You can order food, hire a plumber, and even decorate your home from your iPhone, so why not tackle your backyard the same way? One entrepreneurial couple has come up with a solution to do just that: Yardzen, first debuted last year and now slowly expanding into new markets, is a website that allows users to redesign the backyard of their dreams essentially completely from an iPhone.
Husband-and-wife team Allison and Adam Messner came up with the idea for Yardzen after they were faced with replanting their backyard when it was destroyed by the California wildfires of 2017. With backgrounds in tech entrepreneurship, the Messners were bent on finding a tech-based solution to the task.
"I built a list of the complexities and pieced together a solution," says Allison of their first trial run, their own home. "We found a landscape designer and gave her all the info and said, 'If we just give you this, can you do it?' At first she said it was impossible, but with the software we created it worked fabulously."
Here's how it works: Users select one of three packages (partial yard for $995, full yard for $1,499, or botanical—just the plants—$495) and fill out a design profile on Yardzen's site. Next, they film a video of their yard space on their phone. Yardzen matches them with a designer, who uses that video satellite imagery to create a rendering of the property.
The designer develops a plan, and, once the homeowner approves it, orders plants and Yardzen connects them with a pre-vetted contractor, staying in touch during the install process to ensure everything goes smoothly—which it usually does; Yardzen's plans are within 6 percent accuracy.
Right now, the service is available in the Bay Area, greater Los Angeles, Houston, and Austin, but the company is looking to expand. It's a smart move: As Natipernavigare reported last month, data shows that millennial homeowners are looking at outdoor space more than ever when purchasing a home. "Outdoor areas are now the No. 1 most-requested feature among young home buyers," Allison confirms. "People want to relax with their family, they want to have people over. I think landscaping is changing. A lot of our clients grew up in recession around the concept of a staycation. They want a place that’s a sanctuary in their own home. When I was growing up yard work was a burden. Now, a lot of our clients want to garden as a means of relaxation."
And if the process to achieve that relaxation can be as worry free as the end result? Gold.
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