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Cost to Re-Sod a Lawn

While a home might be the major selling point on a piece of property, there is no question that the landscaping also plays a big role. Whether a homeowner wants to show their house for a potential sale or just create a more attractive outdoor living space, one of the keys is to add in a lush green grassy area. Unfortunately, planting seeds and waiting for them to eventually turn into a mature lawn can take months, but adding sod is a faster option. If a lawn already exists but requires so much improvement that starting over is a better option, it needs to be re-sodded entirely. Use this cost guide to understand and anticipate the expenses and steps involved with re-sodding an entire lawn.

Cost of Lawn Re-Sodding

  • Average minimum cost of lawn re-sodding (removal): $.08 per square foot
  • Average maximum cost of lawn re-sodding (removal): $.25 per square foot
  • Average minimum cost of lawn re-sodding (sod): $.25 per square foot
  • Average maximum cost of lawn re-sodding (sod): $.90 per square foot
  • Average minimum cost of lawn re-sodding (installation): $.15 per square foot
  • Average maximum cost of lawn re-sodding (installation): $1 per square foot

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 in order to be able to benefit from re-sodding. Patchy areas can be completely replaced with newer pieces of sod, or a property owner 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.

Process of Re-Sodding 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 surface 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 the following items:

  • 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 for a pricey re-sod of the lawn. If the grass on a property failed in the past, it is 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 to Consider

When trying to budget for the cost of re-sodding a lawn, one of the largest expenses will be the sod itself. However, this price can change substantially depending on the type of sod purchased for the space. The most affordable sod types, which will come in at the bottom of the price range and start as low as $.25 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. Some of the many types of sod available include the following:

  • Bermuda: perennial, ideal for sports fields
  • Bluegrass: most common, grows quickly
  • Fescue: handles both drought and shade
  • Zoysia: hot weather grass, plush feel

Factors Influencing Labor Costs

There are three major expenses involved with a lawn re-sodding: sod, removing existing vegetation and installing new sod. However, there are a variety of factors that can influence these costs. Many property owners on a budget opt to tackle the removal of existing sod on their own, which can be a smart way to save money. Plus, this job requires very little in the way of tools and equipment. 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.

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.

Last updated on Jan 20, 2016

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