Reviving a troubled lawn requires continuous attention. (Gene Hamilton / August 18, 2014)

Is your grass ridden with patchy clumps of weeds, unsightly bare spots or areas of hard, compacted soil? If the answer is yes, your lawn needs a makeover. It won't be a weekend wonder because your grass requires continued attention, but in one growing season you'll be amazed at what a little care and feeding can do. This kind of care is best suited for a homeowner who's around regularly to feed, water and nurture the new growth, rather than a landscaper who would have to make return visits.

If you want to hire out the job, a landscaper will charge $483 to weed, level, aerate, fertilize and seed a 100-square-foot patch of lawn. You can do the job for $200, the cost of lawn seed and soil amendments. That includes $90 for a day's rental of a power aerator if it's necessary.

The scope of the job depends on the condition of the soil and extent of the damage. Typically, it involves short, incremental tasks that include removing the weeds and raking and leveling the soil before fertilizing and seeding. If there are thick clumps of thatch or compacted soil, rent a power aerator to loosen the soil and create drainage. Then add amendments such as organic matter, fertilizer, lime or sulfur to the soil and seed the area. The follow-up work is important: protect and watch for new growth, and water and nurture the seedlings until they are strong and thriving.

To find more DIY project costs and to post comments and questions, visit and on smartphones.

Pro Cost -- DIY Cost -- Pro time -- DIY Time -- DIY Savings -- Percent Saved

$483 -- $200 -- 22 -- 28 -- $283 -- 59 Percent