you remove the existing grass?
Do you use weed killers?
What types of new grass can I choose from that grow well here?
Where is your sod from, and is it weed-free?
Does the sod come with 1.0” to 1.5” of soil under it so that I get the full roots?
Will you install sod harvested within 24 hours?
Does your estimate include delivery fees, cleanup, and equipment rentals?
What other incidental costs should I expect that aren’t in this bid?
How much prep work will my soil need?
What does it cost for adding organic soil amendments or fertilizer first?
Will you sub-grade the edges to blend the sod into the rest of my landscaping?
Do you offer discounts when combing sod installation with a new sprinkler system installation?
How long will the installation take?
Do you offer a labor warranty?
How often will I need to water the new grass?