By Gene and Katie Hamilton
Budgeting for a new lawn depends on whether you want to seed the lawn or lay sod. Seeding a lawn takes time, but it's considerably less expensive than laying sod. It's a good choice if you want to grow grass in a shaded area. Be sure to plant a shade-loving seed, which will grow better there. In fact, you'll get the best results by choosing seed suited to the soil and other site conditions, and preparing it before you start. For advice, consult your local lawn and garden center or Master Gardener's county extension program.
The work required to prepare the soil for grass seed depends on its condition. Loosen the soil and rake it and remove weeds and rock, and then smooth the surface so it's level. You may need to add new topsoil and turn the soil if it's rock-hard. If hand tools won't break it up, you may want to rent a rotary tiller to loosen it.
You'll need a rake and hand gardening tools for weeding, a drop or broadcast spreader to apply the seed, and a garden hose and sprinkler. To protect the new sprouts from heavy rain or high winds, cover them with a fine layer of hay. Remove the hay with a rake when the new seeds are strong and can stand on their own. We've had good luck seeding a lawn in the fall when the sun wasn't quite so hot, but the days were warm and the nights cool. If you're lucky, you'll get some nice soft rain after planting the seed and you're off to a good start. Use wood stakes and string to create a barricade around newly laid seed and protect it from foot traffic.
Here's advice from Scotts about How to Start a New Lawn from Seed.
A landscaper will charge $879 to prepare the soil and seed a 2,000 square-foot lawn, which includes the labor and material. You can buy the seed and do it yourself for $120 and save 86 percent. It'll cost more if the soil requires topsoil and more labor, either yours or that of a landscaper service.
Follow this link to an article with grass growing tips from the Grass Seed USA experts Grass Growing Advice from the Pros.
Wrapping up, given the average cost to seed a lawn 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.