Step 1 - Soil Preparation
Turf will grow on almost any soil, but the better the soil the easier it will be to keep your lawn looking good. Ideally you should strive for 4-6" of quality top soil. Most average soils can be sufficiently amended by adding 2-"3 of loam type top soil or peat moss raked into the existing soil.
Remove rocks, weeds and debris from the area and loosen the top layer if it is compacted. Rake out your surface to the desired level.
Step 2 - Grade
Carefully level all surfaces to be turfed. Solid surface shoud by 3/4" below any adjoining concrete/paved surfaces such as walks, patios, driveways to accomodate turf thickness. A light rolling will show up soil depressions or surface irregularities.
Roll the prepared area to firm up the base and show any high/low spots, in the absence of a roller, a good soaking of water will settle the soil. Watering the day before will also get some moisture in the ground in preparation for the turf.
It is important, especially in warmer weather to have your site prepared prior to getting the turf as it will need to be laid immediately.
Step 3 - Fertilize
Apply a balanced turf starter type fertilizer (14-16-10, 20-20-10 or something similar) at half the recommended rate to the prepared soil, the remainder will be applied on top of the newly laid sod.
If the weather is hot do not put fertilizer on the soil,
use the full application on top of the grass.
Step 4 - Lay Turf
Lay the first piece of turf along a straight line (use a string line guide in an irregular shaped area). Butt joints tightly, do not overlap edges or stretch the pieces.
On the next row stagger the joints like brick work. Use a sharp knife to cut turf to fit curves, edges, sprinkler heads etc.
Step 5 - Water
As soon as a conveniently sized area is covered it is recommended to apply water. If the turf has to remain rolled up on the pallets, keep the rolls dampened and and in a shaded area if possible, DO NOT cover with plastic.
Step 6 - Roll Lawn
If you have access to a roller this will help even out the joints and ensure good contact between the roots and soil. In the absence of a roller a heavy watering is also effective at elimination of air pockets.
Step 7 - Irrigate
Water heavily to soak the soil to a depth of 6-8" , and then strive to keep the soil between damp and wet for the first couple weeks. (You cannot hurt it with too much water at this point.) The amount of water this will take is affected by temperature, wind, direct sun and your soil. Areas that are getting dry will show up with a greyish cast before the grass actually turns brown. After a couple weeks gradually decrease frequency of watering to encourage the roots to grow deeper, eventually a reasonable goal is to give it a good soaking twice a week. Keep in mind that it will take a full growing season to establish a deep, mature root system.