How Much Does Sod Cost?
$0.30 – $0.80 Per Square Foot
$130 – $360 Per Pallet (450 SF)
$2,600 – $7,000 Average Lawn (1/5 Acre)
$130 – $360 Per Pallet (450 SF)
$2,600 – $7,000 Average Lawn (1/5 Acre)
St. Augustine, Zoysia, and Bermuda sod costs $0.30 to $0.80 per square foot or between $1 and $2 per square foot when including soil preparation, delivery, and installation fees. A pallet of sod costs $130 to $360 for bulk wholesale or $450 per pallet retail, which covers 450 square feet. Get free estimates from sod farms near you or view our cost guide below.
A pallet of sod costs $130 to $360, which covers about 450 square feet. Sod prices range from $0.30 to $0.80 per square foot depending on the variety of grass, its quality, the amount ordered, and delivery fees. Grass sod for the average 1/5-acre lawn costs $2,600 to $7,000.
Professional sod installation costs $1 to $2 per square foot, which includes old sod removal, soil preparation, new sod, delivery, and laying labor.
Sod Prices Per Pallet & Square Foot
|Per Square Foot||$0.30 – $0.80||Most common measurement|
|Per Roll||$3 – $8||8 – 10 square feet|
|Per Square Yard||$3 – $8||9 square feet|
|Per Pallet||$130 – $360||400 – 500 square feet|
|1,000 square feet||$300 – $800||Average project size|
|⅕ Acre||$2,600 – $7,000||8,712 square feet|
|¼ Acre||$3,200 – $8,700||10,890 square feet|
|½ Acre||$6,500 – $17,500||21,780 square feet|
|Acre||$13,000 – $35,000||43,560 square feet|
Sod delivery charges range from $50 to $200 per load depending on the amount ordered, distance, and difficulty of access. Large deliveries may be included free.
Sod vs. Grass Seed
Sod or seed? Grass seed is much cheaper, but it takes a year or two to grow into a lush lawn and is susceptible to weeds, disease, and pests. Sod establishes a lawn within 2 to 3 weeks, prevents soil erosion, increases cooling, and improves the surrounding air and water quality.
Table of Contents
- Sod Prices
- How Much Sod Do I Need?
- Average Cost of Sod Grass
- Grass Sod Pricing Factors
- Sod vs. Hydroseeding vs. Grass Seed
- Where To Buy Sod?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- DIY Sod Costs
- Hiring a Sod Installation Company
- Sod Near Me
How Much Sod Do I Need?
The amount of sod you need is measured in square feet of coverage. Sod comes in pallets that cover 450 SF, rolls that cover 10 SF, and pieces that cover 3 SF each. When calculating how much sod you need, add 5% to 10% extra for waste during installation.
How Big Is a Piece, Roll, or Pallet of Sod?
The average piece of sod measures 16” x 24”, covers 3 square feet, and is 1” to 3” thick depending on the grass type and grower. A roll of sod is 24” x 60” and covers 10 square feet. A pallet of sod measures 4’ x 4’ x 4’ stacked and covers 450 square feet.
|Type||Average Size||Coverage (Square Feet)|
|Piece||16” x 24”||3|
|Roll||24” x 60”||10|
|Pallet||4’ x 4’ x 4’||450|
How To Measure For Sod
To calculate the square footage of sod you need, apply the right formula after measuring your lawn. Measure the main sections first, and break difficult shapes into squares and triangles and measure them separately.
- Square or rectangle – multiply the length × width
- Triangle – multiply the length × width and divide by 2
- Circle – multiply 3.14 × radius × radius. (Radius is diameter divided by 2.)
