How Much Does Sod Cost? (Pricing Per Type & Square Foot)
If your goal is to beautify your yard, there are certain things you cannot forget about. Sticking to a maintenance program will help and you should also consider de-cluttering your yard to give it a fresh look. Don’t forget about cultivating a new lawn because that can make a huge difference.
In pursuit of a new lawn, you can try seeding it or laying down some sod. For this article, we’ll focus on what it will take to lay down the sod you want for your revitalized yard. To be more specific, we’ll look at how much various types of sod will cost.
Homeowners usually purchase sod either in pallets or by square footage. Those buying by based on size can expect to spend $0.70 per square foot of new sod. Meanwhile, a sod pallet that covers 450 square feet of your yard will cost $300. The cost of the sod will change based on the type you’re getting and where you live.
Laying down sod is a fantastic way to beautify your yard in a hurry. With the right type of sod, you can cultivate a spectacular yard that will be the envy of everyone in your neighborhood. Learn more about how much sod will cost by continuing with the rest of this article.
Cost of Sod by Type
|Cost Per Square Foot
|Cost Per Pallet
The most important decision you’ll make while buying sod is choosing which type to get. You have several options to choose from and each variant presents its own set of unique characteristics.
We wanted to stick with the most common and widely used types of sod in this article. Included below are detailed descriptions of the different sod types. Use the descriptions to better understand exactly what you’re paying for.
Bahiagrass is the type of sod you should look closely at if you want to save money. It’s available for $0.30 per square foot and $135 per pallet, thus making it a very affordable option.
Beyond the friendly price, bahiagrass is also a favorite for many homeowners because it isn’t demanding. You can forget to perform maintenance on bahiagrass and it will still look great for a while.
We also want to highlight how resilient bahiagrass is. It’s the kind of grass you should choose if you know your yard is a hub for activity. Bahiagrass is suitable for warm-weather regions. The resilient nature of bahiagrass allows it to thrive even amidst those harsh conditions.
At $0.60 per square foot and $270 per pallet, bentgrass is up there with the pricier sod options. So, is bentgrass worth that kind of money? That will depend on where you live.
Bentgrass can hold up remarkably well to foot traffic, diseases, and pets. However, there’s a caveat to that durable quality of bentgrass. You’ll only be able to see that quality in bentgrass during the cooler and rainier months.
Given how it reacts to cool weather, bentgrass is mainly recommended for homeowners in the northern parts of the country. You can still lay down bentgrass if you live in a warmer area, but don’t expect to be wowed by it.
If your goal is to cover your lawn with highly durable sod, you cannot forget about Bermuda grass. You can get Bermuda grass at the prices of $0.70 per square foot and $290 per pallet.
Bermuda grass is the type of plant that can take root quickly and deeply. It also grows rapidly so you need to be diligent with upkeep if you want to maintain its appearance.
All that work will be worth it once you see how this grass reacts to foot traffic. Bermuda grass recovers in a hurry. You need that if you have a yard that gets plenty of foot traffic. Bermuda grass can also grow well in different regions. You don’t have to worry about the cold or warm weather inhibiting its growth.
Centipede grass will likely be the most expensive sod option you’ll encounter while shopping. A pallet of centipede grass costs $360. If you’re going by square footage, centipede grass is priced at $0.80.
There’s a good chance you’re buying centipede grass because it’s the only viable option for your property. Maintaining a lawn isn’t easy in areas where droughts are common. Centipede grass is one of the rare plants that can grow in one of those areas.
You can also count on centipede grass to resist pests and weeds. Foot traffic is a different matter as centipede grass tends to struggle against that. Keep that in mind when deciding where to lay the centipede grass.
Next up, we have fescue grass. Fescue sod is priced at $0.50 per square foot or $235 per pallet. Fescue is a type of grass you grow when you want a thick and lively lawn. Fescue can exceed six feet in height. You can use it to add a height dimension to your yard.
Homeowners should also consider growing fescue if they have poor soil at home. Fescue should still grow despite the less-than-ideal qualities of your soil. This type of grass also grows best in cooler areas.
Kentucky bluegrass is a budget-friendly option for homeowners. The aforementioned grass variant is available for $0.40 per square foot or $165 per pallet.
