As noted in When is the Best Time to Lay Sod? fall is the perfect time of year to introduce sod to your yard for the first time or to replace old grass with an upgraded, premium variety. Choosing a professional lawn installation company can be tricky though, and not all installers deliver a quality end result. Sod University spoke with Josh at J.S.J. Unlimited, LLC. for a few tips when it comes to choosing a sod installation company. J.S.J. Unlimited is a landscape and supply company located in Orlando, Florida, that provides a variety of services such as sod installation as well as sod, mulch, rock, plants, and trees.
This blog was written based on an interview with Josh at J.S.J. Unlimited, LLC.’s sod and landscaping company located in Central Florida.
1. A good company should have a quality process.
A solid sod installation company should have a thorough process in place. In order for the best possible outcome, several steps should be taken before sod is installed. Herbicides may be needed to rid the area of weeds and other unwanted growth, old sod should be removed—not just mowed or scalped, debris should be completely hauled away, and the area should be re-graded if necessary. Avoid a company that plans to simply mow or scalp existing grass before laying new sod on top of it as a one-size-fits-all process.
2. Agree on terms at the front end of job.
Like any other professional service, terms should be laid out and agreed upon by both parties before any work is done. This means that the company should come to your home, measure your lawn, and determine the process that the job will require. You can measure your lawn yourself to have an idea of the amount of sod you may need by using our area calculator tool.
Remember that the cost may differ greatly depending on factors like process and preparation work. Consider it a red flag if an installation company asks for a large percentage up front—a reputable company should require little to nothing on the front end. Another thing to remember is that installation companies are often NOT maintenance companies. Don’t expect ongoing service. Plan to either handle the maintenance yourself or hire another company to meet those needs. Be sure to check out our abundance of maintenance tips on our Maintenance page. You can find seasonal advice, maintenance fundamentals, and other helpful information sorted by your specific variety of grass.
3. Low prices often means low quality.
The phrase “you get what you pay for” is especially true when it comes to sod installation. As previously mentioned, a lot more goes into an installation job than just laying grass. If you come across a company that quotes a rock-bottom price compared to other installers in the area, beware—there is likely a reason. It’s better to pay more and get the job done the right way the first time than to have to go back and correct a messy job.
4. A good company should be licensed and carry insurance.
Lastly, save yourself a potential legal headache by choosing a company that is licensed and carries both general and workers compensation insurance. If something goes awry, these credentials ensure that you are protected.
Be sure to read the How to Properly Install Sod page so that you have an idea of all the work a sod installation company does. If you make the decision to lay the sod yourself, this blog covers information starting from selecting the right kind of grass, to applying fertilizer to newly laid sod. To read about how to get your newly sodded lawn off to a great start, click here.