Find out how much does sod cost?

Do you know how much does it cost to install sod?First thing before answering “how much does sod cost” would be…what is sod? (not everybody knows it, trust me on this) Well, sod is another word for turf. There, now you know it. Also, in British English, sod mainly refers to agricultural usage.

Shortly defined, sod or turf is grass with the soil under it, everything kept together by grass roots. Also, in some cases, a thin material may be used to keep everything together. It is widely used for lawns, golf courts and in some parts of the world for grass roofs! Really, some guys have grass on their roofs, especially in northern Europe. Isn’t this interesting?

Sod is grown on specialized farms, grown for 10 to 18 months and then harvested and sold as small squares, or as rolled rectangles, some as large as 4 foot wide! As an observation, in order to avoid damage, buy sod from a farm near your location, somewhere in a range of 100 miles, maximum.

Now, getting back to the point of finding how costs to install new sod, I can tell you that it depends of a few things, such as:

Of course, first I would list here the price of the sod itself! Doh! Depending on where you buy it and depending on the quality of sod, you may get it somewhere between 8 cents and 30 cents per square foot (depending mainly on the type of grass)

Next, you need to consider the cost of the manual labor. Here prices may vary depending on who’s gonna do it and where are you located. Will you do it yourself? If so, you won’t have any cost here, except for the time you spend doing it, but the results may not be that great since you are not a pro. Of course, instead of doing it yourself, you may hire somebody that is at least unlicensed and semi-skilled (for minimum costs). You will pay a price, a low price, that is, but hopefully you will get the work done. If you want to go a bit higher, you may hire an unlicensed subcontractor. You would get a decent quality, I guess and you will keep the price quite low.

Of course, if you want quality and you agree on paying a decent price for it, you should go at least with a licensed/bonded contractor, or better, a professional designer/lawn professional. This way you will surely know you will get the best possible results but of course, the price you will pay for installing the sod will go up. Hiring a professional will add at least $1000 to your final cost but hey, it will be great on the long run, the results are usually guaranteed.

Next, when calculating the cost of installing the sod you need to consider the cost of supplies that may be required to install sod and here I include soil amendments, planting fertilizers and other similar products.

Also, you may need to consider various costs of equipment used for job quality and efficiency, including a sod cutter. I know, in case you decide to do it yourself, you will need to pay this as a separate cost but if you hire a contractor, they will surely have all the tools they need, but, of course, the price of all these wonderful equipment they use to install the sod will also be billed in the end to you.

OK, so after all, how much does it cost to install sod?

Considering all of the above, let’s see if we can come up with some estimates…

Landscape Area
Labor hours
157 sq ftContractor - economy gradeDIY - do it yourself2.1 hrs$80-97$
157 sq ftContractor - economy gradeUnlicensed, semi-skilled labor2.1 hrs$120-$155
157 sq ftValue gradeUnlicensed, semi-skilled labor2.1 hrs$125-$162
157 sq ftBetter qualityUnlicensed subcontractor2.1 hrs$160-$215
157 sq ftDesigner sourcedLicensed/bonded contractor2.1 hrs$180-$240
157 sq ftDesigner sourcedHired by builder/designer2.1 hrs$197-$266

Should I expect any trouble when installing the sod?
In case of heavy rain, you may experience some issue with your newly installed sod. It is good to have moisture but it ain’t good to have pouring rain. Period.

Another issue is the temperature since high temperatures, along with lawn fertilizer may burn your grass. Again, you don’t want that, so you should check the weather forecast before ordering a new sod installation.

After all, cost of new sod should not be that high and installing sod should be a job that, with a basic understanding and without too much training you could handle it yourself, but you should pay attention to a few particular things, like weather forecast, learn a bit about it and, if you have the opportunity, ask somebody who’s done it before, he may teach you a thing or two.

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