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Daleman
03-13-2003, 12:22 PM
OK guys I need some suggestions and fast (I have 2 estimates I need done by this Saturday!!!). I am looking for an inexpensive software program available at retail stores (since I need it so fast). I am hoping to spend around $100 or less. I was hoping to find a program that has a catalog of perennials, bushes, trees, etc. I was also hoping to find a program that could show what the project would look like in each season of the year, and was like Cad looking and able to print out the projects. Thanks for any info you guys can provide.

Lombardi
03-13-2003, 12:45 PM
I use Punch! Master Landscape. It cost about $40 after the rebate. I have been using it for 2 years now. I demoed Pro Landscape which sells for $1295.00. I stuck with PUNCH because I can do almost everything Pro can do for 30 times less expense.Most of my designs are made using the Photo-Realism. You have to get a digital camera, take a picture of the house and transfer it to the software. After some practice it is very easy to use. The customers love the fact that they can see what the actual plants will look like in front of their house. You can also use the CAD option. It looks very professional but takes more time to learn.
This program has a huge library of plants and trees. You can even add gazebos, benches, etc. Go to punchsoftware.com[U] for more information. E-mail me if you have any other questions.

Daleman
03-13-2003, 01:12 PM
Lombardi check your email.

paponte
03-13-2003, 01:34 PM
Custom land designer is also another cheapy. It's basic but works fine. :cool:

ParkerLawn
03-13-2003, 09:38 PM
This isn't what you are looking for but I have tried about every Landscape software that is cheap and finally bought Pro Landscape and have sold almost every job since I got it. It is so real and you can do anything with it in seconds. I can do a photo landscape design, do the lighting and do my estimate for all of it very easily. It is expensive but pays for itself in no time. Clients are sold as soon as you show them what you are going to do for them. For my larger jobs, I can actually use CAD and print off my plans for my crew to take and have a guidline to do a job. Very nice software and very easy to learn.

ParkerLawn
03-13-2003, 09:43 PM
I also have some of the cheaper software I was writing about and will sell you one for say $20. If you are interested in Custom Land Designer by Sierra, let me know and we can arrange something. It is okay for basic photos and designs.

Mike Bradbury
03-13-2003, 11:19 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Lombardi
[B]I use Punch! Master Landscape. It cost about $40 after the rebate. I have been using it for 2 years now. I demoed Pro




$69.95 now

Lombardi
03-14-2003, 01:39 PM
Amazon.com has Punch Master Landscape for $39.99 which is the price after the $20.00 rebate. $69.95 is the regular price but Punch has always offered rebates.

Daleman
03-14-2003, 02:26 PM
I bought punch this morning from Office Depot. I really like it. Thanks all

Mike Bradbury
03-14-2003, 02:36 PM
How much at OD?

Daleman
03-14-2003, 02:42 PM
it was 69.99 but had a 20 dollar rebate inside box.

Mike Bradbury
03-14-2003, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by Daleman
it was 69.99 but had a 20 dollar rebate inside box.

Does anyone have experience with Punch AND Sierra's Custom Designer? Both are -$50.00 programs after rebate. Thanks for the help already!:blob2:

Mike Bradbury
03-14-2003, 03:02 PM
http://www.whitetigersoftware.com/sierhomcusla.html

Sierra 12.99 + shipping

Mike Bradbury
03-14-2003, 03:07 PM
http://www.provantage.com/scripts/go.dll/nxtg/fp_63954

54.95 + 7.45 shipping (to IN)

wojo23323
03-14-2003, 03:18 PM
I bought Punch! Master Landscape today at Best Buy for $69.99 with $20 rebate in box. I'll let you know my opinion when I use it for a few days.

Mike Bradbury
03-14-2003, 04:22 PM
Originally posted by ParkerLawn
This isn't what you are looking for but I have tried about every Landscape software that is cheap and finally bought Pro Landscape and have sold almost every job since I got it. It is so real and you can do anything with it in seconds. I can do a photo landscape design, do the lighting and do my estimate for all of it very easily. It is expensive but pays for itself in no time. Clients are sold as soon as you show them what you are going to do for them. For my larger jobs, I can actually use CAD and print off my plans for my crew to take and have a guidline to do a job. Very nice software and very easy to learn.

