Seed vs Sod, and a Few Grass Alternative Recommendations

  • By Jeremy Thompson
  • 01 Nov, 2013
It may be a little late in the year to tackle seeding or sodding, but if you’ve recently moved into a new home or have a lawn which could use some renovating, you’ll definitely want to add grass in the springtime. With the range of options, the question homeowners face is whether to seed or […] The post Seed vs Sod, and a Few Grass Alternative Recommendations appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.

Lay sod to achieve an instant lawn.

It may be a little late in the year to tackle seeding or sodding, but if you’ve recently moved into a new home or have a lawn which could use some renovating, you’ll definitely want to add grass in the springtime.
With the range of options, the question homeowners face is whether to seed or sod?
The University of Illinois Extension has a great article on their website which simplifies the advantages and disadvantages of each. We’ve summarized their list of advantages and disadvantages below.
With seeding, the advantages are:
  • A larger selection of species. Each species is also suited to different situations such as soil type, disease resistance, or sun or shade requirements.
  • The grass develops in its permanent environment.
  • The cost of seeding is initially lower than the initial cost of sodding.
However, with seeding, comes disadvantages such as these:
  • Timing is essential.
  • It takes longer to get a dense lawn.
  • You have to reseed if germination is poor or if areas are washed out from rain.
  • Weeds may be more of a problem until the lawn is completely established.
  • Watering from the start is vital.
Sodding has its advantages, such as:
  • It’s an instant lawn.
  • You can walk on it soon after it’s planted.
  • You can plant it anytime during the growing season.
  • Sod is fairly weed-free.
But it also has disadvantages, such as:
  • The initial cost is higher
  • The choice of species is limited
  • It requires large amounts of water initially.
  • Sod can shrink, and weeds can invade within open areas.
  • The speed of rooting varies. Spring and fall are usually the best times to lay sod to ensure optimal rooting.
Yet another option is the new artificial turf products. Synthetic grass options are a cost effective alternative to natural sod grass. They come with a warranty, and require much less water. You never have to mow, reseed, or fertilize a synthetic lawn.
If you’re interested in using an artificial turf products, here are a few of the newest products the Bob Vila site recommends:
Sphere Turf is a Rye product with multi-faceted blades and two-tone colored fibers so it looks more natural. It has an all-weather rating and an 8-year warranty.
StarPro’s St. Austine Ultra Premium Synthetic Grass has one of the thickest face weights available on the market. The blade is dense and straight (great for both back and front lawns), and it’s UV-stabilized and stain resistant.
Premium RealGrass has 1.75 inches tall blades, and natural-looking wheat-colored thatch. It’s an all-poly product with a patented urethane backing.
Read more about synthetic grass options at
Next Steps
Photo Credit, slgckgc

J. Thompson Builders Blog

By 7052540976 15 Nov, 2017
Some of these considerations may not be in the forefront of your mind, but there is a long list of aspects you need to consider when building a new home. These should help to get you started thinking about some of the most important pieces of the home building process.
By 7052540976 15 Oct, 2017
This home is being built with our client’s specific wants and needs in mind. The homeowner
requested a single family home with a modern contemporary house design. Previously, he lived
in a townhome and desired a more private, spacious residence. A main floor living with a large
space to entertain and big volume ceilings were a must on the client’s list.

The client decided building as opposed to finding a pre-existing home was a better solution for
him because he wants something specific to his needs. He already had the perfect location in
mind and it was time for him to own his dream home.

The area is ideal for this client because it allows him to live in close proximity to his hobbies and
interests and it also allows him the ability to walk to nearby restaurants or bike to the
surrounding shops. This homeowner will be close to everything. He truly loves the location!
The design concept picked is pictured below. In sticking with a contemporary influence, the
design has clean, simple lines that will result in an extraordinary modern home. We combined
elements of residential and commercial materials and design to bring our client’s unique requests to life.
By 7052540976 15 Sep, 2017

You decide that you are ready to build a custom home for you and your family. Now it is time to figure out how to finance your dreams!

Let’s start with the basics. As with any loan process, do your research. Talk to several mortgage companies that specialize or have a strong understanding/history of working with construction loans. Ask questions and voice your concerns. Companies of course want your business, but they also want to make sure they are a good fit for you and what you are wanting to accomplish. Reviews and referrals are strongly regarded these days. They want to make sure you have the best experience possible.

