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Grading AFTER new sod install ???

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by rob7233, Mar 25, 2007.

  1. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    I got a new customer that I'm working with, on new landscape install and design. They want a perfect looking yard and don't seem to have an issue with cash or prices. Apparently, they just had some new St. Augustine (Floratam) sod installed but the installer did a hack job on the grading prior.

    There are lots of peaks and valleys, which make it difficult to acheive a smooth and manicured look no matter which pattern it's cut. How well do you think the end result would be if I were to take a sod cutter set a little deeper to pull the sod up to regrade and then lay it back down? How much do you think you would charge for this per each 400sq/ft area? Some dirt would need to be brought in also. Likely less than 4 yards which can be done at the landscape install. Unfortunately, the job was so bad that filling in the low areas won't do it. Any advice?
  2. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    I wouldn't recomend cutting it and replacing it. Can it be done..of course. However, you have to factor in the extra labor/cost of renting a sod cutter, cutting the sod, rolling/folding the sod, storing it keeping in mind you are going to really want to put that back down within 24-48hrs...can the regrading be done in that amount of time?

    Seems to me just bring a machine in, rip it out, haul it out and when ytour ready for the sod have the farm cut it that morning and delivered there right for you everything stacked neatly on a pallet.

    I dunno, I just see job flow being a problem on this one.
  3. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,852

    I don't see why your plan wouldn't work, but I would be hesitant to gaurentee anything. As long as you time it right, it seems like you would be ok.
  4. Bigred350

    Bigred350 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 810

    Can you not just put some sand in the low spots. Or is it worse than that?
  5. LongviewLandscapeSupply

    LongviewLandscapeSupply LawnSite Member
    from Wa
    Messages: 10

    Perhaps a solution is to use a 3-way top soil and putting it on top of the low spots and rolling it in and just allowing the grass to grow up through it... we've had good luck with this in a few lawns..
  6. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    Yes, It's worse than that. The only way I can see is to pull the sod up and regrade in order to get it right. What would you charge for something like this? It's like resodding labor wise without the cost of the sod itself. Workflow would be an issue and needs to be considered too. Any suggestions? Can the sod be cut up without ruining it? Never approached it this way and never thought I have to try to save the whole lawn..!!
  7. Bill S

    Bill S LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    I would steer clear of this process. Unfortunately, some sod will get damaged or lost in the process and you will need to bring new sod in anyway. You are going to try and save money, I understand, but by the time you put the additional labor into "being careful to cut deep enough and roll properly etc" you are going to out price the cost of just buying another pallet or two of sodfarm sod
  8. Focal Point Landscapes

    Focal Point Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 401

    If the sod was just installed , you should be able to roll it back up in the bad spots , level then reinstall . I would guarantee you that a sodcutter would destroy new sod - it hasn't had time to become a continuous turf. If you can't re-roll and level the ground , your'e going to have to resod.
  9. Mr. Vern

    Mr. Vern LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    I don't think you will get the results you are looking for. If you run a sod cutter over an uneven grade, you will get sod rolls that are uneven in thickness. If you fix the grade and try to roll the sod back out, you will now be doing just the opposite of what the previous guy did - rolling uneven sod over a good smooth grade. You will end up with the same result you have now.

    When you say the grade is uneven, can you tell us how uneven. There are several approaches you could take before you rip the sod out, but I would need to have a better idea of just how bad it is in order to suggest a solution.
  10. rob7233

    rob7233 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 873

    "If you fix the grade and try to roll the sod back out, you will now be doing just the opposite of what the previous guy did - rolling uneven sod over a good smooth grade. You will end up with the same result you have now."

    Good point there! Sod here in Florida is not rolled. It is cut in square pieces and stacked on a pallet. It is not soon enough to become grown together. Whole thing sounds like a cluster f**k. I guess the best thing to do would be gradually fill the low spots, allowing the turf to grow through and maybe pull back and grade the areas that are the very highest. Or maybe, I'll just wait for the chinch bugs to do their thing..! :laugh:

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