By Gene and Katie Hamilton
If you have ever driven by a new house surrounded by barren soil on one day and a lush green lawn the next, you know the transformative power of sod. When it is laid, a one-day wonder occurs and the sod becomes a permanent part of the landscape. The new green carpet requires much care and attention, but once it's established, it's there to stay.
Laying sod is not for the faint of heart, especially if you're sodding a large area, because it involves a lot of heavy lifting and physical labor, mostly on your hands and knees.
A landscape contractor charges $2176 to lay down 2,000 square feet of sod, which includes the labor and material. You can buy the material and have it delivered for $825 and do it yourself, saving a hefty 62 percent, but you'll earn it with a very long weekend of work.
Preparing the ground for sod can be just as strenuous, depending on the condition of the soil, because it involves raking and grading to make the surface level and free of stones and rocks. Rent a lawn roller for the beginning and end of the job, first to level the soil and finally to close gaps between seams in the sod once it’s laid. You'll need a wheelbarrow, rakes, shovels, a sharp knife (to cut the sod into sections), and a garden hose and sprinkler. Wear kneepads to spare your joints, and schedule the job so you can lay it immediately after it’s delivered so it won’t dry out. Finally, plan to be home for weeks after it’s laid so you can water the new turf.
Watch this video from Super-Sod How to Lay Sod.
Looking for some advice about your lawn? Here's the latest word from the Yard & Garden Guru Ultimate Lawn Care and Maintenance Guide.
To store sod before you lay it, put it in a cool shaded area of your yard. Keep it moist, but not soaked because overwatering makes it mushy and difficult to handle; but if sod dries out, it becomes brittle and won’t be able to establish roots in the soil.
Wrapping up, given the average cost to lay sod you can compare the price of a contractor’s bid with doing it yourself. For a local cost input your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2019
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.