Sod is real grass that is purchased in rolls that have the appearance of a pre-grown grass "mat". You can install sod yourself, but there is an advantage to hiring a professional as they have special equipment to lay the sod more evenly, and reduce the look of seams.
Price of the Sod
Sod is priced by the square foot and is sold in rolls. However, all sod is not created equal. You will pay more per square foot for higher quality sod. Although this may not seem like a worthwhile extra expense, the higher quality the sod, the more likely that it will take root stronger and faster. It is frustrating, not to mention costly, to install a sod yard that then doesn't "take", so this added expense may prove worthwhile.
Area to Cover
The largest single factor in the cost of installing sod is the size of the area you need to cover. The larger the square footage, the more sod you will need and the more labor will be involved in laying it.
If you're hiring professionals, you will expect to pay by the square foot for the sod installation. Many landscapers will charge you a price per square foot that includes both installation and the sod itself. Make sure to clarify with your landscaper if the quoted price is for both installation and sod, or just installation and the sod price is separate. You may also have to pay a landscaper additional labor charges to do any sort of prep work, including removing trees and bushes and their root systems.
Lay of the Land
If your property is on a steep slope, if there are a number of rocks and tress, or if the soil is highly compacted and needs to be roto-tilled prior to sod installation, there may be additional costs in the installation.
Is DIY less expensive?
You may decide that laying sod is simple enough that you will save money by doing it yourself. But keep in mind that to do a great job laying sod you should have a rotor tiller, and a lawn roller to help prepare the soil and lay the sod evenly and flatly. If you need to rent this equipment you may have saved money or broken even by hiring a pro. In addition, if you do not know how to use the equipment, you may regret that you decided to do it yourself after all!
Over seed is used to protect dormant grasses from bad weather conditions until it sprouts. You can expect to add a few cents for every square foot of ground when you over seed. This is not a necessary step but it is a beneficial one in helping your new lawn to take root.
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