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View Full Version : Design Tools??? Software vs. Drafting Table


trailboss
10-03-2002, 12:08 PM
I'm just curious what you guys think is better - software or hand drawn designs??? Up to this point I have done everything by hand. I have had no formal training and wish I could make a little more professional looking design. I am thinking about buying some software just to have a design with a little cleaner look, and I figure it will be easier to alter a design done on the PC. Any comments and/or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

KenH
10-03-2002, 03:54 PM
It all depends what you are using the drawings for. If you are doing residential installs, then the software is definately the way to go. I use Designware, and the program sells itself.
If you are doing commercial work, or work off a spec sheet, then Cad-like drawings are needed, especially for builders, etc.

I have a degree in Land. Design and find myself using the computer way more than the pencil. I do mostly residentials.

lawnstudent
10-03-2002, 05:05 PM
I've trained on Auto-CAD 2000 and prefer this to mechanical drafting any day.

jim

AGLA
10-03-2002, 07:07 PM
My hands suck, so I am dependent on CAD. You still need the same understanding of drawing to be successful with CAD because it does not do it for you.
Using different line weights and building up a good library of plant and other symbols (or blocks) is essential to having good looking drawings.
I actually dropped out of Landscape Architecture in the early 80's because I could not draw at the level required. I returned in the mid 90's because I thought that CAD would be the great equalizer for me. I got my BLA and have since become a Registered Landscape Architect.
I don't think that CAD is better than hand drawing as far as how it looks. In fact a good hand drawing is much nicer to look at. But, if you work between engineers and architects there are many other benefits. Being able to turn on and off layers, printing to different scales, updating changes by architects, getting lengths and areas, and lots more. It all depends on what you need to accomplish.

Lawnstudent,
What program are you drawing with now?

trailboss
10-03-2002, 07:52 PM
I do not currently have any design software. What would you recommend?

Mow&Snow
10-03-2002, 10:35 PM
I bought Pro Landscape last month. Expensive. I tried all the cheepos and found little success. I like Pro so far, It seems real easy to learn and has a huge library of pics and symbols. Along with the ability to draw a plan, it also allows me to import a picture of a clients house, and add landscaping. Very cool. Customers love being able to see thier own house with new clothes.

AGLA
10-04-2002, 07:23 AM
Check out gardengraphics.com. I looked at a demo and thought it to be very good. It was a lot easier to learn than than ACAD, Landcadd, or Intellicad, but it had capability to work with those drawing files (if you work from engineer's plans or with architects). It is a very professional program.
If you want to really get into CAD, or fing out if it is too much of a learning curve, try Intellicad (by Briscnet). It is very, very, close to Autocad, but costs about $200. You will have to train yourself, though. You can buy Autocad books to train yourself because almost all the commands are the same. Without formal training you can do alright, but these are very deep programs that have things in them that people using them for years don't even know about. But, you don't need to use all of it.

lawnstudent
10-04-2002, 01:03 PM
Originally posted by AGLA

Lawnstudent,
What program are you drawing with now?

AGLA,

this summer I interned with a woman who does country garden designs and installations. She typically did not use drafting or a CAD program, just did her designs from the heart. Most of her work was small perennial gardens and we didn't draw up plans for the clients. We would talk over the ideas and just start installation.


I have an interview this coming Saturday with a landscaping group for another internship. They currently employ two landscape architects and run six to eight installation crews. I would be assisting their architects in the design department. I believe they use mechanical drafting techniques and AutoCAD. AutoCAD is what I trained on at the local college.

jim

longslawn
10-04-2002, 06:47 PM
Try Garden Graphics. I use to draw by hand and I think that a well done hand drawing is very pleasing to the eye. i demoed thier software and bought it. Thier program is very good. You get the hand drawn look but Cad capabilites.
You can demo it for 45 days for $45.00.

lawnstudent
10-04-2002, 06:47 PM
ALGA

P.S. I do have IntelliCAD on my PC at home, but I prefer to use AutoCAD.

jim

mowing king
10-06-2002, 11:56 AM
For really quick designs I use landscape stamps. I don't draw very well. The stamps look professional and you can do designs fast and also use the design for your planting plan.

