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Sod Installation Cost

Sod Installation Cost

National average
$3,000
(1500sq.ft. Kentucky BlueGrass installed on a lawn with some prepwork needed)
Low: $1,125

(1500sq.ft. Bahia grass customer provided on a flat, prepped lawn)

High: $7,000

(1500sq.ft. Zoysia grass with extensive prepwork and grading required before install)

Cost to install sod varies greatly by region (and even by zip code).
Get free estimates from landscapers in your city.

The average cost of installing sod is $3,000.

In this guide

Sod Prices Per Square Foot
Sod Costs by Grade
How Many Square Feet Does a Pallet of Sod Cover?
Labor Costs to Install Sod Per Sq. Ft.
Cost Factors to Lay Sod
Average Lawn Grading Cost
Prepping Your Lawn for Sod
Best Time to Lay Sod
Sod Delivery Fees
Cost to Resod a Lawn
Sod vs Artificial Grass
Enhancements and Improvement Costs
Additional Considerations and Costs
FAQs

How Much Does It Cost to Install Sod?

If you want an instantly green, lush lawn without the struggle of growing grass from seed, sod can make a great addition to your property. Sod is grass that has been grown for 18 months in a controlled environment. It is cut into strips and shipped to your home so that you can lay it down and create an instant, living carpet. After a few months, it will begin to take deep root in your lawn, giving you a perfect, green yard.

Sod material and installation cost considerably more than hand-seeding or hydroseeding. The national average for a 1,500-square-foot sod lawn ranges from $2,000 - $5,000, with most people paying around $3,000 for the job.

Sod Prices

Sod installation costs
National average cost$3,000
Average range$2,000 - $5,000
Minimum cost$1,125
Maximum cost​$7,000


Sod Prices Per Square Foot

Most sod is sold by the pallet and priced by the square foot. Different sods have varying costs and climates where they do best:

Sod TypeAverage Cost per Sq.Ft.Climate
Bahia$0.25/sq.ft.Warm/Hot Climate
Fine Fescue 1$0.47/sq.ft.Any Climate
Tall Fescue 1$0.54/sq.ft.Any Climate
Kentucky BlueGrass$0.57/sq.ft.Cool Climates
Bentgrass$0.60/sq.ft.Cool Climates
St. Augustine$0.67/sq.ft.Tropical Climates
Bermuda$0.77/sq.ft.Warm Climates
Centipede$0.84/sq.ft.Warm Climates
Perennial Ryegrass$0.84/sq.ft.Cool Climates
Zoysia$0.85/sq.ft.Any Climate


Bahia Sod Cost ($0.25/sq.ft.)

Bahia is a warm-weather grass that can handle drought and lack of rainfall very well. It likes direct sunlight and does not tolerate shade very well, so a hot climate with lots of sun is the place for this grass. It also does not require many nutrients or fertilizers, so it is a low-maintenance lawn.


Landscaper laying a roll of sod for a new lawn


Fine Fescue Sod ($0.47/sq.ft.)

Fine fescue 1 is another low-maintenance grass. It grows well in any climate and does not require much water or fertilizer. It is also drought-tolerant. It prefers shade, however, so it is good for areas with lots of nearby trees. It stays green year-round.

Tall Fescue Price ($0.54/sq.ft.)

Tall fescue 1 is similar to fine fescue 1 in many regards. It also does well in all climates and prefers shade. It may be faster-growing than fine fescue 1 and can put down roots very quickly, so if you want your lawn to establish fast, this is a good choice.

Kentucky Bluegrass Cost ($0.57/sq.ft.)

This is a cool-season lawn, meaning that it grows the fastest during the cooler months of the year. It is perennial, meaning it returns year after year without needing to reseed. It handles the cold better than most other grasses.

Bentgrass Sod Prices ($0.60/sq.ft.)

Bentgrass produces a rich, dense, lush lawn with a shallow root system. It does best in cold climates, growing rapidly during the cooler months of the year. It does not do well in very hot direct sun or droughts.

St. Augustine Sod Cost ($0.67/sq.ft)

St. Augustine is a compact, blue/green grass that is salt-tolerant. It is mostly used for hot, tropical areas with a lot of humidity, heat, sun, and rain. It is slow-growing and stiff in texture, rather than soft.


Professional installing St. Augustine Sod


Bermuda Sod Cost ($0.77/sq.ft.)

Bermuda grass 2 does best in warm climates. It likes full, direct sunlight with little shade and is drought-tolerant. It has fairly shallow roots, about six inches down, and grows all summer long.


Roll of sod being installed


Centipede Sod Cost ($0.84/sq.ft.)

