How much will your sod installation cost?

Ashburn, VA 20149

Sod Installers on Thumbtack cost$70 - $930

Average price

  • Lowest price:$10
  • Most common low price:$70
  • Most common high price:$930
  • Highest price:$3350

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

On average, sod installation costs $850, and prices typically range from $600-$1,296. A pallet of sod costs approximately $100-$500 each. The cost to sod a yard depends on how much space you plan to cover and whether the ground needs to be prepared first. 

Sod installation cost:

National average cost $850
Typical cost range $600-$1,296
Low-end cost range $45-$330
High-end cost range $2,403-$6,000

If you don't want to haul out the wheelbarrow, sod cutter and lawn roller to do it yourself, hire a pro to lay sod in your yard. But first, let’s break down the cost to sod a yard for a new or refurbished lawn.

Sod cost per square foot

sod prices

Sod prices range from $0.30-$0.80 per square foot, depending on the variety of grass. New sod comes in carpet-like rolls of already-sprouted grass, with part of the soil beneath it held together by its roots or a piece of thin, biodegradable material. 

Here's how much homeowners pay to add sod to an entire lawn:

Lawn size (total square footage) Sod installation cost
0-1,000 sq. ft. $1,217
1,000-5,000 sq. ft. $1,912
5,000-10,000 sq. ft. $3,474
10,000-15,000 sq. ft. $5,210

Laying sod is more expensive than growing a lawn from seed — but it’s ready to enjoy much sooner. New lawns created from sod can be walked and played on within four or five weeks of sod installation. It can take months for new lawns grown from seed to fill in enough to walk on.

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

How much does a pallet of sod cost?

A pallet of sod costs roughly $100-$500 each and covers around 400-500 square feet. The cost and coverage will vary by brand and manufacturer. A 2-foot by 5-foot roll will cover roughly 10 square feet and can bolster pallets when you need extra sod to cover borders. Use these numbers to estimate how many pallets you'll need for your yard, and ultimately, how much it will cost.

How much does extra sod cost?

Rule of thumb is to always add 5%-10% of extra sod to your project just in case your lawn is an unusual space and you need more sod to fill it. 

Sod prices by grass type

Although the varieties of grass available vary depending on the region you're in, a few types of grass are commonly used. For new lawns, the grass used is either a creeping type (such as bluegrass or St. Augustine, which spreads via above- or below-ground runners) or a bunch type (such as fescue and ryegrass, which spreads from the crown of the plant).

Cool-season grasses:

  • Bluegrass: $0.30 per square foot
  • Ryegrass: $0.20-$0.50 per square foot
  • Fescue: $0.25-$0.65 per square foot

Warm-season grasses:

  • St. Augustine: $0.30-$0.70 per square foot
  • Bermuda: $0.40-$0.80 per square foot
  • Zoysia: $0.40-$0.70 per square foot

Sod installation cost factors

Delivery fees, optional irrigation systems and ground preparation work all affect the total cost of sod installation.

Sod delivery fees

Sod delivery fees range from around $50-$100, though many companies will waive the fee for larger home-improvement projects. Sod installers typically charge this fee to haul the sod from the source (whether a warehouse or sod farm) to the job site.

Sprinkler system

Irrigation systems typically cost between $90-$800 on top of sod installation fees. A sprinkler system zone refers to groups of sprinklers that operate together using one common irrigation valve. Each valve (and thus each zone) is operated by the irrigation system’s timer. A standard-size yard with an irrigation system typically has three to five zones.

Ground prep work

The existing ground may need to be manicured or treated before sod installation. Most professionals who lay sod can also do the prep work and charge on average $1 per square foot on top of sod installation costs.

Prep work includes removing existing grass and getting the ground ready with fertilizer or new soil as needed. It may also include:

  • Removal of weeds, existing grass and debris
  • Ground treatment (tilling or grading)
  • Soiling
  • Fertilizing

Additional material and labor costs

If a yard is somewhat irregular in shape, it’s a good idea to have the sod installer measure it before providing a cost estimate and ordering new sod. (Many sod installers will want to see your yard in person before giving you a cost estimate.) It's not easy to get a lawn roller over a rocky hill or install sod on a curve.

