Residential Sod Grass Installation — Enhancing Your Lawn with Local Expertise

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Key Takeaways

  • Measure your lawn to estimate cost, prepare soil by tilling and leveling, and factor in type, size, and fees for pricing.

  • Choose sod based on climate, sunlight, and soil type, considering durability for high traffic and preference for grass texture.

  • Hire a reputable local installer for expertise, read reviews, get quotes, and consider value over price for installation quality.

  • Post-installation requires careful watering and limited foot traffic for two months, with long-term maintenance like watering, fertilizing, and dethatching as needed.

Do you want a lush, green lawn that looks great year-round? Residential sod installation is your solution!

Turf is a quick and easy way to achieve a beautiful and healthy lawn. In this guide, we’ll guide you through the steps for selecting the right sod, choosing a sod installation service and maintaining your perfect new lawn! Let’s get started.

Lawn mower
Lawn mower

Planning, Preparation and Pricing

As with any big home improvement project, sod installation takes some careful planning and preparation.

The first step will be determining the size of your lawn and how big of an installation this will be. You can measure the length and width of your yard and multiply them together to determine the square footage of your lawn. This will allow you to get a rough estimate of how much your project will cost.

Preparation is another step of the sod installation process. Your old grass will need to be removed, and your soil will need to be tilled and leveled to prepare for the new turf. Other adjustments may need to be made depending on the soil conditions.

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Of course, this process can be handled by a sod installation service if you decide to go that route. As for pricing, the cost of sod can vary based on the type of sod, your location, delivery fees, the size of your lawn, service fees and other factors.

It’s a good idea to carefully weigh your options and get quotes from sod installers to determine which is the best option for your budget.

Selecting the Right Sod

This is one of the fun parts! Choosing the perfect sod for your lawn is an exciting process that will let you begin to envision what your future yard will be like. Of course, you can’t always just pick any type of sod. You will need to choose your sod based on a few factors, including:

  • Climate and weather — Certain varieties of sod thrive in warm weather, while others are better suited to cool temperatures. Also, some sod varieties are more resistant to salt, making them ideal for coastal regions. Some are very drought-resistant, making them great for dry climates. Climate and weather will play a big role in determining which is right for your lawn.

  • Sunlight — Depending on how much sunlight your lawn gets, you’ll need to adjust your sod choices. Some thrive in full sun, while some does well in shaded areas. Determining the amount of sunlight your lawn receives will help narrow down your options.

  • Soil — What kind of soil does your lawn have? This can help you determine which sod will best suit your soil conditions.

  • Other factors — There are other factors to consider, too. If you have kids and pets, you may prefer a more durable variety. If you like soft grass, you may prefer a variety like Kentucky bluegrass. These are all decisions you’ll need to make when choosing your sod variety.

You want your lawn to be as healthy and full as possible, and making the right choice based on your environment and needs is crucial!

Freshly groomed lawn
Freshly groomed lawn

Choosing a Local Installer

One of the best ways to ensure that your sod lawn ends up happy and healthy is by trusting a reputable local installer with the process.

The right local sod installer can make suggestions for sod varieties, handle all the manual labor of the process and provide you with instructions to ensure your sod takes root and ends up looking beautiful. However, the key is choosing the right local installer. Look up local companies and pay close attention to the reviews.

You will want to get insight into other people’s experiences and investigate the quality of their work. It’s also a good idea to get some quotes so you can compare pricing. Of course, cheaper isn’t always better. Sometimes, you’ll have to pay for experience and quality. Overall, this is a decision that you don’t need to rush!

Take your time choosing a local installer, and don’t be afraid to speak to multiple people. It’s your lawn, so don’t trust just anyone with the process. Once you’ve settled on a local installer, then the installation process can begin.

Man installing sod
Man installing sod

Home Delivery and Preparation

Once you have the sod variety you want, you’ll need to schedule a home delivery date. Whether you’re going the DIY route or going with a local installer, you will want your sod to arrive as close to the installation date as possible.

This way, it remains fresh and is ready to take root in the new lawn. Preparation for your new sod can take place before it arrives. This process involves clearing out your old grass so you have fresh, bare soil for the new.

Tilling, churning and making your soil loose may be hard work, but it’s essential to ensure your new sod can easily take root. A lawn roller can be a great companion here to help level out your soil and smooth out any bumps.

