When you are looking to install new sod in your yard, some of the most frequently asked questions tend to be, “How much sod do I need for my yard?” or “How many square feet does a pallet of sod cover?” Sometimes, homeowners will greatly overestimate how much sod they will need and as a result, spend more money than necessary. Even more frequently, homeowners underestimate the actual amount of sod needed. This common struggle has been causing headaches over many years. Sod Solutions created the Area Calculator Tool to remove some of the guesswork from this stage of the installation process. By using the Area Calculator, you will be able to have a better idea of how much square footage you will need to cover. From there, you can take that measurement and find out how much sod you need to order and begin calling to request quotes. Read below to find out more about the Area Calculator and how to use it.
How to Use the Sod Solutions Area Calculator Tool
- Getting Started
- Creating an Overlay Shape
- Adjust Shape as Needed
- Creating Multiple Overlay Shapes
- Predefined Shapes
- Saving and Sharing
- Final Tips
Start by entering the address you plan to install sod at in the left-hand toolbar and clicking “Search”. Zoom in on the property as needed by using the plus and minus signs in the lower right-hand side of the screen.
Pictured above from left to right: entering an address and then zooming in on the property.
Creating an Overlay Shape
The next step is to create an overlay shape. First, click “Create Overlay” in the left-hand toolbar. Click on different parts of the map to draw a shape that covers the area you plan to install sod. Don’t worry—once you drop a pin, you will still be able to go back and remove it if you need to by selecting “Delete Last Point” near the bottom of the page, or by simply right-clicking a pin (using two fingers if you are on a Mac) and selecting “Delete Point”. As you draw an overlay shape, you will notice that the area and perimeter of the shape is automatically calculated in the left-hand toolbar. If you hover over the lines of the shape, you will see exactly how long the line is from pin to pin.
Pictured above from left to right: selecting “Create Overlay” and proceeding to draw an overlay shape.
Pictured above: selecting “Delete Last Point”.
Pictured above from left to right: overlay shape area and perimeter calculations and length of line from one point to another.
Adjust Shape as Needed
As you are drawing an overlay shape, feel free to change it around as much as you need to in order to get as close of a shape over your yard as possible. If you make a mistake somewhere in this process and want to start over, you can always reset the map by selecting “Clear Map” in the left-hand toolbar.
Pictured above: selecting “Clear Map”.
You can also click and drag a pin to move it to edit the shape as well, or click on the line of the shape to insert a point on the line. If you want to rotate an overlay shape, drag it’s rotation icon to the desired degree, or right click it and select one of the options in the pop-up menu to either: 1) rotate +1 degree, 2) rotate -1 degree or 3) rotate by a custom amount.
Pictured above from left to right: options for rotating an overlay shape and entering a custom rotation amount.
Creating Multiple Overlay Shapes
Some other features include creating multiple overlay shapes for different locations on the same property. For example, you may be using the area calculator to find out how much sod you need in both the front and back yard. To do this, finish creating the first overlay shape and select “Create Overlay” in the left-hand toolbar again. Begin dropping pins in the new location on the property and you will see the left hand tool-bar automatically adjust to portray three dialogue boxes for the area and perimeter measurements of Overlay 1, Overlay 2 and the total. As you progress, you can set labels for each overlay in case you need to title them with some specific details such as, “Overlay 1: Backyard Zoysia”.
Pictured above: two separate overlay shapes on the same property.
Pictured above from left to right: measurements for Overlay 1, Overlay 2 and the total combined measurements of both Overlay 1 and Overlay 2.
A cutout is a special overlay that is used to highlight areas of land that you do not want included in the calculations, such as flower beds or trees. The area of a cutout is subtracted from the total area in the left-hand toolbar and the perimeter is omitted. To place a cutout, simply:
- Create a new overlay,
- Place the overlay over the area you would like to have omitted. This should be placed over an existing overlay.
Pictured above: placing a newly drawn overlay shape on top of the other overlay shape.
3. Right click on the overlay’s midpoint and select “Switch to/from cutout”.
Pictured above: right clicking (or using two fingers to click on a Mac) to open up the menu and select “Switch to/from cutout”.
4. The overlay will now be set as a cutout indicated by red pins.
Pictured above: the red overlay shape as a cutout shape.
5. If you’d like to switch it back to a normal overlay, select the same “Switch to/from cutout” option from the menu.
Predefined shapes like triangles, rectangles, circles and semicircles are offered for users convenience with user-specified measurements. Check this feature out by:
- Selecting “Pre-Defined Shape” from the menu on the left-hand toolbar.
Pictured above: selecting “Pre-Defined Shape” from the left-hand toolbar.
2. Selecting the shape you want and enter its dimension in the unit of your choice. The dimensions will change depending on the shape you select. For example, you may select a circle shape, which will ask for a radius measurement. A triangle shape will ask for the length of side 1, side 2 and the degrees of the acute angle.
Pictured above from left to right: the Pre-Defined Shape menu with options for adding a circle or a triangle.
3. The shape will appear in the center of the map as an overlay. It’s measurements are also represented in the left-hand toolbar.
Pictured above: a circle shape placed in the middle of the overlay shape.
4. It can then be adjusted as needed.
Saving and Sharing
If you need to stop and continue your work later, select “Save/Import File” from the left-hand toolbar. Select the “Export to KML” button to have your map saved and downloaded onto your computer. Whenever you have time to come back to this map, you can select “Save/Import File” again, and then drag your exported KML file into the dialogue box where it states, “Drop files here to upload” or “Upload a file” to have your map open back up where you were last working on it. Saving the map as a KML file will also allow you to come back later to make edits or changes if necessary. It is recommended you do this just in case so you don’t lose your progress.
Pictured above: selecting the “Save/Import File” option.
Pictured above from left to right: options for exporting the KML file, uploading a file or dropping files to upload.
Once you have finished creating your overlay shape and your drawing is finalized, you can move forward to select a Sod Solutions grass variety or call around to research quotes for the job. Be sure to send a copy of the map to your email so that you can access your drawing and measurements at a later date. Sending it as an email is also useful if you want to share the map with a family member or a sod installation company. A link to your map will be sent to the email you choose to send it to, however, you will not be able to edit or change any details in the map from this link. Be sure to save it as a KML file for this reason and then re-import it back into the area calculator.
Pictured above from left to right: selecting the “Email Map” option and opening the Email Map dialogue box.
You can use this as a page to guide you through the use of the Sod Solutions Area Calculator. However, if you find yourself getting stuck, feel free to use the “How to Use” dialogue box that you can open up from within the Area Calculator page.
Pictured above from left to right: selecting the “How to Use” option and opening the “How to Use” dialogue box.
Now that you know how many square feet you need to cover, find out How Many Square Feet Are on a Pallet of Sod.