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Sod Installation Costs & Prices - ProMatcher Cost Report

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Sod Installation Costs & Prices

We have collected data nationwide to help calculate the average cost of sod installation in the US. The following are average costs and prices reported back to us:

Cost of Sod Installation

$1.49 per square foot installed (Range: $1.34 - $1.64)
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 Sod Installation

2018 Sod Installation Guide

ProMatcher’s Sod Installation Guide is designed to help you learn everything you need to know about sod before hiring a professional for your sod project. Use this guide to learn about different varieties of sod, how much it costs to install new sod, as well as how to care for your new sod. You can even use our free matching service to request price quotes from local sod contractors.

Sod Topics in this Guide

1. Cost of Sod
    - Sod Prices by Location
    - Sod Prices by Variety
    - Sod Installation Cost Factors

2. Sod 101
    - Pros & Cons of Laying Sod
    - Cool Season vs. Warm Season Grasses

3. Sod Installation FAQs

4. Sod Maintenance

5. Cost of Sod Alternatives

6. Get a Free Quote

How Much Does Sod Cost?

The average cost to install sod in the U.S. is $1.49 per square foot. Most people can expect to pay between $1.34 to $1.64 per square foot for sod installation. Installing 1/4 acre yard (or 10,890 square feet) of sod could cost as much as $15,000 to $16,000.

While sod installation is most commonly priced by the square foot, sod may also be priced “per pallet” or “per roll”.

We have collected cost data from sod contractors around the country to help us calculate these estimates. These estimated rates include the cost of the sod and basic roll-out services.

Average Cost of Sod Installation
Austin, TX$1.20 - $1.39 per sq. ft.
Charlotte, NC$1.17 - $1.36 per sq. ft.
Chicago, IL$1.47 - $1.71 per sq. ft.
Columbus, OH$1.16 - $1.34 per sq. ft.
Detroit, MI$1.25 - $1.45 per sq. ft.
Houston, TX$1.16 - $1.35 per sq. ft.
Indianapolis, IN$1.10 - $1.27 per sq. ft.
Jacksonville, FL$1.17 - $1.36 per sq. ft.
Los Angeles, CA$1.72 - $1.99 per sq. ft.
New York, NY$2.73 - $3.16 per sq. ft.
Philadelphia, PA$1.59 - $1.85 per sq. ft.
San Diego, CA$1.67 - $1.93 per sq. ft.
Free Sod Installation Cost Estimates

What is the average cost of sod by variety?

Average Cost of Sod by Variety
Sod variety Average cost
Cost of Bahia Grass $0.17 - $0.28 per sq. ft.
Cost of Bermuda Grass $0.38 - $0.77 per sq. ft.
Cost of Fescue $0.33 - $0.37 per sq. ft.
Cost of Centipede Grass $0.71 - $0.88 per sq. ft.
Cost of Kentucky Bluegrass $0.29 - $0.44 per sq. ft.
Cost of Rough Bluegrass $0.28 - $0.47 per sq. ft.
Cost of Ryegrass $0.28 - $0.45 per sq. ft.
Cost of St. Augustine Grass $0.45 - $0.65 per sq. ft.
Cost of Velvet Bentgrass $0.59 - $0.83 per sq. ft.
Cost of Zoysia Grass $0.39 - $0.57 per sq. ft.

What factors impact the cost of sod installation?

The cost of sod installation will vary depending on the type of sod you select and the amount you need to order.

Here is a more detailed list of cost factors:

1. Amount and type of ground preparation required

2. Variety of sod (Zoysia grass, Bermuda grass, etc.)

3. Local labor costs

4. Soil testing costs (if necessary)

5. Size of area to be sodded (usually measured in sq. ft.)

6. Terrain of the area to be sodded (flat and open or hilly)

7. Any additional landscaping services

8. Delivery distance (measured in miles)

9. Type of equipment required for the sodding job

How Much Will My Sod Project Cost?

Here are some average prices for sod installation jobs. These prices include the cost of a mid-grade turf and professional roll-out. It does not include any soil preparation. Check out this article to learn more about pricing out a sod job.

Price Estimates for Typical Sod Projects
Job size Average cost
500 sq. ft. $670 - $810
1,000 sq. ft. $1,340 - $1,620
2,500 sq. ft. $3,350 - $4,050
5,000 sq. ft. $6,700 - $8,100
10,000 sq. ft. $13,400 - $16,200
15,000 sq. ft. $20,100 - $24,300

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Sod Installation 101

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 much sod is in a pallet?

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.

Read More: What does a standard piece of sod look like?

