If the neighbors’ emerald-green lawns are looking like a stark contrast to the bare browns of your front yard, and this time a little weed and feed just isn’t going to cut it, it’s time to take the next step—hiring a sod installation company.
Whether it’s a simple 20×20 patch of front lawn or a rolling backyard, hiring a professional can ensure that the sod is installed correctly, the grass takes root, and the lawn is healthy for years to come. This guide will help you find one of the best sod installation services, so read on before searching for “sod installation near me.”
- BEST OVERALL: The Grounds Guys
- BEST COMMERCIAL SERVICES: BrightView
- BEST AGGREGATOR: Angi
What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Sod Installation Services
Before hiring a sod installation service, there are several factors to consider. These include customer service such as scheduling and pricing, satisfaction guarantees, and the type of sod, as well as sod care services after installation.
Type of Sod
Sod is grass grown on a sod farm directly onto soil that can be transplanted into a yard for an instant lawn. Just as there are different types of grass for a lawn, there are different types of sod. Broadly, there is cool-season sod and warm-season sod.
Cool-season sods do best throughout midwestern and northern regions and areas in the United States that get snow in the winter. These include bluegrass, fescue, and rye. Warm-season sod grows best in southern climates and includes grasses such as zoysia, St. Augustine, and Bermuda. Customers can find out which sod is suitable for their environment by searching for “sod company near me” and seeing what grasses local sod companies stock.
Service Area and Scheduling
All sod companies require booking services in advance, although this may be through email, an online platform, or by phone. Some companies allow customers to manage their accounts, including scheduling, online. Before hiring a sod supplier for an installation or any service, customers will want to know how the company handles the booking.
Additionally, there’s no benefit for a customer to look into a company that may not serve their area. Even companies with a nationwide presence may not necessarily serve the area where a homeowner’s property is. Before engaging a company’s service, a customer should be sure the company will be able to service their home.
Quotes and Pricing
Knowing the costs of sod up front can be a deciding factor for customers who are on the fence about hiring a service. Many sod installation services will offer up-front pricing and free estimates or quotes. These quotes can be delivered instantly online or via phone or email. Searching for “sod farm near me” can give homeowners an idea of the prices of sod in their areas. Ultimately, the biggest pricing factor will be the size of the area that requires sod; larger yards will cost more than small ones.
In general, a satisfaction guarantee means that the service or professional will return to rectify an issue at no cost to the customer, or the company will offer a complete refund. Satisfaction guarantees are a signal to a customer that the company stands by its work. However, each sod installation company has different criteria for its guarantee. For example, one may offer a 14-day guarantee, while another may offer one that requires a problem be reported within a 24- or 48-hour window. Any satisfaction guarantee is given at the sod installation company’s discretion.
Additional services can be appealing for customers looking for lawn care after sod installation, so many customers may opt to hire a company that can install the lawn and maintain it for years to come. Some sod installation companies offer other landscaping services like planting or tree care for an all-around perfect outdoor setting.
Our Top Picks
There’s no shortage of sod installers as you’ll see if you do an online search for “sod installers near me.” Still, these are our top picks for the best sod installation companies to get the job done.
Why It Made the Cut: The Grounds Guys has a wide range of lawn and yard care services and an extensive online aftercare guide combined with a 14-day satisfaction guarantee.
Available in 46 states and Washington, D.C., The Grounds Guys is a full-service landscaping company that offers sod installation as well as lawn and bed maintenance, general landscaping, outdoor lighting, snow and ice management, irrigation, and gutter cleaning. Customers can make appointments over the phone or online. While there’s no option for online account management, customers receive yard status and quality reports after each visit to be up to date on their lawn’s health. The site also has a comprehensive sod aftercare guide so customers can reference the breakdown of what makes a successful sod installation.
- Service area: 46 states and Washington, D.C.
- Scheduling: Online, phone
- Guarantees: Satisfaction guarantee within 14 days
- Additional services: Lawn and bed maintenance, landscaping, outdoor lighting, snow and ice management, irrigation, gutter cleaning
- Yard status and quality reports delivered to clients
- Comprehensive sod aftercare guide available on website
- Wide range of lawn and yard-care services available
- Services available in 46 states and Washington, D.C.
- No option for online account management
Why It Made the Cut: BrightView provides commercial turf services, including sports turf installation and maintenance, in 30 states.
Customers looking for commercial services can’t go wrong with BrightView. BrightView services schools, golf courses, sports complexes, apartment complexes, and residential communities. BrightView has specialized sports turf installation and maintenance; this specialization is a big bonus since sports turf requires more care and attention than residential sod. The company offers LEED-certified landscaping consulting, design, and maintenance services, which means that BrightView prioritizes environmentally friendly practices. Although some services vary by location, the company also offers snow and ice management, tree care, landscaping services, and water management.
- Service area: 30 states
- Scheduling: Phone, email
- Guarantees: Varies by project
- Additional services: Landscaping design and maintenance, snow and ice management, water management, tree care
- Specialized sports turf installation and maintenance
- LEED-certified landscape consulting
- Services available for wide variety of commercial markets
- Some services may vary by location
Why It Made the Cut: Angi allows customers to search via a user-friendly platform to find local pros near them, including sod installers.
