How Much Are Sod Prices?
Laying new sod helps improve the curb appeal of a property for a price of $150 to $450 per pallet, or $300 on average. Understanding the factors affecting sod prices can help homeowners know what to expect.
- The typical range for sod prices is $150 to $450 per pallet, with most homeowners paying a national average of $300 per pallet.
- The main cost factors for sod prices include measurement type, sod type, sod grade, topsoil, cost differences in warm-season versus cool-season grass, and climate and geographic location.
- Installing sod provides an instantly attractive lawn, increases curb appeal, controls weed growth, and reduces soil erosion.
- Installing sod is not a one-person job, so unless homeowners have friends and family who are willing to help, it’s worth leaving this job to the pros. Professional sod installation services will also be able to ensure that the sod is installed properly and looks its best.
When it’s time to consider the cost of a new lawn, homeowners generally have two options: seeding grass or laying new sod. While hydroseeding costs less on average, it’s a much longer process that can take up to 2 years for a thick, lush lawn to fully flourish. For a quick and effective method to instantly increase curb appeal, laying new sod is an attractive choice for most homeowners.
Sod prices can vary due to regional differences, the type of grass, and the amount of sod that needs to be laid. Sod can be sold by the pallet, per square foot, per square yard, or by the roll. According to HomeAdvisor, sod prices per pallet range from $150 to $450, with an average cost of $300, not including installation. Though laying sod over a large lawn can seem like a daunting task, enjoying healthy, green grass within a matter of days may be worth the cost and effort to boost the appearance and value of a property.
How to Calculate Sod Prices
Sod prices are based on a number of factors that include the unit of measure (roll, square foot, pallet, and more), the variety of grass, installation costs, delivery price, and regional location. Purchasing sod for 1/5 of an acre costs on average between $3,025 and $8,025. The average cost to install grass sod is $2,000. Choosing to install sod on their own may require homeowners to use additional equipment such as a sod cutter to remove old grass, compost/fertilizer, a tamping roller, topsoil, and more. These items are included during a professional installation, which means the flat rate may be cheaper than the cost of a DIY installation. The price of one pallet of the most popular kinds of sod grass ranges from $150 to $450.
How to Estimate Sod Quantity
After homeowners have learned how to calculate sod prices for purchasing and installing new sod, it’s time to figure out how to calculate sod quantity. The final price will vary based on the type of sod, but these calculations can help determine the overall sod quantity needed. Homeowners can follow the steps below to determine how much sod they need for their project.
- Draw a diagram of the area that will require new sod. It’s okay if it’s not a perfect square or rectangle; simply draw the triangle-shaped areas too.
- Measure the lengths and widths by foot of each side of the area to be sodded, and make a note of them on the diagram.
- Any rectangle or square area can be multiplied length times width, and any triangular areas can be multiplied base times height, then divided by two. For example, a lawn that measures 20 feet by 20 feet would be 400 square feet.
- Add the results of all calculations to determine the entire area’s square feet; then add an additional 10 percent to ensure adequate sod is ordered for the entire space. This is important especially during peak seasons, when a nearby sod supplier may be back-ordered for several weeks.
- If purchasing new sod by the square foot, multiply the total square feet by the square foot sod price like so: 2,383 x 0.55 = $1,310.65.
- If purchasing by the pallet, ask the supplier how many pieces come on a pallet, and divide the total square feet by the number of square feet provided on each pallet to know how many pallets will be needed.
- If purchasing by the square yard, divide the number of square feet by 9; then calculate the new total by the square yards provided on each pallet.
Factors in Calculating Sod Prices
Determining the cost of sod for sale in a particular area is typically an easy process. Geographic location and climate are the first factors to ensure the purchase of the right kind of grass for a region, which will in turn determine the cost. Some varieties of grass are priced differently due to their hardiness to survive well in cool temperatures and others in warm temperatures.
Sod prices per square foot are typically in the range of $0.35 to $0.85. It’s also common for sod to be sold in 450-square-foot pallets. A pallet of sod price usually falls between $150 and $450. Less commonly, sod can come in rolls that cover about 10 square feet apiece and cost $3 to $8. It’s worth noting that roll sizes are not always consistent across retailers. Other options include per square yard, acre, ½ acre, and ¼ acre.
