Fixing the Lawn

I had an extended weekend between moving from one job to the next, so I figured that would be the ideal time to re-sod my lawn.  If you’ve ever been to my house, you might have noticed the lawn (or the lack of a lawn).  We have a huge tree in our front yard that blocks any type of sun from getting to the grass and the roots suck up all the nutrients from the dirt, leaving the lawn defenseless.  A few weeks back I had the trees trimmed, so my next project was to actually lay new sod.  The initial plan was to scrap off the ground of any dead grass and weeds to prep it for the new sod.  I originally thought that I could knock it out with a pick ax, shovel and a hoe, but after about 4 hours and only covering a small fraction of the entire job, I decided that going with something a little more heavy-duty would be a better move.  I made my way over the Home Depot and rented a light duty tiller and it saved the day.  It literally took a 10 hour job and condensed it down to 2 hours.  Not only did it save time, but it also saved my back as well!  Friday was spent tilling and preparing the ground for the new sod.  Friday evening I rented an open bed trailer from Uhaul to get the sod.  The grass place had the option to deliver, but they would charge $45.  I grabbed the trailer for $15, so it just made more sense to go that route.    Saturday was an early start.  At 7:30am, I was at the grass spot picking up my sod.  I ordered 1 1/2 pallets of grass (roughly 730 sqft).  My thought was that the pallet would fit perfectly into the trailer I rented and I would be on my way.  When the forklift came up to the trailer with the pallet, it was clear that it wasn’t going to happen, so I had to load it into the trailer by hand.  It wasn’t the quickest way to do it, but it wasn’t horrible since the team there helped out.  We were only able to fit one pallet in the trailer, so we had to make a second trip for the last batch, but it was close enough to my house to where it wasn’t a big deal.  Once I got back to the house, my dad joined me and we knocked out the job in about 4 hours.  First we laid out some fertilizer on the scrapped ground and we would mist water on the area we were about to work on.  Then it was as simple as laying the grass down.  We did our best to make the seams staggering so that we wouldn’t see the seam lines, but over time the hope is that the grass will just grow into each other where we wouldn’t see any lines.  Here’s some finished product pictures.

You can clearly see what was old and what is new, but again, the hope is that over time it’ll become one seamless lawn.  Now the job is to just water the grass a lot so that the roots can take place.  We’ll see how it all pans out!  If you’re planning on doing a job like this, you can totally do it!  It’ll take some time and some muscle, but it’s totally doable.  I’m sore to the bone as I write this blog, but it was worth it!  Here’s some numbers if you are thinking about doing it yourself:

Sod:  $146.14 covering 730sqft.
Tiller Rental:  $41.68
4×8 trailer:  $16.26
Fertilizer:  $20 (estimate)

Total:  $224.08

Just as a frame of reference, we hired someone to do this work at our Northside rental and it cost roughly $3,000.  The job was larger, but a lot of the cost was associated to labor.  You can save a grip of cash just doing it yourself and you get the satisfaction of a job well done.

4 Replies to “Fixing the Lawn”

  1. FYI, no need to overlap sod. St. Augustine is like weed and will take over anything. Just make sure you water the heck out of your lawn for the next few weeks….Good Job.

    PS…I knew you had your dad help you, you have no muscles…jk.


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