Your yard is its own canvas for landscape design. It’s an exciting prospect; you can create a space that is wholly you and where you’ll undoubtedly make countless memories. Figuring out its design is something you could do yourself, but it's often better to leave it to the experts to plan and execute your vision. That’s where Yardzen comes in. The company is yard design that meets technology with a mission to help you live better outdoors.
Yardzen will create your dream yard online. Utilizing digital tools as well as photos and videos from you, the designers, horticulturists, and hardscapers will create a concept for your space with digital renderings and plans that can be completed by a vetted local contractor. The on-site contractor will review your plans and revise them based on your project budget.
My Modern Met worked with Yardzen to design and construct the front and backyard landscaping of a newly built home. Read on to learn more about how Yardzen works and our experience with the service.
What is Yardzen?
Yardzen is an online landscape company that is at the intersection of technology and yard design. Using photographs and videos of your property as well as plant science, data science, and its style quiz, the designers and horticulturists create a custom concept for you—no matter where you are in the world.
Once your design is complete, Yardzen will match you with a vetted local contractor to work on-site and bring your project to life.
How does Yardzen work?
It takes between six and seven weeks to complete the Yardzen design process, at which point you will connect with a local contractor to execute the plan.
First, you’ll share your vision with your designer and start with Yardzen’s Yard Builder tool. It will have you share everything that the company needs to know about your project, from style preferences to site conditions to how you want to use your outdoor space.
Once the Yardzen team has all they need from you, the experts create a model of your property and make an initial design. You’ll review and share your feedback and receive an updated design and drafting plan. At that point, you will be matched with a local professional.
Yardzen has seven different price packages depending on your needs. The packages range from Botanical, which is custom planting for your entire property, to Yardzen Premium, which includes custom planting as well as hardscaping and exterior design. The premium package also boasts a more hands-on process with extra revisions and is reviewed by the company’s most senior designers.
Even if you're interested in designing just the front or the back of your yard, or you're looking for some extra curb appeal, Yardzen has something for you.
Our Experience With Yardzen
Starting the process with Yardzen is a breeze. They ask a lot of questions about your preferences and what you’re looking for in your landscaping project. There are two parts of Yardzen's process — the design and the build.
Designing the Project
A pro tip would be to review their past designs and see which elements resonate with you. Select a few key items that you like and provide visual examples to help set the tone and provide very specific feedback for their designers.
What was really amazing is that we never spoke with a designer on the phone throughout this entire process. Everything was done through their questionnaire forms and emails. However, if you feel like a phone call is necessary, they provide phone calls at an extra charge.
Building the Project
Working with the build team was great as well. It was really important to find a contractor that we could trust because we wanted our design to be built well and also be fully complete. By picking the best contractor, we felt like we had the best chance of succeeding.
Initially, the build team made a few suggestions that we didn’t feel was the right fit. This led us to do more research on our own. But then, the build team suggested who they believed was the best of the bunch — MG Construction Group — “a family owned and operated Backyard Beautification company, led by Michael and Melissa Gabso.”
Once we met with Michael, he elevated the initial Yardzen design to an even higher level. Not only did we get to work with an excellent contractor, but also an additional designer. During Michael’s visit, we asked if he had any suggestions that could improve our initial Yardzen design. Among other things, MG Construction specializes in making fireplaces and built-in barbecues. So instead of the round fire pit that we initially wanted, we opted to go with a tall, rectangular fireplace. He also suggested placing large pavers in the backyard instead of tile and we were very happy with the result.
With any large project like this, you should expect that there are going to be some challenges. However, working with Yardzen and MG Construction, we were able to work through our challenges and were satisfied with the final outcome. Our recommendation is to be involved as much as necessary and make sure all details are accounted for. Try to catch issues as soon as possible, before it's too late to make changes. And be sure to closely review the terms of the contract before you sign. Have a thorough understanding of the exact deliverables, along with any penalties for breaking the terms of the contract.
We liked how the built-in barbecue and vent hood were covered, with easy access to the kitchen.
Initially, we wanted to redesign the driveway and widen the front door steps.
We also originally wanted a round fire pit on top of gravel.