Average Cost of Sod Grass
The cost of sod depends on the variety of grass, its quality or grade, the amount ordered, delivery fees, and your location. Bulk orders typically require a minimum order of about a pallet, while sod prices for small projects are higher retail prices.
|Species||Per Square Foot||Per Pallet||Per Roll|
|St. Augustine||$0.30 – $0.80||$135 – $360||$3 – $8|
|Zoysia||$0.28 – $0.80||$130 – $450||$3 – $8|
|Bermuda||$0.30 – $0.85||$150 – $380||$3 – $9|
|Centipede||$0.35 – $0.90||$160 – $450||$4 – $9|
|Fescue||$0.35 – $0.70||$160 – $350||$4 – $7|
|Kentucky Bluegrass||$0.30 – $0.55||$130 – $275||$3 – $6|
|Bahia||$0.20 – $0.40||$90 – $150||$2 – $4|
|Bentgrass||$0.50 – $0.70||$225 – $350||$5 – $7|
|Perennial Ryegrass||$0.40 – $0.85||$180 – $425||$4 – $10|
Focus on the square-foot coverage rather than the number of pallets or rolls when ordering, as the size and coverage can vary drastically.
Each species of grass has different benefits and downsides, and the availability depends on your climate zone.
|Species||Growth||Look||Weed & Pest Resistance||Traffic Tolerance||Dormancy|
|St. Augustine||Quick||Broad blade||Seasonally dormant|
|Zoysia||Slow||Fine or thick blade||Seasonally dormant|
|Bermuda||Quick||Fine blade||Seasonally dormant|
|Tall Fescue||Quick||Fine blade||Dormant in high temps|
|Kentucky Bluegrass||Quick||Fine blade||Year-round color|
St. Augustine Sod Cost
St. Augustine sod costs $135 to $360 per pallet or between $0.30 and $0.80 per square foot. St. Augustine is a lush, warm-season, creeping grass that establishes quickly. It grows well in most soils and humid climates and is shade, salt, and drought tolerant. Popular varieties are Floratam, Raleigh, and Palmetto.
|Square Foot||$0.30 – $0.80|
|Roll||$3 – $8|
|Pallet||$135 – $360|
St. Augustine is also known as carpet grass and can be planted as sod, sprigs, or plugs. It produces a thick, lush, dark-green turf but has higher maintenance levels. It requires lots of water to remain healthy and has poor wear tolerance. It's subject to thatch, chinch bugs, gray leaf spot, and turns brown or tan in winter dormancy.
|Warm-season creeping grass that establishes quickly in full sun.||Subject to chinch bugs, and diseases such as brown patch, SAD, and gray leaf spot.|
|Better shade and drought tolerance than other warm-season grass species.||Requires a high frequency of mowing during peak growing seasons. Few herbicide options make weed control challenging.|
|Grows well in sandy soil and humid climates, with a good salt tolerance.||Requires water to remain green and healthy, especially during extended dry periods. Goes into winter dormancy which turns grass brown or tan until spring.|
|Well suited for most soils and climates in Florida.||Poor wear tolerance, doesn't hold up to repeated traffic.|
|Produces a thick, lush, dark-green to blue-green turf that's also known as carpet grass.||Produces thatch under high maintenance regimes, which affects health.|
|Can be planted as sod, sprigs, or plugs in fall to spring.||Not as dense as other species. Shaded conditions may develop thin, spindly turf.|
Zoysia Sod Cost
Zoysia sod costs $130 to $450 per pallet or between $0.28 and $0.80 per square foot depending on the variety and order size. Zoysia is a dense, warm-season grass that grows best in full sun, and tolerates drought and moderate shade. It grows slowly, spreads quickly, and resists insects.
|Square Foot||$0.28 – $0.80|
|Roll||$4 – $8|
|Pallet||$130 – $450|
Zoysia is a creeping grass that takes longer to establish itself, which means less mowing. It's best planted in fall to spring in soil with proper drainage. Zoysia lawns are the first to green up again with low fertilization needs. Popular species are Empire, Zenith, and Emerald Zoysia.
