How Much Does Grass Removal Cost in 2024?

On average, grass removal costs around $0.88 to $1.84 per square foot, but you can expect to pay as little as $88 to as much as $9,200.

Do you want to convert your lawn to a more functional vegetable garden or water-efficient landscaping? If so, you will need to remove the existing grass first. Grass removal costs around $478 on average, with most homeowners spending between $760 and $3,328.

While your lawn size can significantly affect the overall cost of your grass removal project, other factors like yard obstacles also should be considered. So, if you hire a lawn care company to remove your existing lawn, you can expect to pay from as little as $88 to as much as $9,200.

Average Grass Removal Costs in 2024

National average cost$478
Typical price range$760 – $3,328
Extreme low-end cost$88
Extreme high-end cost$9,200

Should you decide to finally give your lawn a much-needed transformation, one of the first things you need to do is remove the existing grass. On average, lawn removal costs around $1.36 per square foot, so you can expect to spend anywhere from $760 to $3,328. Still, cost factors like removal method and yard size can affect the total project cost.

A more cost-effective approach to minimize your project cost would be to remove the grass manually using a shovel. But if you can shell out more money, you can use herbicides like glyphosate and hire a professional to apply it on your lawn. Note, though, that this method is not advisable if you need to remove grass from a large lawn.

Grass Removal Cost Estimator by Lawn Size

Since most landscaping companies base their rates on square footage, the primary factor to consider when calculating lawn removal costs is your lawn size.

So, if you consider the typical price range of grass removal, which falls between $0.88 and $1.84 per square foot, most projects can cost around $88 to $9,200. These prices already include labor costs, which can range from $45 to $120 per hour, as most lawn care pros charge.

Project sizeAverage overall cost
100 square feet$88 – $184
200 square feet$176 – $368
500 square feet$440 – $920
1,000 square feet$880 – $1,840
5,000 square feet$4,400 – $9,200

If you want to add a small flower bed to your yard, removing grass from a section that’s just around 100 square feet will cost around $88 to $184. On the other hand, professional grass removal can cost anywhere from $4,400 to $9,200 for a 5,000-square-foot lawn.

Other Factors That Affect Cost

Apart from the size of your lawn, you also need to consider other cost factors, such as the removal method, yard cleanup, debris removal, and obstacles in your yard.

Removal Method

So, how do you plan to remove your grass? You can choose from four different methods: herbicide application, physical removal, sheet mulching, or solarization.

Removal methodAverage cost
Herbicides$60 – $120 per visit
Physical removal (sod cutter or shovel)$0.35 per square foot
Sheet mulching$38 – $140 per cubic yard
Solarization$0.10 per square foot


One way to get rid of your existing grass is to use a post-emergent herbicide (e.g., glyphosate). If you hire a professional to spray the herbicide on your behalf, it can cost around $60 to $120 each time.

However, one application may not be enough to completely remove the grass. Also, most chemical herbicides can harm the organisms in your soil. And even after using a weed control spray, you might still have to dig up the dead grass from your lawn.

Physical Removal

Since using herbicides can take weeks to show results, some people resort to using a shovel or sod cutter to remove their existing lawn. In fact, removing grass this way is the quickest and most popular method. However, this method can be labor-intensive, and it might not work well for tough grass with deep roots, like Bermudagrass.

Most lawn care pros charge between $40 and $160 per hour for removing grass using a sod cutter, so expect to pay around $0.35 per square foot.

Sheet Mulching

Some people refer to sheet mulching as lasagna gardening because this method involves covering the grass with a lot of layers of mulch. Cardboard, paper, and other natural materials can be used for this purpose.

Sheet mulching might not cost anything because you might already have the things you need at home, like paper and organic waste. Or, you can buy mulch, which can be around $38 to $140 per cubic yard.


With solarization, you will need to cover the spot where you want to get rid of grass. For six to eight weeks, leave it covered with a big plastic sheet. This will make the grass, bugs, and weeds die from the heat. For this reason, solarization works best in warm regions.

Since you only need clear plastic sheets and some rocks or bricks to hold them in place, you can do solarization yourself. The only drawback is that it takes a lot of waiting because it needs some time to work. If you don’t have plastic sheets stored in your garage, you can buy them for just around $0.10 per square foot.

Obstacles in Your Yard

With grass removal, things like sprinklers or tree stumps can make the process more complex. If many objects are in the way, there may be additional costs, as removing these obstacles takes more time and skill. So, the more obstacles there are to remove, the higher the total cost of your grass removal project will be.

Yard Cleanup

Before the lawn removal crew comes, it’s important to tidy up your yard. You must get rid of garden debris, leaves, and anything else that might be in the way. This helps make the grass removal go more smoothly and quickly.

Most homeowners usually spend between $0.02 and $0.05 per square foot for yard cleanup, or around $174 to $436, on average.

Debris Removal

Once the landscaping company has finished removing your lawn, you’ll be left with mess and junk all over your yard. While it’s tempting to just leave them there, the debris may attract pests, causing more problems. So, hire people to come and take away all that waste – it only costs around $160 to $400.