For reference, check out the conversion table below to see how much sod you might need to cover your entire yard.

1/8 acre yard 5,445 square feet
1/4 acre yard 10,890 square feet
1/2 acre yard 21,780 square feet
3/4 acre yard 32,670 square feet
1 acre yard 43,560 square feet

What are the advatanages of laying sod?

Two advantages of laying sod are 1) the instant gratification and 2) the increased reliability.

In a matter of hours, a dirt lot can be transformed into a beautiful-looking lawn. In a matter of weeks, you will have grass that has fully taken root. It takes months to grow grass seed. Overnight, sod can also help with erosion control and storm run-off too. Sod is more likely to take root than grass seed. Grass seed can be washed away in heavy rainstorms.

What are the disadvantages of laying sod?

Two disadvantages of laying sod are 1) the initial cost and 2) the limited turf options.

Installing sod is more expensive than planting seed or hydroseeding your lawn. Hiring a professional contractor to roll out the sod may also add to the total cost. Additionally, not every species of grass in available as sod. It may be difficult to find a local sod farm that grows the particular species of sod that you would like to lay.

What is the difference between cool season grasses and 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.

  • Cool-season grasses: Simply put, cool season grasses thrive in cooler temperatures. They are most actively growing in the spring and fall when the soil temperatures are 65 degrees or lower. They may even go dormant during the hottest months of the year.

    Examples: Kentucky Blue Grass, Perennial Ryegrass, Tall and Fine Fescue

  • Warm-season grasses: Warm season grasses are usually of tropical origin. They thrive during the warmer months of the year and do not require as much water as cool-season grasses. Warm-season grasses are more popular in the southern half of the United States where hotter temperatures are more common.

    Examples: Bermuda Grass, Centipede Grass, St. Augustine Grass, Zoysia

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Sod Installation Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time of year to lay sod?

In most cases, spring is typically the best time of year to install sod. 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.

We asked the sod installation contractors in our network, “When is the best time of year to lay sod?”. See how they 150+ sod contractors answered this question. We also found that sod should not be installed during the winter.

Can I lay sod over my existing lawn?

It is not recommended to sod over your existing grass. 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.

Is it possible to 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 to Calculate Your Sod Order

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.

Read the full article here: How to Calculate the Amount of Sod You Need

How long does sod installation take?

As a general rule, it should take one person about 2 hours to lay one pallet of sod.

The amount of time it takes to lay sod will depend on:

  • The amount of soil preparation required
  • Crew size for the job
  • Number of pieces to be laid
  • Terrain of the job location
  • Distance from pallet to final installation location

Where can I buy sod?

Sod can be ordered from a sod farm or nursery. Home improvement stores like Lowes and Home Depot usually sell sod too. During the planting season, sod can also be purchased from the outdoor section of many big box stores (think Costco or Walmart).

Caring for Your New Sod

When should I water my new sod?

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.

Don't 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, you can learn more about the cost to install a lawn sprinkler system in this guide.

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 does sod need to be watered?

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.

When can new sod be mowed?

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.

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Cost of Sod Alternatives

If you need a new lawn, sod is not your only option. If you have the time, seeding a lawn from scratch is always an option. If you are looking for something that is super low-maintenance, you might even consider installing artificial turf in your yard.

How Much Does It Cost to Seed a New Lawn?

The average cost of seeding a new lawn ranges from $0.07 to $0.14 per square foot. Planting a new lawn takes times, but it is typically more affordable than laying 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 Hyrdosseding Cost?

The average cost of hydroseeding is $0.09 to $0.16 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 Grass Cost?

The average cost of installing synthetic grass ranges from $8.59 to $13.34 per square foot (mid-grade lawn turf). 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.

Sod Installation Cost Checklist

Sod Cost Estimate Checklist

Cost of SodDoes your sod installation cost estimate include everything you want done? Here are some items to consider:

1. What type of sod are they installing? Check online to make certain the type of sod they are installing fits your “growing zone.” Learn about the characteristics of the sod they are installing.

2. How are they going to prepare the ground for the sod? Are they going to completely remove existing grass? Are they going to till? Are they going to grade out bumpy areas? Are they going to lay a new layer of soil?

3. Are they going to check the pH of the soil? This could be important to the long term survival of your grass.

4. Are they going to be adding any type of growing agent or fertilizer?

5. Do they provide a guarantee? Some contractors will guarantee their installation will take (provided of course that you water the grass).

