Lawn sod is priced by the square foot, with prices dependant on the quality of the sod used, the local cost of labor and the value of the tools and supplies necessary to lay the sod. Additional costs are often added for land clearance or over seeding.
The higher the sod quality, the higher the price of the material per square foot. While the expense is higher, the chances of the sod taking root in the lawn are greater with higher quality sod. The price of labor used to lay the sod is also a primary determinant of total price, with labor prices changing not only according to region, but also according to the level of workmanship used. Unlicensed, semi-skilled workers, for example, are far less costly to hire to lay sod than a contractor. The advantage to hiring a contractor, however, is that the contractor is typically able to give a solid square footage estimate based on the exact conditions of the lawn, along with working according to a strict timetable.
The costs of laying sod are often augmented by the state of the lawn prior to laying it. If the lawn requires significant clearance of stones or roots or there is the need to roto-till the land due to compacted soil, the cost per square foot rises. The price also rises if the lawn is over seeded after laying the sod to protect the new sod from bad weather. A few other costs additions include the installation or alteration of irrigation and the cost of removing existing lawn cover.