This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Seeing as we spend much of our time at our homes, we want our yards to look great and make ourselves and our guests feel comfortable and welcome. Luckily, for anyone looking to revamp their outdoor living space, various services have begun offering customers the availability to connect with landscape designers fully online with no need for an in-person consultation. Designing a yard can be overwhelming, which is why various companies offer such landscaping design assistance that can help a dwelling become beautiful and inviting.
While there are many online landscape design companies available today, two of the most popular firms include ShrubHub and Yardzen, and each has its own benefits for you to consider when choosing a landscape design service. Let’s take a look at what each one offers.
ShrubHub operates all throughout the United States and Australia and was founded by individuals with over two decades of design experience. ShrubHub says it was created by “some of America’s top designers, software engineers, and project managers” and aims to “create beautiful, and functional landscaping designs at the best price.” In fact, the company said its designs could increase a home’s value by 23 percent.
ShrubHub has reportedly helped over 50,000 customers design beautiful yards and was voted the number one landscape design service by NewsWire at one point.
One of ShrubHub’s main goals is to offer the best price for its customers, which it says will “cause other companies to either adapt or become obsolete.” The focus on affordability is one of ShrubHub’s top selling points and why it is such a successful landscape design firm. Each design always costs $300 up front, with the option to place an order for plants, hangers, planters, and containers later. It is important to note here that should customers want to order these additional items directly through ShrubHub, they must spend at least $800.
Getting started with ShrubHub is easy, as customers simply need to create an account, upload photos and details of their properties, and pay $300. The website will then lead to a page where a consultation can be set up with a designer from ShrubHub.
ShrubHub’s website is not extravagant in any way, making it user friendly. Instructions are clear and detail exactly what customers need for their consultations. This is especially helpful to anyone who has never designed a yard before. After completing a virtual consultation with a design consultant, ShrubHub customers will receive completed designs between 15 and 30 days in most cases. Included in the price is also a consultation with a plant expert and a bonus eBook.
ShrubHub designs come with both 2D and 3D designs. The 2D designs show an aerial view of the property as well as a legend for big items (e.g., pool, hot tub) and measurements between and across objects (in feet). Most designs also come with a plant legend and a hardscape material legend, which is useful for customers looking to hire a contractor to carry out certain plans in their designs.
The 3D renderings provided by ShrubHub are also very detailed and provide images of the whole layout from different angles. They include things like plants and fountains, while also capturing possible larger items like lounge chairs, firepits, and tables.
Yardzen is another fully online landscape design option that comes highly recommended for homeowners. The company says its mission is to “make the process of designing and building a beautiful, functional outdoor space as easy (and fun!) as possible.” The idea for the company came after the owners, Allison and Adam, had their home and yard greatly affected by a fire in Northern California in 2017. Yardzen has since grown and offers high-quality experienced designers, updated technology, and great customer service.
Yardzen can create landscaping designs for any property across the United States and has been listed on Forbes’s Next 1,000 list and Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list.
Instead of offering designs at one flat rate, Yardzen offers six different packages, including the following that can be found outlined on the company’s website:
Botanical ($649+): Custom planting for your entire property
Front Yard ($995+): Custom planting + hardscaping design for your front yard
Back Yard ($1195+): Custom planting + hardscaping design for your backyard
Full Yard ($1495+): Custom planting + hardscaping design for your entire property
Curb Appeal ($1595+): Custom planting + hardscaping + exterior design for your front yard
Outdoor Transformation ($2395+): Custom planting + hardscaping + exterior design for your entire property
Customers who are not quite sure of what they need can reach out to Yardzen’s customer service team via email, phone, or online chat.
The first step in the Yardzen process is for customers to pick which design package from the list above best suits their needs. Once a package is chosen and paid for, an account must be set up. From there, users have access to Yardzen’s YardBuilder tool, which allows them to upload photos and information as well as take various quizzes to give the Yardzen team an idea of customers’ styles.
The process is made simple with a guided walkthrough, which involves customers taking videos and photos of the relevant outdoor areas. While customers can submit dimensions themselves at any time, Yardzen’s 3D-modeling tool can measure areas itself.
Users have access to Yardzen’s financial tool that lets them filter and sort through optional elements like patios and plants. Customers who aren’t quite sure about a full budget for their project can connect with a Yardzen team member who can help them make the right decisions.
Once customers have chosen their package and provided all of the necessary information, various experts work together to create the perfect landscape design with it. The company says this team includes construction gurus, landscape designers, and even horticulturalists.
For any customers who are not fully satisfied with the product they receive, Yardzen allows them to provide detailed feedback and request a thorough revision. Most customers have their designs completed within a month, but with revisions it could take six weeks. After a design is finalized and just right, Yardzen provides customers with a list of contractors who can help them finish the job.
After receiving all required information, Yardzen prepares a 3D “House Model” of customers’ properties, which takes approximately a week. At three weeks to a month, Yardzen’s team provides customers with “photorealistic renders” of the house model and then allows customers to provide feedback and request and discuss changes to their designs.
Once designs are fully completed, customers are provided with the photorealistic renders, a list with optional plants and furniture, and – most importantly – CAD plans that can be provided to contractors. Depending on the package purchased, some customers receive additional materials such as a list of options for paint colors.
Yardzen has a full database of plants and other greenery that tells them what would mesh with the rest of the local area, and this information is provided to customers. The company places much of its focus on sustainability, so it also features low-water plants and other eco-friendly touches in its designs.
Customers who wish to use a Yardzen certified contractor can then get connected with one in their area who would be a perfect fit to carry out the plans. If there is not one nearby, Yardzen states the company will find and vet one.
Which is Right for You: ShrubHub or Yardzen?
First and foremost, regardless which online landscape design service you use, make sure the consultants you are speaking to understand the area you are located in and are familiar with the local market and conditions. Virtual designing can be great, but it is better when the designers are located in the area and know what layouts would suit the local environment the best.
ShrubHub’s designs are good for people who have an initial idea of what they want their landscaping to look like and need a decent overview of it. They are best for customers who have a smaller landscaping budget and are just looking for a more simple design without a lot of small nuanced details.
Customers with a lot of landscaping area and small intricacies might have a better experience with Yardzen, which provides designs that pay more attention to detail and scale than those customers can get from ShrubHub. Customers have more package options with Yardzen, which may be appealing depending on the extent of the designs they are seeking.
Ultimately, ShrubHub designs are more affordable and basic, while Yardzen is more interactive with its customers and its designs are ready to be handed off to a contractor.