|Best in full sun and temperate climates. Tolerates a wide variety of soils, sunlight, and water.||Thatch can build up. Slow recuperative potential|
|Very invasive, spreads quickly, can be grown in plugs||Turns brown when dormancy sets in under drought or freezing conditions|
|Tolerant to moderate shade, drought, cold temperatures, and salinity||May not recover well from concentrated or heavy foot traffic, or traffic in shaded areas|
|Dense, carpet-like coverage that's traffic-tolerant||Slower growth rate, takes longer to establish itself|
|Low fertilization requirement||Prefers soil with proper drainage|
|Resistant to insects and pests||Certain shallow root species can result in less drought hardiness|
Bermuda Sod Prices
Bermuda sod costs from $0.30 to $0.85 per square foot or between $150 and $380 per pallet. Bermudagrass is a warm-season, rapid spreading, durable turfgrass with a tolerance to heat, dry climates, salinity, drought, and foot traffic. It's also herbicide resistant with a low disease potential.
|Square Foot||$0.30 – $0.85|
|Roll||$3 – $9|
|Pallet||$150 – $380|
|Establishes itself quickly and grows well in full sun||Invasive. Its creeper root system can overrun flowerbeds and edging.|
|Tolerance to heat, dry climates, salinity, and drought||Moderate to high fertilization requirement|
|Durable, excellent wear-ability, recovers quickly in high-traffic areas||High maintenance, grows rapidly, and needs frequent mowing|
|Well suited to most soils and climate changes in Florida||Turns brown in cold weather and may cause allergies|
|Dense, fine blade that's dark-green. Often used for athletic fields||Poor shade tolerance that may thin out over time|
|Herbicide-resistant with a low disease potential||Subject to cultural and pest problems|
Cost of Centipede Sod
The average cost of centipede sod is $160 to $450 per pallet or between $0.35 and $0.90 per square foot. Centipede is a warm-weather, heat-tolerant grass that thrives in full sun but permits partial shade. It's easy to mow and has the lowest maintenance and nutrient needs of any turfgrass.
|Square Foot||$0.35 – $0.90|
|Roll||$4 – $9|
|Pallet||$160 – $450|
|Lowest maintenance and easiest to mow out of any warm-season turfgrass||Loose turf that's not very wear-resistant. Poor salt tolerance|
|Low fertilizer requirements result in slow growth. Best planted in fall to spring||Over-fertilizing reduces it's cold tolerance, increases the thatch layer, and leads to long-term maintenance problems|
|Has a shallow root system and can grow in acidic soils that are moderate to well-drained||Centipedegrass decline can occur within several years forming large, brown dead patches in early spring|
|Thrives in full sun but it's tolerant of partial shade||Highly aggressive colonizing grass that's subject to damage from nematodes and ground pearl insects|
Fescue Sod Prices
Fescue sod prices range from $160 to $350 per pallet or between $0.35 and $0.70 per square foot. Fescue is a cool-climate turfgrass that's tolerant of moist soils, high traffic, temperature extremes, and drought. It prefers shade, does well in northern states, and provides a dark-green lawn year-round.
|Square Foot||$0.35 – $0.70|
|Roll||$4 – $7|
|Pallet||$160 – $350|
- Beautiful dark-green lawn year-round
- Tolerant of high foot traffic, moderately moist soils, and temperature extremes
- Shade-tolerant requiring only 2 hours of sun
- Drought tolerant but goes dormant at high temperatures
- Does very well at high elevations
- Low maintenance and comes in many varieties
- Best planted in winter to spring
- Grows a dense lawn quickly in the fall and spring
Marathon Sod Prices
Marathon sod prices range from $0.70 to $0.90 per square foot or between $350 and $450 per pallet. Marathon sod is a denser variety of tall fescue turf exclusive to Southland Sod Farms. It's grown in three different varieties and comes with a 1-year guarantee.
