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Grass Lawn Sod Installation Costs: What You Need to Know

Installing grass lawn sod is a great way to transform your outdoor space, adding beauty and value to your property. Sod installation involves laying down pre-grown grass sod over soil, providing a lush and vibrant green space that’s ready to use in a fraction of the time it would take to grow grass from seed. Whether you’re replacing a patchy, weed-filled lawn or starting over from scratch, sod installation can be a great option. Knowing the costs associated with sod installation can help you decide if it’s the right choice for your project. In this article, we’ll discuss the factors that impact sod installation costs and the average cost of sod installation so you can make an informed decision.

Grass Lawn
Grass Lawn

Cost Factors

Type of Grass – The type of grass you choose for your lawn will have a major impact on the overall cost. Different types of grass require different levels of maintenance, which can range from inexpensive to costly. Generally speaking, more expensive grasses will require more frequent mowing, fertilizing, and watering, whereas cheaper grasses may require less maintenance.

Labor Costs – The cost of labor for lawn care can vary significantly depending on the size of your lawn and the complexity of the job. If you decide to hire a professional lawn care service, you should expect to pay for their services based on the size of your lawn and the amount of work required.

Preparation Costs – There are certain preparations that must be made before laying down new grass or reseeding an existing lawn. These preparations may include removing existing vegetation, tilling the soil, and applying fertilizer and other amendments. Depending on the size of your lawn and the complexity of the preparation required, these costs can vary significantly.

Preparing the Soil

Before planting, it is important to properly prepare the soil for optimal growth. This includes removing existing vegetation, testing the soil for its nutritional content, and making any necessary amendments.

Removing existing vegetation: This process can be done by hand or with the help of a tiller. Hand-pulling vegetation is labor-intensive, but it is the most effective way to remove weeds and grasses. If a tiller is used, it is important to use the correct settings to avoid damaging the soil structure.

Soil testing: Soil testing is an important step in the process of soil preparation. It can give you valuable insight into the nutritional content of the soil, allowing you to adjust the soil to create the optimum environment for plants.

Soil amendments: After the soil has been tested and analyzed, it is important to make any necessary amendments. This may include adding compost, fertilizer, or other soil amendments to improve the structure and nutritional content of the soil.

Installation Process

Layout and Measurements: Before installation of the new lawn, it is important to measure the area to be sodded and to determine the desired layout. Having a plan of where the sod will be laid out prior to installation is essential. This helps in avoiding unnecessary wastage of sod and other resources.

Sodding: After the area has been properly marked, the sodding process can begin. Sods should be laid out in a brick-like pattern to ensure that there are no gaps. The sods should be placed as close together as possible and gently pressed down to ensure that they are firmly in the ground.

Rolling: After the sodding is complete, the area should be rolled with a roller to ensure that the sod is firmly and securely in the ground. The roller should be rolled over the entire area to ensure that the sod is evenly distributed and that there are no air pockets. This helps to prevent the sod from drying out and cracking.

Sod Maintenance

Watering: Sod needs regular and consistent watering in order to grow and maintain its health. It is important to water your sod deeply and regularly, ensuring that the soil is saturated. During the first two weeks of installation, it is especially important to water every day, or twice a day in extreme heat. After that, you can reduce watering to twice a week, making sure to water deeply each time.

Fertilizing: Fertilizing your sod is an important part of maintenance. Fertilizer helps to ensure that your sod gets all the nutrients it needs for healthy growth. It is best to fertilize your sod in the spring and fall. The fertilizer should be applied according to the directions on the package.

Weed Control: Controlling weeds is an important part of sod maintenance. Weeds compete with your sod for nutrients, water, and sunlight. To control weeds, use a pre-emergent herbicide to prevent weed seeds from germinating. You can also use a post-emergent herbicide to kill existing weeds. Be sure to use these products according to the directions on the package.

Tips for Saving Money on Sod Installation

Buying in Bulk

One great way to save money when installing sod is to buy in bulk. By purchasing your sod in larger quantities, you can often receive a discount compared to buying smaller amounts. Additionally, you may be able to negotiate a better rate with the supplier if you are purchasing a large amount of sod. Be sure to measure your area accurately before you buy so that you don’t end up with too much or too little sod.

Doing Some of the Work Yourself

You can also save money by doing some of the installation work yourself. Clearing away existing vegetation, preparing the soil, and laying the sod can all be done without professional help. However, it is important to make sure that you do a thorough job with each step in the process for the best results.

Shopping Around for Contractors

Finally, it is important to shop around for contractors when you are looking to install sod. Make sure to get quotes from multiple companies so that you can compare the services they offer and their prices. Additionally, be sure to ask for references so that you can get an idea of the quality of the contractor’s work.


Grass lawn sod installation is a great way to spruce up your lawn and give it a lush, natural appearance. The cost for sod installation varies depending on the size of your lawn, the type of grass you choose, and the installation method. Professional installation is the most expensive but is typically more reliable and consistent. DIY installation is more affordable, but can be time-consuming and labor-intensive.

No matter which installation method you choose, it is important to consider the overall cost of the project. This includes the cost of the grass sod itself, the cost of installation, and any additional costs such as fertilization, soil preparation, and topsoil. It is also important to factor in the long-term costs associated with maintaining your sod so that it remains healthy and beautiful.

Overall, grass lawn sod installation can be a great way to give your landscape a lush, natural look. However, it is important to do your research and determine the best option for your budget, needs, and lifestyle. With the right installation method, you can enjoy a beautiful lawn for many years to come.

FAQs – Grass Lawn Sod Installation Costs

1. What is the cost of grass lawn sod installation?

The cost of grass lawn sod installation varies depending on the size of the area, the type of sod, and the labor costs of the local sod installation company.

2. How much does grass sod cost per square foot?

The average cost of grass sod is around $0.40 to $0.90 per square foot, depending on the type and quality of sod.

3. How much does it cost to install 1000 sq. ft. of grass sod?

On average, it costs between $400 and $900 to install 1000 square feet of grass sod, depending on the type and quality of sod.

4. What is the cost of professional grass sod installation?

The cost of professional grass sod installation varies depending on the size of the area, the type of sod, and the labor costs of the local sod installation company. Generally, professional sod installation costs between $0.50 and $1.50 per square foot.

5. How long does it take to install grass sod?

The time it takes to install grass sod depends on the size of the area and the number of workers involved. Generally, it takes a minimum of 2 hours to install 500 square feet of sod.

6. Is it cheaper to install grass sod or seed it?

Installing grass sod is generally more expensive than seeding, but sod can be laid in a fraction of the time it takes to seed a lawn and it also produces a more uniform lawn with fewer weeds.

7. What type of grass sod is best for my area?

The best type of grass sod for your area will depend on the climate, soil type, and desired maintenance level. Talk to your local sod installation company to get their recommendations for the best grass sod for your area.

8. What is the best time of year to install grass sod?

The best time to install grass sod is in the spring or fall when temperatures are mild.

9. How often should grass sod be watered?

Newly-installed grass sod should be watered every day for the first two weeks and then every other day for the next two weeks. After that, water as needed to keep the soil moist.

10. What type of maintenance is required after installing grass sod?

After installing grass sod, you should mow at least once a week, remove weeds as needed, and fertilize every four to six weeks.


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