How much will your sod installation cost?

Ashburn, VA 20149

Sod Installers on Thumbtack cost$50 - $52

Average fixed price

  • Lowest price:$20
  • Most common low price:$50
  • Most common high price:$52
  • Highest price:$1000

How much does sod cost? Here are average installation prices.

The national average cost to lay 2,500 square feet of sod is $1,867, including labor and material. This comes out to approximately $0.75 per square foot. National sod installation costs range from $1,568 on the low end to $2,409 on the high end, on average.

Sod installation cost.

National average cost 

$1,867

Average low-end cost 

$1,568

Average high-end cost 

$2,409

The figures above represent the national average costs of laying 2,500 sq. ft. of sod, including labor and materials.

Ultimately, the total cost of sod depends on factors like your location, the type of sod you choose, labor and material costs, the size of your lawn and more. Get a more accurate cost estimate for your project by reaching out to sod installation professionals near you.

What is sod?

Sod, also known as turf, is a faster alternative to seeding a lawn. Sections of established grass are held together by a dense root system or layer of thin biodegradable material.

landscaper laying down sod in backyardIn a nutshell, you can think of it as an instant lawn made of real grass. (However, sod is not artificial grass or turf.) Many homeowners lay sod instead of planting grass seeds because they can have near-instant results.

If this is your first attempt at taking on this project, it might be a good idea to hire a professional. There is a variety of sod available, and professional sod installers can guide you through the entire process. For example, they can tell you which type of grass you should choose based on your yard's characteristics, your climate and more. A professional can also give you tips on how to look after your new lawn.

Related: 11 lawn care tips for beginners.

Sod cost per square foot.

National average cost 

$0.75/sq. ft.

Average low-end cost 

$0.63/sq. ft.

Average high-end cost 

$0.96/sq. ft.

The figures above represent the national average costs of laying 2,500 sq. ft. of sod, including labor and materials.

The national cost of sod per square foot ranges anywhere from $0.63-$0.96, on average. So the bigger your lawn, the more you can expect to pay.

Get a free estimate from a great sod installer near you.

Material and labor cost of sod installation:

 

Material

Labor 

National average cost

$1,293

$574

Average low-end cost

$1,086

$482

Average high-end cost

$1,668

$741

The figures above represent the national average costs of laying 2,500 sq. ft. of sod.

closeup of several sod rollsAs with most landscaping projects, you need to factor material and labor costs into the final price tag. The national average cost for the materials required for sod installation is $1,293. The national average labor cost of sod installation is $574.

Materials and labor have a massive impact on the cost of installing sod. In addition to the sod, you may also need to consider the cost of topsoil and fertilizer, which may add to the total price..

When it comes to labor costs, you also need to consider other factors like:

  • the size of the project
  • the amount of work needed to prepare the area before the sod can be installed
  • your lawn area's accessibility
  • your location

Ask your contractor to provide a detailed quote that breaks down the specific material and labor costs.

Pallet of sod cost.

A pallet of sod costs anywhere from $150-$500 or more (not including delivery fees). The cost of a pallet mostly comes down to the type of sod you choose (St. Augustine, zoysia, Bermuda, fescue, etc.) and the brand or manufacturer. Also, be aware that some companies may have a minimum purchase requirement and will ask you to buy at least two pallets.

Sod pallets (or slabs) usually come in 450-500 square feet sections. Keep that in mind if you plan to buy the sod yourself. Measure your yard to estimate how much sod you'll need to create your lawn.

Sod installation cost factors.

Here are some of the main factors that may impact the cost of sod installation.

Type of sod.

The type of grass you choose to plant can vary. Be sure you choose sod that will thrive in your area. A professional can help you make the right choice.

Sod delivery fees.

If you choose to DIY this project and order the sod to arrive at your home, expect to pay a delivery fee. Delivery fees will vary depending on where you're located. Chat with your pro about whether delivery fees are included in your quote. 

Surface area.

Sod installation depends largely on the square footage of the project. The larger the area, the more materials you'll need and the more labor-intensive the job becomes.

You can use online tools to calculate the size of the area you want to cover in square footage.

Site preparation.

Is your area ready for the sod to be delivered and laid? Do you need to first remove trees, other vegetation or landscaping structures? Preparing the site is an important step that can be time and labor-intensive.

Soil preparation.

You may want to have your soil tested to see whether it needs any preparation before laying the sod.

sodding professional will often treat the soil by adjusting its pH levels and adding or removing chemicals and nutrients to create the ideal host for your new sod to thrive. This step can add to your total cost, but it's necessary.

Cost of fertilizer and topsoil.

After installation, you will need to water, fertilize and possibly add topsoil to your new lawn. Again, the larger the project, the higher the cost will be for these materials.

Related: Lawn fertilization basics: How to fertilize your lawn like a pro.

Compare prices from sod installers near you.

How to save money when laying sod.

There's a lot of elbow grease involved in laying sod. It's labor intensive, but if you're up to the task, see how much of the project you can take on yourself. For example:

  • If your existing lawn isn't too big to manage, consider killing and removing it yourself.
  • You could also research how to treat the soil to create the ideal environment for the sod to thrive. 

Another area where you could save is choosing a more cost-efficient type of grass. There are many varieties that thrive in various conditions, so see which ones would work in your area and choose the cheaper option.

Alternatively, see whether you can find a local sod farm and ask them whether they have any deals, discounts or promotions.

It may seem counterintuitive, but you might save by hiring a professional to complete the entire project. It's likely they can get good deals from sod farms or retailers. They'll know which budget-friendly yet high quality materials to use. And they may have friends or colleagues in the industry who could provide services such as transportation at a discounted price. It's worth looking into.

Get free cost estimates from a sodding professional near you.

There are many ways to save on sod prices and installation. But don't cut corners in the short term when you want your lawn to last for a long time. Download the Thumbtack app and contact a pro nearby for free estimates for your sodding project.

FAQs.

Is it better to seed or sod?

It depends on how much time, energy and resources (mostly water) you have. Growing lawn from seed takes a lot of all three. Sod usually has a higher upfront cost, but it's a much faster way to get an established lawn.

Can you lay sod over existing grass?

In most cases, you should not lay sod over existing grass. Sod needs soil to survive and thrive. Planting sod over existing grass will most likely kill the sod and the grass beneath it.

The best method is to kill the existing grass so that it is easier to remove, then prepare the soil and lay the sod.

How long does sod last?

Sod can last up to 1 week on a pallet if you order it in the winter. But in the summer, it will last only 24 hours. However, it depends on various factors such as the type of sod, the weather conditions and the storage conditions.

To ensure your sod makes it from purchase to installation, ask a pro to guide you.

When should you lay sod?

Early to mid-fall after the warm season is considered to be the best time to lay sod. The temperatures are mild enough that the new lawn won't die because it's too cold or hot. Planting it in the fall will give it time to become a little more established before the temperatures become more extreme.

Of course, this varies depending on your location and climate. Reach out to a local professional who can give you the best advice.

How long does it take sod to root?

It shouldn't take longer than 10-15 days for the sod to root. If you don't see roots after that period, you may need to ask for advice on encouraging root growth. Do this before the sod dies and you have to start over.

*The project cost estimates provided in this article were provided by Xactware’s pricing data (unless otherwise noted). For more information, visit Xactware’s pricing methodology page.

How do we know these prices?

Millions of people ask Thumbtack for help with their projects every year. We track the estimates they get from local professionals, conduct our own research and then we share those prices with you. The prices reflected in the article above are for informational purposes only and are subject to change at any time. Contact a professional near you to receive a personalized cost estimate for your project.

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