Angi is an online platform available nationwide in 50 states and Washington, D.C., allowing customers to search by a project to find local professionals nearby. Although name, phone number, and email are required to browse the site, once entered, customers gain access to local vetted sod installation experts in their neighborhood. The website is streamlined and easy to use, and customers can obtain quotes from providers directly on the site. In addition, Angi offers listings of other professionals, including regular landscaping and lawn care services, so that customers can book multiple services at once.
- Service area: 50 states and Washington, D.C.
- Scheduling: Online
- Guarantees: Varies by provider
- Additional services: Varies by provider
- Customers can filter by project and choose from local professionals
- Customers can obtain quotes or bids within minutes
- Streamlined and user-friendly website and app
- Comprehensive resource center organized by project type
- Name, phone number, and email are required to browse local services
- Persistent follow-up emails and calls
Because of its range of service area combined with an extensive online aftercare guide and 14-day satisfaction guarantee, The Grounds Guys is the top pick for the best sod installation service. BrightView is the top pick for commercial services, including lawn installation for commercial properties as well as sod landscaping for sports turf and schools.
How We Chose the Best Sod Installation Services
We researched dozens of sod installation companies across the U.S. and focused on companies with a multi-state presence. After evaluating relevant factors for each sod installation company, the final list included companies with wide service areas, reliable track records, standards for quality and service, satisfaction guarantees, and additional services offered.
Before You Hire One of the Best Sod Installation Services
When considering sod installation services, it’s important to note that some homeowners may be able to rescue their existing lawn before removing it altogether and installing sod. In addition, anyone installing sod should be prepared to care for it properly after installation. A customer’s sod installation company should provide guidelines on how to best care for the new sod so it’ll take root properly.
Additionally, a sod installation company may not be necessary if the homeowner is able to prep and lay the sod themselves. If a homeowner just needs to touch up one spot in the yard, this may be a quicker and easier option. In this case, the customer will want to do an online search for “sod replacement near me” to find a sod delivery service.
Cost of Hiring One of the Best Sod Installation Services
Laying sod can be an investment. The cost of installing sod can depend on many factors, including regional differences, the amount of sod that needs to be laid, and the type of grass. Sod is sold by the pallet, per square foot, per square yard, or by the roll. Additional costs include labor and delivery.
The national average price per square foot is $0.60, not including installation. Expect to pay $150 to $400 per pallet; the national average is $300 per pallet. Delivery per pallet ranges from $90 to $350, depending on the number of pallets.
Labor costs can vary from $250 to $1,250. This price range can fluctuate due to the amount of prep work involved for installation. Homeowners can save money by doing some of this prep themselves.
The Advantages of Using One of the Best Sod Installation Services
Sod has many advantages over seeded lawns. Seeded lawns can take 10 to 12 weeks to grow in and up to 2 years to become fully established. Customers can get a near-instant lawn with a professional installation that means the grass will thrive and a guarantee that there’s help if it doesn’t. But a great-looking lawn is a home improvement that does more than add aesthetic value. Seeded lawns also need significantly more weed control, so opting for a sod lawn means homeowners can save time and money down the line.
Although sod installation may seem easy at a glance, it can be surprisingly tricky to get right. Hiring a professional can help avoid such issues as improper leveling and grading, dealing with tree roots, inadequate watering or overwatering, and using the wrong fertilizer ratio. Plus, when you hire a pro you can add on jobs like installing a sprinkler system, edging your grass, and even adding garden beds.
- Sod provides immediate curb appeal.
- Professionals can work around common problems like tree roots, weather issues, and grading of the area for drainage.
- Hiring a pro gives assurance the sod will thrive.
- Professionals can also edge and reshape lawns, install sprinklers, and even add garden beds.
While a green lawn is a familiar site, sod is not always as common, so it’s natural that there are some frequently asked questions.
Q. What is sod?
Sod is grass seed that is planted onto a thin layer of soil that can be removed easily from the sod farm’s growing grounds before it sets deep roots. It is then rolled up for transport, unrolled onto prepared ground, and installed into place.
Q. What does sod installation include?
Sod installation includes removing any old grass, prepping the area for new sod (including laying topsoil and fertilizer), and installing the turf mats (sod). The total price for an installation job usually includes the cost of the materials, labor, and delivery. Some homeowners choose to install a sprinkler system at the same time for an additional cost.
Q. Should I fertilize before laying sod?
Yes, it’s a good idea to pre-fertilize the soil before laying sod.
Q. What is a good starter fertilizer for sod?
Help sod establish roots by applying a 16-16-16 (equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) or 10-20-20 (10 percent nitrogen, 20 percent phosphorus, and 20 percent potassium) to the bare ground and water it into the soil before installing the turf sod.
Q. What is the cost of labor to lay sod?
The cost of labor to lay sod is typically between $35 and $75 per hour.
Q. How much sod is on a pallet?
A 500-square-foot pallet contains about 180 pieces of sod.
Q. Is it better to lay sod in spring or fall?
The best time to lay sod is when there are cool temperatures combined with occasional rain to help sod quickly root. In most climates, this is spring or early fall.