Most lawn sod is sold by the pallet or square foot. Homeowners can expect to pay around $150 to $450 per pallet. Some grass varieties may not be available in certain areas, but local distributors will have several varieties to choose from that work best for the climate.
- Bahia is a hearty, low-maintenance, warm-season grass that costs $0.20 to $0.40 per square foot.
- Bentgrass costs $0.50 to $0.70 per square foot and is highly resistant to disease and pests.
- Bermuda is a resilient and drought-resistant grass that costs between $0.35 and $0.85 per square foot.
- Centipede grass costs between $0.75 and $0.85 per square foot and can withstand both heat and drought; it also fares well in shade.
- Fescue is one of the most popular cool-season grasses and costs $0.35 to $0.65 per square foot.
- Kentucky bluegrass costs $0.35 to $0.40 per square foot and can thrive in shady, cool climates and winters well, but it will not survive heat and drought.
- Marathon grass is one of the toughest cool-season variety grasses and has a healthy, rich color. Marathon sod costs between $0.60 and $0.65 per square foot.
- Ryegrass costs about $0.35 to $0.65 per square foot and thrives in cool, rainy climates but will need extra attention to survive hot and dry conditions.
- St. Augustine can fend off pests and weeds and costs $0.35 to $0.75 per square foot on average.
- Super-Sod is a sod distributor that offers Bermuda, centipede, tall fescue, and zoysia for pickup and delivery.
- Zoysia is an invasive variety of grass that grows in cold conditions. It requires less frequent mowing than many other grass types and costs between $0.40 and $0.60 per square foot.
Sod comes in three grades: economy (also called utility grade), mid-grade, and high-grade. The higher the sod grade, the better equipped it will be to integrate with the existing soil and fight off disease. The price per square foot for sod can vary depending on the sod grade. Economy-grade sod is the most affordable option at $0.20 to $0.30 per square foot but is also the least hearty. Mid-grade sod strikes a balance between relative affordability at $0.50 to $0.65 per square foot and relative low maintenance, with moderate resistance to disease. High-grade sod is the priciest but develops strong roots and requires very little maintenance. High-grade sod costs $0.70 to $0.80 per square foot.
|Sod Grade||Cost per Square Foot|
|Economy/utility||$0.20 to $0.30|
|Mid-grade||$0.50 to $0.65|
|High-grade||$0.70 to $0.80|
Topsoil is not required for putting down sod, but if the current soil is unhealthy or lacking in nutrients it can be worthwhile to add fresh topsoil ahead of the sod installation. It costs about $12 to $55 per cubic yard to put down new topsoil. Otherwise, lawn aeration costs $140 on average and can also improve the health of the soil.
Warm-Season vs. Cool-Season Grasses
In most regions, laying sod is best done during spring or fall, when the temperatures are less extreme. Some sod varieties have a high tolerance for longer periods of cooler weather. These are called cool-season grasses. Others called warm-season grasses do well in warmer climates with long periods of hot weather. Transition-zone grasses grow in all regions and thrive in moderate climates.
- Kentucky bluegrass
- Kentucky bluegrass
- St. Augustine
Geographic Location and Climate Zone
Some varieties of grass sod cannot be purchased locally if they aren’t well-suited for that region’s climate. Local suppliers will grow a variety of the best sod and often have a lower price point than Home Depot sod for large purchases. Purchasing sod directly from the grower will also help ensure the sod is fresh and healthy. Homeowners can look up “sod prices near me” online to get a sense of local pricing or to get quotes from local sod growers.
Sod prices can vary within the three growing regions across the country. There are three climate zones suitable for different grass varieties in the United States: cool, transition, and warm. The cool climate includes the mid- to upper-half of the country; the transition zone includes the top portion of the lower half of the country; the warm climate includes the lowest regions of the Southern states.
Additional Costs and Considerations
Delivery costs are another factor for sod prices for those who don’t own a truck or trailer to pick it up. Other considerations may include installing a sprinkler system, physically laying the sod, or removing old sod.
Ordering sod from a local wholesaler can be more cost-effective for large purchases. In general, the cost to have sod delivered ranges between $90 and $350. For homeowners who have their own trucks or trailers, picking up the order is usually free. It may be most cost-effective to rent a truck for the day as this typically costs around $129 in total. Homeowners will want to have sod delivered or picked up when it’s ready to be installed, and not earlier, to avoid stressing the grass.
