Asked the guy that does my lawn fert stuff about this. They are a fairly large company (state-wide but not nation-wide). He said it would cost about $350 to do 8000 sqft (about 1/3 of the lawn) as a "trial run". That's for aeration and top dressing with compost. He said the compost won't level the yard. He said if I water quite a bit to soften the lawn up before they aerate, the plugs would be about 1/4" to 1" long, depending on soil compaction. Does all that sound about right? Does the lawn look pretty bad (due to the plugs and compost) for a while? How soon can you mow afterwards?
Still need to find someone in the Houston area that will top dress my lawn to level it out. I don't think top dressing for lawn leveling is very common around here.
If any provision of this post is, for any reason, held to be invalid, incorrect, or indefensible, the other provisions of this post will be unimpaired and the invalid, incorrect, or indefensible provision will be deemed modified so that it is valid, correct, and defensible to the maximum extent permitted by law.