Answer: Start by spreading 4-5 inches of compost or other organic matter over the area and tilling it in. Then level the lawn but include a slope for good drainage. An ideal lawn slope allows water to gently run off of the site, usually at a slope of 1-2 foot drop per 100 feet (1-2% slope). You can obtain the finish grade by raking or dragging the lawn area smooth just prior to planting. An ideal finish is to get all of the lawn very smooth and level, resulting in the top 1-2 inches of the soil being very fine composition. End up with the graded area approximately 1" below the final level you will want the grass to be (1" below sidewalks, sprinklers, etc.). Once the prep is finished you can lay your sod.
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