Parker, did you use any of the cheap ones prior to Pro? What will it do that the cheapies won't?
Thanks

ParkerLawn
03-14-2003, 05:10 PM
It produces realistic plans and actual dimensions. You can make a blueprint with the CAD section as real architects design. You can also use lighting with real fixtures and actual shading and glows. It has real plants and trees and looks real when your done. Most people don't even realize it is their house I am showing them because it looks so real. It is a program that architects or nurseries use to do their plans with. I am fairly knowledgeable on computers and have really enjoyed this program. It is much faster to use than anyother cheap software I have used also. It is nice to design what you want and print off a blueprint of actual scale for the crew to go by and do it right.

dougaustreim
03-14-2003, 06:01 PM
As in all other things in life, you get what you pay for.

Doug
Austreim Landscaping

Lombardi
03-14-2003, 07:57 PM
Mike, I tried Sierra prior to Punch and didn't like the features and it was difficult to use. That was two years ago though, so maybe they have made some improvements. Punch can do almost everything that Pro can do except the landscape lighting feature. If I installed a lot of lighting I would probably go with Pro. It makes me wonder how one software company can charge $1295.00 while another can do almost the same thing for $40.00. I have compared the two programs and there was no difference in quality of the pictures or blueprints.

wojo23323
03-14-2003, 08:31 PM
I've been using Punch Master Landscape for a few hours. I'm making a 2D design. Seems kind of difficult. the CAD drawing is easy, but I want to use the landscape design tools so it can tell you the sq. footage of a bed. I have used it to get the exact sq. footage of some odd shaped yards that I have. I am going to try to import a picture later. Hope it is easy.

wojo23323
03-14-2003, 09:35 PM
I'm trying to import a picture. Can you convert .jpg to .bmp files and how do you do it? The software only allows .bmp and all my pics are .jpg.

NCSULandscaper
03-14-2003, 10:29 PM
Has anyone ever tried out VisualPhile 5.0?

Lombardi
03-15-2003, 10:23 AM
Wojo,
Open you jpg picture with Microsoft Photo Editor, click File, Save As, click on the drop down menu of Save As Type, then choose BMP. Rename it and save as a BMP. In the landscape program at the bottom, right corner , click the camera icon. That will open up all BMP photos and choose from there. Be sure to size the picture accurately or the plants may look distorted.

GO PACKERS!!!!

Daleman
03-15-2003, 12:39 PM
Ok I had a hard time drying to design these retaining walls because the system based them off walls. Also I have to transport files to paint to print and they look like shi) when printed. Either I have a crappy printer or Punch is pretty gay. Oh and by the way I am now 40 minutes late for my meeting with prospective customer because all I have is a black and white pic to take him. :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

Lombardi
03-15-2003, 08:27 PM
Daleman,
If I remember correctly you just bought the program yesterday. Whether you buy a $1300.00 program or a $40.00 program, there is no way to learn how it operates correctly in just a few hours. It will take several days of practice designs to get used to it.
Placing a retaining wall on you design is very simple. You click on the detaining wall feature and your cursor turns into a cross. Move the cross to where you want the wall and then click and drag the cursor to the length you want. You should always do this in Live View so you can see the actual wall. At the top of Live View is a texture library. Click on that and it shows all the colors and textures available. Click on the one you want and drag it to the body of the wall in the Live View picture.
Your picture will only be as good as the printer and the paper you use. You also need a good digital camera with high pixels so you can start with good quality pictures. I currently use 4x6 high gloss photo paper. It comes out very clear and uses a lot less ink.
If you want to e-mail me the picture I will be glad to do a design for you. Let me know if you need any help. Just take time to practice with it because it is very easy to use and creates high quality designs.

mklawnman
03-18-2003, 02:09 PM
I'm using PUNCH software, barrowed it from Randy Scott. The one thing I dont like about it, is when I want to find a specific type of plant, I either have to look for the picture and try to find the closest picture they give me on the right side of the screen or type in the Zone, heat, watering all that stuff. My question is, is there a search feature that you can type the name of a specific plant/shrub or tree in and it will picture it so you can drag it and place it wherever on the screen? Because after you put a plant on the CAD drawing you can double click on it and it will tell you what it is, but thats after I have placed it somewhere.
Any help would be great cause I'm new to this program but I do know alot about computer "lingo"
Matt

