How Much Does Sod Installation Cost?

Typical Range:

$30 - $3,500

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

How We Get This Data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated June 13, 2022

Reviewed by Tara Dudley, Landscape Designer, Landscape Project Coordinator and Owner of Plant Life Designs.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Sod installation costs an average of $1,765. You can pay anywhere from $30 and $3,500, all in. This equates to $1 to $2 per square foot. This price does not include removing the old grass, regrading the lawn, changing the shape of the lawn, or installing a new sprinkler system.

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National Average $1,765
Typical Range $30 - $3,500
Low End - High End $30 - $3,500

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

Sod Installation Cost Factors

Average cost to lay sod is $2,000, ranging from $450 to $5,000

Sod Installation Cost Factors

For a typical yard of one-fifth of an acre, or 8,712 square feet, you can expect to pay $8,712 to $26,136. This wide price range is based on your location, the sod type, accessibility, shape of the lawn, prep work, and more.

Sod Type

The type of sod you choose has a significant impact on the price you'll pay to resod your lawn. Sod prices range from $0.35 to $0.85 per square foot. All in, that's $1 to $2 per square foot. The type of sod you need depends on the climate where you live, how much traffic it needs to withstand, the conditions in your soil, and whether the new sod needs to be resistant to a particular disease, fungus, or pest.

Type of SodPrice Range per Sq. Ft.Average Cost per Sq. Ft.
Bahia$0.85 – $1.55$1.20
Kentucky Bluegrass$1 – $1.55$1.27
Zoysia$1.05 – $1.75$1.40
Fescue$1 – $1.80$1.40
Ryegrass$1 – $1.80$1.40
St. Augustine$1 – $1.90$1.45
Bermuda$1 – $2$1.50
Bentgrass$1.15 – $1.85$1.50
Marathon$1.25 – $1.80$1.52
Centipede$1.40 – $2$1.70

Delivery Fees

Sod delivery costs between $65 and $230 per truckload. Your pro may already have included this cost in the total project price. However, some landscaping companies may charge it as a separate fee.

Similarly, if you're planning to do the work yourself, you'll have to pay the delivery cost unless you have a large vehicle capable of carrying a significant amount of weight, as sod is very heavy.

Size of the Area

Your lawn’s size will play a critical role in determining how much you pay.

Costs to install sod compared by lawn size, with 6,000 square feet averaging $9,000
Photo: welcomia/iStock/Getty Images

Shape of the Area

Differently shaped lawns with slopes, hills, and other challenging features can cost up to 20% more in materials and labor. 

If you have an irregularly-shaped lawn, the installer should measure the area before giving you an estimate. Curves, small hills, and other unique terrain features can affect the measurements of the area. 

Access to the Area

If there are accessibility issues, the installer may charge you up to 20% more in labor costs for installing sod in a backyard.  Accessibility challenges that can increase the price of labor for laying sod include:

  • A passageway of less than 7 feet

  • The distance from the lawn to the parking area

  • How easy it is to get to the lawn

Ground Prep Work

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 borders 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. This step adds to the time and cost.

  • Inability to place pallets near the work area: The job needs more labor hours if the pallets of sod sit far from the work area.

Regrading

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.

New vs. Replacement

New construction lawns cost $1 to $2 per square foot and are the most budget-friendly and straightforward. With a new construction lawn, prep work is minimal, there's no old lawn to rip out, and there's no need for regrading. The most prep work involved is usually simply adding a layer of nutrient-rich topsoil and lightly tamping it down. 

Resodding starts at $1 to $2 per square foot, too. However, you'll need to add an extra $1 to $3 per square foot for ripping up and disposing of the existing lawn. The cost of regrading the lawn can also add $1 to $3 to your total square foot price. That puts the total price for resodding a lawn at $3 to $9 per square foot.

For both new construction and resodding, you'll also need to add in the cost of lawn fertilizer, at $80 to $400 per treatment.

Hardscaping and Obstacles

Having hardscaping in the lawn area adds to your cost in terms of labor, because it takes more time to work around these features. If a lawn has a lot of hardscape features, it can add an extra 10% to your project price. 

Hardscape features and permanent objects that may impact resodding cost includes:

  • Stepping stones

  • Walkways

  • Decorative rocks

  • Firepit

  • Raised bed

  • Trees

Sod Installation Add-On Costs

To maintain a healthy lawn so you don't have to resod every few years, you may need to invest in a sprinkler system. And, to get a lush, green lawn or to repair brown patches in your sod, you may need to seed it, too. These types of add-ons can quickly increase the total price of laying sod in your backyard.

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Sprinkler System

Installing a sprinkler system typically costs $4,300. You'll pay somewhere between $1,750 and $3,350, depending on the size of your yard and the type of sprinkler system you choose. 

If you have the sprinkler system installed at the same time as the sod goes down, you'll pay closer to the bottom end of the budget, because installing them together is the least labor-intensive and therefore the most cost-effective option.

Seeding

Seeding a lawn costs between $0.09 and $0.18 per square foot, or $90 to $180 per 1,000 square feet. You may want to seed or overseed areas of the existing lawn that you haven't resodded. And, if the sod has brown patches or develops dead areas that just don't root properly, you can seed the area with minimal cost and effort to repair the damage.

DIY vs. Hiring a Sod Installer

You can lay sod yourself with minimal DIY skills, but it takes a huge amount of time and effort. Hiring a local sod installer lets you forego all that hard, physical work. Plus, hiring a pro ensures you'll get the right type of sod. And they'll take care of all the heavy lifting, both physical and logistical, arranging for sod delivery, handling regrading, installing sprinkler systems, and all the rest. 

While it might seem like you'll save a lot of money if you learn how to sod the lawn yourself, in fact, by the time you've hired all the equipment, performed soil tests, and purchased all the materials, you're looking at an average cost of $2,000, which is about the same as hiring a pro.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the least expensive 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 add curb appeal to your home 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 nine 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?

Tara Dudley, Angi Expert Review Board member and owner of Plant Life Designs, says that local landscapers rarely need to pull permits for this type of work. 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 if you do need one, 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.

In the rare case your project requires a permit, your installer will usually apply for one 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 4 and 6 inches of nutrient-rich dirt lightly tamped down to create an even surface. The grass grows best when placed on bare ground prepared with topsoil and starter fertilizer in most areas. 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 5 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 the 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 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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