Kentucky Bluegrass Sod Cost
Kentucky Bluegrass sod costs $130 to $275 per pallet or between $0.30 and $0.55 per square foot. Bluegrass is drought tolerant and thrives in the cold winters and hot summers. Its dark-green, uniform texture likes full sun to partial shade.
|Square Foot||$0.30 – $0.55|
|Roll||$3 – $6|
|Pallet||$130 – $275|
- Spreads aggressively and is self-repairing
- Ideal for high-traffic areas
- Can be maintained at low growing heights
- Best planted in the spring or fall
- Popular blend through New England
- Requires more watering than other types of warm-season grasses
Bahia Sod Prices
Bahia sod prices range from $90 to $150 per pallet or between $0.20 and $0.40 per square foot. Bahia is a tough, warm-season grass that's affordable, drought tolerant, and requires full sunlight. It withstands weather extremes and is resistant to diseases and insects.
Bahia requires regular mowing, is subject to weeds, and doesn't do well with shade or saltwater. Also, it goes dormant and appears yellow during cold or dry weather.
|Square Foot||$0.20 – $0.40|
|Roll||$2 – $4|
|Pallet||$90 – $150|
Bentgrass Sod Prices
Bentgrass sod prices range from $225 to $350 per pallet or between $0.50 and $0.70 per square foot. Bentgrass is a cool-season grass only suitable for lawns in New England and the Pacific Northwest, or used on golf courses with a high level of maintenance.
- Holds up well to low mowing, high traffic, snow, ice, and flooding
- Shallow root system forms a dense mat
- High level of maintenance required
- Blueish-green hue
Perennial ryegrass sod costs $180 to $425 per pallet or between $0.40 and $0.85 depending on the quality and location. Ryegrass has the best wear tolerance of any cool-season sod, is low maintenance, pest and disease resistant, and grows well in full sun.
- Cool-season sod that's used in sports fields
- Pest, disease, and wear tolerant
- Dense, dark-green grass with medium to fine blade width
- Not recommended for areas with extreme weather conditions.
- Grows in full sun, can adapt to partial shade.
Super-Sod pricing is available by filling out a short form on their website. Super-Sod is one of the largest suppliers of turfgrass shipping throughout Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. Their best-selling sod varieties are Zeon Zoysia, TifTuf and Tifway Bermuda, and TifBlair Centipede.
Grass Sod Pricing Factors
Grass sod prices depend on what climate and location you live in, which grade of sod you choose, whether you buy in bulk or retail, labor costs, and if you need old sod removal and soil preparation.
Warm-Season vs. Cool-Season Grasses
Different species perform better depending on your grass zone, soil conditions, rainfall, full sun or shade, and local temperatures. The most common grass zones are cool-season, transition, and warm-season grasses.
|Species||Shade or Sun||Drought Tolerance||Climate|
|Bahia||Full sun||Medium – High||Warm|
|Bentgrass||Both, 2 – 4 hours of sun||Medium||Warm|
|Bermuda||Both, 2 – 4 hours of sun||High||Warm|
|Centipede||Both, 4 – 8 hours of sun||Low||Warm|
|Fine Fescue||Both, 4 – 8 hours of sun||Medium||Warm|
|Kentucky Bluegrass||Full sun||Medium – Low||Cool / Transition|
|Perennial Ryegrass||Full sun, 4 – 8 hours of sun||Varies by type||Cool / Transition|
|St. Augustine||Both, 4 – 8 hours of sun||Moderate – High||Warm|
|Tall Fescue||Both, 4 – 8 hours of sun||Medium – High||Cool / Transition|
|Zoysia||Both, 4 – 8 hours of sun||High||Transition|
Bulk sod prices range from $0.28 to $0.85 per square foot, depending on the overall health or grade. High-grade species such as Bermuda or zoysia grass withstands traffic, drought, and high heat, and both are tolerant of weeds, pests, and diseases. The cheapest, economy-grade sod lacks the same guarantee or tolerance.
Professional-grade sod includes:
- Tall, dense, mature, and disease-free grass
- A deep, firm soil base for easier installation
- Healthy-looking with no weeds, worms, or ants
- A robust and thick root system
Bulk Wholesale Sod Prices vs. Retail
Buying sod retail from Home Depot or Lowe’s makes sense for small orders at $450 per pallet (500 SF), which includes free delivery. Purchasing wholesale from sod farms requires a minimum order, but it's cheaper at $130 to $300 per pallet, plus delivery fees based on the order size.
