How Much Sod Can 1 Person Lay in 1 Day

How Much Sod Can 1 Person Lay in 1 Day?

In Lawn & Garden, Lawn Care by Jamie

A lush, velvety lawn has long been considered essential for home landscaping, and the easiest way to achieve it is by installing sods. However, laying sod is a demanding physical task, and one that requires advance planning and preparation.

A major part of that planning should be calculating how much sod you can lay in 1 day, as sod quickly deteriorates once it’s cut and loaded on a pallet.

1 person in reasonable physical condition can expect to be able to lay between 3,000 to 4,000 square feet of sod in 1 day. This is based on the assumption that all prep work has been completed ahead of time.

Since the average new home has about 5,000 to 6,000 square feet of lawn, you will probably need more than 1 day to complete your sod-laying if you are working by yourself. Given the tendency of rolled sods to quickly decompose on the pallet, it’s worth considering getting help to complete this job in 1 day.

What to Consider When Laying Sod by Yourself?

The Amount of Sod

If you want to lay sod on your own, consider the size of the job that you’re planning. While you may be able to lay 3,000 to 4,000 square feet of sod in 1 day, that’s under ideal conditions with all the prep work completed.

That’s also likely not to be enough to cover all your lawn area. You may want to split the job into 2 parts. Perhaps you can lay the front lawn one weekend, and then the backyard lawn a couple of weeks later.

Weather

If you are attempting to lay sod in very hot weather, you’ve got 2 potential problems.

First, the sod will quickly decompose when temperatures are above 80°F (27°C). That means you have to work quickly to get all the sod laid and watered thoroughly within 1 day.

However, performing physical labour in those hot conditions can be much harder, and so you may not be able to get it all done before you’re exhausted.

You will also have to water the lawn much more intensively over the first few weeks when the weather is extremely hot and dry.

If possible, wait for cooler temperatures to complete this job.

Prep Work is Required

You should get all of the prep work done before taking delivery of the sods. That may entail removing any old lawn, rototilling and adding topsoil and soil amendments, and levelling the ground. Waiting until the pallets are sitting in your driveway will slow down the actual installation considerably.

Your Physical Capabilities

Not everyone can work at the same pace and handle the heavy weight of the rolled sods. If you have issues such as arthritis, for instance, you will have much more difficulty in completing this job. It’s worth considering hiring help if that’s the case.

How Much Sod Can 1 Person Lay Per Hour?

How Much Sod Can 1 Person Lay Per Hour

The quantity of sod that 1 person can lay in an hour depends on the distance from the pallet, the physical shape of the sod-layer, and the number of cuts necessary to fit the sod in place.

That being said, most people can expect to be able to lay about 400 to 500 square feet of sod in an hour.

How Long Does It Take 1 Person to Lay a Pallet of Sod?

1 person should be able to lay a pallet of sod in about 1 to 1 ½ hours. That’s about 450 to 700 square feet of sod.

However, that time estimate is only for the actual laying of the sod. Preparing the soil for the sod needs to be done ahead of time, before the sod has been delivered, so that you can get right to work on the actual sod-laying when the pallets are delivered.

Is Laying Sod by Yourself Dangerous?

For someone with normal physical capabilities, laying sod is not a dangerous job.

Each rolled sod weighs between 15 to 30 pounds on average, although some might be as much as 40 pounds. If you have trouble carrying a heavier roll, use a dolly or wheelbarrow to transport it from the pallet to the installation spot.

Can You Leave Sod on a Pallet if You Can’t Finish it in One Day?

It is best not to leave rolled sod on the pallet overnight, especially in hot weather. However, if you cannot finish the job in one day, you can take some precautions to help prevent the sod from decomposing.

First, when the sod is delivered, have it placed in a shady spot to keep it as cool as possible. This may mean a longer walk back and forth with each roll of sod, but it will keep it in as good condition as possible.

Then, when you’re done for the day, lift off the top layers of the sod and lay them on a plastic tarp on the ground. This will prevent the lower layers from getting crushed, and allow excess heat to disperse more easily, slowing down the rate of decomposition.

Can You Hire Someone to Help You Lay Sod?

If you simply want to hire a strong back to help you lay your sod, you should be able to find a general labourer to assist you. If nothing else, you can let that person do the heavy work of moving the sods from the pallet to you, letting you focus on laying them properly.

You can also use extra help to roll the sods after they’ve been laid, before watering them thoroughly.

How Much Does It Cost to Have Someone Lay Sods for You?

If you have already bought your sod but want a professional to do the entire installation, expect to pay about $40 an hour for their work.

The advantages of using a professional is that they will have all the necessary equipment and will be able to complete the job more quickly than a home handyman.

However, make sure that you’ve got the professional’s time booked before you order the sod, as even the best sod-layer won’t be able to save sod that has rotted on the pallet before they get there.

Final Thoughts

For a skilled home handyman, laying your own lawn using sods is a big undertaking, but not impossible. The key to a successful job is planning ahead of time so that you have all the preparation done before taking delivery of the pallets of sods, so that you can complete the actual installation in as short a time as possible.

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About the Author

Jamie

Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.