Fresh Sod Installation Cost

Last Updated on January 6, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Do you dream of a green, lush lawn, just like in the movies, where you can arrange a superb relaxation space for yourself, your family, and friends or a playground for children? The installation of sod grass is the fastest and most advantageous solution!

How much does it cost to install sod grass?

If you want to hire a landscaper to install sod in your yard, you should be prepared to spend around $2.50 per square foot. In case you choose to do this project yourself, you will spend only around $1.50 per square foot.

Before installing sod, you should remove all the debris, large stones and sticks, and the ground must be graded. This way you will avoid the extra costs charged by a professional installer.

Average costs

  • Typical cost average – $2 per square foot
  • Hire a professional – $2 to $2.75 per square foot
  • DIY – $1.50 per square foot

Factors affecting the cost of sod lawn

Time of the year

The cost of the sod lawn may be cheaper during the off-peak period of the year, in general at the end of the season or at the very start of the season. Just make sure that the sod has enough time to securely root before the winter comes.

Type of grass

The cost of grass varieties is different in some regions, especially in the climate where it is harder to grow some species.

The complexity of the yard

The costs will be higher if there are many obstacles to deal with such as garden beds, large trees, detached buildings, pools, patios or decks, and others.

Transportation costs

You might also like our articles on the cost to seed a lawn, aerate the lawn, or the price of a lawn mower.

Fuel costs are pretty high, so no matter if you transport the sod by yourself or the installer delivers it to your home, the distance from the source to your home will affect the overall costs.

Where you buy it from

The cost will be significantly lower if you choose to purchase the sod directly from a sod farm. For example, Fescue Blend and Kentucky Bluegrass can be bought from a sod farm for $0.90 per square foot, while at Home Depot you will have to pay around $1.25 per square foot.

Size of the yard

As the yard size increases, the costs per square foot will go down a little. However, your total costs will be higher if you have more lawn.

Initial preparation

In order to lay the sod, the majority of the installers will do all or some of the preparation. The costs will be higher if there are many roots, stones, or other debris. Also, the final cost will rise if the final grading of the soil is done by the installer instead of an excavator.

Pro or DIY

As we already mentioned above, you will be able to save almost a third of the cost if you choose to lay the sod by yourself. This would be a good option if you have tie to lay the sod in a few days so it doesn’t dry out.

Sod lawns overview and costs

The cost of the sod lawn depends on the type of grass you purchase and the options depend on climate and region. For example, Kentucky Bluegrass costs less than $1 per square foot, while St. Augustine grass is priced at $1.75 per square foot or even more.

Below is a list of the sod grass installation costs for some of the most common sizes. You should know that the cost per square foot decreases a little as the yard size increases.

  • Small lot (1,000 square feet) – $1,450 to $2,350
  • ¼ acre (10,900 square feet) – $14,200 to $24,500
  • ½ acre (21,750 square feet) – $27,600 to $48,000
  • 1 acre (43,500 square feet) – $54,500 to $92,500

Steps to Lay Down SodIn case you want to deal with this project yourself, you should plan on spending anywhere between $1 and $1.75 per square foot, with an average cost of almost $1.25 per square foot for the most common grass species. This way you will save anywhere between 25% and 40%, depending on the type of grass you choose.

The most common sod installers are landscapers, but usually, the sod farms have their own installation crews, and you will be able to reduce the costs a little if you work with them directly.

In general, sod is sold by the pellet and one pellet can hold anywhere between 450 and 700 square feet of sod. This would be enough to cover between 20’x20’ and 35’x20’.

According to Sod Solutions, there are three types of palletized sod:

  • small rolls or mini, that are used in general for small yards and come at around 400 to 500 square feet per pallet;
  • slabs 16”x24”, which come at around 400 to 500 square feet per pallet and are very popular in the South;
  • large rolls that come at up to 700 square feet per pallet.

If you already have a lawn, but it is not healthy, you may want to tear it out and install sod. Keep in mind that you can always try something cheaper such as overseeding.

Cost of sod installation supplies

If you are lucky enough and your land is rich in topsoil, you will only be responsible for the sod and its installation. But, in case you need topsoil, you should add around 4 inches to prepare the lawn for sod. Keep in mind that 1 cubic yard of soil is enough for 81 square feet with a depth of 4 inches.

In case you want to install the sod grass yourself, you will need some supplies, that are presented and priced in the following lines.

Note: the costs are per square foot

  • Bentgrass sod – $1.30 to $1.75
  • Bermuda sod – $1.45 to $1.90
  • Fescue sod – $0.95 to $1.50
  • Perennial Ryegrass sod – $1.35 to $1.90
  • Kentucky Bluegrass sod – $0.95 to $1.45
  • Centipede sod – $1.50 to $2
  • Zoysia sod – $1 to $1.50
  • Bahia sod – $1 to $1.45
  • Augustine sod – $1.30 to $1.90
  • Wheelbarrow – $80 to $210
  • Black dirt/topsoil delivered – $20 to $32 per cubic yard
  • Oscillating sprinkler – $10 to $35
  • Topsoil delivered and spread – $40 to $60 per cubic yard
  • 50-foor hose – $15 to $28
  • Shovel – $15 to $30
  • Small limb or lawn edger for trimming sod – $12 to $35
  • Metal rake – $15 to $28

Cost of inspection, permits, and installation

You will not need a permit to install sod in your yard, so the costs will be zero.

For labor, you should be prepared to pay anywhere between $0.35 and $0.65 per square foot.

What should I do immediately after installing the sod grass?

At the end of the installation, start watering the newly installed lawn. Watering is also recommended during installation if it is a hot summer day, the amount of lawn you need to install is large and the time elapsed from mounting the first roll to the completion of installation is more than 2-3 hours.

Can I install the sod grass myself?

Of course you can, especially if you have experience and have done this before! It is important to have the land prepared and to place the order for the delivery of the sod grass only when you have completed all the stages of its preparation. The sod grass installation technique is not very difficult, but we recommend that you make sure not to step on/overlap the rollers/slabs. Also, two side-by-side rollers must be pressed together as best as possible.

Place the first row of rolls next to the right edge. It is usually started with the end closest to the storage place of the lawn. If you use the wheelbarrow and have to pass either over the freshly prepared soil or over the already mounted rollers/slabs, we recommend using wide planks to pass with the wheelbarrow.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *