Your yard could use some sprucing up, from adding a flowerbed in the front to redesigning the layout in the back.
But it can be hard to envision what the space will look like with those changes.
Instead of digging in and hoping for the best, use a landscape design app to create a digital layout of the space to see what does and doesn't work. There are plenty of design tools you can use and with a quick search you'll find a great free landscape design software that works for you. Even if you're planning to hire a professional, creating a basic design beforehand can make sure you two are on the same page. You can get any home renovation project done with the proper tools.
Here are our picks for the best landscape design apps for homeowners — to help you with your next project.
LawnStarter is an on-demand web and mobile platform for residential outdoor services connecting homeowners (or renters) and lawn care professionals. The easy-to-use app provides instant quotes, allowing you to schedule lawn mowing and related lawn-care services from insured professionals all at the click of a button.
Pros: Everything from messaging your assigned lawn care professional to payments and customer support can all be done within the app - without ever having to walk to someone directly. It's completely free to sign up and has great reviews.
Cons: Outfoor services offered is currently limited, however, the app has been making frequent updates with new services added over time. It doesn't provide any design tools or free landscape design software you can use.
Platform compatibility: The app is free to download. Compatible with iPhone ans Android smartphones and tablets; it can also be accessed via the web.
For more information, visit LawnStarter.com
With the highest Apple App Store rating of all of the design apps on our list, PRO Landscape Home (image above) gives homeowners the tools they need to redesign their landscapes. This one functions as a 3D modeling tool which gives you a better idea of how your landscape and garden may look.
Pros: Users start with a photo of their home or garden and then add plants, materials and features. The landscape design software lets you search for plants by climate zone, draw in grass or mulch, add focal points (like water features or furniture) and insert the original photo for before and after views of the project. Once you're finished and happy with the garden design, the free landscape design software lets you save and share it on social media.
Reviewers say it is a useful tool for DIY projects, easy to operate and helpful if you want to share your ideas with landscape designers.
Con: It's free, but you one of the downside is that the free version doesn't have a large selection of images to use. You can purchase access to the image library for $14.99 — which includes more than 2,000 landscape items. If you download this one, go ahead and pay for the library. You will get a lot more use out of it.
Platform compatibility: The app is compatible with iOS and Android phones and tablets. PRO Landscape also offers design apps for professional landscapers.
The Eden Garden Designer app allows users to design spaces either using stock garden images or with photos from an iPhone or iPad. Then they can add foliage by searching the Plant Library by plant name, height, zone, color, blooming season, sun exposure and type.
Pros: It has a 3.5-star rating on iTunes, and some of the biggest pros of the app are its ease of use, animation and ability to see what plants will look like in different seasons.
Cons: The biggest reviewer complaint is the lack of plants available for free in the app.
Platform compatibility: The app costs $1.99, and there are add-ons — like shade/sun and additional plants specific to your zone — within the app for additional charges. It's compatible with iPhones and iPads.
Based on the desktop Garden Planner version, the Garden Designer app allows you to put an image of the plan directly on your photos of the space. It's got a drag and drop interface which makes using the app simple.
Pros: Its top features include having more than 600 objects in its library, being able to take and save photos of the image, adding/resizing paving and fencing, depth sorting and drag-and-drop capabilities.
It's efficient for simple designs, so it isn't ideal for more professional-looking layouts.
Cons: The biggest complaint for Garden Designer is from users who tried to pair it with incompatible iPads, as it only works with iPad 2 or newer. So, it's important to make sure you have the right device for the landscape design software.
Platform compatibility: The app costs $9.99, and is available for the iPad.
iScape rounds out our list of Top 5 apps with its three versions: iScape Free, iScape and iScape Elite.
The free version allows you to test out the full version, so I would only recommend that one if you want to see it before you buy it — not as an actual design tool. The iScape version is $5.99, and the iScape Elite, which is targeted to professional landscapers, is free to download but requires a paid subscription.
Pros: Some popular features of this landscape design software include a texture tool that allows users to add or replace ground covers like grass, mulch, pavers or stones; the ability to save and share images; and being able to use photos from the phone. Its database includes trees, shrubs, flowers, grass/groundcover, tropical plants, planters, water features, hardscapes and other 3D modeling objects.Fort Lauderdale, St. Louis or in Levittown, you can throw plants and other landscape materials directly into a dumpster rental, instead of trying to bag up everything.
When deciding which is the best landscape design app for you to use, consider what must have’s the app should include. If you want something that gives you a very specific idea of what your outdoor home design would look like, then opt for an app that comes with a 3D modeling software. If detail and variety is important to you, consider spending money on app purchases. If you aren’t quite sure what you want and would like help with design ideas, then make sure the app is user friendly and simple to use.
Think about how you can make the most out of your outdoor living space and what the best landscape designs would help you achieve this. When it's time for your next yard project, find a local dumpster rental franchise operator near you and download our FREE eBook to learn just how dumpster rental will help make your life and next landscape renovation a little easier.
Images: Pro Landscape Home screenshot, Landscape design draft