AGLA
10-06-2002, 07:01 PM
A good way to get an edge on the first time meeting with a client is to do some quick measuring and a quick sketch - on site.

After the meeting is winding up, tell them you want to take a quick measurement and do a quick sketch for yourself.
Just take a piece of the job such as the foundation planting. Measure the house, draw it in on graph paper about to scale. carry a circle template and whip in a few circles for plants ...all in pencil. Also carry four black pens with varying thickness so you can trace over the lines you drew and scribble plant symbols out of the circles. Splash a little color into it with some Design markers and you will bowl them over ...even if you don't draw well.

Go back to the door and ask if it is what they were thinking about.

Don't leave the sketch with them. Tell 'em you need it to do the estimate. You will leave a huge impression on them over the next guy.

UTM-PIKE
10-07-2002, 12:57 PM
Where did you get your education from? I am currently a Junior at the University of Tennessee at Martin and they just dropped the landscape architecture program and picked up golf course management. I really wanted the landscape, but I think the golf course is good as well. Do you have to have a degree in order to be a "registered" landscape architect? Also, give me an idea of figures a "registered" landscape architect will expect to make with a decent company. I currently own my own business and just want a degree to back it up. Thanks for any info lawnstudent.

AGLA
10-08-2002, 07:27 AM
UTM-Pike,

Idon't know about lawn student, but I got my ed from the U of Idaho.
There are around 70 accredited schools of landscape architecture. You can find a list on the American Society of Landscape Architects web page along with results of a salary survey. www.asla.org.
In most states you need a degree and two years working full time for a licensed LA in order to take the exam. It is a 6 part exam that takes three days to take.
How much you get paid is quite variable. You won't get much right out of the box, but with the right experience you can rapidly increase.
I worked for a Civil Engineer doing CAD drafting at first. As my skills improved I worked as a CE intern would have - doing full site plans and septic design under the CE's supervision. I think this fast tracked me because my attention to detail had to keep up with the anal engineer. Planting design is probably something you already got down. Grading and drainage, parking lots, driveways, ...these are things that you will get much faster with an engineer. They also make you much more valuable as an LA.

Sean Adams
10-09-2002, 12:57 PM
I got my hands on a Pro Landscape Design demo and was very impressed. Then at the CLIP Conference last year I saw the program being used and was amazed. It drew quite a crowd. As someone stated before, their library of pics and graphics is very extensive and the possibilities seem endless. I would definitely check it out. I think it is www.prolandscape.com

Mow&Snow
10-09-2002, 06:38 PM
The only problem I've seen so far with my copy of of Prolandscape, has been the 1000 dollar price tag.

lawnstudent
10-10-2002, 07:33 PM
Originally posted by UTM-PIKE
Where did you get your education from? I am currently a Junior at the University of Tennessee at Martin and they just dropped the landscape architecture program and picked up golf course management. I really wanted the landscape, but I think the golf course is good as well. Do you have to have a degree in order to be a "registered" landscape architect? Also, give me an idea of figures a "registered" landscape architect will expect to make with a decent company. I currently own my own business and just want a degree to back it up. Thanks for any info lawnstudent.

UTM-PIKE,

Yes, you do need a degree to become a registered Landscape Architect here in Illinois.

I have a BS Electrical Engineering Technology degree form the 70's. I am currently changing careers and attending the local Junior college working on an Associate in Applied Science Degree Horticulture. I am specializing in Landscape Design. I have not yet made the decision to pursue a bachlor's degree. To do so would require me to transfer to a state college (University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin, Michigan State or Iowa State University are possible choices). Good luck with your choices.

jim