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ProLandscape Software by Drafix

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Sean Adams, Jul 16, 2004.

  1. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    You are correct. How much do you get for your hand drawn design work now. If you are not charging for design work, you are missing out on a very important value service. My design work starts at $500 and goes up substantially depending on the amount of time and effort involved in a design. The drawing is a small part of the whole design process, but is the most visible except for any 3D imaging presentations. A typical design presentation with imaging, blueprint and plant data for a typical suburban property runs from $1500 to about $3000. Hardscaping, structures, pools, spas, ponds, fountains and unusual site condition elevate the price due to research and time spent.

    Yes, you can do pools, spas and most any type of water feature you can imagine. For the 3D imaging, it's fantastic. As for the plan view, I have still quite a bit to learn, but also like to have the whole plan in front of me on the drafting table to gain the complete perspective of the property I am working on. You can create a base plan, print it and work on the whole drawing, then perhaps recreate what you have drawn with the program for the client.

    Kirk
     
  2. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    yes, you can use pools. I looked at one clients layout and it was sold to him for $150. It included a list of materials that were going to be used. It was about and $8,000 landscape job with included 3 different beds.
     
  3. Crewcutlawncare

    Crewcutlawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 40

    I am surprised that people would actually pay for a drawing that someone just made up. I mean I could see if you got the job, then you could place it in with your bid and hide it and everything else. But for just showing them a drawing to get the job, and then having them pay for it when you didn't even get the job sounds highly unlikely.
     
  4. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    Crewcut, apparently you don't see the value in landscape design, and that will translate to you potential clients. People pay big money for designs and all that goes with them, because they are created by professionals with experience in horticulture, hardscape, structures and design. The drawing is a small part of the design package. When a design is created correctly, you are taking the clients thoughts and desires, and with your talent, skill, knowledge and site conditions, creating a landscape that will be functional, sustainable and beautiful for them and their home.

    You would not and in most states cannot, build a home without a plan. You will be much more successful in business with a plan, and avoid a great deal of unneeded stress. But if you choose to make it up as you go along, your work will reflect that. A well thought out landscape design with plant list and materials list will not only make your life easier, but will giver your client the opportunity to understand what it is you are trying to accomplish. You can easily increase your gross income with artistically created landscape designs, because the client can see and understand the project better and are willing to spend the money to have something they want installed, rather than something you think might be cool. When the cost of a properly installed landscape is between 10%-20% of the value of a home and you are working on a home that would sell from $250k on up, most homeowners want to know where their money is going, before they write the first check.

    How can you get the job, unless you have a plan? I can assure you, many folks make a very comfortable living as landscape designers or architects from just drawing the plans and selling them to clients. Many smart landscape installers use independent designers to create landscapes for their clients, rather than have a person on staff that eats into profits everyday. Other designers will work with a group of installers to implement their designs, and some sell the design to the client with the intention of the client doing the install themselves. It stops people from picking up a plant at home depot with no clue and bringing it home without a notion as to where or how it should be planted. If you cannot afford or think a complete design is needed, a consultation may be all that is needed to fine tune or tweak a landscape at an hourly rate. If your clients are only going to spend a few hundred dollars on a landscape, you are right, no need for a designer, but when they are spending tens of thousands and more, everybody needs to be on the same page, and the few thousand spent on plans and pretty pictures will definitely be worth it.

    Kirk
     
  5. Crewcutlawncare

    Crewcutlawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 40

    So you are saying that even if I go up to a customer that wants me to design a landscape for them, even if they don't hire me, they still have to pay me for making the design? And in what price range could you get for doing a design... obviously depending on how intricate it is.
     
  6. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    Yes, I get paid for my work, all of it, but that is what I do. I do design work and consultations for homeowners, HOA's, property managers, manufacturers, site planners and landscape contractors. Design work is billed out by the hour, or a generalization of the time the design will take.

    What is your time and ability worth per hour? Don't forget about overhead, payroll, drawing materials, education, books, computers, software, printers, ink, and the place you keep it all. You also have association dues, trade shows, vehicle, digital camera and a host of other expensive tools that you need to design a landscape well. Does $50 an hour cover all that and make you a profit? How long is it going to take, how many trips to the client, how many times will you have to redraw.

    Don't forget on-site consultations, that as an additional revenue source.

    So yes, you can go to college, earn a degree as a horticulturist with a specialty in landscape design or complete a degree program, internship and take a test, equivalent to the lawyer's bar exam and become a landscape architect and enter the job market. Once you have accomplished that and have the artistic talent and you get good at what you do, you can earn an outstanding living making designs.

    Kirk
     
  7. allinearth

    allinearth LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 609

    That is one problem of this industry. Too many people give away or don't charge enough for professional services. This makes those who do charge look like thiefs. I hve been guilty of this also at times. Try going to a lawyer or doctor or mechanic and see if they will give you a free plan on fixing somethng. It takes years to learn plant materials, drainage,etc and a lot of talent to arange ideas on paper. Hey Dreams is it not possible to do larger plans on Pro Landscape? I was assuming one could change the scale and the program would automatically adjust the drawing.
     
  8. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    You can do larger plans, as large as you can print, but you only have the size of your monitor to see what you are doing. It's tough to visualize the plan shrunk down to fit the screen or you only get a segment at a time when enlarged to working size. My intention is to print the base plan, take it to the drafting table and conceptualize, then back to the program to draw. If you want to do it the easy way, hire someone to do it for you. There is nothing easy or simple about CAD design or quality landscape design.

    Kirk
     
  9. dutchman

    dutchman LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Posts: 106

    Hi, I like to know how many Shrubs and Tree's etc. come with this software.....Dutchman
     
  10. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    As for the plant list, I am not sure. I can tell you there are not enough, or all the plants you would like to have. It is fully customizable, so you can add photos & information for any plant you can get the photo & information for from other sources. Horticopia is compatible and has 8669 plants with data. With Horticopia you are able to add portfolios to increase the number of pictures, but not data as of this time. With Pro Landscape are you looking for the 3D images for plants or the 2D rendering. With the 3D the exact plant is not as important as a photo that resembles what you are trying to accomplish. If you are using it with the proposal mode you must take into account for any changes or substitutions you have made. With the plan mode you can change the text in a callout, so that doesn't present an issue. If you are thinking about buying it, I'd be happy to share my thoughts with you in a PM or email.

    Kirk
     

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