Lombardi
03-18-2003, 03:23 PM
Matt, In the Plant Finder section you can customize the plant selection by choosing your zone, sunlight requirements, water requirements, etc. This narrows down the list so you won't have to look through plants that don't fit your needs. While moving your cursor over the plants on the right, look down at the bottom, left of your screen. The name of the plant will appear as you move over it. There is an option called "Find Plant By Name". You click on that and enter the plant you want to see. If this isn't an option on your version, Punch has a free download you can use to get it. I hope this helps.

wojo23323
03-18-2003, 06:23 PM
Lombardi, Thanks for the info on the plant finder. I did not know about the download and that the plant info is displayed in the lower left corner. Another question, When I am laying out lot lines that are irregular (have more than 4 sides) and are very long, the screen will not scroll with my cursor. It just stops and I cant get a long line like over 200' to appear as one line on the screen. Can't wait till football season to watch the Packers. I wish they were coming close to VA this year but they are not. Are you from WI? I'm originally from Milwaukee.

mklawnman
03-18-2003, 06:56 PM
Hey Thanks Lombardi, I'll check that out sometime when I use the program again.
Wojo, I live in Richfield, 45min NW of milwaukee, in the Holy Hill area. Yeah that Packer loss way back in January is still sour in our minds, but their is always packer news. Check out jsonline.com for all the lastest packer news or Packers.com
Matt

wojo23323
03-18-2003, 07:19 PM
I go to those two sites everyday.:D

Lombardi
03-18-2003, 08:43 PM
Wojo, On the bottom of the CAD screen are a left and right arrow. Click on the left arrow until you see the edge of the screen appear. Then start your line there and move it to the right. It should automatically scroll to the right until the screen ends. It limits you to around 210'.
I am originally from Iowa. Been a Packer fan for about 30 years now.

Mike Bradbury
03-31-2003, 12:36 AM
Originally posted by ParkerLawn
This isn't what you are looking for but I have tried about every Landscape software that is cheap and finally bought Pro Landscape and have sold almost every job since I got it. It is so real and you can do anything with it in seconds. I can do a photo landscape design, do the lighting and do my estimate for all of it very easily. It is expensive but pays for itself in no time. Clients are sold as soon as you show them what you are going to do for them. For my larger jobs, I can actually use CAD and print off my plans for my crew to take and have a guidline to do a job. Very nice software and very easy to learn.

What does this program do differently from other programes to make it worth SO much $$??
I've just used Sierra and have Punch sitting here to try. I'm very interested in your answer. Thanks! :confused:

Mike Bradbury
03-31-2003, 12:43 AM
I missed his response to my earlier question.
Thanks.

KenH
03-31-2003, 11:01 AM
Does anyone have an already designed picture they can post here from Punch??

KenH
03-31-2003, 11:06 AM
Heres a desing I just finished with DIG.

Mike Bradbury
03-31-2003, 11:21 AM
Those Bradfords look awfully close together. WHat's the real spacing?

Mike Bradbury
03-31-2003, 11:22 AM
.

KenH
03-31-2003, 11:31 AM
When I do a computer design for a client, I let them know the picture will give them a general "look" for the design. That is, plant numbers are not exact, and spacing is not totally to scale. Once they tell me they like the design, (which is basically always with these images), I go back to the site and measure out exact spacing and number of plants needed. This is what I base my estimate on.

I used to do pencil drawings for residential, but IMO, computer imaging blows them away. I can honestly say I sell 90 to 100% of designs.

The pears in the pic will probably be Aristocrats, spaced about 14-15'.

KenH
03-31-2003, 11:43 AM
Here, I fixed it for you.:D

Mike Bradbury
03-31-2003, 10:26 PM
cool.:D

Lombardi
04-04-2003, 10:37 PM
TEST. Here is one from PUNCH.

Lombardi
04-04-2003, 10:42 PM
Another from PUNCH.

Holloway Lawns
04-06-2003, 11:48 AM
I have been interested in landscape software as well and am going to check them out. I will let everyone know what I get and if I like it. I mainley want to redesign my landscape first and as I use it may start doing customers.

