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How Much Does It Cost To Sod A Yard?

Typical Range: $1,047 - $2,906

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Sod Installation Cost

Sod installation costs between $1,047 and $2,906 or $1,973 on average. Installers charge between $1 and $2 per square foot for labor and materials. Expect to pay $2,000 to $4,000 to cover a 2,000 square foot lawn. Removing old grass, changing the lawn shape and installing a sprinkler system add to the total price.   

Sod is real grass you can buy in rolls that have the appearance of a pre-grown grass mat. If you buy it on your own, sod costs $150 to $450 per pallet or $0.35 to $0.85 per square foot, depending on the grass type, supplier and location. Centipede and zoysia are the priciest grass species, while Bahia and Kentucky bluegrass are the most affordable.

You can lay the grass mats yourself, but there is an advantage to hiring a professional. They have special equipment to lay it more evenly and hide seams to make sure it looks just how you want it.

On This Page:

  1. Average Cost to Lay Sod
  2. Sodding Cost Per Square Foot
  3. Cost to Sod a Yard
    1. Cost to Sod a Backyard
    2. Cost to Sod a Small Yard
    3. Cost to Install Sprinkler System and Sod
    4. New Construction Lawn Installation Cost
  4. Sod Installation Cost by Location
  5. Price to Resod a Lawn
    1. Cost to Remove Grass
  6. DIY vs. Hiring a Sod Installer
  7. FAQs

Average Cost to Lay Sod

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National Average $1,973
Typical Range $1,047 - $2,906
Low End - High End $450 - $5,000

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Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 7,894 HomeAdvisor members in .

Sodding Cost Per Square Foot

the average cost to lay sod is $1,900 or $450 to $4,600.

The price to install sod ranges from $1 to $2 per square foot for both labor and materials. You can buy the materials separately and just pay for labor, which may cost $35 to $75 per hour. A 2,000 square foot lawn takes about 40 hours for a total of $1,400 to $3,000 for labor alone. Your installer is not likely to offer a guarantee beyond their own workmanship when you buy the materials separately.

Cost to Sod a Yard

Sod installation in an average one-fifth-acre, or 8,712 square foot, yard costs $8,715 to $17,430. This price includes labor and materials. Exact project rates depend on a variety of factors, including the size of the area you wish to cover, the amount of ground preparation required and the time of year.

Some of your yard's existing features may act as obstacles to installation and affect your project price, such as:

  • Tree roots: If the roots run close to the surface, the rototiller could cut them and kill a young tree. Or, a large tree could have roots so thick that it breaks the tiller.  
  • Large, decorative rocks: Move them, if possible, or you may have to till the ground around them by hand if the grass will border them.
  • Lots of debris: Installing sod over rocks and uneven soil creates a rougher-looking lawn and can prevent strong root growth.
  • Existing hardscape features: You must remove or work around concrete paths, brick walkways or water features. Either way, this adds to the time and cost.
  • Inability to place pallets near work area: The job needs more labor hours if the pallets of sod sit far from the work area.
Sod Install Cost by Yard Size
Square FootagePrice RangeAverage Cost
1,000$1,000 - $2,000$1,500
2,000$2,000 - $4,000$3,000
3,250$3,250 - $6,500$4,875
4,500$4,500 - $9,000$6,750
6,000$6,000 - $12,000$9,000
8,700$8,700 - $17,400$13,050
10,900$10,900 - $21,800$16,350

Cost to Sod a Backyard

You may pay $4,360 to $8,720 to install sod in the backyard of a one-fifth-acre lot. The total area to cover equals around 4,360 square feet if the lot splits in half between the back and front yards.

If your yard is an irregular shape, the installer should measure the area before giving you an estimate. Curves, small hills and other terrain features can affect the measurements of the area. An installer may charge more for laying it in a backyard when faced with limited access.

Limited access can include things such as:

  • Less than 7-foot wide passage from front to back
  • How far back the backyard is set (often a problem with large houses)
  • How easy it is to get to the backyard (long driveway, stairs, etc.)

Cost to Sod a Small Yard

Expect sod installation to cost $1,000 to $6,000 for small yards that are between 1,000 and 3,000 square feet. Add $1,000 to $3,000 to cover the cost to regrade a lawn if the land is uneven or on a slope. If you choose to lay it on a steep slope, you can expect to pay more in labor.

Beyond slope, the largest single factor in the cost of installation is the size of the area you need to cover. The larger the square footage, the more material you will need, and the more labor you will need to lay it.

Cost to Install Sprinkler System and Sod

Installing a sprinkler system and sod is $4,305 on average. Sprinkler system install prices typically fall in the $1,750 to $3,550 range. The grass installation adds around $1,850, depending on the yard size.

If you plan to have an irrigation system put in, the best time to do it is before the grass goes on. Installing one in an existing yard costs more since it requires digging up the lawn to place pipes and sprinkler heads. Plus, installers must replace the damaged grass with grass plugs or seed to create a uniform finish.

New Construction Lawn Installation Cost

New construction lawn installation prices are between $2,000 to $17,430 for 2,000 to 8,712 square foot yards. The costs match the basic $1 to $2 per square foot rate since they do not need extensive prep work, like grass removal or regrading. Installers may just need to complete basic surface prep tasks, like adding topsoil and lightly tamping down the surface.

