Sod Prices: Sod Installation Cost Guide

Sod installation costs range from $1.10 to $2.25 per square foot. The price to buy sod ranges from $0.50 to $1.00 per square foot. These costs and prices will vary based circumstance particular to your project such as: yard size, accessibility, topography, and location. Location is the greatest factor. Areas with higher costs of living will be at the higher end of the range.

Cost to Install Sod
By Roxy Johnston
Updated October 27, 2020 5:07 PM

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How Much Does it Cost to Sod a Yard?

This guide is intended to provide you an approximate cost to install sod in your area. To get a quote for your specific project, Click Here for a Free Estimate. Our research, which includes feedback provided by local sod contractors, resulted in the following prices and cost to install sod.

Square foot cost to install sod:

Cost of installing sod based on the size of your yard:

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Sod Prices by Variety (not installed)

Factors that Influence the Cost of Sod Installation

When a contractor comes to your house to provide you an estimate, they will take into account a number of factors that can increase or decrease the cost of your project. Pricing for sod can vary based on the grade of sod selected and the condition of the terrain where it will be installed. Typically a yard needs to be prepped, removing old sod and weeds. Soil conditioner is typically added before laying the sod. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

Primary cost factors:

Your prices may be higher when:

Your prices may be lower when:

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How Much Does it Cost to Seed a New Lawn?

The cost to seed a new lawn is about $.11 per square foot (ranges from $.07 to $.14 per square foot). The cost of overseeding an existing lawn is about $.18 per square foot (ranges from $.13 to $.22 per square foot). Seeding a new lawn takes times, but it is typically more affordable than laying new sod. The total cost of a lawn seeding job will depend on the type of seed used, the type of preparation required, the size of the yard, and local labor rates.

How Much Does it Cost to Hydroseed?

The cost to hydroseed a new lawn is about $.13 per square foot (ranges from $.09 to $.16 per square foot). Hydroseeding (also known as hydraulic mulch seeding or hydromulching) is a mixture of seed, hydro-mulch, fertilizers, and other materials that is sprayed onto the ground to grow grass. It is cheaper than laying sod, but more expensive than traditional lawn seeding.

How Much Does Artificial Lawn Grass Cost?

The cost install artificial lawn grass costs about $11.00 per square foot (ranges from $8.60 to $13.50 per square foot). Artificial grass (or synthetic turf) can be a good option if you would like a bright green lawn all year long. It is significantly more expensive than sodding or seeding, however, if you are looking for something super low-maintenance, artificial turf is a great option.

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Additional Topics in this Sod Cost Guide

What is Sod?

Sod is a thin layer of soil with grass growing on top of it. The roots of the grass intertwine to keep the grass and soil together. Sod farmers sometimes add a thin layer of hexagonal plastic in the soil to help keep the sod together. Sod comes in many different species or varieties. Sod pieces are usually cut (with a sod cutter) into rectangular pieces or long rolls. The rolls are then transported on pallets to the delivery site.

How Many Square Feet in a Pallet of Sod?

One pallet of sod can over about 450 to 500 square feet of area. A typical sod pallet includes about 165 rectangular pieces (each measuring approx. 16 inches by 24 inches). A normal sod pallet usually weighs somewhere between 2,500 and 3,000 pounds.

What is the Standard Size of a Piece of Sod?

The most standard size sod is 16 inches x 24 inches. The second most popular size is 18 inches x 24 inches. Other sizes include 2 feet x 4 feet, 2 feet x 5 feet, and 2 feet by 6 feet

Acre to Square Feet Conversion Guide

Planting Sod vs. Planting Seed

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Cool Season Grasses vs. Warm Season Grasses

The climate in your local area may impact the type of sod you want to install. It’s important to understand the seasonal limits of the variety of grass you choose.

What is the Best Time of Year to Lay Sod?

Spring is typically the best time of year to install sod. In a survey conducted of sod installers, 63% indicated that spring was the best time of year (and they indicated that early spring was the best). However, the weather conditions and climate in your specific region may impact the optimal time for laying sod. Additionally, different sod species require different conditions to grow best. 41% of the sod installers responding to the survey indicated that sod should not be planted during the winter.

Can I Lay Sod Over My Existing Lawn?

80% of sod installers surveyed indicated that it is not recommended to lay sod over your existing lawn. The sod needs to fully make contact with the soil in order to take root. Laying a piece of sod on top of your existing lawn is not ideal because the soil cannot be properly prepared.

Can I Lay Sod in the Rain?

Yes, it is possible to lay sod in the rain. While a drizzle or light shower will not have a major impact on the installation process, a heavy downpour may cause problems. If possible, you should wait until the rain lets up or stops before laying the sod.

How Much Sod Do I Need?

Taking the time to accurately measure your yard is the best way to calculate how much sod you need. Getting the measurements right will help you save time and money. Don’t rush the process. Don’t be afraid to double or triple check your measurements. In order to get started, you will just need a measuring tape, a pencil, some graph paper, and a calculator.

1. Sketch out your lawn into measurable squares, circles, and triangles. Use your sketch pad to draw the shape of your entire lawn area. Draw smaller (measurable) squares, rectangles, and triangles your sketch. If you need to, you can use use fixed objects such as sidewalks, plants, fences, etc. as benchmarks.

2. Measure each of your sections. Measure the length, width, and height of each section of your sketch.

3. Calculate the area of each section. Here are a few formulas that can help you:

- Area of a Square or Rectangle = Length x Width

- Area of a Triangle = Base x Height ÷ 2

- Area of a Trapezoid (four-sided non-square area) = Base 1 + Base 2 ÷ 2 x Height

4. Add the area of each section together. Once you have calculated the area of each section, add them all together to get your total square foot requirement.

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How Long Does it Take to Install a Pallet of Sod?

As a general rule, once the ground is prepared, it should take one person about 2 hours to lay one pallet of sod. In general, the amount of time it takes to lay sod depends on:

What is the Best Time of Day to Water My Lawn?

It’s best to water new sod in the morning before it gets too hot. Ideally, sod should be watered before 9 AM. The water will have plenty of time to soak into the soil over the course of the day. If you do not like waking up early, you could install a lawn irrigation system. You can program your sprinklers to turn on and off each day at the same time. If you're interested.

If you choose to water your sod in the afternoon, the hot sun may cause the water to evaporate quickly. This means you will need to use more water than actually necessary.

Watering sod at night can be risky. There may not be enough time for the water to soak into the soil. If the ground remains wet all night, fungus may begin to grow. This could jeopardize the health of your new lawn.

How Often Should I Water Newly Planted Sod?

Newly laid sod should be watered once or twice a day for the first couple weeks. However, there are several variables that may affect how often your sod needs to be watered. The amount of watering required will depend on the climate conditions in your region and the species of sod. For example, if you get a lot of rainfall in your area, you may not need to water the sod yourself as much. If you live in a hot, dry climate, you may need to water your sod more than twice a day. Shaded areas may need less watering than the sod that receives lots of direct sunlight. Keep in mind that excessive watering is not a good idea either. Fungus thrives in these super wet conditions.

How Long Till I Can Mow My Newly Planted Sod?

You should wait at least 2 or 3 weeks before mowing your newly sodded lawn. It will depend on how quickly the sod takes root. Before mowing, the grass should be at least 3.5 inches high. Mowing too soon or with the wrong equipment can ruin your new lawn permanently.

How Much Does Sod Cost Near Me?

The cost of sod and sod installation varies from area to area. We have developed a number of local sod cost guides to help identify how much sod costs near you.

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