Sod delivery costs $50 to $250 per load, depending on your location and amount ordered. Sod suppliers may deliver large shipments for free, while fees for small loads can easily account for half the total cost. Many sod farms require a minimum order of one pallet (500 square feet) for delivery.
Sod weight, difficult location access, or a challenging drop-off point can add to overall delivery costs.
Sod is delivered in pallets of either rolls or pieces. One semi-truck hauls about 32 pallets, while a straight truck holds 10 pallets. A full-size pickup truck can haul one pallet (500 SF) of sod, while a car or SUV may carry 100 to 200 SF.
Labor Cost to Lay Sod
The average cost to lay sod is $0.90 to $1.80 per square foot, which includes materials and installation labor. Labor alone ranges from $0.15 to $0.60 per square foot on average depending on the job size, season, the shape and slopes of your lawn, grading, soil preparation, and accessibility.
How Long Does It Take To Lay Sod?
It typically takes one lawn care contractor about 1 to 1 ½ hours to lay a 500-square-foot pallet of sod. Installations can be tedious and require a lot of lifting, pulling, tugging, cutting, and bending from the landscapers.
Preparing Soil for Sod
Preparing the soil for sod is time intensive and should be ready days before the grass is delivered. Soil preparation requires clearing old sod or landscaping, grading the ground, tilling the soil, testing the soil's pH level, adding topsoil if necessary, applying starter fertilizer, and tamping the surface.
DIY soil preparation is possible, but you may not save much money due to renting equipment, purchasing supplies, getting topsoil delivered, and paying someone to haul away your old sod. Sod installers will include the prep work in their quote for an extra cost.
How Much Topsoil Do I Need For Sod?
When laying sod, four to six inches of topsoil is required to promote growth and develop a healthy root structure. Use the existing topsoil if it's loamy and rich with organic matter. Otherwise, one yard of topsoil costs $10 to $50 and covers about 81 square feet of lawn at 4" deep.
Sod Removal Cost
Sod removal costs $1 to $3 per square foot, including debris disposal depending on the job size and condition and slope of the lawn. Re-sodding requires a sod cutter to remove the dead grass and re-prepping the soil. Renting a sod cutter to remove sod costs $70 to $100 per day, plus debris disposal fees.
Some sod installers don't haul away the old lawn, so be sure to ask up front. Removing concrete, gravel, or other materials to prepare for a lawn costs $2 to $4 per square foot depending on the size of the job.
Sod vs. Hydroseeding vs. Grass Seed
Hydroseeding costs $0.10 to $0.20 per square foot or about 1/2 as much as economy-grade sod. Although grass seeding is cheaper and takes less labor, it's much harder to grow and may take a year to be usable. Sod is planted mature, establishes itself in 2 weeks, and is less prone to erosion.
Hydroseeding is a grass-planting process that uses a slurry of seed, fertilizer, and mulch, which is sprayed on prepared areas and helps control erosion. There’s usually a minimum charge of around $600.
