Sod is real grass purchased in rolls resembling a mat and is a popular choice when installing a new lawn. Sod costs more per square foot than grass seed, but it’s a good option if you don’t want to wait for a reseeded lawn to grow and want instant green grass. The national average cost to install sod is $1.88 per square foot. Your project cost depends on a variety of factors, including
Use the cost calculator to quickly get customized estimates based on your location and project details. Pro tip: yard sizes can generally be estimated as small (<1,000 square feet), medium (1,000 - 6,000 square feet), and large (6,000 - 11,000 square feet).
|What you can expect|
|Range per square foot:||$1.29||$2.53|
|Range for this type of project:||$387||$759|
Cost of residential-grade blend of fescue sod for year-round color and good shade tolerance. Rate is inclusive of local delivery, as well as standard excess for perfect coverage and occasional touch-ups.
Sod Labor, Basic
Labor cost, under typical conditions, for complete installation. New growth fertilizer will be distributed on prepared soil. Seam-pack sod will be unrolled and placed. Rate is inclusive of all aspects of the project, such as thorough planning, acquisition of equipment and material, preparation and protection of project site, and meticulous cleanup.
Sod Job Supplies
Requisite supplies for the job, including basic soil amendments and treatments.
Sod Equipment Allowance
Daily rental of specialty equipment that maximizes the quality and efficiency of the work. These include a power rototiller, sod roller, landscaping rake, and wheelbarrow. Consumable equipment elements not included.
Sod Debris Disposal
Responsible disposal of all project debris, including the cost to load and haul old materials, installation waste, and any other refuse.
Option: Remove Lawn
Sod cutter will be used to extract existing sod and 3/4" of soil. Sod ribbons will be rolled and removed.
|cost to install sod|
|National Avg. Materials Cost per square foot||$0.54|
|National Avg. Cost (labor and materials) for 300 square foot||$563.78|
|National Cost Range (labor and materials) for 300 square foot||$381.08 - $746.49|
The cost of sod installation is impacted by the type of sod you install, whether this is a new installation or a replacement, whether you install yourself or hire a pro, and the size of your lawn.
How sod installation costs are calculated:
Your project’s costs will also depend on the unique requirements of your project, which we’ll discuss next.
Nationwide, fully installed sod will cost about $1.88 per square foot, ranging in between $1.27 and $2.49, including labor and materials. The biggest factor in determining the cost to install sod will be the size of the area to cover. Use the chart below to estimate your project’s cost based on yard size.
|Square Feet||Average Cost||Lower Cost||Highest Cost|
Ground preparation is an important and essential step in any sod installation project and can add a significant amount to the overall cost of your sod prices. Make sure your landscaping contractor includes the necessary preparation in their estimate.
Ground preparation includes several steps:
Most landscaping professionals will charge you by the hour to install new sod. Nationwide average labor rates range between $45 and $75 per hour depending on their experience. Your landscaping contractor should include labor in their estimate, but there may be a separate charge for specialty services. If any additional prep work is required, be sure to budget for those extra labor costs as well.
If you plan to install a sprinkler system, doing it as part of a sod installation is a great way to save hassle, time, and possibly money. It’s important to note that adding a sprinkler system to a sod installation will increase the averages and estimates outlined here.
Sprinkler systems cost about $2,630 for a typical lawn, usually ranging between $1,740 and $3,400. The larger the area, the price per square foot will usually decrease, and you may be able to negotiate a lower price as part of a larger sod installation project.
Removing and disposing of existing sod costs between $1,000 and $2,000 in addition to your other installation costs. Make sure you tell the landscaper that you have old sod you need to remove when requesting an estimate. DIY-ers can rent a mechanical sod cutter for about $95 daily to save on this cost.
Full replacement, including removal and installation of new sod, will run you a grand total of about $2,000 - $5,000 for a typical project.
The grass used for sod comes in a variety of different species. The type of sod you choose can depend on:
Sod comes in three grades: economy, mid, and high. The cost of your sod will depend mostly on the grade, which refers to the health and strength of the sod's root system. Low-grade sod may take more care on your part to keep it healthy and protect it from diseases, so it could cost more in maintenance over time.
Average costs of different grades of sod:
Lower-grade sod doesn't have as much soil attached to it, and it tends to have shorter blades of grass. Quality sod should have about one inch of soil attached to it with blades of around two inches long. Check the roots to ensure that they look healthy and that the color of the grass appears consistent throughout.
|Grass/Sod Type||Cost per Square Foot||What It’s Best For|
|Fescue||Economy grade: $0.25
|Kentucky Bluegrass||Economy grade: $0.30
|St. Augustine||Economy grade: $0.30
|Bermuda||Economy grade: $0.35
|Zoysia||Economy grade: $0.40
|Ryegrass||Economy grade: $0.50
|Artificial||Economy grade: $3
The cost to install artificial grass is approximately $3,183 to $6,000 for an average-sized lawn. If you live in a dry climate or you just don’t want to take care of a natural lawn, artificial grass can be a great alternative to sod but will cost you more up-front.
Artificial grass is made of synthetic materials like plastic or recycled rubber to mimic the look of real grass. You'll never need to water it once it's installed, and you also won't have to worry about mowing it. The downside to this low-maintenance "grass" is that you won't be able to add plants like trees, shrubs, or flowers without cutting a hole in it so plants can root underneath.
Installing sod can be a complicated, specialized, and time-consuming task. But if you have a straightforward project and want to install sod in a relatively small area, it is possible to do it yourself. Set aside multiple days for your project to be sure you’re not rushing through the important steps.
There are several steps involved in installing sod. Some are optional and may add to the overall cost of a sod installation project, such as installing a sprinkler system or grading your yard.
🌿 Can I install sod myself?
🌱 Should I seed or install sod on my lawn?
❓ How do I know how much sod I need?
💵 What are typical lawn maintenance costs once my sod is installed?
📅 What is the best time of year to install sod?