Sod Installation Cost by Location

City and StateAverage Price Range
Cape Coral, FL$840 - $2,600
Indianapolis, IN$800 - $2,200
Raleigh, NC$1,250 - $3,500
Tulsa, OK$1,100 - $2,300
Minneapolis, MN$870 - $2,200
Boise, ID$1,200 - $2,800
Sacramento, CA$1,500 - $3,050
Chicago, IL$880 - $2,100
Los Angeles, CA$1,400 - $3,100
Trenton, NJ$1,700 - $4,375
Denver, CO$1,200 - $2,500
Grand Rapids, MI$1,025 - $2,200
Virginia Beach, VA$1,000 - $2,200
Seattle, WA$1,370 - $3,270

Cost data is based on actual project prices reported by HomeAdvisor members.

Price to Resod a Lawn

The price to resod a lawn runs $1 to $2 per square foot, including materials. It can cost an extra $1,000 to $2,000 for removal of existing material plus up to $3,000 more for grading. Don’t forget lawn fertilizer costs as well, which fall between $80 and $400 per treatment.

Cost to Remove Grass

Removal of grass costs $1,000 to $2,000 when you hire a professional. The price includes disposal of the old grass at the local dump. Removal of the existing material allows installers to prepare the surface for the new sod and create the look you want. With all the grass out of the way, you can even have the area reshaped for an extra charge.

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DIY vs. Hiring a Sod Installer

The total price for a DIY job is about $2,000, not including your time. You may decide that learning how to lay sod is simple enough that you might save money by doing it yourself.

But keep in mind that to do a great job, you need to use a rototiller and a lawn roller to prepare the soil and lay the grass evenly. If you need to rent this equipment, you may save money or break even by hiring a sod installer near you.

By letting a pro handle the job, you can avoid the stress of installation and get the best results. A professional team can hide seams, level the ground properly, work with extreme slopes and handle things like curvy borders and irregularly shaped lawns.

Other advantages include:

  • Equipment: A team already has the right tools on hand to get the job without making compromises on the result.
  • Time: Installing grass in a 2,000 square foot area can take a full 40-hour work week. You can use that time for other tasks by having your installer handle this job.
  • Design: What kind of lawn do you want? What species of grass should you buy? How much shade does your yard get? A professional knows what does well in what climates and under what conditions.

FAQs

Which is the cheapest to install & maintain – sod vs. seeding?

While the cost of installing sod is about $1 per square foot higher than the cost of seeding a lawn, seed is generally more difficult to maintain over time. Seeded lawns can take up to two years to grow in completely and need regular weed control. Sod can immediately increase your home's curb appeal and simply requires initial watering and fertilizing.

How do you know how much sod to buy?

A landscaping professional usually measures your yard for you as part of their quote.

To measure your property yourself:

  • Sketch the outline of your yard, breaking it into smaller sections, if needed.
  • Measure the areas in feet and write down the measurements as you go.
  • Multiply the length and width of each area, and then add them all together.

When buying by the yard, divide your square foot measurements by 9 to figure out how much you need. Since most material is non-returnable once bought, be as accurate as possible while measuring and doing the math.

Do you need a permit to lay sod?

Most cities require that you get a permit to lay sod in areas larger than 250 square feet or when working in key spots, such as ditches or the right-of-way. Expect to pay anywhere from $40 to $100 for the permit, which is usually based on the square footage of the project area. You may also pay $40 or more for each inspection after the first visit.

Your installer can usually apply for a permit for you as a part of the job. You also have the option to apply for one yourself. Either way, the inspector must come out to look at the beginning of the job, then again at the end. If the work does not pass the final inspection, you must fix the issue, and then pay the inspector to take another look.

What do I put under sod?

To quickly grow strong roots, sod needs between four and six inches of nutrient-rich dirt that is lightly tamped down to create an even surface. In most areas, the grass grows best when placed on bare ground prepared with topsoil and starter fertilizer. It does not grow well, if at all, when installed over existing grass, on hard-packed dirt or in areas with lots of rocks.

Do I need to put topsoil down before sod?

Topsoil is ideal when laying down sod over clay and other types of poor-quality dirt. You can check if the existing dirt has the right nutrients by sending a sample to a soil testing lab or using an at-home test kit. If the test shows the soil lacks the right levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, you can add topsoil to help supply those nutrients. Starter lawn fertilizer can help dial in ideal nutrient levels as well.

What is the cost to install topsoil?

Topsoil sells for between $12 and $30 per cubic yard, depending on where you live. Topsoil delivery costs range from $15 to $200 or more, depending on weight and distance. Expect to pay $75 to $350 for five cubic yards, delivered. For smaller projects, you may want to consider buying bagged topsoil from your local hardware store for $2 to $5 per bag.

Since the quality of the topsoil can affect the success of installation, homeowners may want to test their soil quality before starting their project. Home improvement stores and online retailers sell kits for $12 to $20. Local agricultural cooperative extension offices may offer kits free of charge. You just have to send in a request well ahead of time to allow for the delivery of your kit. You can also hire a soil engineer to complete the test and offer advice on how to add nutrients, if needed.

How much does it cost to install a pallet of sod?

Expect to pay between $450 and $900 to install one pallet. The pallet covers up to 450 square feet when installed in tidy rows. It may cover much less ground if you need it trimmed to match the shape of the yard. This price does not include changing the slope of the yard or removal and disposal of the existing material.

How long does sod take to root?

It takes 10 to 14 days for new sod to grow a healthy root system. Until the roots grow in, the grass is not firmly attached to the ground and could move around accidentally. Disturbing the grass mats during this stage could interrupt root growth and make it take a lot longer.

How long after installation can you use your lawn?

Most pros suggest waiting two weeks to use your lawn regularly. In the meantime, you should only walk on it sparingly to water it. After six weeks, roots should be stable enough to resume regular lawn and garden care like mowing and edging.

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