It’s simple, if you want to install sod on your lawn, you need to know how much to order.
Otherwise, you could wind up with a half-filled, patchy lawn. Or worse, a pile of sod you don’t need!
So, if you find yourself wondering…
How do I measure how much sod I need to order for my lawn?
Well, that is what we are here to go over today. Below you will find EVERYTHING you need to know about estimating how much sod for your lawn.
Using both online measuring tools, and the old fashion way.
Without further ado, let's dive in to check out these turf measuring tools.
Online Sod Measuring Tools
Nowadays it seems like there is an app for everything. And when it comes to apps for lawn care, you would be surprised how many options there are.
The same is true for online tools for measuring sod.
In our search for sod measuring tools online we found 3 main types of calculators: aerial view sod calculators, digital tape measures, and multi-area calculators.
Below, we will cover both of them below, as well as how to measure sod the old fashion way. Unless you want to try one of these alternatives to natural sod.
1) Aerial View Sod Calculators
Aerial view calculators rely on satellite images and data from sources like Google Maps. These calculators allow you to estimate your lawn square footage without having to leave the house.
These calculators offer the fastest solution to measuring turf with an online tool.
Here are some of the best we have found:
Sod Solutions Aerial Calculator (Best for Computer)
Area Calculator by Lawn Crack (Best for Phone)
Pros: No need to leave the comfort of your home, fastest solution, and it doesn’t require any tools other than your computer or phone.
Cons: Not likely to be as accurate leaving more room for error.
2) Digital Tape Measure
Another tool that can help you avoid busting out a physical tape measure is a digital tape measure.
Digital tape measures have come a long way. And they are fairly accurate. But the accuracy of these cell phone measuring tools diminishes over longer ranges.
In my experience, they appear to be about as accurate or slightly less accurate than the aerial calculators listed above. So you likely want to double-check your measurements with the aerial calculator to be safe.
One good measuring tool for smartphones is:
Pros: Easy to use, no need to purchase tools, and can be faster than a tape.
Cons: Accuracy will fluctuate greatly.
The second type of online tool we identified as being useful for measuring sod are multi-area calculator.
Essentially, they help you calculate the total square yardage once you have collected the measurements.
These apps are useful for helping to total all of the areas you have measured. The trouble is, you still have to measure the lawn.
While you can use an app like a digital tape measure to measure from your phone, you run the risk of inaccurate measurements.
Some useful multi-area calculators include:
Saratoga Sod’s Calculator (Recommended)
Inch Calculator (Cost Calculator)
Pros: Makes calculating total square yardage simpler, and helps to double-check your manual calculations.
Cons: Limited functionality, and you have to measure your lawn on your own with tools.
How To Measure Sod The Old Fashion Way
Look, there are some amazing apps out there to help you measure sod, but really it’s not a complex process to measure the old fashion way.
And your best bet may be to calculate the square yards of your property manually, then compare it to the measurement you are seeing on any sod measuring apps.
For reference, here are the math equations for measuring square footage:
- Square/Rectangular area: Length times Width = Area
- Circular areas: 3.14 x Radius x Radius = Area
- Triangular area: Base x Height /2 = Area
Measuring Square/Rectangular Lawns
If you're fortunate enough to have a yard that is nearly a perfect square, or rectangular shape, well you are in luck.
Step 1: All you will need to do is measure the length (L) and the width (W) of the lawn.
Step 2: Once you have those 2 numbers, you simply multiply the L x W.
Step 3: Convert feet to yards.
How To Measure Sod in an Irregular Lawn
OK, so this is the more likely scenario. If your lawn is not a simple shape, you will want to divide up the lawn into simple square/rectangular, circular, and/or triangular shapes.
Step 1: Break up your lawn into measurable areas; squares, circles, and/or triangles,
Step 2: Measure each section of the lawn you have divided up and find the square footage of each section,
Step 3: Add the square footage of the sections together, (Consider using one of the multi-area calculators listed above)
Step 4: Subtract negative spaces (I.e. your home, driveway, shed, etc.)
Step 5: Convert square feet to square yards.
Here's a solid example of what this should look like:
Converting Square Feet into Square Yards
Ok, so sod is measured in square yards, not square feet. So, unless your tape measures in yards already, you will need to convert the square feet of your lawn into yards.
To do this, you will simply need to take your square footage and divide it by 9.
For example, if your lawn's square footage is 900. You will simply divide it by 9:
900 sq. feet / 9 = 100 sq. yard
In this example, you would need to order 100 square yards of sod for your lawn.
Preparing Your Lawn For a Sod Installation
The first step to installing sod is to prepare your lawn properly. We have a great article on installing sod in 5 simple steps.
While this article is about using online tools to measure how much turf you need for the lawn. I want to briefly touch on the 5 simple steps to installing sod which are:
Prepare your soil,
Grade your lawn,
Measure and install,
And water your lawn properly
Measuring Sod at the End of the Day
Look, online measuring tools are a great resource for many things in life.
And while they can be useful in helping you get a rough calculation of how much sod you need to order. They are not likely going to be as accurate as measuring your lawn manually.
As a result, whether you are installing synthetic turf or natural grass. You may want to consider measuring your lawn the old fashion way and double-checking your math with one of the sod calculators listed above.
Looking for more lawn care info? Be sure to check out our lawn care blog for homeowners.
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