Cost to Re-Sod a Lawn
Yards can get ruined, but even more alarming is the fact that dry dirt or poor climates deter many homeowners from having a gorgeous and attractive yard. Luckily, sod can fix the issue, but eventually, you will have to re-sod your lawns. Use this cost guide to understand and anticipate the expenses and steps involved with re-sodding an entire lawn.
If you need a new layer of sod in your front or backyard, ImproveNet can connect you with up to four local landscapers ready to tackle your specific re-sod project.
Table of Contents
- Cost Of Lawn Re-Sodding
- Factors Influencing Re-Sod Costs
- Pallet Costs And How Much They Cover
- Reasons To Re-Sod A Lawn
- How To Re-Sod A Lawn
- Advantages Of Lawn Re-Sodding
- Disadvantages Of Lawn Re-Sodding
- Types Of Sod & Their Costs
- Sod Maintenance
- Sod Calculator
- DIY Or Hire A Pro?
- Find A Pro
Cost Of Lawn Re-Sodding
Re-sodding is a multi-step process and as such, professional landscapers charge based on the steps needed. Therefore, we researched the average prices for the actual sod (material), sod removal and sod installation. The prices are:
- Average minimum cost of lawn re-sodding (removal): $0.08 per square foot
- Average maximum cost of lawn re-sodding (removal): $0.25 per square foot
- Average minimum cost of lawn re-sodding (sod): $0.25 per square foot
- Average maximum cost of lawn re-sodding (sod): $0.90 per square foot
- Average minimum cost of lawn re-sodding (installation): $0.15 per square foot
- Average maximum cost of lawn re-sodding (installation): $1 per square foot
- Average minimum cost of lawn re-sodding (total): $0.48 per square foot
- Average maximum cost of lawn re-sodding (total): $2.15 per square foot
Factors Influencing Re-Sod Costs
There are a variety of factors that can influence your re-sodding lawn cost. The three major expenses are sod, removing existing vegetation and installing new sod (as listed above). Nonetheless, before any sod project, you must consider all cost factors:
If you’re re-sodding or have some grass in your yard, you’ll have to remove existing vegetation before adding new sod. You or your landscaper won’t need much equipment, but it is nonetheless a labor-intensive job. Many homeowners on a budget opt to tackle the removal of existing sod on their own, which can be a smart way to save money.
Type of Sod
Of course, the actual material will make up a bulk of the re-sod installation cost. There are plenty of different kinds of sod, all ranging in price. While the largest difference is only $0.39/sf, your total sod cost can surge if you’re re-sodding a very large yard. See types of sod (links to Types of Sod section below) for a full cost breakdown and comparison for all possible sods.
Note: Purchasing lower-quality sod may also reduce overall costs, but it could prevent the grass from growing evenly or have weeds included in the sod squares.
Everyone is entitled to honest pay for an honest day’s work. As such, if you hire a landscaping contractor, your total project will cost considerably more than if you did it all on your own. Unsurprisingly, the labor cost will depend on the size of your yard, the landscape pitch and hours needed to complete. It may be costly, but it is nonetheless the fastest way to create luscious, green yard.
Steep yards are not easy to work with and as such, cost more than flat lawns. Oftentimes, pros and homeowners use special equipment to install any type of sod. Sadly, that equipment is not easy to use on sloped land. You can re-sod by hand, but that of course adds time to the project, which brings extra costs as well.
We all have trees, bushes and flowers all over our yard. If they are located on the outskirts, your re-sod price will not be affected. However, if you have a few trees and flower gardens in the middle of your yard, expect the price to increase.
Sod Pallet Costs & How Much They Cover
More often than not, companies sell sod in pallets. Pallet costs range from $125 to $300 per pallet. The price will be based on the type of sod you choose.
Sod pallets cover between 400sf and 500sf of land. Before you purchase, make sure you measure your lawn to ensure you have more than enough sod. We highly recommend purchasing a bit extra in case something goes wrong.
Reasons to Re-Sod A Lawn
The most obvious reason to re-sod an existing lawn is because the yard or garden looks unattractive and needs to be fixed as quickly as possible. However, a yard doesn't need to be a disaster to benefit from re-sodding. Patchy areas can be completely replaced with newer pieces of sod, or you might decide to switch to a hardier variety of grass. When time is important such as before selling a home or hosting an open house, creating an attractive yard in just days is certainly an appealing option.
To obtain an attractive lawn in a matter of hours, nothing is more effective than sod. To replace dying grass with a lush new look, professionals can replace old sod with new material and update the entire outdoor space.
