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Sod is basically just a sheet of pre-grown grass that provides an empty or lifeless yard with a beautiful lawn. A quick alternative to growing grass from seed, laying sod in your yard is a simple process. Even measuring your lawn for sod is easy, requiring only a few calculations. All you have to do is calculate the square footage of your lawn that needs to be covered.
Measuring Your Yard
To figure out the amount of sod you need, you must first measure the areas that you will lay the sod. The math often seems daunting, especially if you have a large or irregularly shaped yard. Feel free to break the yard up into smaller portions to make it easier for you, and don't forget to take out any areas that don't need sod. If you are truly worried that you have made a mistake or done something incorrectly, you can use this formula.
If you are calculating it yourself, you need to figure out the area of your yard in square feet. The formula you use depends on the shape of your yard:
- Circle, half-circle, and quarter-circle: Slightly more complex than standard square-shaped yards, to find the area of a circle you multiply the radius by itself, then multiply by 3.14. So (Radius x Radius) x 3.14 = Area. For a half-circle, you divide the answer by two and for a quarter-circle you divide by four. High school geometry refresher: Radius is the distance from the circle's center to its outer edge.
- Rectangle or square: Perhaps the easiest shape to calculate the area of, you can find the area of a rectangle or square-shaped yard by multiplying the length times the width. Length x Width = Area.
- Right triangle: To calculate the area of a right triangle, you need to multiply the two sides that create the right angle, then divide by two. Length x Width / 2 = Area.
Ordering sod is a tricky task, as the measurements of most yards do not match up with the square footage typically found in sod pallets. And since you cannot receive partial pallets of sod, you are left with two options: order less than you need, or order more.
If you order less, you need to go to a landscape provider to purchase the extra sod needed by the piece. It is important to note that buying per piece if far more expensive than per pallet. If you order more, you have to find someone that needs sod themselves or find spots in the yard that need some maintenance.
Remember that sod that comes from different suppliers often looks different, even if it is certified as the same grass. While it will eventually look the same, different cutting and growing conditions may cause different initial appearances. However, within a year it should blend together.
How Much Sod Is on a Pallet?
When ordering sod, you need to figure out exactly how much is going to be on each pallet. Don't be afraid to ask your supplier the total square footage of each pallet you're getting. For example, pallets of Bermuda sod typically contain 504 square feet of sod overall. If you don't first determine the amount of sod per pallet, you run the risk of ordering far more or less than you actually need.
Pallets of sod are delivered in either slabs (also called pieces) or rolls. Rolls vary in length and pallet size, but they are generally the same square footage as a slab would be.
How Much Does Sod Cost?
Sod prices are influenced by several factors, such as the amount you need, the area you're laying it, where you buy it from, the type of sod, and whether you install it yourself or hire someone. That being said, what follows is a general pricing guide to provide an idea of what you can expect to pay for your sod.
- The cost of a pallet of sod averages between $120 and $400, with most homeowners paying around $260 per pallet.
- When paying by the square foot, costs average between $0.30 and $0.80 per square foot of sod.
- For the average lawn (around 1/5 of an acre) sod costs run between $2,485 and $6,620.
Location is a large determinant of price. The further the sod has to ship, the higher the cost will be.