The labor costs to install sod with a professional landscaping company include all equipment and tools needed to prepare, install, and fertilize the new sod. On average, the labor cost to install sod is $0.15 to $0.60 per square foot. Prices will be on the higher end if the lawn is sloped, is difficult to access, or has an irregular shape. Costs can also depend on how much work the installers do compared to any DIY prep completed by the homeowner. For most projects, it takes contractors between 1 and 2 hours to install 500 square feet of sod.
Old Sod Removal and Ground Preparation
If old sod needs to be removed first, a sod-cutter can be rented for approximately $70 to $100 per day. A professional company typically charges between $0.50 to $2 per square foot of grass that needs removal. The old soil would need to be tilled to provide a freshly aerated base for the new sod, or new topsoil can be laid and leveled. Adding compost to the soil layer can help boost the growth of new sod grass.
Installing a sprinkler system in dry climates is recommended before the last layer of soil is leveled and sod installed to avoid digging up and damaging the grass. A new sprinkler can cost anywhere from $1,700 to $3,500. Most homes need at least three to five sprinkler zones.
Sod Prices by Type of Sod
There are nearly a dozen common varieties of sod that are frequently installed in yards. Sod prices are determined by the region and the variety that’s available or best suited for that climate. Below are the most common types of sod for sale and their average costs.
|Type of Sod||Cost per Square Foot||Cost per Pallet|
|Bahia||$0.20 to $0.40||$90 to $180|
|Bentgrass||$0.50 to $0.70||$25 to $315|
|Bermuda||$0.35 to $0.85||$160 to $385|
|Centipede||$0.75 to $0.85||$340 to $385|
|Fescue||$0.35 to $0.65||$160 to $295|
|Kentucky bluegrass||$0.35 to $0.40||$160 to $180|
|Marathon||$0.60 to $0.65||$270 to $295|
|Ryegrass||$0.35 to $0.65||$160 to $295|
|St. Augustine||$0.35 to $0.75||$160 to $340|
|Zoysia||$0.40 to $0.60||$180 to $270|
The average cost of this grass is $90 to $180 per pallet or $0.20 to $0.40 per square foot. This is one of the least expensive types of sod and works well in warm climates. It’s tolerant of heavy foot traffic and lawn care mistakes like overwatering and resists soil erosion thanks to the strong root system.
Bentgrass sod prices per pallet range from $225 to $315 on average in most cool-weather climates. This type of grass costs between $0.50 and $0.70 per square foot. Bentgrass can tolerate heavy foot traffic and resists pests and disease during cooler, wet months, but it requires extra care during warmer months.
Bermuda sod is a tough grass that can handle heavy foot traffic like you’d find at a sports field or park. Roots grow at least 2 feet deep, and seed heads sprout to propagate quickly if it’s not mowed frequently. The average cost per pallet is $160 to $385, and the cost per square foot is between $0.35 and $0.85.
This warm-season variety can tolerate shady areas while growing a low, dense lawn. It can tolerate drought and heat, as well as sandy or acidic soils, but it doesn’t do as well with heavy foot traffic. The average cost per pallet is $340 to $385 from a hardware store and may be less from a local wholesaler. Homeowners paying by the square foot will pay between $0.75 and $0.85.
Fescue is a cool-weather grass that can grow between 4 and 79 inches tall, making it a great choice for ornamental grass or in-the-rough grass on golf courses. It’s one of the most common grass choices and tolerates poor soil conditions and high elevations. A pallet costs on average $160 to $295, and the per-square-foot cost ranges from $0.35 to $0.65.
Kentucky bluegrass is designed for cool climates that do not experience extreme heat or drought. It can tolerate full sun or partial shade with regular fertilizing and watering, but it cannot handle much stress from disease, pests, or weeds. Homeowners can expect to pay $0.35 to $0.40 per square foot or $160 to $180 per pallet.
Marathon is a type of cool-season sod that is durable enough to handle foot traffic while also resisting weeds and pests. Regular mowing and watering is needed to maintain the lush, green appearance. On average, the cost per pallet is $270 to $295 and the cost per square foot is $0.60 to $0.65.
