Sodding can be elaborate, both when it comes to installation and in calculating the price of sod and other costs. Your local hardware store may sell sod but they typically do not install it, a landscaper knows other actual project prices reported and has better knowledge, skill, and access to materials than DIYing your sodding project. Professional landscapers offer more than just garden care, they can complete your sodding project from start to finish for you, including their better knowledge on the price of sod and getting sod delivered.
It’s important to make an informed decision and know the many factors that can affect how much your sod installation can cost. Here’s a list of things to think about when considering installing sod, and the price for it, in your yard.
What Does It Cost To Install Sod?
The price of sod, on average for a roll, is approximately between $0.34 and $0.85 per square foot depending on the type of grass and amount purchased. Sod can cost around $680 to $1,700 to cover a 2,000 square foot lawn. When hiring a professional to install your sod, this price can increase to $0.90 to $1.80 per square foot of sod and $3,600 to install on the same 2,00 square foot lawn.
When you hire a professional to lay fresh sod, like previously stated, the average cost is $0.90 to $1.80 per square foot or about $2,180 to cover a 2,000 square foot lawn. When installing sod on an 8,712 square foot lawn (0.2 acres) for the first time and from scratch, you should expect the price of sod to be, on average, between $4,530 and $9,931. A professional with an installer’s charge can properly lay sod in your yard in a few hours’ time and give you the green and beautiful lawn you desire while also ensuring that the roots grow properly over time.
Sod Price Per Square Foot
A roll of sod typically costs between $0.30 and $0.8o per square foot for most material, depending on the type of grass. The average size of a lawn is 1/5 of an acre or 8,712 square feet, costing you about $6,708 on average for installation. Landscaping professionals can provide you with free estimates and quotes from the price of sod for your lawn, these will be the best guess and calculation of the best sod price for sodding your yard, they will calculate the price around the square footage to be covered, your soil condition, the grade of your yard, etc.
Installation Labour Costs
The average price of sod installation is from $1 to $2 per square foot. If you have already purchased the grass outside of the professional’s help, landscaping professionals can be hired to install it at an average hourly rate ranging from $40 to $80 per hour. Grass sod is more expensive than seeding your lawn as the grass has to be grown and cared for elsewhere, cut up and transported to your home in a short period of time before being laid down.
The average cost of installation is about 158% of the cost of your sod. It generally can take one hour to install 225 square feet of sod at a cost of, on average, $40 to $80 per hour. A professional landscaper can install 2,000 square feet of sod for about $360.
A free quote for your sod installation cost from a landscaper will include:
Cost Of Sod By Type
There are generally two categories of grass that are used for sod: creeping and bunch. Creeping grass has a higher tolerance for high temperatures. Creeping grass is grown along runners that sit either above or below ground. Bunchgrass grows in a way that we recognize more with the majority of plants, by the new grass spreading out from the centre in bunches, and mowing this grass higher will protect the centre for growth.
Sod comes in a plethora of different types of grasses to suit your lawn climate, all ranging from different prices based on grass type.
Pallet of Sod
A pallet of sod will cover 450-500 square feet and will cost, on average, about $499. The average pallet of sod can be in slabs that measure 18 inches by 24 inches or in rolls that measure 24 inches by 54 inches. The differences in sod types and costs can vary, but on average on a 2.6 square foot roll of sod averages about $2.90 with the pallet of sod delivered to you.
Zoysia is a slow-growing grass and once it is laid and established in your yard it won’t need mowing as frequently as other sod grasses, however, because of this it also does take longer for it to establish itself in your yard and needs more careful nurturing initially than other types of sod. It grows best in full sun but can handle shade well too. Zoysia sod can cost $0.62 to $0.85 per square foot.
Bermuda sod establishes itself quickly and is a very hardy type of grass, making it great for high-traffic parts of your lawn. It thrives in full sun and slightly acidic soil (pH of 5.506.5) and can handle shade. It can have a tendency to creep into flower beds and is a good choice for you if you have very hot, dry summers. Bermuda sod can cost $0.57 to $0.84 per square foot.
St. Augustine Sod
St. Augustine is a dense and lush-looking sod and can make your lawn have those qualities, making it a very popular pick when it comes to sodding. It can handle full sun and shade and tolerate humidity, salt and can grow well in sandy soil, which makes it one of the best choices for coastal locations. St. Augustine sod can cost $0.57 to $1.14 per square foot.
There are several types of fescue grass and all grow fast and fine fescue can handle shady areas well, but tall fescue prefers only partial shade. These types of grass are the best used where there are cold, frigid winters in combination with hot, scorching summers. Fescue sod can cost $0.39 to $0.52 per square foot.
Kentucky Bluegrass Sod
Kentucky Bluegrass is the best for northern regions, it can tolerate hot, scorching summers, as well as cold, frigid winters. It can be the most aggressive spreader and will fill in any bare spots and make it good for high-traffic areas in your yard. It thrives in full sun, moderate shade and a pH of 6.5 to neutral (pH 7) soil. Kentucky bluegrass can cost $0.22 to $0.45 per square foot.