Centipede is a yellow-green grass that is slow-growing and low-maintenance. It does not require a lot of mowing, fertilizing, or watering to grow. It does best in warm climates but can handle some cooler temperatures.

Perennial Ryegrass Prices ($0.84/sq.ft.)

Perennial ryegrass returns year after year with little need to reseed. It is a cool-season grass that grows best in the spring and fall, going more dormant in the summer. It does best in northern climates.

Zoysia Sod Cost ($0.85/sq.ft.)

Zoysia takes longer to fully establish itself in a lawn. This is because it is an incredibly thick, dense grass that grows an intricate root system. It is so thick that it can help prevent weeds from growing in your yard. It does well in nearly every climate.

Sod Costs by Grade

When you purchase sod, costs may vary because of its grade 3 or the overall health and strength of its root system. Sods with less-established root systems are known as economy-grade and have starting costs of around $0.20 - $0.30 a square foot. Sods with more established root systems are known as mid-grade and have starting costs of about $0.50 - $0.60 a square foot. Sod that has a very well-established root system is known as high-grade or premium-grade and has starting costs of around $0.70 - $0.80 a square foot.

Sod Costs

Sod Costs

Grade 3Average Cost
Economy-Grade$0.20 - $0.30
Mid-Grade$0.50 - $0.60
High / Premium-Grade​$0.70 - $0.80


How Many Square Feet Does a Pallet of Sod Cover?

The size of a pallet of sod varies, depending on who sells it. Pallets may cover anywhere from 450 to 650 square feet with 500 square feet being common.

It is better to have too much sod than not enough. When calculating how many pallets you need to complete your job, round up to the nearest full pallet, rather than down.

Labor Costs to Install Sod Per Sq. Ft.

Labor costs to install sod vary depending on several factors, including the slope or grade 3 of your landscaping, soil condition, and shape and layout of your yard. Expect labor costs to start at around $0.80 a square foot, with most companies charging about $1.00 a square foot. For a 1,500-square-foot lawn, this makes labor costs between $1,200 and $1,500 out of the $3,000 total.


Professional unrolling sod


Cost Factors to Lay Sod

Many things in addition to the size of the project and sod type impact the cost of sod installation. The first is location. Sod must be delivered, and most places only guarantee their sod on the day it arrives. Sods that must travel longer distances cost significantly more in delivery fees than those that come from nearby.

Your yard’s current condition also impacts the project cost. If you have old grass that must be removed, your soil must be aerated and turned, or your lawn must be graded 3 before the sod can be rolled. These factors may increase the total price. In addition, if your lawn is oddly shaped, has obstacles like trees or rocks, or needs a lot of edging, these also impact the installation cost.

Average Lawn Grading Cost

If your lawn is not already flat or has more than gentle slopes, you may need it graded 3 or resloped prior to laying sod. This involves adding more soil to the low areas and grading 3 the entire lawn. Not every lawn requires this before sod installation, but some may do better if this is done first. On average, it costs around $1 a square foot to reslope a lawn.

If your lawn requires grading 3, expect an additional $1,500 for a 1,500-square-foot lawn. Keep in mind that it is possible to reslope or grade 3 just sections of a lawn, if the majority is flat and only needs a few areas touched up.

Prepping Your Lawn for Sod

Unless you recently had other land clearing done, you will likely need to have your yard prepared for the sod. You may choose to do this yourself to keep costs down or hire a landscaper to take care of this. Expect this to add another $0.50 per square foot to your installation costs.

Any old grass or sod should be removed. If it is dead or shallowly rooted, it can be pulled or scraped aside easily. Otherwise, it should be tilled. Tilling involves using a machine to cut the existing grass into the soil, preparing it for the new sod. The edges should also be squared and prepared to handle the new sod, and the entire area should be fertilized to make sure that it has the nutrients needed for the new grass to take root. Once completed, you can schedule your sod installation.

Best Time to Lay Sod

In most climates, the best time to lay sod is in the spring, when the weather begins to warm up but before it gets too hot. Most grasses grow best and establish their roots during the cooler months of the year, so by laying your sod in the spring, you give it a chance to settle before the high temperatures of summer set in.

If you live in an area that does not see very hot summers, you can lay your sod during the summer months as well.

Sod Delivery Fees

Sod has a range of delivery fees, depending on the traveling distance and how much sod you ordered. It is common for delivery fees to range from $50 to $100, but if your sod comes from a far distance, expect to pay as much as $200 - $250 in delivery fees.

For some large projects, it is common for the delivery fees to be waived if you purchase significant quantities of sod.