|$0.30 – $0.80 per sqft.||$0.10 – $0.20 per sqft.||$0.05 per sqft.|
|High installation cost. Can be installed DIY or hire a contractor||Lower labor costs. Must hire a contractor with specialized equipment||Can be installed by the homeowner|
|Laborious to install and must be laid within 24 hours of being cut||Easy to install||Easy to install|
|Instant lawn can be installed in one to two days||Starts looking good within 2 to 3 months||Takes up to a year to grow|
|Can take root within 2 – 3 weeks and be ready for use||New growth can be walked on, but it’s not recommended for about 8 weeks||New growth can’t be walked on – earliest use is about 10 – 12 weeks in|
|Can die if not watered enough||Installs evenly. Requires a lot of nurture and consistent watering for the first two months||Might not grow evenly. Requires a lot of nurture and constant watering early on|
|Can be installed year round if the ground isn't frozen, and the temperature is below 90°F||Must be installed in Fall, Spring, or Summer months||Typically has a warranty window from March to October|
|Weed, pest, and disease-free||May compete against existing weeds||May compete against existing weeds|
|Excellent on slopes and erosion/water-prone areas||Seed might get washed away on slopes||Seed might get washed away on slopes|
|Sod is initially grown in full sun and must adapt to shaded areas||Starts growth in the same area it will remain||Starts growth in the same area it will remain|
Other Grass Lawn Options
- Grass Plugs – 2” to 4” squares of grass sod are installed 15" apart with a sod plugger. An 18-pack tray costs $30 and covers 64 square feet of lawn
- Grass Sprigs – Grass sprigs are 3” to 6” pieces of sod torn up with roots.They're planted at 4” to 6” intervals in furrows 10” to 18” apart. Each bushel (1.25 cubic feet) of sprigs comes from a 5-square-foot piece of sod, which costs about $6.60.
- Sprigging – On a larger scale, sod is fed through chopping blades and spread across the yard before being rolled into the dirt. The lawn takes 9 – 17 weeks to establish itself. Sprigging costs $200 per acre, which is about 30 bushels.
Artificial Grass vs. Sod Cost
Artificial turf costs $6 to $20 per square foot installed while laying sod averages $1 to $2 per square foot. Fake grass comes with a high upfront cost but no yearly maintenance. Sod is cheaper initially, but with maintenance fees it becomes more expensive after 6 years.
Consider artificial grass in high-traffic areas where real grass wouldn’t survive, such as around pools and in pet areas.
Where To Buy Sod?
The best place to buy cheap sod is local sod farms, wholesale nurseries, or landscape suppliers. Ordering sod online or from home improvement stores such as Lowe's or Home Depot is typically more expensive. Most sod farms can arrange for pickup or will deliver to your jobsite for $50 to $200.
Tips When Buying Sod
- Most suppliers have an order deadline time if you need it delivered the next day. Order at least 3 days in advance to ensure delivery on the right day.
- Ask about the minimum delivery size. You might be able to pick up smaller orders in a full-size pickup truck. Same-day pickup may be available during the busy spring season.
- Get sod delivered directly to the job site. If it goes to a garden center first, it delays the stabilization of your sod.
- Ask when the sod was cut. Sod should be local, freshly cut, and installed within 24 to 48 hours to thrive. Plus, most places do not accept returns on sod or plugs.
- Ask if they deliver pallets of pieces or rolls. Rolls are much heavier than pieces and make DIY installs challenging.
- A refundable deposit of $5 to $20 per pallet may apply for deliveries.
- Ask for a guarantee that the sod will be free of weeds, disease, and harmful pests.
What Is the Most Expensive Type of Sod Grass?
The most expensive type of sod grass is Bentgrass at $2.45 per square foot. It's primarily used on professional sports fields.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Sod?
Sod is real grass dug up from the ground at a depth of 1” to 2”. Sod grass is held together by the root system or a thin layer of biodegradable material. Sodding establishes a lawn quickly, prevents soil erosion, and is preferred over grass seeding. Sod also increases cooling and improves the surrounding air and water quality.
How Many Square Feet In A Pallet of Sod?
One pallet of sod covers between 400 and 500 square feet on average, depending on the grass type and grower. There are 150 pieces of sod on each pallet that covers around 3 square feet each.
How Many Pieces of Sod On A Pallet?
A standard 450 square foot pallet holds 150 pieces of sod that are 18” x 24”. The number of sod pieces per pallet varies between 133 and 192 depending on the size of the pallet (400 to 500 sqft.) and the size of the pieces.
How Much Does Sod Weigh?
A piece of sod weighs between 15 and 30 pounds, depending on the moisture content of the soil. A full pallet of sod weighs 1,500 to 3,000 pounds, which is 500 square feet. A roll of sod weighs 150 to 300 pounds and covers 10 square feet.
|Per Square Foot||15 – 30|
|Roll||150 – 300|
|Pallet||1,500 – 3,000|
How Long Does Sod Last?
