Why Online Designs Are Not Always What They Crack Up to Be

You’ve pictured your dream backyard landscape for so long: the functional design, low maintenance mature trees, natural stone, ornamental grasses, , comfortable seating, native plants, a stone patio, plus a small garden in the front yard. Or maybe your dream looks a little more like: a big backyard pond with koi fish, a large open fire pit, a grand water feature, an outdoor living room, colorful flower beds, and delicious vegetable gardens. However high or low maintenance your outdoor landscaping dreams are, they shouldn’t be left to online designers. In this article, we give you reasons why online designs aren’t the best way to bring your dream backyard to life.

The internet is not always as it seems

It’s true, you can pretty much do anything online these days. From your weekly Zoom meetings at work to getting your weekly grocery shopping delivered, the internet has made our lives a lot more convenient, in so many different ways. So when it comes to your backyard landscaping ideas, it may seem tempting to explore virtual options, too. However, before diving into the world of online design, there are a few important things you should consider. Let’s explore why it’s probably best to keep things offline for your backyard landscaping project in Southern California.

They’re not always who they say they are

They’re not always who they say they are
Ever heard of catfishing in the online dating world? Well, the same thing can (sometimes) be applied to the online backyard design world, too. You may be working with an online, certified designer claiming to be from your area – but chances are – the design is being outsourced overseas… And you’d never know!

They don’t know the area

Now ask yourself: how can someone who has never been to Southern California (or America in general?!), who has never driven down your street, never stepped in your outdoor space, or experienced the vibe’ of your backyard patio… how can they possibly redesign your entire backyard landscaping? They couldn’t! Not too high of standards, anyway.


You want your backyard landscaping done by professionals

If you’re investing money in your backyard space, you want the job to be done with precision and care. You want a wonderful job (scratch that, an AMAZING job) done by experts who know your area, inside out. You want the vegetable garden you’ve always dreamed of. The outdoor fireplace smores roasts in the wintertime. The beautiful focal point water feature, flower beds, Adirondahairs, and cozy sea area, the lush greenery and mature trees, the outdoor kitchen and firepit, the hanging bas- kets and potted plants, the string lights and play area for the kids (gasp for breath), whatever your heart desires in your back- yard landscaping dreams! With trusted professionals who can get to know YOU, your lifestyle, and your landscaping dreams, face-to-face. Some things are great online, but your landscaping designer isn’t one of them.

Don’t always stick to your budget

Have you ever seen something online and thought “Wow! This deal seems too good to be true.” With online designers, this is usually the case, too. They’ll sell you at an excitingly cheap price, a GREAT deal, and yet… you’ll end up walking away with a final quote e double (or triple!) what you were expecting, even if you only have a small backyard.

Why? Because online landscaping designs lack accurate cost estimation. These companies often fail to consider up-to-date labor and material prices when creating their backyard landscaping designs. They can also overlook factors such as project duration, which can significantly impact the final quote you receive. Let alone the cost of the outdoor and furniture, built-in seating, garden, native plants, firepit area, and all other costs involved!

As a result, you may end up with a landscaping design that looks great on paper… but doesn’t properly align with your budget. No one wants that! And that’s why working with locals on your landscaping project is so important. You’ll be work- ing face-to-face with backyard design experts who understand the current market rates, know your area well, and will provide realistic cost estimates. They’ll get to know you, your backyard, and your financial situation to finalize a landscaping quote that suits your needs (and still deliver you the very best result!).


They rely on satellite measurements

Have you ever ordered something online and when it arrived… it wasn’t exactly what you had in mind? Maybe you ordered a pair of shoes and they arrived in size o (…for babies), well, online landscaping companies can have the same effect.

There’d be nothing worse than your landscaping project starting and bam! You hit a gas line. Or the site elevations were off and now you’re stuck with a sloped deck. While it might seem like a given, you’d be surprised by just how many things can go wrong with online design. Why? Because online design services typically rely on satellite measurements to assess your yard. While this may seem convenient, it certainly has its limitations.

Rudimentary tools used for satellite measurements cannot take into account important factors such as site elevations, gas lines, or other potential obstacles. Construction work cannot be accurately planned and executed remotely without proper on-site assessments. Improper measurements can lead to costly mistakes during the construction phase, which can be avoided by working with local professionals who visit your property and gather accurate measurements. When you start your outdoor landscaping project, it’s important to get someone to scope out your landscaping area… in-person to avoid any mistakes. 

They are often double the work, double the cost

Like a lot of things online, choosing an online design may seem like a cost-effective solution at first, but it often ends up being double the work and double the cost. Once you’ve received your online design, the contractor you choose to build your proj- ect will likely need to re-measure and redesign your space.

This additional step not only adds extra time but also increases your expenses. You essentially end up paying to design your outdoor space twice (who wants to do that?). By opting for a local design and build approach, you can streamline the process, saving time, money, and a lot of headaches. Even better? You’ll be free to spend more time outdoors and use your brand-new backyard, all summer long! 

They don’t always give you the full picture

Like a great online salesman who only tells you the parts of the deal you want to hear, working with an online designer can do just that – not give you the full picture (or the full ‘backyard experience’). Online landscaping designers can be stationed any- where in the country, which can present challenges when it comes to understanding local factors in Southern California. They may lack the knowledge of city ordinances, regional trends, or the specific requirements of your neighborhood. These are the details that matter in a backyard landscaping project!

On the other hand, working with an experienced local contractor, such as Pacific Outdoor Living, ensures that you benefit from their expertise in native plants that thrive in your climate. Local contractors are well-versed in the permit and zoning requirements of your area, providing you with a seamless and compliant outdoor transformation. With certified crews and award-winning designers, Pacific Outdoor Living has a wealth of experience with over 10,000 local backyard and front yard transformations. That’s why working with an experienced, family-owned contractor in your area is invaluable.


Looking for a Landscaper near me?

Like many things online, while online designs may appear attractive at first glance… they’re often not all that they crack up to be. They fall short when it comes to delivering the landscaping results of your dreams, and in all honesty, they’re not worth the headache (and heartache) that comes with it. From the lack f certified designers to inaccurate cost estimation and measurements, outdoor landscaping online designs can be a risky choice that may result in additional costs (and headaches, lots of headaches!).

Instead of searching for a ‘landscaper near me’ in popular locations, consider working with local landscape design firms like Pacific Outdoor Living, who have the knowledge, expertise, and experience to create a personalized out- door space tailored to your needs in Southern California. Don’t settle for an online design-opt for a consultation with an amazing company that can bring your vision to life efficiently and effectively.

Scroll to Top