WORKING WITH WHAT YOU HAVE
You can't always control the amount or type of topsoil you have to work with, but you can choose top quality grass seed (or sod) and make adjustments to the chemistry of the soil for the best possible growing conditions with the hand you have been dealt.
With a new home it's usually necessary to plant the lawn as soon as construction is completed, even if the growing season isn't conducive to growing grass.
When there is a choice, fall (September in the northeastern US) is the best time to seed and spring (April) is second best opportunity. Some housing developments may require a sod lawn for the front lawn, while the rest of the lawn can be seeded.
Most people are surprised to hear that fall planting is better than spring planting. For one thing, spring plantings face much more weed competition. But more importantly, as soon as spring-planted grass is up and growing, it usually has to face the rigors of summer heat and dry weather. Fall planted grasses have both the fall season and spring season to grow and mature before facing summer challenges.
Sod is sometimes referred to as an "instant lawn" which can definitely have its advantages, even though Bob always preferred using seed.
MORE OF BOB'S TIPS ON INSTALLING SOD
LAWN SOD IS SOLD BY THE YARD:
3 feet x 3 feet = 9 square feet = 1 square yard
CALCULATIONS FOR PURCHASING SOD:
Measure the size of the area you wish to sod. For example let's say the area is 12 feet x 11 feet:
ANSWER: You would need to buy 15 yards of sod to cover the 12 ft x 11 ft area.