While almost every new home has it’s lawn established by seeding there are benefits of using Sod Grass in certain situations.
If you watch remodeling or flipping shows on television you will see them use Sod for any job that needs a new lawn because the time required to grow new grass is not within their taping schedule. However if you are flipping homes in real life the cost of sodding an entire lawn will probably not be worth the budget. You have to remember that TV Shows are not reality even when they say they are reality TV…
In real life you may want to sod a small front lawn, a center section in a driveway circle or a section of lawn in a fenced in area behind a row home / town house.
The first consideration should be cost of materials and labor if you can not do the work yourself. If the cost of sodding means that you have to adjust your interior remodeling choices then it is probably not worth the effort in my opinion.
On the other hand if adjacent homes in your area have manicured lawns and the lawn you are restoring is small and in very poor condition sod will give you instant gratification and get the neighbors off your back.
Costs for Installing Sod in your Yard
Sod costs will vary depending on your location but you can expect to spend about 25 to 45 cents per square foot for sod. This can be rather expensive and it does not include any labor. For instance a 10×10 foot deck / porch which is not large would cost on average $35 to cover with sod so you can apply that to a full yard to get your costs for materials.
If you want the sod installed expect to pay 75cents per square foot on top of the material costs.
This means you are looking at $1 per square foot on average to have Sod installed by a professional.
If you feel you can do the work yourself remember that sod will not grow if it is installed on top of your current grass. You will need to roto till your grass or remove it before installing new grass. Lawncare companies have heavy equipment made just for this process and a rental tiller at your local supply center will take you days to do a large area.. not to mention rental and gasoline costs.
Sod Lawns Laying the Grass is not the End of the Work
You have to remember that Sod grass is just like transplanting any plant. It requires care until the roots can be established and it means weeks where your lawn really should not see a lot of heavy foot traffic.
Watering schedules must be maintained. You want to water your grass in the morning once a day for at least two weeks maybe more if you are installing sod in summer.
Once the roots are established you want to make sure that you provide the proper fertilizer that will increase root growth vs blade growth. You can ask your local garden center they may be able to help you.
Do not apply herbicides for at least 5 months.
Final Note on Sodding your Lawn
Once your lawn has established its roots it can be treated like any other lawn. Water and fertilize as needed.
The cost vs benefit of sodding your lawn must be taken into consideration when deciding you want that instant gratification.
If you are repairing a small front lawn because you are selling a home then it may be worth the costs just so you can get people into your home however a week of watering and a bag of fertilizer along with grass seed will cost you much less.
If I was flipping or selling a home I would personally go with watering heavy for a week to see how well the lawn comes back. Watering heavy means hours a day with sprinklers. The cost of water will not be an excuse because if you sod your lawn you will need to water for weeks to keep it alive.
Also if your area is going through a drought a bright green lawn in a street of brown straw front lawns will stick out.. People will understand that it is the Weather not mismanagement that is the cause for a brown lawn…..
But a brown lawn does not mean a dead lawn…