Built-in landscape features such as waterfalls, raised garden beds or decorative boulders also make laying sod difficult and can raise the total cost of the project significantly if more materials are required and if it takes longer to install sod.

Find the best sod installer in your neighborhood.

Artificial grass vs. sod prices

In drought-prone zip codes — such as those in California, Las Vegas and Phoenix — new lawns of synthetic grass are growing in popularity. With an average cost of $7-$15 per square foot, artificial grass costs significantly more than a new lawn of natural grass.

But over the long term, lawn care costs for artificial grass are less than for natural varieties because it needs no mowing or irrigation.

How do I calculate how much sod I need?

Talk to a local pro near you to calculate how much sod you may need for your project. Or, you can try using an online calculator to get a few estimates. And keep in mind that a pallet of sod usually covers about 500 square feet, and you should also add 5%-10% of extra sod just in case you need it.

How to lower sod installation costs

Some people take a different approach to home improvement to lower sod installation costs. They purchase the sod themselves from a sod farm or hardware store, have it delivered and hire a professional to complete the project, thereby saving time and ensuring that the sod installation is done properly.

Most pros charge $0.25-$0.60 per square foot to lay sod customers have provided for their home improvement projects. You should also get price quotes from several sod companies before you hire one. That way, you can choose an installation with the lowest prices and highest quality.

Get sod prices near you

Sod can transform a bare patch of ground into a new lawn you'll enjoy. Start searching for reputable sod installation services on Thumbtack today, and request free price estimates.

FAQs

How much sod is on a pallet?

A pallet of sod has enough pieces to usually cover around 500 square feet of space. 

How big is a piece of sod?

A piece of sod is usually 16x24 (16 inches wide and 24 inches long).

Can you lay sod over existing grass?

Yes, you can lay sod over existing grass. However, it's not always recommended — especially if you have tall grass and don't water your sod's roots. Sometime, laying sod over existing grass can damage your new lawn because the sod's roots have a hard time reaching the soil. Still, some landscapers and gardening experts may recommend laying sod over your existing grass because once the existing grass dies, nutrients (like nitrogen) will be released and benefit your new sod. 

When in doubt, always consult a professional.

Find a top-rated sod installer near you.

Is it better to plant grass seed or sod?

There are pros and cons to planting seeds and laying sod. Just keep in mind that seeding takes a longer time for grass to grow and has to applied at the right season (the fall for cool-season grasses) and it's less expensive than laying sod. On the other hand, you can lay sod in the spring or fall. With sod, you'll also immediately enjoy a green lawn, and it can better combat weeds and erosion. 

Seed vs. sod

  Growing seeds Laying sod
Pros
  • Many different grass types to choose from
  • Less expensive than sodding
  • DIY-friendly projects
  • Instant lawn
  • Helps control weeds and erosion
  • Roots may not take hold
  • Fewer time constraints when laying
Cons
  • Takes longer to grow
  • Time constraints of when to plant
  • Hard to seed areas prone to erosion
  • Might not survive in the shade
  • Less variety of different grass types
  • More expensive than seeding
  • Not as DIY-friendly

Is sod cheaper than seed?

Sod is usually more expensive than seed. Compared to seed, sod often costs more when it comes to material and labor cost. On the flip side, sod requires less maintenance than seed and you can apply it one day. It will take longer for seeds to grow, but sod gives you a lush, green lawn instantly.

How long does sod take to root?

Most experts say it will take around two to six weeks for your sod to root. It's advised that you start off by watering your sod daily, but then slowly water less and less.  Spacing out the amount of time between your waterings will encourage the roots grow deeper.

What should you put down before sod?

Depending on your lawn and soil's condition, you may want to till the soil and apply a special treatment to increase or lower the pH. Perform a soil test to find out if your soil is in dire need of more (or less) nutrients. You may also want to apply a starter fertilizer that has phosphorous. For personalized tips for your lawn, contact a lawn care professional near you.

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, then we share those prices with you.

  • 5mCustomers this year
  • 300k+Pros this year
  • 20kProjects a day

How it works.

Search.

Browse profiles, see prices and use filters to find pros who match your project.

Chat.

Contact the pros you like to discuss project details.

Hire.

Check pro availability and book appointments right in the app.