There are several main differences between a construction loan and a regular existing home loan. An individual construction loan may require a longer credit history  or a higher credit score as well as more money down and along the way. It is more of a process, but it is most certainly worth it. With the right builder, the more involved process becomes a piece of cake; but, that is an article for another time.

Home loans can have a 30 year term whereas a construction loan typically has a max of 1 year. “The rates on this type of loan are higher than rates on permanent mortgage loans. To gain approval, the lender will need to see a construction timetable, detailed plans and a realistic budget, sometimes called the “story” behind the loan,” as reported by  bankrate . While your home is being built, it is typical to make interest-only payments. 

If you are thinking, “I don’t have enough money to pay off a newly built home in 1 year!” Don’t panic.

A popular option is the construction-to- permanent financing sometimes called “one-time close,” a “single close,” or an "all-in-one" loan. Upon completion of construction, the remaining loan balance is converted into a permanent mortgage with terms up to 30 years. Like most loans, “the rate and other terms of the permanent mortgage are set up-front when the entire loan package is closed” according to the  National Association of Home Builders .  Construction/permanent loans are offered by many different lenders, including banks and mortgage companies and are a great option for those of us wanting to finance their home purchase over an extended period of time.

Another option is a stand-alone construction loan. This type of loan can be beneficial if you currently own your home and want a smaller down payment option.   Read more about stand alone construction loans.

There are many different loan options. What makes sense for one person doesn’t make sense for everyone. Make sure you find the right product for you and your particular project. If you want to talk over some options, contact us! We would love to hear your ideas and figure out how we can build your dream home.

View our work , read our reviews on , and visit our Facebook page to get inspired!
By Jeremy Thompson 01 Aug, 2017
Your home should work for you, your family and the way you live. Sometimes a new custom home isn’t the answer yet. When you need to maximize the space in your current home, find clever ways to make your space more usable by maximizing storage in unique ways. Platforms add additional space and a new […] The post Clever Remodeling Ideas to Maximize Storage Space appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
By Jeremy Thompson 15 Jul, 2017
The internet puts an incredible amount of information at your fingertips. Why would you not take advantage of it to get home remodeling advice? Often it isn’t created by experts in the field. Here are 3 remodeling myths you may have read or heard about and the truth you need to know to understand how […] The post 3 Remodeling Myths and Tips appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
By Jeremy Thompson 01 Jul, 2017
With more and more people working from home or taking at least the occasional “work from home” day, the home office has become an essential part of a home plan. Even if you don’t work from home ever, the home office is still a great area to work on creative projects, store important files, or […] The post Designing a Home Office: Increasing Productivity, Inspiring Creativity appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
By Jeremy Thompson 15 Jun, 2017
We’ve offered you lots of advice over the years about building a custom home. Here is a condensed version of some of the most important tips to follow. Get on the fast track to planning your new custom home! 7 Tips for Building a Custom Home Pay attention to your subdivision covenants. Yes, these are […] The post Building a Custom Home: 7 Quick Tips appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
By Jeremy Thompson 01 Jun, 2017
Whether building a house or undertaking a remodel you have the opportunity to design your house to suit your tastes and needs. There are many flooring options available, each with unique characteristics and design. Since flooring is a long-lasting part of the house it is important to choose the right floor for each room that […] The post 5 High-Quality Flooring Options Available for Your Home appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
By Jeremy Thompson 15 May, 2017
Building a new home is an exciting time, filled with anticipation and satisfaction as you watch your vision come to life. However, it can also be a little overwhelming when you’re unfamiliar with some of the technical terms. To help remedy this we’ve defined a few of the custom home building terms you may hear […] The post 5 Key Terms to Understand in Custom Home Building appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
By Jeremy Thompson 01 May, 2017
Whether you’ve just unpacked your first box or you’ve been living in your house for years, chances are there’s something about your home you’ve desired improving. However, before beginning a project there are a few key home remodeling terms you should become familiar with. Understanding these terms will help you navigate conversations with your remodeling […] The post 6 Key Home Remodeling Terms to Understand Before Beginning a Project appeared first on J. Thompson Builders.
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