Let’s explore other services you might need after removing your lawn. From artificial grass installation to pest control solutions, discover ways to boost your property’s curb appeal.

New Lawn Installation

If you want a new lawn, you can either reseed or lay sod. While laying new sod can be labor-intensive, you’ll have a full lawn right away. On average, hiring a pro for sod installation costs between $0.86 and $1.75 per square foot, with most people spending anywhere from $1,048 to $2,992, depending on the type of sod.

Seeding is more affordable and much easier, but it takes longer for the grass to sprout and grow. Most homeowners spend between $0.09 and  $0.19 per square foot or an average of $592 to $1,768 to seed their lawn.

Artificial Grass Installation

Some homeowners choose to install artificial grass after taking out their old sod or grass because it doesn’t need as much lawn maintenance. Unlike real grass, artificial grass doesn’t need routine lawn care services like mowing, watering, or fertilizing. Plus, this type of grass stays green year-round, so it always looks nice without much effort.

Vegetable Garden

These days, more and more homeowners are becoming interested in growing veggies. So, they’re removing the grass from parts of their lawns to make space for sustainable vegetable gardens. Some even earn cash by selling the veggies they grow.

Flower Beds

For homeowners who don’t want a whole garden of flowers, one option would be to put small flower beds in different parts of the yard. Whether you plant hydrangeas or peonies, a colorful flower garden bed can brighten your yard and make it look picture-perfect.


If you removed your grass for the purpose of conserving water, you might want to consider xeriscaping. This alternative to traditional grass lawns uses drought-tolerant plants, water-efficient irrigation methods, and other water-saving landscaping practices.

On average, xeriscaping costs as low as $4,000 to as much as $24,000, depending on the size of your yard, xeriscape design style, and required materials.

Pro Cost vs. DIY Cost

Instead of hiring a pro, there are several ways for you to save money on lawn removal costs. If you’re okay with waiting a few weeks, you can do it almost for free with solarization or sheet mulching.

But if you want it done quicker, you’ll have to dig it up. The table below shows how much it costs to remove grass using different tools like a flat shovel and edger, a sod cutter, or a rototiller.

Note: Before you start digging, call 811 at least three days ahead, so they can mark where the utility lines are.

DIY equipmentAverage cost
Lawn mower (reel)$123
Flat shovel$20
Lawn edgerBuy: $87
Rent: $50 per day
Mulch/compost$38 per cubic yard
Sod cutterBuy: $3,970
Rent: $104 per day
RototillerBuy: $116
Rent: $76 per day
Total DIY costs (using a shovel and edger):Buy: $311
Rent: $274
Total DIY costs (using a sod cutter):Buy: $4,247
Rent: $381
Total DIY costs (using a rototiller):Buy: $277
Rent: $237

If you are using a shovel to take out the grass yourself, you can expect to spend around $274 to $311 if you don’t have the necessary tools in your garage. On the other hand, lawn removal project cost ranges between $381 and $4,247 if you’ll be using a sod cutter. With a rototiller, removing grass DIY may cost just around $237 to $277.

Remember, these are just average prices, and they may differ depending on which tools you need to buy or rent. So, you’ll have to pick the one that works best for your budget and project needs. But if you don’t have the time or energy to do it all yourself, or if you have a big lawn, it’s probably better to hire a lawn care company to take out the grass for you.

Cost of Grass Removal by Location

Depending on where you live, lawn removal services may cost more or less than the average price range. If you’re living in a big city, you might have to pay more compared to homeowners in the suburbs or rural areas.

Note, though, that most homes in cities have smaller lawns. So, even though lawn removal might cost more, the total expenses for removing grass might end up being less than for someone with a really big lawn in the countryside.


How Long Does It Usually Take to Remove Grass?

The time it takes to complete a grass removal project may take anywhere from a few hours to several days. It can vary greatly depending on your project size, the method used, and the equipment available.

What is the Fastest Method of Removing Old Grass?

If you want to get rid of your old grass quickly, you will need to use a sod cutter. This machine cuts through the soil, slicing the grass at its roots and making strips of grass. Also, remember that it’s easier to remove grass when the soil is a bit wet.

Are There Any Environmental Considerations When Removing Grass?

Yes, removing grass can disrupt the natural ecosystem in your yard. But if you’re replacing your current grass lawn with a more sustainable garden or a water-saving landscape feature, the end justifies the means.

Count on a Pro for Efficient Grass Removal

Since it’s a labor-intensive and time-consuming job, grass removal costs around $0.88 to $1.84 per square foot. Of course, using modern equipment can make the process much easier.Since lawn care pros usually have all the right equipment, they can do the job faster and better than most DIYers can. So, if you need to remove your lawn, don’t hesitate to look for a lawn care pro near you today.

Note: Lawn Starter may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.

Main Image Credit: Shutterstock

Melanie Joseph

Melanie Joseph

After discovering her passion for writing through her beauty blog, Melanie left her engineering job in California, became a writer, and never once looked back. When she isn't writing, she loves dipping in the pool, tending to the garden, or doing simple home improvement projects.