A pallet of sod lasts about 48 hours in the summer and up to 72 hours in colder temperatures. If sod needs to be stored before installation, unload and lay out the pieces in a shady location, then lightly water them.
When Is the Best Time to Lay Sod?
The best time to lay sod is early spring or fall when temperatures are cooler. Sod can be installed at any time of the year the ground isn't frozen and temperatures are below 90°F. Warm-season grasses like Bermuda, St. Augustine, and zoysia are best laid in the spring since they're dormant in the winter.
How Much to Grade and Sod a Yard?
Grading a lawn to prepare to lay sod costs $300 to $1,500 on average. Pricing depends on the size of the yard and how much resloping is required. Installing sod costs $1 to $2 per square foot for labor and materials.
How Many Pallets of Sod Per Acre?
You will need between 87 and 109 pallets of sod to cover an acre of land. One acre is 43,560 square feet, and each pallet covers 400 to 500 square feet.
How Much Does Instant Grass Cost?
Instant grass, also known as sod, is priced at $0.35 to $0.85 per square foot on average.
Can You Lay Sod Over Grass?
Sod cannot be laid over grass and must make direct contact with the soil to root. All the existing grass needs to be cleared away, the lawn should be graded level, and the soil must be tilled and prepared before laying sod.
How Long Does It Take Sod To Root?
Sod takes root in 2 to 6 weeks, depending on the soil conditions and balance of sun, water, and air. Sod takes two weeks to grow shallow roots and six weeks to form deep roots. Adding soil amendments like sulfur, lime, and compost before laying sod provides a fertile environment for root growth.
DIY Sod Costs
DIY sod costs include far more than just the price of the new sod. Sodding a lawn yourself is very time-consuming and requires preparing the soil, testing pH levels, fertilizing, delivering the sod, laying the grass, and more.
- Clear, grade, and till the ground.
- Test the soil’s pH level; add topsoil, fertilizer, and water.
- Lightly tamp or roll the topsoil.
- Get measurements of your lawn.
- Research, order, and get the best species of sod delivered.
- Fertilize the area and lay sod within 12 hours.
- Lay and cut around all obstacles and edges.
- Fill in sod seams and roll new sod.
- Water installed sod as soon as possible.
DIY Equipment and Materials
Expect to spend about 2 hours installing 500 square feet of sod (one pallet), or longer if a lot of cutting is required. Depending on the project size, hiring a professional is sometimes cheaper due to the high cost of buying and renting the tools needed.
|Sod||$0.28 – $0.85 per square foot||Order 5% to 10% extra. Install within 24 to 48 hours.|
|Sod Cutter||$80 – $100 daily rental||Removing old grass|
|Lawn Roller||$20 daily rental
$140 – $230 to buy
|Pushing sod firmly to dirt|
|Rototiller||$50 – $70 daily rental||Loosening and preparing the soil|
|Fertilizer||$5 per 1,000 sqft.||Adjusting soil pH levels. Take care – some will burn the roots of new sod|
|Topsoil and Compost||$0.20 – $0.50 per square foot||Improving soil quality. Promote growth. Develop a healthy root structure.|
|Garden Hose (50 FT)||$10 – $30||Delivering water to the sprinklers|
|Hand Edger, Trowel, and Sod Knife||$28 – $40||Cutting curves and edges. Cutting sod.|
|Soil Test Kit||$10 – $15||Ensuring the right pH before installation|
|Garden Rake & Spading Fork||$35 – $60||Mixing in organic materials. Smoothing the surface|
|Sprinkler||$8 – $20 each||Watering the new grass|
|Stiff Push Broom||$8 – $22||Helping to fill in seams|
|Hand Tamper||$25 – $40||Tamping dirt and fertilizer|
|Tape Measure (25 FT)||$3 – $10||Measuring the area|
|Total||About $1 per square foot|
Also, hauling pallets of sod from a sod farm and unloading them the job site requires heavy machinery if you do it yourself, or extra delivery fees.
