There are different ways to approach lawn restoration. You can have the old lawn removed, or you can have it restored. Generally speaking, you have to options from which to choose.
- You can have the old lawn removed and install new sod
- You can leave the existing sod and prepare it for new seed
Removing the old lawn
In this method, the landscaper will typically use a equipment to remove the old lawn. It is also a good idea when you lawn is lumpy and/or the hardscapes (like sidewalks and pathways) are sunken below the sod. This method works best when you don’t already have a sprinkler system. There are two ways a landscaper will typically go about accomplishing this task. One is to use a sod cutter and the other is to use a skid steer. It is easier to maneuver around sprinkler heads with a sod stripper, but the job can be done with either. Skid steers are nice because the old sod need to be removed either way and having a bucket to scoop up and dump the old sod is convenient. The trade off is that sod cutters require less grading when finished. You can expect to pay at least $2000 to have the old lawn removed and the site regraded and prepared for new sod. Then you can figure $1.50 per square foot for the new sod to be purchased, delivered, and installed.
Keeping the existing lawn and restoring it
This method of lawn restoration involves power raking the existing grass in order to remove all of the old dead grass and expose as much dirt as possible. We will usually plug the lawn heavily before power raking. The toughest part is to rake up all of the dead grass. After raking, we take top soil and fill in all of the dips. Then we hire a specialist to hydro seed. This method requires a sprinkler system in order to be successful. It is a more cost effective solution, however, it usually isn’t as nice as replacing the old lawn. The reason is that mature lawn grass goes through some transformation in order to survive. The result is less uniformity because you have a mix of old and new grass.