Best computer software for landscape design/hardscaping?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Lisk, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. Lisk

    Lisk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    Just wanted to get some feedback on what some other companies are using that works well for them? Thanks....
     
  2. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,929

    We use the Designware Suite www.designware.com for some of our softscaping designs and we use the EP Henry Design Imaging software www.ephenry.com for the hardscaping end of it.

    Chris
     
  3. UNISCAPER

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,426

    It depends directly on how how much time you will be spending using it, thus learning to use it, and if your market even calls for it's use.

    Time is the biggest factor. All software takes focus off something else that needs attention in your operation. Do you have that time to invest?
     
  4. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    I have to agree with Bill. There is a lot of time, equipment and money involved with software design, but that is the majority of my business along with consulting. You may want to consider outsourcing the digital design work. I use Prolandscape http://www.prolandscape.com/ for most of the design work, EP Henry software for some specific hardscape jobs and Horticopia http://horticopia.com/ for a plant encyclopedia and presentation tool.

    Kirk
     
  5. Lisk

    Lisk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    Honestly....no, not much time on my hands however, i thought i give either prolandscape or dynascape a shot...just b/c im very meticulous w/ my design work....Come to think of it i probably should just sub it out b/c times a ticking and im busy enough taking care of other things.....what do you think?
     
  6. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,740

    It comes down to what you need to do. If you have a specific need that is not being met, or has room for improvement and there is something out there that can get it done it makes sense. But, too many times people seem to be asking this question without having defined their need. It seems as though they want software with the hope of discovering what it can do and it will help them.

    No one asks "what do you want to do with it?". Everyone just assumes that whoever is asking wants to use it the same way that the person answering does. Does he want billing software, routing software, point of sale software, cad, photoimaging, word processing, spreadsheet, database, .........
     
  7. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    Lisk, as AGLA has stated, what are your needs? If you want a tool for presentation or to help sell, then 3D imaging may be the answer. If you feel your drawing skills are not what you'd like, then the 2D planning features would suit you. If you expect the software to help you design, you have been mislead by their titles. "Design" software is simply a digital pencil or a drafting tool. The designs come from your experience, knowledge and abilities. If you need design assistance. Work with designers or take some classes at Cumberland County College or better yet Rutgers in New Brunswick. Every winter Rutgers offers professional education short classes in all facets of landscaping and turf.

    We are practically neighbors, so if you would like to talk about this further, get in touch with me. I would be happy to spend time with you to help you in any way I can.

    Kirk
    http://www.dreamstodesigns.com/
     
  8. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    How very true! Unless you have the "dirt time" you cannot expect to take your ideas and put them to CAD. Anyone with some computers skills can put lines on a piece of paper but knowing what those designs equate to out in the field are another thing.
     
  9. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,401

    I have to disagree with Bill.

    And I agree with Kirk.

    Design software WILL speed things up. No two ways about it. Learning curve? Absolutely. But even your new DVD player has a learning curve. thats life.

    I am confident NO one here puts together a design and sells THAT design WITHOUT doing revisions. In terms of residential, I bet I have to revise 85% of the designs. Clients add stuff, or they relocate things, and so on.

    With software, making revisions is a breeze. there is no way you can make revisions as efficiently with hand drawing. Just no way. And that my friends, is worth its weight in gold. I am talking plot plans. not imaging.

    Its almost a must for hardscapes. A good design program will give you square footages and linear footages with the click of a mouse, vs. counting squares on grid paper.

    I use PlanScape. Its very simple and easy to use. Nothing to it.

    I personally am not a big fan of imaging. And yes, I have 2 imaging programs. It was great in our earlier years, but now I think a nice portfolio of nice jobs do the trick.

    one problem with imaging is it is not to scale. Many scapers use the proposed image as a LANDSCAPE PLAN. A true plan is to scale for legal purposes.

    jus my 2 cents!
     
  10. Lisk

    Lisk LawnSite Member
    Posts: 33

    Kirk,

    Appreciate your feedback. As far as everything i think imaging would be my best solution. I like the idea you can show your clients possibly what there houses would look like when completed, is an amazing tool. As far as drawing, my skills are pretty good however, there is always room for improvement and i like the idea "DVS" stated before where its alot quicker to modify plot plans on the computer b/c customers always tend to switch things around. After all, i didn't expect the program to do the acual work for me, i know what i want exactly but if i can take the pic and show the client a "before" and "after" pic of the possibilities of there home....pretty much seals the deal....once again thanks for all of your feeback.....

    P.S. Kirk, i was looking at your website and i noticed Greg Freni's name in a couple of pics, are you affiliated w/ him somehow?? Just wondering...in the 2 years that i attended Camden County Technical off Berlin/ Cross Keys Rd. he was one of my hardscaping teachers...great guy....

    Steve
     

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