Ryegrass sod tolerates low mowing and high foot traffic, making it a great choice for sports fields and parks in cool-weather climates. Minimal maintenance is needed in cool months, but extra watering helps prevent browning in warmer months. The average cost per pallet is $160 to $295, with the cost per square foot ranging from $0.35 to $0.65.
St. Augustine is a warm-climate friendly grass with a wide blade that resists drought and heat but doesn’t tolerate temperatures below 10 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s popular in several southern states, fast-growing, and pest-resistant. On average, it costs between $160 and $340 per pallet or $0.35 to $0.75 per square foot.
Super-Sod is a company that supplies homeowners with sod types that match their climate and growing seasons. It can provide variations of the zoysia, centipede, fescue, and Bermuda grasses to give homeowners a lush, green lawn. Prices will vary depending on the home’s location and the variety of sod needed, but homeowners can get a free quote directly from Super-Sod.
The average cost for zoysia sod is $180 to $270 per pallet or $0.40 to $0.60 per square foot. Zoysia is known to be a highly tolerant type of sod when it comes to sunlight and water variables. The blades are fine and soft, which makes it a preferred variety for golf courses in warmer climates, since it also grows slowly.
Benefits of Installing Sod
While the upfront price of sod can discourage new homeowners, a healthy lawn can provide several benefits to the overall property. Not only does the appearance of the yard immediately improve, but sod can also help control weeds, prevent blowing dust, and stop soil erosion, making it a quick and relatively low-cost solution for an ugly lawn.
When it’s time for a new lawn, the choice is often between sod and seed. When compared to the less-expensive and tedious method of hydroseeding a lawn, laying new sod provides an immediate result of healthy, strong grass that can be used within days or weeks. This can also help homeowners save significantly on the time and cost of lawn care.
Increased Curb Appeal
A lawn that’s been overgrown by weeds or never really was a lawn in the first place can look unappealing and bring down the value of the home. Potential buyers will notice a poorly maintained yard immediately and realize there will be an added cost to improve the yard’s appearance, which may dissuade them from purchasing the home.
Weed Growth Control
With the right type of sod, weeds are less likely to overtake a yard. Grass typically grows densely and helps reduce the number of weeds that can take root. This can also help alleviate symptoms for allergy sufferers who may be less tolerant of weeds growing wild in the yard.
Reduced Soil Erosion
Soil that has no ground cover from grass or plants is susceptible to being blown away in strong winds or swept away during rain. Both situations are potentially hazardous, whether from breathing in the dust or risking mudflow into the home. Layering exposed soil with a healthy sod grass can help prevent soil erosion by covering it with a strong root system.
How to Choose Sod
When homeowners are determining how to choose new sod for an existing yard, it’s a good idea to take a sample of the grass to the sod supplier to see if an exact match or similar type is available. If a completely new lawn is being installed, then there are a number of factors to consider, including climate, sun and shade ratio, level of foot traffic, and more. Below are some helpful tips for homeowners to consider when choosing new sod.
- Match any existing grass with the new type of grass being installed to replace old patches or increase the size of the lawn.
- Check which climate-appropriate sod types are available from local wholesalers in your region.
- Determine how much foot traffic the grass will get to ensure a hardy sod is selected.
- Identify if most or part of the yard is in sun or shade to help select a sod that works best in those conditions.
- Decide if you prefer a low-maintenance lawn that grows slowly.
- If weeds or pests are common in your yard, consider choosing a pest- and weed-resistant type of sod.
- Test the soil to see if it has a high acid content, is composed of heavy clay, or is sandy.
- Consider whether a sprinkler system will need to be installed to provide sufficient water for the climate.
Sod Installation: DIY vs. Hiring a Professional
Yard work and landscaping are among the most common DIY activities for homeowners. It can be therapeutic to work in the dirt and satisfying to enjoy the fruits of the labor of building a beautiful yard. The best DIY lawn care programs on the market have also made it easier for homeowners to care for their own lawns. For some homeowners completing a small sod installation, it may be more cost-effective to prep, purchase, and install new sod on their own.