Before you order any Kentucky bluegrass, you should that it’s meant for areas with cooler climates. It does not react well to heat. The growth of Kentucky bluegrass will be hampered by those high temperatures. Also, Kentucky bluegrass has a hard time resisting weeds and pests. You need to watch out for those potential threats.
All that maintenance can be worth it once you see Kentucky bluegrass grow. It can become a lush lawn blanket that makes your property more beautiful.
We’re going from one of the cheaper sods to another expensive buy. Marathon grass is sold for $0.65 per square foot and $280 per pallet.
There’s nothing especially remarkable about marathon grass. It offers good resistance against foot traffic, weeds, and pests, but so do other types of grass. Marathon grass also requires dedicated maintenance especially when the weather turns warm.
Marathon grass fits well in different settings because of how it grows. Use it to complement your lawn décor or frame it as the centerpiece of your yard. Homeowners in cooler climates can get the most out of marathon grass.
You can also choose to lay down ryegrass sod over your lawn. Purchase ryegrass sod at the prices of $0.45 per square foot and $225 per pallet.
Ryegrass grows well in different environments. However, the conditions in your area will affect how easy it is to maintain. In cooler areas, ryegrass requires little in the way of maintenance. If you live somewhere warm, consistent maintenance is crucial or else ryegrass could turn brown.
Durability is a strong point for ryegrass sod. You can expect it to hold up well to high foot traffic.
St. Augustine grass is priced at $260 per pallet and $0.55 per square foot. It’s pricey, but it may be the most common type of grass in your area. That is highly likely if you live somewhere in the south.
Dealing with heat is no issue for St. Augustine grass because of its blade structure. The wide blades of St. Augustine grass allow it to handle the heat pretty well. St. Augustine grass will grow quickly in the right conditions.
Cold weather is not as easy to handle for St. Augustine grass. It will likely not grow properly if the temperatures are consistently cold in your area.
Last up is zoysia grass. You can pick up a pallet of zoysia sod for $220 or buy it per square foot at $0.35.
Choose zoysia for your lawn if you live in a sunny part of the country. Zoysia grass is very used to that type of climate and you can expect it to grow without issue. It can also thrive even in soil that does not retain moisture well.
The blades of zoysia grass develop a fine texture as they grow. They will also feel soft if you’re barefoot in your yard. Just be patient with zoysia because it can take some time to grow.
Cost Factors for Sod
Prices for a specific type of grass may vary significantly from one area to the next. That discrepancy in pricing can be explained by certain cost factors. Get to know those factors in this section.
Location of Your Home
The location of your home will affect how much you’ll have to pay if you need sod. It’s fair to say that it is one of the main driving factors. That makes sense for different reasons.
First off, certain types of sod are more widely available in certain areas. St. Augustine grass is cheaper in the south compared to other regions. Bentgrass is more affordable if you live up north.
Where you live also matters from a supplier standpoint. If you live in a city where sod suppliers are plentiful, then you can expect lower prices. Homeowners in cities where suppliers are scarce will have to live with the high prices presented to them.
Ease of Delivery
Your home’s location will also impact the delivery process. Sod is not easy to transport. If you’re asking a supplier to deliver plenty of sod to your property, they will likely ask for more money.
Delivery charges alone could lead to an additional $200 being tacked on to your bill. That could end up higher if delivering to your home is a challenge for the supplier.
Most suppliers will allow you to pick up the sod yourself. The issue there will be handling the sod. You risk damaging the sod before they even reach your property.
How you get the sod onto your property is your call. Just know that your expenses could rise significantly depending on your choice.
The climate is also going to play a role in the pricing of sod. If you live in a warm area, you’ll find warm-weather grass to be more affordable. Appropriately enough, residents in cold-weather cities will find more affordable cool-weather grass where they live.
The inverse is also true. That’s part of the reason why buying cool-weather grass is not recommended if you live in the southern states.
Ideally, you will be able to choose from all types of sod, but that’s not the case. Ignoring the climate in your area when buying sod will lead to higher expenses and a less healthy lawn.
Cost to Remove Old Sod
|Cost Per Square Foot
Removing the existing layer of sod may be necessary before you can lay down the new pallets. The average cost of removing old sod is $2 per square foot.
