Are sod prices keeping you from realizing your own “Field of Dreams”? Many homeowners wishing to have a great lawn for their house but who also want instant results, look to sod installation as a solution. But sodding is the most expensive way to develop a lawn, much more than seeding it yourself. And for many people, sod prices are the stumbling block that brings them back down to earth.
Sod prices are based on many factors. It’s based on the type of sod you select, the size of the area to be treated, the amount of prep work you’re willing to do yourself, and current market prices in your area.
Sod comes in many varieties with the sod prices determined by a combination of the difficulty in growing the grass and the demand for it. But, more important than the sod price to you, should be it’s viability for your environment. Some grasses prefer shade, some sun, some prefer a tropical climate, others do better in desert type areas. Choose the one that’s right for your area. Most likely you’ll be choosing between some variation of the following sod types: Bermuda, Tall fescue, Zoysia, Kentucky bluegrass, and Centipede. Check with your local garden center for their recommendations on which types of sod are best for your community.
Of course, sod prices are partially determined by the size of the lawn area – but you can still save money in this area. Although, most sod is sold either by the square foot or square yard, large purchases are sometimes sold by the pallet. If you are sodding an unusually large area, you will probably be able to bargain for a cheaper volume discount. Most sod farms do not sell directly to the public, but there are exceptions. If you know the location of a sod farm in your area, sometimes you can buy your sod directly from the farm. You may not get wholesale prices but you will get a much better price than buying it through a garden center. In addition, if you use a lawn care service, and have a good relationship with them, sometimes they will forego their profit on the sod itself, if you use them for the actual installation.
Sod Prices and Prep Work
The majority of homeowners that purchase sod, do not lay it themselves. Unless you are doing all of the prep work and sod installation yourself, you will have to include these costs in your budget. Get price quotes from your lawn care service, your garden center, and even sod specialist in your area. This way you’ll get a more or less true figure of the going market rate. You will probably have to pay the going market rate by the square foot of work done. If you have dead trees on the property or bushes that will have to be removed, the prep work will cost you a bit more. The prep work estimate should also include the cost of preparing the soil with the appropriate tilling, gypsum, mulch, and nutrients needed to give the sod the best chances of surviving.
Miscellaneous Sod Price Factors
The sod prices, in addition to including the actual laying of the sod will also incur the cost of cutting and rolling the sod. And with the gasoline prices fluctuating wildly, it also factors into transportation costs. Some states require that the sod be treated with pesticides before it’s allowed to be sold.
If you have a professional install your sod, there may be additional add-on costs such as:
- The cost to remove overgrown weeds, stumps, existing grass, etc.
- Removal or treatment of underlying soil, for example, if the underlying soil has a heavy clay content.