New Sod Maintenance
- Begin watering immediately with six inches down into the soil right after installation and at least ¼ inch daily for the subsequent 2 weeks.
- Keep sod and soil moist throughout the entire day. Shaded areas don’t need as much water. If edges are turning brown, increase watering and frequency.
- Don’t walk on your new lawn until after the first mowing.
- First mowing is 2 to 3 weeks after installation, or longer in the winter to allow the roots to stabilize.
- For the first mowing, increase the height of the grass blades and never cut more than 1/3 off the grass height.
- At 3 to 4 weeks, reduce the frequency of watering, while increasing minutes per watering to help roots grow deeper.
- Fertilize your new sod at one month once it's stable. Only use what’s recommended for new lawns and your grass and soil type.
- Hire a pest control company between May and September to ensure the sod is free of chinch bugs or grass-destroying pests. Pest control costs $250+ per application.
Hiring a Sod Installation Company
Although you may save up to 50% with DIY, sod installers have the knowledge, experience, and equipment to provide high-quality work. Landscapers know the best species of grass to use on your yard, know how to prepare and enrich the soil, and offer a warranty on their work.
Quality sod installers typically:
- Are licensed, bonded, and insured.
- Include preparing the ground, removing old grass, or any ground cover
- Provide high-quality sod that works best for your location.
- Include sod delivery in their quote.
- Install sod within 24 hours of it being cut, or the same day it's delivered.
Professional Sod Installation Quotes
When selecting a professional, be sure to:
- Get at least 3 onsite quotes with a breakdown of preparation, materials, and labor.
- Ask for quotes with and without the ground prep work.
- Ask for a warranty on their work.
- Read their reviews on HomeGuide, BBB, and Google.
- Check out their past sod installations to see how well those lawns performed over time.
- See if they offer discounts during slow seasons, as long as the weather permits sodding.
Get free estimates on HomeGuide from trusted landscapers:
- Pray, Richard. “2019 National Construction Estimator.” 2019. PDF file.
- Hicks, Ray F. “2019 National Home Improvement Estimator.” 2019. PDF file.
- Paxton, Albert. “2019 National Repair and Remodeling Estimator.” 2019. PDF file.
Sod - Costco. (n.d.).
Sod & Turf - Landscaping - The Home Depot. (n.d.).
Sod at Lowes.com. (n.d.).
Quick Price Chart. (2016).
Olde Savannah Sod Prices. (n.d.).
Turf Grass & Sod. (n.d.).
2019 Price List. (2019).
What to Look For in Quality Grass Sod. (n.d.).
How Much Does It Cost To Install Sod? (2019).
Zoysia Grass. (2019).
Grass Zones. (2016).
All You Need To Know About Zoysia Grass. (n.d.).
2019 Sod Prices. (2019).
St. Augustinegrass for Florida Lawns. (2017).
St. Augustine Grass. (n.d.).
Sod FAQ. (n.d.).
Which one is better? Sod, Hydroseed, or Grass Seed. (2014).
New Sod Care. (2014).
What is Sod? (2015).
The Best Time to Install Sod on a Lawn. (2018).
How Long Does It Take for Sod to Take Root. (2016).
Southland Sod Prices. (n.d.).
How Big is a Pallet of Sod? (2016).
Retail Sod Price List. (2019).
Benefits and Disadvantages of Grass Seed vs Sod. (2018).
How To Choose The Right Grass Seed For Your Region. (2016).
Sod Deliveries. (n.d.).
Landscape Supply, Co. (n.d.).
Turfgrass Store. (2019).
Artificial Turf vs. Real Grass. (2019).
Turf Wars: Sod vs. Seed. (2014).
Raleigh TifBlair Centipede Sod Price. (n.d.).
Sod Types and Prices. (2019).
Residential and Commercial Quality Sod. (n.d.).
Tampa Bay Sod. (n.d.).
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