Cost To Re-Sod A Lawn
To resod a lawn, the old, existing grass and rest of the lawn needs to be fully removed and the ground and soil have to be prepared before new sod can be laid back in the yard. To remove old, dead grass and your old sod lawn, a professional can charge on average $1,000 or more, coming to about $0.80 to $1.80 per square foot including installation. Be sure to have your landscaper include removal costs in your quote for the most accurate price to re-sod your lawn. Your final price will ultimately depend on the size of your yard and the amount of sod required, its conditions, and the type of sod you chose to work with.
How Much Does Sod Replacement & Removal Cost?
Replacing the sod will cost about the same as new sod at $1.32 to $1.62 per square foot. There will be the added expense of removing the dead or dying grass as stated previously. You could remove the old sod yourself to save money, renting a sod cutter (or sod remover) costs on average $69 for 4 hours or $98 for a whole day. The price of sod, getting the sod delivered, and the materials separately will all add to the cost to resod a lawn. A sod remover is something to look into if the area you are removing yourself is over 300 square feet.
Sod Vs. Seed: Which Is Cheaper?
Based on the average initial price, seeding your lawn is cheaper. For a yard’s lawn area that is 2,000 square feet, it would cost about $124 to seed and about $899 to install sod.
Seeded lawns can take months before you have a lawn that is beautiful and able to be used. A consistent watering schedule is needed for the grass seeds to sprout and lay down a healthy root system. If seeds dry out, they will die, making their tedious care very necessary. It takes about six weeks to establish root growth and have the roots firmly attached to the soil and any traffic to interrupt root growth will cause your seeds to die off.
Sod is grass mats made of real grass, that require more labour hours to install than seeding. Sod can resume regular lawn foot traffic after a few days and can quickly establish a healthy root system. Laying sod is more expensive initially, but requires less maintenance after the initial installation, just water, fertilize and mow as you would normally.
How Much Sod You Should Buy
A professional landscape contractor can do the measurements and calculations for you. They will measure and order the sod without issue. To figure out if one pallet is needed or more, and to better guess the price of sod for your project. For homeowners to figure out how much sod they should buy on their own, start by measuring the area you want to sod and getting the square-foot measurements. Measure the length and width of each area drawn, doing as best as possible with any irregular shapes. Once you can make a guess at your area’s square footage, divide it by 9 to convert it to square yards of sod needed. Ordering 10% more than what you have calculated.
A sod calculator can be found here.
Topsoil can cost you about $36 per cubic yard with a spreading fee of $90 per the same area. This labour is pricey as a cubic yard of topsoil can weigh 1 ton. There are also delivery fees on topsoil, on average it can cost you about $65 for a truckload. Some topsoil companies can spread and install topsoil for you for an additional price, but you or professional landscapers can also do the job. Buying bagged topsoil can be an option, but the average cost can come to more. Before getting sod installed remember that starter fertilizer is usually needed with the topsoil.
Cost Factors For Sodding
Your total cost for the price of sod and to install sod for your sodding project will vary and is dependent on many factors including your location, the size of your yard, getting the sod delivered, and the type of sod you want to install.
Size of Area
The biggest factor contributing to the price is the amount of area that is to be covered. Naturally, the larger the area, the more it will cost you in labour and materials, smaller projects will cost you less.
Shape of Yard
With the size of the yard, the shape is also important to the amount of sod needed. A perfectly square yard will cost you less to install than one with complex and curved edges as different edge treatments mean more labour to make many more cuts to the length of the sod for the best fit to the area to make tidy rows.
Access to the Yard
If you have minimal or restricted access to your yard that you wish to lay sod on, it will cost you more in labour time to bring the sod through one narrow pathway for example. Driveway distance can also be an access issue if the driveway is set far away from the yard and must be carried a great distance that will cost you in time and labour.
It’s a very common practice that most yards need to be levelled to lay the sod properly and ensure that there are no drainage problems. Re-sloping or grading your lawn can on average cost you $125 per cubic yard. A landscaping professional has the special equipment to level or other equipment like a lawn roller, that is large and moving fences or gates might be needed.
The more obstacles that are present in your yard, the more laying sod will cost you. Things like boulders, flowerbeds, and other things the sod will have to be placed around require cutting around each obstacle to make sure that the sod lines up perfectly to the edges of any yard features. This requires more time and experience to be done correctly.
Before the sod can be laid, the old lawn must be removed. All old grass or other foliage must be dug up and removed. The old grass’s root system underground must also be completely removed before new sod can be laid.
If you have an existing sprinkler system installed in the area this may also increase the price of your sod installation. It takes extra time and labour to carefully work around each sprinkler head in the system.
Sod Delivery Fee
Sod cost can decrease when you get enough sod delivered. The more sod that you buy and that is needed for your lawn usually gets you a cheaper delivery cost. Some places have a rule in place that if you order over 1,000 square feet, the sod is delivered for free. On average, 200-495 square feet of sod can cost $75 for a delivery fee and 500-995 square feet can be about $50 to deliver. Since sod is so heavy, delivery is almost always needed, each roll can weigh about 35-50 pounds making even a small 10 roll order weigh about 500 pounds meaning a large truck is needed to get your sod delivered.