The price of sod will depend on a number of factors including the type of sod you are buying, the location and source you are buying it from, how much sod you need, the area where you are laying it and of course, whether you are planning to do it yourself or have it professionally installed.
Your location is surprisingly one of the biggest factors in determining price. Sod costs more to ship greater distances and some types are not grown for long shipping times. Hydroponic sod may do better during shipment, but may also be more expensive. Consider these things when you are shopping around for sod prices.
OVERALL SOD COSTS
Pricing for a Do It Yourself Sod Project
The first thing you need to do regardless of who is installing your sod is to get some rough measurements of your lawn. Try to be as accurate as possible, but keep in mind that it is better to have too much sod left over than not having enough. Smaller pieces of grass sod will cost more in the long run.
Here are some other things to note:
- Sod is typically priced per square foot much like carpeting for your home.
- Price will vary depending on the type of sod that you are buying and the quality. You could buy a specialty sod grass that is unique and interesting, but you will pay more for it. If you choose this option, be sure that it has a decent chance of growing in your climate or you will pay for a unique but short-lived lawn.
How Much Does Sod Cost?
Prices for sod can range from eight to thirty cents per square foot, which brings the total of a 2,000 square foot project to $160 to $600. Delivery charges can vary from free (included in the sod price) to more than half the total cost of the sod. There is typically a minimum amount for delivery.
Other expenses that will need to be added to this project will include any tools that you do not own or cannot borrow (lawn leveling rake, rototiller, lawn roller), organic material to finish with, seeds for spot seeding after the sod grass is fully installed, and labor if you end up hiring a friend or two to help you.
The Cost of a Professional
The installation of sod is technically “easy” in that you won’t need a lot of specialized knowledge to do the project. But, the easy ends right there. This is tedious, back-breaking, dirty work, and the grass sod is a lot heavier and more unwieldy to work with than most people would imagine. One mistake can compromise the entire lawn, so to eliminate the aches and pains of installation and then the heartache of watching all of your work die off, it is simpler to hire a professional.
The cost per square foot for sod that is professionally installed will go up (14 cents to 60 cents per square foot) and there are more factors to influence the overall sod cost.
The shape and configuration of your project may have a lot to do with the cost of the labor portion of your sod installation bill. A large, flat area that is mostly square can be installed quickly and easily with the use of special equipment. This can make the project a lot easier for the contractor and cheaper for you. It is also better for the finished quality of the sod itself. This equipment allows for wider, longer rolls of sod to be laid at one time, which eliminates the excess seaming found in the do it yourself projects. Those seams are the first place that trouble occurs, so fewer seams means fewer potential problems to worry about.
Slopes, unusual or irregular shapes and a lot of obstacles means the job is more time consuming, because more will done by hand, and this will drive the cost of your installation up sharply. Narrow access to your property may also eliminate the possibility of some equipment, which will also drive up costs.
Bringing Down Sod Prices
There are always ways to bring the cost of sod down on any project you are working on. Careful shopping and some prior education will go a long way in saving you money.
Sod prices vary from place to place so make sure to explore the options below:
- Get estimates from several contractors. Ask for these estimates in writing including cost per square foot, estimated installation time, and cost of labor per hour.
- Ask about possible discounts. The worst they can do is say no.
As the costs rise, going the DIY route can seem like the most appealing option, but before you get yourself in over your head make sure you consider these facts:
Again, grass sod is heavy. A single roll of sod measuring two feet by five feet weighs around 35 pounds. A 600 square foot pallet of sod will fit into the average, full sized truck but weighs a ton.
The prep work for laying sod is tedious and time consuming, and must be done at least two to three days before the sod is brought to the site.
Laying the sod is also tedious and will require a lot of bending, lifting, tugging and pulling.
The wrong sod choice will cost you not only your initial investment, but the cost of a replacement. Replacing newly laid sod may involve removing the dead sod, re-prepping the soil, and then laying the new sod.
The cost of a contractor is offset by the cost of equipment purchase or rental, time and effort, and the possible chiropractor bills when the job is finished.