Rake and smooth the soil, removing rocks, roots, and large clods. Keep the grade 1 inch below sidewalks or driveway.
Install your lawn immediately. Begin watering lawn within 30 minutes of installation. Sod is a living plant that requires ground contact and moisture to survive! Begin installing sod along the longest straight line, such as a driveway or sidewalk. Butt and push edges and ends against each other tightly, without stretching. Avoid gaps or overlaps. Stagger the joints in each row in a brick-like fashion. Using a large sharp knife to trim corners, etc. Avoid leaving small strips at outer edges as they will not retain moisture. On slopes, place sod across the slope. To avoid causing indentations or air pockets avoid repeated walking or kneeling on sod while it is being installed or just after watering. After installing the turf, it is a good idea to roll the entire area to improve sod/soil contact and remove air pockets.
New sod requires a lot of water. Immediately after installation, soak the sod thoroughly so water goes through the sod into the ground below about 1-2". Check sod daily to make sure the ground below is wet enough. Keep the sod watered to this level until it roots down. Once it is rooted down, usually 2-4 weeks, water normally to keep it green.
During first three weeks, avoid heavy or concentrated use of your new lawn. This gives the roots an opportunity to firmly knit with the soil, and insures that the turf will remain smooth.
You can mow your sod on the highest mower setting once it is rooted down. New sod will die if you mow it at a shorter level. Each week following the initial mowing you can lower the mower deck one level until you are finally at the normal level you typically mow at.
Your new sod was fertilized at the place it was grown; therefore, it will no need fertilizer until the fall or next spring. If you fertilize sooner, you risk killing the sod. When you fertilize, use a 10-10-10, 12-12-12 or similar mixture and follow manufacturer's instructions on application rates.