How Much Does It Cost To Replace a Lawn?

Does your lawn have a problem with bare patches, an abundance of weeds, unhealthy grass, or lawn diseases? If you’ve tried different methods to improve the situation, but to no avail, then it’s probably time to replace your lawn. A fresh start may just be the thing it needs to become lush and green again.

The three popular ways of replacing a lawn are by planting it with new seeds, hydroseeding, or laying down new grass using strips of sod. These methods will replace the old lawn with new grass, but each has its own advantages, disadvantages, and different costs.

When Is It Time To Replace A Lawn?

Before we discuss the costs of replacing a lawn, we should first determine if your lawn really does need replacement. Here are some signs you have to watch out for before replacing your lawn:

Bare Patches


While bare patches can be fixed with topsoil or laying down sod, if the yard is almost completely filled with bare spots, then it’s better to till the entire lawn and start fresh. 

Weed Growth


If you are tired of weeds growing back, even after targeting and spraying them with a weed killer, another option is to replace the entire lawn. Replacing the lawn with a denser turf can choke out and prevent weeds from coming back. When a lawn started from scratch is applied with a root-killing, this could also keep the new lawn weed-free. 

Unhealthy Grass


Do you have grass that keeps dying even after watering it regularly? If you have dead grass, on the surface or underneath healthy ones, it’s probably best to get it replaced. Not only do you need to get new grass seed or sod, but you need to improve the soil conditions. The soil will need to be treated with nutrient-rich topsoil and mulch before placing new sod or grass seeds.

Lawn Diseases


There are many types of lawn diseases, some are curable while others are not. If your yard has been infected with a virus that is lethal and cannot be prevented, then it’s time to get it replaced. It should not be replaced with the same grass type or species but with a virus-resistant type or a different cultivar of the same type.

Prefer A Different Grass


Another reason to replace a lawn is if you don’t like the type of grass. If you’ve moved into a new home, you may want to replace your lawn with a new type because it’s difficult to maintain, costly to irrigate, or you don’t like its appearance. You can ask a sod specialist for the advantages and disadvantages of each type of grass to help you decide.

Lawn Replacement Options & Cost Breakdowns

Reseeding


A more affordable alternative when replacing a lawn is by reseeding or overseeding. While it is a method used for regular maintenance, when the lawn is severely damaged, old grass is removed and replaced with entirely new grass with reseeding. This will let you start with a clean slate, helping you fix a lawn beyond repair. 

How much would it cost? With a professional, the cost would be around $0.09 to $0.18 per square foot or $400 to $1,500 in total. This includes $150 to $750 for labor, depending on whether you need to get dead grass removed and the soil raked on top of spreading the seed and fertilizing the lawn. For a DIY lawn replacement, you would spend around $30 to $100 for the seed.

It is less expensive to reseed, but it would take long to do. It takes around a week to a month to reseed, depending on the type of grass and location. It would also take a long time before you see results.

Cost

  • 0.09 to $0.18 per square foot
  • Total cost: $400 to $1,500
  • Seed: $30 to $100
  • Labor cost: $150 to $750

Pros

  • More affordable: Cheaper than hydroseeding and resodding
  • Less expensive: Materials and labor costs
  • Variety: More grass type options

Cons

  • Maintenance: Initially harder to maintain
  • Results: Takes longer for the grass to grow
  • Limited: May not be suitable to fix some damages
  • Process: Takes a long time to reseed

Hydroseeding


Another way to replace a lawn is by hydroseeding, where one sprays a liquid mixture containing water, grass seed, fertilizer, and mulch all over the yard. It is a time-efficient method since one can cover an entire yard quickly and evenly with less effort, but it will be more expensive than reseeding.

It would cost around $0.06 to $0.20 per square foot, which includes labor. In total, this could land you around $500 to $4,000, depending on the size of your lawn. For small lawns, usually less than 500 square feet, the hourly rate for labor is around $24 to $30 per hour. There are also two DIY options, one is expensive while the other is more affordable. If you prefer getting a hydroseeder, it would cost $1,500 to $10,000. For the more affordable option, you can check out the local lawn or hardware store for kits or spray mixtures, which would cost around $20 to $80, but would be less effective.

It is recommended to hire a professional since they have the necessary equipment and already know how to spray the mixture evenly.

Cost

  • 0.06 to $0.20 per square foot
  • Total cost: $500 to $4,000
  • Kits: $20 to $80
  • Labor cost: $24 to $30 per hour

Pros

  • Time-efficient: Easier method
  • Cost-effective: Covers a large area
  • Variety: Multiple grass seed options

Cons

  • Expensive: Costs more than reseeding
  • Harder to DIY: Requires different materials
  • Irrigation costs: Needs plenty of water
  • Suitability: Expensive for small lawns due to price
  • Climate: Damp environment can lead to weed growth

Resodding


Resodding is replacing your lawn with new grass turf that is cut into sections. It looks like a grass mat, which you can buy in rolls. A sod comes with soil and grassroots, so it just needs to be implanted into the landscape. This makes it faster for the lawn to get established since you’ll quickly see a green and lush lawn.

Resodding is the more expensive method, which costs around $1 and $2 per square foot or $450 to $4,520 in total. This includes materials and labor for removing old grass and changing the shape of the lawn if needed. Labor costs can range from $35 to $75 per hour. There is also an option to include a sprinkler system, which usually costs around $1,700 to $3,400. 

If you decide to do the sod installations yourself, it costs around $0.35 to $0.85 per square foot or $150 to $450 per pallet, depending on the grass type as well as supplier and location. Similar to hydroseeding, it is recommended to hire a professional since they have special equipment to lay evenly and make it look seamless - you wouldn’t want a grid-looking lawn.

>>> Get Quotes From Price Competitive Contractors For Resodding

Cost

  • 1 and $2 per square   foot
  • Total cost: $450 to $4,520
  • Sod: $0.35 to $0.85 per square foot or $150 to $450 per pallet
  • Labor cost: $35 to $75 per hour

Pros

  • Results: Lawn is quickly established
  • Cost-effective: Less irrigation expenses
  • Thick: Produces a denser lawn

Cons

  • Expensive: Costs more than other methods
  • Harder to DIY: Needs to be seamless and laid evenly
  • Limited: Fewer grass type options

Additional Costs That Maybe Be Incurred

Some situations may require other materials before or after replacing a lawn. Here are a few of them:

Topsoil


For those who will start from a clean slate, it is important to get some topsoil. This can cost around $20 to $30 per cubic yard. This price will vary depending on the wholesaler or whether you purchase it in bags or from a soil dump. It also doesn’t include the delivery fee, which costs around $50 to $200, depending on the weight and distance; and labor if you will require a professional.


Soil Test Kit


You may need to test the quality of the topsoil because it may affect the results of the installation of sod and other methods. Soil test kits cost around $12 to $20, which can get from home improvement stores or online retailers. You may also want to check local agricultural cooperative extension offices since they may offer free kits. Send a request if you can get a kit delivered. You could also hire a professional to test so you can also get suggestions on how to make your soil more healthy or which nutrients are needed.

Finding a Lawn Replacement Contractor

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Kenneth Wilson
June 25, 2021
Cost Guides, Lawn Replacement

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done.