You can call in the professionals to handle the removal of the old sod for you. If we’re talking just about removing the old sod, that won’t take long. Alternatively, you can also try removing the old sod yourself. You will need a sod cutter to remove your old lawn.
Sod cutters are priced at $4,800. Renting a sod cutter is also an option. Some companies rent out sod cutters at a rate of $75 per day.
It’s also important to point out here that removing the old sod is not always necessary. Many landscapers even recommend retaining the old layer of grass because it can help the new sod take root. You will also have fewer expenses to worry about if you’re opting not to remove the old grass.
Still, removing the old sod is a must if you want an even surface throughout your yard. Go with one of the two removal options we highlighted if you need to remove the existing sod.
Cost to Till Your Lawn
|Cost Per Hour
You should till your lawn before you introduce new sod. On average, professionals will charge $65 per hour if you want them to till your lawn.
Tilling your lawn is a necessary step if you want to lay down the new sod pallets. By tilling your lawn, you can effectively aerate your lawn. Aerated soil retains nutrients better and that should help stimulate the growth of the grass.
The process of tilling is also beneficial because it prevents the growth of weeds. You need to do what you can to prevent the growth of weeds and tilling will help immensely. Just like with removing sod, tilling can be tackled as a DIY project. To till the lawn yourself, you will need to purchase a rototiller.
The average price for a basic rototiller is $120. For that price, you’re getting a low-horsepower rototiller that’s best suited for working on small gardens. Tilling your entire lawn will likely take more time if you’re using that kind of machine.
Powerful rototillers are typically priced at $1,000. Consider picking up one of those items if you think you’ll be tilling your lawn often in the future.
Cost of Professional Sod Installation
|Cost Per Square Foot
With the old sod removed and the soil tilled, you can now focus on installing the new pallets. You can hire professionals to install your new sod. Expect them to charge $1.50 per square foot of new sod installed over your lawn.
Take note that this is just the installation you’re paying for. The aforementioned price does not include the price of the sod or prep work your yard may need. Those are additional expenses that you will have to pay for as well.
Cost of DIY Sod Installation
|Sod Cutter Rental
|$375 for Five Days
Installing new sod by yourself is a worthwhile DIY project. That DIY project is likely going to cost $6,495.
Included in that estimate are the prices of the sod, the sod cutter rental, and the rototiller. Let’s start with the price of the sod.
The average size of a backyard is 9,000 square feet. To cover that, you will need 20 pallets of your preferred sod. That’s how you could end up spending $6,000 on your new lawn. You don’t have to replace your entire lawn if the cost of doing so is too high. It’s just better to know what you’re in for if you decide to go in that direction.
Sod cutters are very expensive and most homeowners are likely to shy away from buying one. Renting is a more affordable option. You will likely have to work on removing the old sod for several days. DIYers usually need five days to remove the old sod. That hikes the total rental cost for the sod cutter up to $375.
The cost of tilling your lawn also has to factor into your installation-related expenses. Unlike with the sod cutter, buying a rototiller makes sense from a financial standpoint. At $120, even a low-powered rototiller can prove to be a good investment.
How Much Does It Cost to Lay 1000 Square Feet of Sod?
To cover 1000 square feet of your yard, you will need two pallets of sod and some additional pieces. The two pallets that cover 900 square feet will cost an average of $600. You can fill in the rest by purchasing 100 square feet of sod for $70, thus taking the total to $670.
Is It Better to Seed or Sod?
When choosing between seeding or laying down sod, you have to consider your goals. Seeding makes more sense if you want to keep your costs low. Laying down sod is the right move if you want a new lawn quickly.
How Long Does Sod Take to Root?
You must wait for the sod to take root before you can mow it. At a minimum, you should give the sod at least two weeks to develop its shallow roots. Only start mowing after those two weeks have passed.Homeowners will have to wait longer for the deep root system. New sod will need about six weeks to develop those deep roots.
Gary Evans is passionate about home improvement. He loves finding out how to make improvements in the easiest, most practical, and most affordable ways. Upgrading his home kitchen is one of his ongoing hobbies. Gary is also a long-time content creator and enjoys spending his free time tending to his hydroponic vegetable garden.
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