The Cost of Sod Installation in Los Angeles

May 8, 2024 ● Lawn Care

Los Angeles folks love a quick yard makeover, and sod’s their secret weapon. It turns drab to fab overnight, fitting perfectly with our sunny vibes and water-wise ways.

The price? It swings depending on the grass type, yard size, and prep needed. Picking the right sod means weighing LA’s unique climate and soil.

Wondering about the cost? Stick with us for some smart tips on budgeting and nailing your sod installation.

Key Takeaways

  • In Los Angeles, the cost of sod installation may range from $0.50 to $1.00 per square foot.
  • Additional services like soil preparation can increase the total expense, ranging between $0.75 and $2.00 per square foot.
  • The total cost of installing sod depends on various factors, including the choice of sod, the dimensions and layout of the property, the extent of preparatory work required, labor expenses, and the water system inclusions.
  • After installation, proper care—including watering, mowing, and fertilization—is essential for the health and maintenance of the new sod.

Average Costs of Los Angeles Sod Installation

As a homeowner in Los Angeles looking to spruce up your backyard, you can lay sod for specific prices from landscaping companies.

Generally, the cost of sod installation varies significantly, with the following factors playing crucial roles:

  • Sod type
  • Property size
  • Prep work
  • Labor costs
  • Irrigation system

Although you can opt for a DIY, letting professional landscape service providers do their job pays for the hassle and effort.

In Los Angeles, the average sod installation cost may range from $0.50 to $1.00 per square foot.

The numbers provided are installed on “prepared” soil. So, you will have to pay for additional services to prepare your sod, such as:

  • Grubbing
  • Rototilling
  • Amending
  • Patching
  • Leveling 

Depending on your needs and labor markets, soil preparation may cost an added expense between $0.75 and $2.00 per square foot to your total cost.

Keep in mind that these are just average project costs. Like the national average costs, actual prices can fluctuate without prior notice.

So, you need to get a personalized installation quote from local sod installation professionals to secure a great price.

Factors Influencing Sod Installation Cost

When considering sod installation in Los Angeles, two factors play crucial roles in determining the cost:

  • the type of sod chosen
  • the specific characteristics of the property

Type of Sod

As homeowners, you have a variety of sod types in Los Angeles to choose from besides artificial grass.

Each sod has its price point. And the best sod has characteristics suited to Southern California’s climate and soil conditions.

Sod TypeInstallation Cost Estimate per Square Foot
bermuda grass
$0.80 – $0.90
zoysia grass
$0.40 – $1.00
$0.45 – $0.85
St. Augustine
st.augustine grass
$0.35 – $0.90
$0.85 – $0.95
$0.30 – $0.70

The sod prices may vary spending on several factors, such as where you source them:

  • Sod suppliers: They act as middlemen or third-party retailers who offer sod delivery services for bulk orders.
  • Sod farms: They are the direct source of fresh sods and can also ship sods for specific delivery fees.

Property Size and Layout

The total cost of sod installation is heavily influenced by the overall size of the property and any unique layout characteristics.

Here’s a table with estimated installation costs for various property sizes in Los Angeles:

Property Area (sq ft)Installation Cost Estimate
500 – 1,000 sq ft$500 – $1,000
1,000 – 2,000 sq ft$1,000 – $2,000
2,000 – 3,000 sq ft$2,000 – $3,000
Over 3,000 sq ft$3,000+

Property Measurement Guide

Complex layouts can result in more waste and increased labor time, thus affecting the final installation cost. Here’s how you can accurately determine your lawn area:

  1. Measure the length and width of your lawn space.
  2. Multiply these dimensions to obtain the total square footage.
  3. Note the presence of slopes or obstacles that may complicate installation.

Remember that larger areas with unusual layouts like slopes, numerous garden beds, or numerous obstacles like trees or pathways:

  • May require more sod pallets
  • Can incur additional labor costs
  • Could require more meticulous sod cutting and placement

Other Factors That Influence the Cost of Sod Installation 

While the cost of the sod itself is significant, several additional factors can affect the overall expense of grass installation in Los Angeles.

It’s essential to consider the following factors before starting the installation process.

Preparation Work

Before laying down new sod, a specific series of landscaping services is necessary to ensure a successful installation. Each step has its corresponding cost:

Preparation StepsCost Estimate
Soil Testing$50 – $150
Debris Clearing$100 – $300
Leveling$0.05 – $0.30 per sq. ft.
Existing Grass Removal$0.05 – $0.25 per sq. ft.
Soil Improvement or Addition$30 – $100 per cubic yard

Depending on the landscaping companies that install sod, the preparation steps usually include:

  1. Soil Testing: To determine nutrient and pH levels.
  2. Clearing Debris: Removal of stones, roots, and waste.
  3. Leveling: Evening out the ground to avoid water pooling.
  4. Removing Existing Grass: Essential for a clean slate.
  5. Soil Improvement: Adding nutrients or topsoil as required.

Labor Costs

Labor costs for sod installation can vary based on several factors, including the scale of the project, the complexity of work, and the number of laborers required.

Here’s a snapshot of average labor costs in Los Angeles.

Labor RequiredCost Estimate
General Labor$120 – $200 per laborer per day
Skilled Landscaper$200 – $400 per laborer per day
Project Duration (Days)1-3 days for the average yard

Watering System

An efficient watering system is crucial following the installation of new sod to encourage deep root growth and ensure its long-term vitality.

Here’s a list of various irrigation systems and their costs.

Watering System TypeEstimated Cost Range
Basic Sprinkler System$1,500 – $2,500
Advanced Irrigation System$2,500 – $4,000
Drip Irrigation System$300 – $1,200 per 100 sq. ft.

When selecting the right watering system, consider the following specific needs of your new lawn:

  • Climate
  • Soil type 
  • Lawn size

Post-Installation Care and Maintenance

After laying down new sod in Los Angeles, you should pay close attention to the following:

  • Watering
  • Mowing
  • Fertilization
  • Seasonal considerations


To ensure the lawn remains healthy and vibrant, here’s a daily watering guide for you:

First WeekWater twice a day, in the morning and late afternoon
Second WeekReduce to watering once a day
Third Week and BeyondTaper off 2-3 times a week, depending on weather conditions.

Once the sod is established, you can transition to regular lawn watering schedules. Just be mindful of Los Angeles’ climate and potential drought restrictions.


Proper lawn mowing is critical for sod health. Only mow when the sod has taken root, typically after two weeks:

  • Wait: Ensure sod roots are established before the first mow.
  • Height: Cut no more than 1/3 of the grass blade length.
  • Equipment: Use a sharp blade for a clean cut.

Regular mowing promotes dense turf and discourages weeds, maintaining a low-maintenance lawn.


Fertilization nourishes sod, encouraging growth. Here’s a list of annual fertilization for Los Angeles lawns:

  • March: Complete fertilizer
  • June: Iron supplement
  • September: Potassium-rich

Apply fertilizer when the grass is dry and water immediately after to help absorption.

Seasonal Considerations

Sod care varies with seasons due to temperature fluctuations.

Considering Los Angeles ‘ unique climate, you can adapt your lawn care routine using this schedule:

SeasonWatering FrequencyMowing Schedule
SpringAdjust as neededRegular mowing
SummerIncrease for heatEarly mornings
FallReduce as neededLess frequent
WinterMinimalLimited mowing