You can change your lawn to a low maintenance fescue-based turf without ripping up the old one by overseeding with a new grass. The newer varieties of fescues are tougher, more vigorous, better-looking, drought tolerant, disease and even insect resistant.
Overseeding can be done with a metal rake for a small area or a verticutter for large areas. Before seeding, mow the lawn at half the normal mowing height. For small areas less than 1,000 square feet rake the lawn thoroughly to remove loose grass plants and rough up the soil. Sow 1 1/2 times the amount of seed recommended on the seed package by hand or with a drop spreader, lightly rake the seeded area, and keep the area moist with regular watering. For larger areas use a verticutter, found at tool rental stores, to slice through the grass and soil and deposit grass seed into slices in the soil. Keep the areas moist with regular watering.