Homeowners may already own several of the tools needed to complete the task, including a shovel, rototiller, rake, and more. Additional costs may include buying fertilizer (around $10 per 1,000 square feet) and renting a sod roller to remove any air pockets (between $15 and $25 per day). All that’s needed beyond that is time and a strong back to lay down the sod pieces once they are purchased.
While many homeowners don’t think twice about calling friends and family to help install a new layer of sod, groups of friends are not always available to help with big projects. When a large area of new sod needs to be installed, it’s worth homeowners considering having a professional landscape company do all of the prep work and installation. Not only can it save homeowners from straining themselves physically, but the best lawn care services have plenty of practice and experience with the best sod for an area and proper installation methods as well as helpful maintenance tips. Installation costs will include all materials and labor, but it’s often possible for homeowners to negotiate with the installer about prepping the ground or purchasing the sod. Then, all the homeowner needs to do is sit back and relax while the pros do the heavy lifting.
How to Save Money on Sod Prices
As with most big projects, finding ways to reduce the overall costs interests most homeowners. From discounts to local shopping, the following tips can help with saving money on sod prices.
- Choose the sod wisely. Pick a basic blend that can withstand the use you expect to have with kids or pets.
- Skip delivery costs. Ask a friend with a truck or trailer to help you pick up the sod and avoid a delivery fee.
- Ask about promotions. Call several sod farms and ask about holiday discounts or referrals.
- Inquire about remnants. For small areas, consider purchasing remnants that are offered at a discount.
- Reuse old sod. It’s usually possible to move sod and reuse it in a different lawn. Ask your neighbors who are getting rid of their sod if you can transplant it to your yard.
- Measure twice. Accurately measure the area that needs sod to avoid purchasing too much.
- Keep an eye out for discounts. Attend home and garden shows where sod wholesalers and landscaping companies offer discounts on pricing and installation.
- Be mindful of timing. Schedule the installation within 24 to 48 hours of delivery to ensure the grass is healthy and alive when laid.
Questions to Ask About Sod Prices
Asking the right questions before installing new sod can help homeowners feel confident that their new lawn will stay healthy and green during the growing season. Below are some helpful questions for homeowners to ask sod wholesalers and the best sod installation services about sod prices.
- How much sod do I need to purchase?
- Do you have a minimum order requirement?
- What’s the best kind of sod for my region?
- Is this sod good for heavy foot traffic from kids and dogs?
- Will this type of sod be high or low maintenance?
- Do you offer any kind of warranty or guarantee?
- Where does this sod come from?
- What’s the timeframe between cutting the sod and delivering it to my home?
- What kind of preparation will my yard need before installing new sod?
- How quickly should the sod be installed after delivery?
- Do you make sure the ground is leveled and rocks are removed from the top layer of soil before laying sod?
- Do you offer a flat-rate for installing sod once the square footage is determined?
- Will you test the sprinkler system to check that all heads are covering the lawn adequately?
- Does installation include fertilizing the sod?
- How long should I avoid heavy use on fresh sod?
- What fertilizer and weed killer do you recommend for this kind of sod?
Factoring the costs of installing new sod can be a daunting process, especially for first-timers. The following frequently asked questions and their answers can guide homeowners as they decide on the best sod for their home.
Q. How much does sod cost per square foot?
The average cost of sod sold by the square foot ranges from $0.35 to $0.85, depending on location, climate, and choice of sod.
Q. Do I need to put topsoil down before sod?
It’s helpful to lay down several inches of topsoil before installing sod to provide the grass with a healthy place to grow new roots. Sometimes existing soil is too clay-based, acidic, or rocky, so the topsoil provides grass with a better foundation to thrive on. If the soil has already had rocks removed and is of sufficient quality for the sod, it’s possible to simply use a rototiller to aerate the soil before leveling it for sod.
Q. Is it OK to water new sod at night?
It’s best to water new sod during the day so that the roots have a chance to dry out during the heat of the day. Leaving sod wet overnight can make it susceptible to pests, disease, and fungus.
Q. Can you lay sod over existing grass?
It’s generally not recommended to lay sod over existing grass for several reasons:
- Sod must have contact with soil for the roots to grow.
- Existing grass may not be level and pockets of air create space for disease and fungus.
- The surface of the old grass has organic matter that may conflict with the sod being installed.
If new sod is being installed, the old sod will need to be removed with a sod-cutter.