> Get A Free Sod Cost Estimate

Factors that Impact the Cost of Sod Installation

The cost of sod installation will increase or decrease based upon a number of factors. Here are a list of factors that will impact the cost:

1. The size of the area you are sodding. The cost of sod is commonly determined by either 1) the number of pallets or 2) the number of square feet. The larger the area, the more the project will cost. However, on areas exceeding an acre, you can expect that the cost per square foot will diminish.

2. The type of sod you are installing. The cost of sod depends upon the variety of grass being layed (Zoysia, Bluegrass, Fescue, St. Augustine, etc.). For instance, Zoysia will cost more than St. Augustine. There are 12 different growing zones in the United States and there are 3 to 7 different varieties that are recommended for each zone.

3. Whether you are sodding a new lawn or re-sodding an existing lawn. In general, re-sodding an existing lawn will cost more than laying grass on a lot for a new home. Re-sodding requires more ground preparation which increases the cost.

4. The amount of ground preparation required. All projects require some sort of ground preparation. The more ground preparation required, the higher the cost. For instance, some installation projects may only require existing grass removal and minor tilling. Other installation projects may require removing existing grass, tilling, grading, and hauling in new soil.

> Get a Free Sod Installation Cost Estimate

Sod Installation Cost Factors

Home Depot Sod Prices

Prices of sod at Home Depot vary from location to location due to size, presentation, and variety of sod sold.

Find Costs & Prices in Your City

Sod Installation Cost Data

48137, Gregory, Michigan - December 15, 2019

Sod Installation

$0.80 to $2.50 per square foot installed
Half down then other half once completed. Most forms of payment are available.

Reported by:
Andrew Setzke, Veteran land & tree services
See the Gregory Sod Installation Cost Report
95662, Orangevale, California - November 19, 2019

Sod Installation

$3.00 to $5.00 per square foot installed
Pricing for sod can vary based on the grade of sod selected and the condition of the terrain where it will be installed. Typically we smooth and prep the area, removing old sod and weeds. We then add a soil conditioner before laying the sod. We always strive to give our lowest bid to win the job. We do quality work and check on you in 30 days to make sure everything is progressing well.

Reported by:
Christine Karstens, California Backyard Solutions
See the Orangevale Sod Installation Cost Report
33541, Zephyrhills, Florida - October 29, 2019

Sod Installation

$0.25 to $0.45 per square foot installed

Reported by:
ProMatcher Research Team
See the Zephyrhills Sod Installation Cost Report
06514, Hamden, Connecticut - October 8, 2019

Sod Installation

$1.25 to $1.50 per square foot installed
50% deposit 50% upon completion - or - 1/3 Deposit 1/3 Upon Start of Job 1/3 Upon Completion

Reported by:
Ted Greiner, TJB-INC Landscape & Drainage Contractor
See the Hamden Sod Installation Cost Report
48104, Ann Arbor, Michigan - September 30, 2019

Sod Installation

$0.90 to $1.50 per square foot installed
Most sod installs run approximately $1 per square foot for removal of current sod and install of new sod.

Reported by:
Camden King, Landscaping Kings, LLC
See the Ann Arbor Sod Installation Cost Report
80211, Denver, Colorado - August 27, 2019

Sod Installation

$2.05 to $2.80 per square foot installed
I have always prices of labor portion, equipment and supplies that will be used, based on time and overhead and profits

Reported by:
Fidel Romero, Fidel Romero Landscape
See the Denver Sod Installation Cost Report
80011, Aurora, Colorado - August 8, 2019

Sod Installation

$1.25 to $2.50 per square foot installed
We charge according to scale and labor requirements

Reported by:
Thomas Reyna, Stumped?
See the Aurora Sod Installation Cost Report
48348, Clarkston, Michigan - July 24, 2019

Sod Installation

$1.55 to $2.95 per square foot installed

Reported by:
Jerry Harvey, Jerry’s Amazin Grazin Landscaping
See the Clarkston Sod Installation Cost Report
33815, Lakeland, Florida - February 12, 2019

Sod Installation

$1.00 to $2.00 per square foot installed
Based on whole pallets and being delivered

Reported by:
Neides Lawns, Neide's Lawn & Landscape LLC
See the Lakeland Sod Installation Cost Report
46516, Elkhart, Indiana - July 19, 2018

Sod Installation

$1.18 to $1.37 per square foot installed
Cost accounts for the price of sod installation. Does include sod, delivery, and roll-out fee. Price does not take into account major grading and leveling of lawn.

Reported by:
ProMatcher Research Team
See the Elkhart Sod Installation Cost Report
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Disclaimer: Costs and prices shown on the ProMatcher site are intended to be used as general information, not as guaranteed estimates. To obtain cost information relevant to your project, request a quote or estimate from a local service provider.
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