The Best Sod Installation Services of 2023

It’s possible to have lush lawns in just a few hours thanks to one of the best sod installation services in town.

Best Overall

The Grounds Guys

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Best Commercial Services

The Best Sod Installation Services Option: BrightView

BrightView

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Best Aggregator

The Best Sod Installation Services Option: Angi

Angi

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If the lawn is a bare brown instead of an emerald green, 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 grass 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 find one of the best sod installation services, so customers will want to read on before searching for “sod installation near me.”

  1. BEST OVERALL: The Grounds Guys
  2. BEST COMMERCIAL SERVICES: BrightView
  3. BEST AGGREGATOR: Angi
The Best Sod Installation Services Options
Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Sod Installation Services

Before hiring a sod install service, there are several factors to consider. These include scheduling and pricing, satisfaction guarantees, and the type of sod, as well as sod care services after installation. Here are the most important features to vet when searching for “sod companies near me.”

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 customer’s property is. Before engaging a company’s service, a customer will want to be sure the company will be able to service their home.

Quotes and Pricing

Knowing sod prices 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 customers an idea of the prices of sod or cost for sod installation in their areas. Ultimately, the biggest pricing factor will be the size of the area that requires sod installed; larger yards will cost more than small ones.

Guarantees

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

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 is evident when searching online for “sod installers near me.” Still, these are our top picks for the best sod installation companies to get the job done for those searching for “lawn installation near me.”

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  • Service area: 42 states
  • 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

Pros

  • Yard status and quality reports delivered to customers
  • Comprehensive sod aftercare guide available on website
  • Wide range of lawn and yard-care services available

Cons

  • No option for online account management

Why It Made the Cut: The Grounds Guys has a wide range of lawn and yard care services on top of sod installation, as well as an extensive online aftercare guide combined with a 14-day satisfaction guarantee. Available in 42 states, 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. This breadth of services allows customers to hire The Grounds Guys for nearly all of their yard maintenance. 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.

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  • Service area: 32 states
  • Scheduling: Phone, email
  • Guarantees: Varies by project
  • Additional services: Landscaping design and maintenance, snow and ice management, water management, tree care

Pros

  • Specialized sports turf installation and maintenance
  • LEED-certified landscape consulting
  • Services available for wide variety of commercial markets

Cons

  • Some services may vary by location

Why It Made the Cut: BrightView provides commercial turf services, including sports turf installation and maintenance, for businesses across the country. 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, so customers can bundle multiple services through one company.

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  • Service area: 50 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Scheduling: Online
  • Guarantees: Varies by provider
  • Additional services: Varies by provider

Pros

  • Customers can filter by project and choose from local professionals
  • Customers can obtain quotes or bids within minutes
  • Streamlined and user-friendly website
  • Comprehensive resource center organized by project type

Cons

  • Name, phone number, and email address are required to browse local services
  • Persistent follow-up emails

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. Customers may also receive persistent follow-up emails, but they can easily unsubscribe or change their email preferences. The website is streamlined and easy to use, and customers can obtain quotes from providers directly on the site within minutes. In addition, Angi offers listings of other professionals, including regular landscaping and lawn care services, so that customers can book multiple services at once. There’s also a robust resource center that provides information for customers looking to learn more about different home services like sod installation.

Our Verdict

Because of its strong reputation and generous 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 relatively wide service areas, reliable track records, standards for quality and service, satisfaction guarantees, and additional services offered. We gave awards based on companies’ strengths. Any companies that did not meet our standards were not included.

Before You Hire One of the Best Sod Installation Services

When considering sod installation services, it’s important to note that some customers may be able to rescue their existing lawn before removing it altogether and installing sod. In addition, anyone who plans to install sod will want to 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 customer is able to prep and lay the sod themselves. If a customer 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. Sod installation cost 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. Sod costs an average of $150 to $450 per pallet or between $0.35 and $0.85 per square foot. Laying a whole new lawn costs between $400 and $4,520. Homeowners who are unsure if they can afford the entire cost of a new lawn up front may want to consider one of the best home improvement loans or a home equity loan.

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. Customers can save money by doing some of this prep themselves.

Customers will also want to keep in mind that lawn maintenance is necessary to keep new sod looking healthy. Lawn care costs run an average between $48 and $211.

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 customers 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 hiring a pro, a customer can add on jobs like installing a sprinkler system, edging the grass, and even adding garden beds.

  • Sod provides immediate curb appeal.
  • One of the best landscaping companies or best gardening companies 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.

FAQs

Installing sod may seem like a straightforward job, but there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to this home improvement project. Here are the answers to frequently asked questions from those searching for “ how to install sod grass” or “sod installation companies near me.”

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 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?

You can 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.

Sources: Angi, Royal Landscape Nursery

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Amber Guetebier

Contributing Writer

Amber Guetebier is a gardener, landscaper, and nursery professional with 25 years of experience. She began writing for BobVila.com in 2021 and writes about plants and botanical oddities at Rotten Botany, along with other online publications such as Angi, Cubby, and Motherly.

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