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Tennessee Sod Installation Costs & Prices - ProMatcher Cost Report

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Tennessee Sod Installation Costs & Prices

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

Cost of Sod Installation in Tennessee

$1.34 per square foot installed (Range: $1.19 - $1.49)
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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

Cost of Sod
  1. Average Cost of Sod Installation by City
  2. Average Cost of Sod by Variety
  3. Sod Installation Cost Factors
  4. Average Cost of Typical Sod Projects
Sod 101
  1. What is sod?
  2. What is a pallet of sod?
  3. Advantages of sod
  4. Disadvantages of sod
  5. Cool season vs. warm season grasses
General Sod Installation FAQs
  1. What is the best time of year to lay sod?
  2. Can I lay sod over my existing grass?
  3. Can sod be laid in the rain?
  4. How do measure my yard for sod?
  5. How long does sod installation take?
  6. Where can I buy sod?
Sod Maintenance
  1. Best Time of Day to Water Sod
  2. How Often to Water Sod
  3. When to Mow New Lawn
Cost of Sod Alternatives
  1. Cost of Seeding a New Lawn
  2. Cost to Hydroseed a Lawn
  3. Cost to Install Synthetic Grass

How Much Does Sod Cost?

The average cost to install sod in the U.S. is {AvgCost;specid:167;seq:1;text:N} per square foot. Most people can expect to pay between {AvgCostRange;specid:167;seq:1;text:N} per square foot for sod installation.

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.

{CostTable1;specid:167;seq:1;text:per sq. ft.;title:Average Cost of Sod Installation By City;city:2,29,36,51,76,83,94,112,138,199,212,225,251,275,284,308,342,388,433,481}

Here are the national average costs of various sod types:

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 are the main factors impacting 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.

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 advantages 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 take 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.

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.

  • 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

When 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 grass?

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.

Can sod be installed 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 to 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 to Water 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.

When to Mow New 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.

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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.
  • Cost of Seeding a Lawn

    The average cost of seeding a new lawn ranges from {AvgCostRange;specid:168;seq:1;text:per square foot}. Planting a new lawn takes times, but it is typically more affordable than laying sod.
  • Cost of Hydroseeding

    The average cost of hydroseeding is {AvgCostRange;specid:9680;seq:1;text:Y}. 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.
  • Cost of Artificial Grass Installation

    The average cost of installing synthetic grass ranges from {AvgCostRange;specid:157;seq:2;text:Y}. 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.
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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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