Return to the Professional Gardener Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Design software

Posted by Hand2 Texas (My Page) on
Thu, Jan 24, 13 at 15:27

I have been researching landscape design software and have come to the conclusion that I have to buy much more than I need to get the features I desire like 2D options, labeling, plant listing and raw materials calculator. Drawing by hand has worked very well for me over the past 5 yrs, but I want to 'ramp up' my service to meet the expectations of young clientele and be competitive. Realtime Landscape Architect seems to give the most bang for the buck on a budget but I regret that everything must be self taught and the plant database is limited for Texas. Additionally, the 'cartoonish' appearance of some the design options and 'walk through' options with birds singing and water falling are really a turn off for me personally.

I work primarily with suburban residential clients and would welcome any feedback from those who have adapted to design software successfully on a smaller budget. Pros? Cons? Was it worth it? Did your clients respond more favorably to one style of design over the other?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Design software

I guess my question would be, is your current approach costing you jobs?

I use AutoCAD LT. It's not cheap (I paid around $700) and the learning curve sucks, but I'm very quick with it, it doesn't try to do too much of the thinking for me, I can share files with architects and engineers, and revisions are a snap compared to redrawing all the basemap info.

That said, unless it's a tiny job or I'm pressed for time, I go through at the end and hand draw and hand render on the CAD plan. That little bit of "human-ness" helps close the sale, because it resonates more emotionally. I think that even if they're not aware of it consciously, some buyers look at a CAD plan and assume we hit the "design" button to get there.

So, my firm uses CAD, and I insist that any new hires learn it and use it. But your mileage may vary, etc.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Professional Gardener Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here