Sod Project Prep-Work Tip: Measuring Accurately Can Be TRICKY. A High-Rated, Budget-Priced Measuring Wheel Could Save You TIME and MONEY…

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Posted May 19, 2021

Let’s face it.

Measuring your yard to figure out the size of area you want to lay sod might seem like an easy task UNTIL you actually give it a shot.

In fact, it’s not exactly uncommon to get a call from our customers who are professional installers, letting us know that they need MORE SOD because they undermeasured.

It happens.

But when it happens, you lose the time it takes to come pick up a bit more. Or, if it’s a larger amount and you need us to bring it to you, you can also end up paying a premium since there’s another delivery fee plus the cost of more sod involved.

If you GOOGLE “measuring tips for sod” there’s no shortage of resources to click on, for sure (here’s the link for those results if you’re curious). Video tips on Youtube are abundant as well (here’s the link), and Red Hen even has an older video we shared on this very topic HERE.

On the main sections of Red Hen Turf Farm’s website, if you click on the RED MENU BAR under Sod Installation / Care, we offer some tips that should be helpful. Here’s the LINK and a screenshot:

SCREENSHOT Of RED HEN’s WEBSITE at https://www.redhenturf.com/SI_measure.htm

OK!

Great!

Step 1 says, “Use a tape measure or measuring wheel to measure areas you want to sod.”

But what if you don’t own either a tape measure or a measuring wheel?

A good quality measuring tape is definitely the less expensive of the two, and generally more useful tool of the two, as well.

But what if you measured 3 times with your tape measure, and each time you get a different result and your different results are not even that similar? Or you’re just not feeling confident about your measuring skills?

For these reasons, most professional sod installers would invest in a good-quality commercial-grade measuring wheel for this very reason. That can run you a good $150 or more very easily, and if you only plan to use a tool once, maybe that’s not the best option.

(BONUS LINK: What’s a measuring wheel? How do you use one? Here’s a helpful link to check out.)

Consider that as I write this in 2021, our delivery of sod LOCALLY includes a delivery fee of $150 – Plus the Cost of the Sod Itself – and the further we drive, the more that delivery fee comes to. Minimizing the number of deliveries we make to your job site or home can definitely add up quickly.

If you have a bit of room to store a measuring wheel, and would be interested in a few higher rated “budget options”, I’ve done a bit of internet sleuthing to see what’s out there.

2 QUICK NOTES:

  • We’ve not actually tested them out, but for your convenience, here are 3 measuring wheels that are budget-friendly and fairly compact / easy to store that I keep seeing in “best of” lists – in no particular order …
  • If you try one out and absolutely Hate it, Amazon returns tend to be pretty easy. If you want to comment on this blog about your own experience, we’d love to hear about it.)

Here goes…


Scuddles Collapsible Measuring Wheel – This Wheel made several lists including Architecture Lab’s 11 Best Measuring Wheels Of 2021 Reviewed. It measures up to 10,000 feet and is compact and easy to store. The handle collapses to 17 inches, it extends to 39 inches and this wheel even comes with a tape measure. Amazon lists it at just under $27 as of the current time, and reviews are consistently favorable. HERE’S the AMAZON LINK


The Keson Roadrunner 1 / Keson RR112 Measuring Wheel pops up on various “best of” lists, and is another compact, budget-friendly option. Mr. DIY Guy, for instance, recommends it for homeowners HERE on the list of 6 Best Measuring Wheels of 2021. It collapses to 17 Inches and extends to 38 Inches and measures up to 9999 feet. Amazon reviews are consistently positive, and this wheel currently lists it at just under $29.00 HERE.


If you prefer a budget-friendly digital option, for just under $50 (current price on Amazon HERE), this AdirPro Digital Distance Measuring Wheel pops up on a few lists including GistGear’s 2021 updates of the Best Measuring Wheels – Buying Guide (HERE’s THE LINK). This one is more heavy-duty, is extendable up to 44 inches and collapses fairly compact to 27 inches and measures up to 9999 feet. This one comes with a carrying bag, and even includes the two AAA batteries needed to operate it.

IN SUMMARY…

Between these 3 options for measuring wheels, or any number of others included in the links we’ve shared, this should help you get some consistently accurate results.

  • With whatever tool you decide to use, you’ll want to divide your lawn into sections that resemble squares, rectangles, circles and triangles so the math to find the area is reasonably easy to do… and measure each section in FEET.
  • Round each section’s measurements up or down to the nearest half foot … Generally, rounding up might be the better choice so you don’t run short on sod.
  • Consider ordering extra sod to account for trimming and errors in measuring difficult areas. You can use leftover rolls in other spots or offer to your neighbors. 5-10% is what most websites agree is a decent “extra amount” to order, but it’s up to you to decide if you want to order extra, and how much extra.
  • If you feel comfortable with calculating square feet, go for it. Maybe these area calculators HERE will help.
  • WE’RE HERE TO HELP! To double-check your math or avoid flashbacks to high school math class altogether, you can also feel free to jot down your measurements in feet, noting the type of shape(s), and give us a call at 574-232-6811. We can help you do the math to figure out the number of square feet of sod you need.

Until next time… Lisa, Red Hen Turf Farm

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