How To Re-Sod A Lawn
Although it might seem like re-sodding should be less expensive than sodding a lawn for the first time, it is actually a more expensive and time-consuming process. This is because re-sodding a lawn starts with removing any existing vegetation from the ground. Although homeowners might use a shovel to dig up existing roots, weeds and grass, professionals will typically use a large sod cutter to remove squares of grass at a time. Once the terrain is bare and as flat as required for proper drainage without erosion, new sod can be installed on the ground. This is done in rows, and each square of sod gets placed on the ground one at a time until the entire area is completely covered. Then, a large sod roller is used over the surface of the grass to press it into the soil. The final step involves watering the sod, which is something that needs to be done several times a day for the first three days after installation.
Advantages Of Lawn Re-Sodding
Despite the expense, there are certainly some major advantages to re-sodding a lawn. Of course, having a brand new lawn that looks lush, healthy and green is perhaps the biggest advantage of them all, but that is far from the only reason. Here are some of the most common benefits of re-sodding a lawn:
- Attractive landscaping instantly
- Increases the overall value of the property
- Perfect for entertaining
- Less time-consuming than seeding
Disadvantages Of Lawn Re-Sodding
There is no question that re-sodding an unattractive and uneven lawn can create a more appealing outdoor space. Unfortunately, the process does not come without drawbacks. Some of the key disadvantages of re-sodding a lawn include:
- Significant expense
- Possibility that sod does not "take"
- Treating the symptom rather than the problem (i.e. dry dirt, bad climate, etc.)
The last item on the list is a big concern to keep in mind before shelling out sod money. If the grass on a property failed in the past, it’s important to find out why. Re-sodding with the same varietal, for example, might result in dry, brown grass in weeks if that particular varietal simply isn't meant for the climate. Determine what made existing grass fail before trying the same tactic year after year.
Types of Sod & Their Costs
When budgeting for a re-sodding project, one of the largest expenses will be the sod itself. However, this price can change substantially depending on the type of sod. The most affordable sod types, which will come in at the bottom of the price range and start as low as $0.30 per square foot in rural areas, may be coarser in nature or require more maintenance. The more expensive options for sod are often a rich, lush green that can withstand lots of foot traffic.
The most popular types of sod and their costs are:
- St. Augustine: Hardy sod that thrives in warmer climates
- Bermuda: Perennial, ideal for sports fields
- Fescue: Handles both drought and shade
- Zoysia: Hot weather grass, plush feel
Type of Sod
Low Cost Per Square Foot
High Cost Per Square Foot
To see the major benefits of each type, please see our sod price comparison.
Like any yard, the work does not stop once installation is complete. In fact, immediate maintenance is required for all types of sod. If you want to ensure your new, green yard stays that way, complete the following tasks:
- Watering: You must water your sod within an hour of installation. In addition, water your lawn heavily for the next two weeks. If it’s hotter, do it even more. You can’t water your sod too much within the first two weeks.
- Fertilize: You must fertilize your sod while laying the sod and once, two weeks later. Of course, water as you fertilize to protect it. Fertilize your yard every 60 days in the spring, summer and fall. Do not fertilize in the winter.
- Mowing: You should mow your sodded lawn, but wait six weeks for the first mow. The sod roots need time to stick to the soil and mowing earlier than six weeks will ruin that process. Afterwards, mow how you would a grassy landscape.
Before any landscaping project, you have to measure your yard. Since sod pallets are sold in rolls, measure your yard in squares and rectangles. Remember to account for pitches, obstacles and awkward turns around the yard. These can alter the total square footage.
If you need help along the way, check out this sod calculator.
DIY Or Hire A Pro?
As you have read, sod installation or re-sodding is not an overly complicated job, but one that requires research and legwork. Besides researching the best type of sod in your area, measuring your yard, removing the current vegetation and installing the new sod, you also have to purchase certain materials. Those materials include:
- Sod Cutter
- Soil Test Kit
- Sod Cutting Knife
These materials can cost upwards of $600 to buy and/or rent.
On the other hand, you could hire a reputable local landscaping crew to do all the work for you, including the research. You may pay upwards of $1,000 more to hire a pro, but there is no faster way to get a luscious yard you can be proud of.
Find A Pro
Landscaping can be challenging, but there is no better feeling the world then to look out at your yard and appreciate the hard work that went into it. After reading this guide, whether you DIY or not, you should feel confident the next time you have to re-sod your lawn.
Of course, if you need help along the way, ImproveNet can connect you with up to four reliable landscaping contractors in your area!
Last updated on Jan 12, 2017
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