Cost to Resod a Lawn

If you had a previous sod lawn that did not take well and want to resod your lawn, you will have additional costs beyond the material and installation fees. Removal of the old sod has an average price of around $0.25 a square foot, plus preparation costs to make sure that the new sod will take. To resod a 1,500-square-foot lawn, expect the average price to be about $4,000.

Sod vs Artificial Grass

Sod provides an instant lawn, but it is not the only way to get that look. Artificial grass also gives the appearance of a fresh green lawn instantly. While sod is living grass that needs to become established, watered, and cut, artificial lawns are much lower in maintenance. They do not grow, so they do not require cutting, fertilization, and water.

Artificial grass is much more expensive to install, however, with average costs around $19,500 for a 1,500-square-foot lawn. Sod costs around $3,000 for the same area.

Enhancements and Improvement Costs

Irrigation System

Laying a new lawn is a great time to install a sprinkler system. Sod needs a lot of water in the first two weeks, and a sprinkler system 4 helps you achieve this more easily. Adding a sprinkler system 4 costs around $2,500 - $3,500.

Sod Removal

If you need to have sod removed from your lawn, starting costs are about $0.25/sq.ft. for dead sod and closer to $0.75/sq.ft. for sod with well-established roots.

Additional Considerations and Costs

  • While installing sod can be difficult, it can be done DIY if you want to save on installation fees. In this case, you can usually install sod for as little as $1,200 for a 1,500-square-foot lawn.
  • If it rains before you can put your sod down, you may need to delay the installation. Too much moisture can turn your soil to mud 5, making it harder to lay the sod.
  • If you purchase the sod directly from a sod farm and then have it professionally installed, you can reduce costs. In this case, most professionals charge anywhere from $0.25 to $0.60 a square foot to install sod that customers provide.

FAQs

  • Can I install sod myself?

Yes, but it can be difficult if you are not used to the work because it relies on a lot of physical labor.

  • How do I prepare my lawn for sod?

You need to remove any old grass, till the lawn, and then fertilize to prepare for the sod.

  • Can I lay sod on existing grass?

While possible, it is not recommended because the new sod may not take root.

  • What is the best time of year to lay sod?

Spring and early summer before it gets very hot is the ideal time to lay sod.

  • How long does it take for sod to take root?

Sod begins to take root in just two weeks but can take as long as 18 months to fully establish.

  • Should I water new sod at night?

This is best because it prevents the sun from drying up the grass before the water is absorbed.

  • How long after sod installation can I use my lawn?

If you are careful, you can use it right away, but ideally, give it around 2 weeks to begin to establish.

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Fescue 1 Fescue: A coarse, resilient grass that stays green all year. Fescue is considered a cool-season grass, so it does well in cooler temperatures but can turn brown quickly in the heat. This means that it must be watered frequently in the summer
glossary term picture Bermuda Sod 2 Bermuda grass: A type of grass available in various versions that offer a deep-green color, drought-tolerance, dense foliage, and are great in warmer climates. Sod is carpet-like squares of grass with a layer of roots and soil that can be laid down to create a lawn much quicker than using seed
3 Grade: The process of evening out the ground's surface, making it either flat or sloped.
glossary term picture Sprinkler System 4 Sprinkler system: Set of equipment used to irrigate lawns
5 Mud: A material used to fill and smooth over gaps between sheets of drywall to produce an even, flat wall. It is made of gypsum, clay and latex resin that is then mixed with water

Cost to install sod varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Landscaper laying a roll of sod for a new lawn

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Albuquerque, NM
-14%
Allen, TX
+23%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Auburn, WA
-1%
Augusta, GA
-13%
Aurora, CO
+10%
Austin, TX
+13%
Bakersfield, CA
-6%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Birmingham, AL
+6%
Brockton, MA
+38%
Broken Arrow, OK
-17%
Buford, GA
+9%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Chicago, IL
+40%
Cincinnati, OH
+6%
Clarksville, TN
-13%
Cleveland, OH
+7%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Compton, CA
+9%
Dallas, TX
+10%
Denver, CO
+1%
Detroit, MI
+16%
El Cajon, CA
+8%
El Paso, TX
-28%
Fargo, ND
-1%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Houston, TX
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Irving, TX
+10%
Lancaster, CA
+4%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Layton, UT
-18%
Little Rock, AR
0%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Lubbock, TX
-22%
Lynnwood, WA
-14%
Marietta, GA
+10%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Meridian, ID
-11%
Mesa, AZ
-2%
Midlothian, VA
-3%
Milwaukee, WI
+12%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Modesto, CA
-12%
Moreno Valley, CA
-6%
New Orleans, LA
+35%
North Charleston, SC
-6%
Labor cost in your zip code
Last modified:   See change history
Methodology and sources