In some cases, you may need topsoil if your soil is poor in nutrients or insufficient for the sod variety you have. A layer of topsoil can help provide a new, healthy environment for your sod to take root.

Of course, if you hire an installer, you can include all of this hard work in your installation price if you’d rather forego it.

Installation Day and Initial Care

All of that hard work and planning is about to pay off because it’s installation day! If you’re DIY-ing, this difficult step is up to you.

However, if you have a local installer handling it, they’ll fit each sod carefully on your lawn, making sure to leave out gaps and avoid overlapping. With the sod laid down, you now have your beautiful new lawn!

Of course, the process doesn’t end there, as you will need to make sure to take good care of your new sod.


The first step will be to make sure your sod gets plenty of water. You should also make sure to keep an eye on your lawn and watch out for signs of browning or wilting.

Make sure to address any issues that crop up and ensure your lawn has the water and care it needs during these early stages to thrive and take root in its new home Sod is especially thirsty in the early days after installation.

Giving your lawn a deep soak the first week will help ensure it gets plenty of water and acclimates to the new environment. As the weeks go by, you will want to gradually decrease the water to more typical levels.

This will encourage your sod to take root as the grass seeks moisture deeper in the ground. Remember, the depth of the watering matters more than the amount.

You can take a peek under your sod to see if the soil beneath is damp because this is where you want your roots to be reaching!


Ideally, you’ll have perfect weather conditions that allow your sod to grow and thrive. You can encourage this by installing your sod variety during the season that it thrives or during seasons where weather is a bit more predictable.

Of course, conditions aren’t always going to be ideal. You’ll need to adjust your care based on the weather. If the weather is overly dry, you may have to take extra care in the watering process.

If it’s particularly rainy, you’ll want to keep an eye on things and make sure that you’re not overdoing it. Keep an eye out for brown and wilted spots that need extra attention.

You may need to fertilize or reseed these areas more than others.

Staying Off New Sod

While sod is taking root, you will need to give it some time and be gentle. That means staying off your new lawn as much as possible after installation.

Eventually, you can play sports in your yard, let your dog run around and treat it like any other lawn. But that time isn’t now. To let your sod really take root, it’s best to stay off it as much as possible for about two months.

This will let it get down strong roots and ensure it’s more resilient and robust in the future. It takes some patience, but the results are well worth the wait!

Until then, enjoy the view of your beautiful new lawn from a distance.

Long Term Maintenance

While sod can be easier to install than seed, it still needs the long-term maintenance that you would expect from a beautiful, lush green lawn.

To ensure your lawn gets the care it needs, make sure to keep these maintenance tasks in mind:

  • Watering — Of course, your lawn still needs water after it takes root. Pay attention to the moisture levels and the rainfall in your area, and water your lawn consistently and as necessary.

  • Fertilize — Your lawn needs nutrients to thrive, so providing it with nutrient-packed fertilizer is a great way to keep it healthy and vibrant.

  • Aerating — You may need to aerate your lawn sometimes to allow it to breathe and get the oxygen and nutrients it needs to retain its lush, green color.

  • Dethatching — Certain varieties of sod are prone to thatching, so make sure to dethatch your lawn as necessary. 

  • Seeding — If you notice your lawn has some brown or patchy areas, you may need to make sure and seed that location. Some sod varieties are good at reseeding themselves, but others may need some additional attention

Your lawn is your lawn, and the ultimate choice of who lays down the sod is up to you. With that being said, it’s not really recommended to do it yourself unless you have experience. The expertise that knowledgeable sod installers bring to the table is invaluable.

They can suggest the right sod variety for your lawn, ensure your lawn is properly prepared for sodding, lay down the sod perfectly and help address any problems that might crop up.

Trying to manage this process yourself can cause a lot of headaches, and errors can lead to wasted time and wasted money. It can also lead to a longer road to a green, healthy lawn. Why take the risk when you can let a local pro handle everything?

Working with Experts: The Value of Local Pros

Experienced local pros are the surest way to get a sod installation job done right and as efficiently as possible. It may be a financial investment, but the time and money you’ll likely save makes it well worth it.

Plan, price, and complete your sod project with Sod Calculator today.

This article was originally published on January 5, 2024

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