Daleman
04-06-2003, 08:08 PM
Lombardi those look great. I am still trying to figure out how to place those landscaping stones to make walls and such. PLease help me. Also Lombardi if I post a pic on here can you use punch on it and make it look like yours? or no?

Holloway Lawns
04-06-2003, 08:22 PM
I got the Punch software today. I am having trouble lining up the pic of my home to make it look right. Any help out there?

ParkerLawn
04-06-2003, 10:01 PM
How do you post a picture? i will try and post a pic from Pro Landscape so you can see the comparison if I can figure out how to post a pic.

ParkerLawn
04-09-2003, 07:39 PM
Here is Pro landscape of a house I just did. Before and after

ParkerLawn
04-09-2003, 07:48 PM
My image photo is too large and I can't get it to convert to right size so if you really want to see the after email me at jrpxxii@aol.com

ParkerLawn
04-09-2003, 09:44 PM
retry.

ParkerLawn
04-09-2003, 10:07 PM
.

ParkerLawn
04-09-2003, 10:11 PM
I can go off this design and do my proposal through Pro Landscape and I can also add night lighting to these designs with this program. It truly is worth every penny.

Lombardi
04-09-2003, 11:39 PM
Parker, that looks very nice. It has good detail. What does that program cost?

ParkerLawn
04-09-2003, 11:46 PM
$1200 and yes alot of people think that is crazy but I do alot of landscaping business and am doing all the landscaping for 2 builders also, so I have the customers to present it to. I have always gone into this business with the sense that if you are willing ot more money into it, you will make that much more out of it. I have gotten around 85-90% of the proposals I have worked up for people. I just did this one last week and it was the next day when i spoke to the customer and they realized it was actually their house. They were calling to accept my proposal. Anyone who purchases this program will be a very good investment. Details are what seperate you from the others.

Mike Bradbury
04-10-2003, 02:16 AM
I've never seen or used that program so I'm not debating whether it's great or not. But the pics don't look any different than the ones we do with the $40 Sierra Custom LandDesigner.
That's for those that haven't seen any of the programs.
I know you said you've used them all and there's no comparison, so I'll take you at your word there :)
Is the turf in the picture "program fill" or part of the real pic? If it's program, that's a lot nicer than the "turf" on Sierra.

AGLA
04-10-2003, 06:07 AM
I have yet to see anyone, including the online guys, post a built picture. They call the proposed picture "after". When is someone going to show the built work that reflects one of these?

ianc
04-10-2003, 07:51 AM
there are other programs

ParkerLawn
04-10-2003, 10:04 AM
The turf is the program. I am still doing the installation on this house so I will post as soon as we finish it. It has been raining for a straight week here.

Lombardi
04-10-2003, 10:06 AM
AGLA, I will post some built pictures sometime today. I have to go earn some money now before my wife gets mad.

ParkerLawn
04-10-2003, 10:31 PM
Here is the actual process I did. Beginning to end.

ParkerLawn
04-10-2003, 10:32 PM
.

ParkerLawn
04-10-2003, 10:40 PM
.

Lombardi
04-10-2003, 11:11 PM
House before.

Lombardi
04-10-2003, 11:15 PM
House with proposed design.

Lombardi
04-10-2003, 11:19 PM
House with design installed. This shows the plants in a smaller, much younger stage of growth than my proposal. My proposals always show the plants at mature size and in full bloom so the customer will know what to expect in 5 years or so.

AGLA
04-11-2003, 06:25 AM
Thanks. You guys are the first that have actually shown built work after the design images. I appreciate that. I also see that you built it just as the design pictures show.

There is a very busy landscape image design web site that does not show built work from their designs. Those are very heavily planted designs that make impressive pictures, but may be not so realistic to build.

Mike Bradbury
04-11-2003, 11:58 AM
here is that you MUST temper customers expectations as to what the finished new install will look like!
I have tended to size the plants proportionate to what will be going in at planting time. Then another print showing the projected 5 year growth realization.
Otherwise, pretty depressing to pay big money and the PICTURE looks better than the finished product - for now!:blush:

KenH
04-11-2003, 12:21 PM
I always tell the customer the picture will be a 'perfect' representation of the plants. Just use the pics to portray a 'look' for the planting. I have never had a customer complain the design did not match the pic....it is quite the other way around.