What landscape design software do you use and why?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Barrett Landscaping, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,035

    Has anyone found a way to post pics on this site from your phone?
    Back to the question, I use real time landscape architect causr after trying pro landscape, pool studio (now vizterra) and many others un the past I have found RTLA to do about the same and ain cases better things than other programs, you can design in 2d, can edit photos, create a walktrough video, gives you the materials list, has slopes, etc. etc. all for a very affordable price.

    http://www.ideaspectrum.com/arch_overview.php
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  2. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 801

    I think I would respectfully disagree. If that is working for you that is fantastic, you sound like a good salesman, but IMO I think you might be in the minority. Even if I drew like you do I think being able to show a customer a project might help sell more jobs. ( I might goes as far as to say even if it was more expensive in some instances)
     
  3. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 801

    How do you do a walk through in 2D ? Vizterra also gives you construction plans , materials ect what does RTLA do better?
     
  4. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 801

    Please disregard...I see the vids are in 3d..looks nice
     
  5. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 801

    I watched a tutorial and it shows importing a house but the vid says it can be drawn..is that correct? if so, how close to the real house does it get? I like the design tabs at the top a lot
    Steve
     
  6. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,035

    Is basically 2 programs (3 but can't remember what the 3rd does) one you take a picture of the house import it in the program and start adding, trees, shrubs, walls, planters, etc.
    The main one you design much like in CAD, you can recreate any house or shape depending how much time you are willing to invest into, me personally pick a pre-draw house close to the one I need and modify the dimensions, siding color, close to what I need and focus my time to designing walls, landscapig, patio, pool etc.
    The features I really like is the ability to import seamless patterns and any 3d model from google sketchup, not that it doesn't come pre loaded with many but once in a while you need that special structure, plant, etc.
    Also the ability to import a google map or blue prints and scale it based on a known measure.

    It has pretty much all unilock and belgard pavers and walls as well as many natural stone, concrete, wood, etc.

    My suggestion would be to try it is free to do so and then decide if it's what you need.

    Best of luck
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  7. cotyledon

    cotyledon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 529

  8. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,938

    I worked at a company where I sold $1.1 million in six months. I was KILLING myself doing CAD drawings, doing 3D renders, doing everything short of sculpting their landscape out of play-doh to do what I "knew" would seal the deal.

    I was #2 in the company. BK, the #1 guy? $3.2 million in six months. So I watched him. Very basic pencil drawings on graph paper, spending maybe 1/4 the time I was on prettying things up for presentation. But damn was he phenomenal with the clients!

    AGLA's right on this one. I'd really do some introspection and see if your prospects really need you to come armed with the bells and whistles - or if you need them.
     
  9. Ben Bowen

    Ben Bowen LawnSite Bronze Member
    from PNW
    Posts: 1,053

    I could not agree more. I do simple, but professional, designs. I make sure clients know ahead of time that I am not being paid to produce a piece of art to hang on the wall. The art will be in the ideas.

    I have closed on about 75% of my design proposals and once I do the design we get the project about 90% of the time.
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  10. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,938

    Everything I do is in AutoCAD because it's way easier for revisions, takeoffs, etc. Plus I'm blazing fast at it. My design contract states that included with the design is a scaled, plan view, black and white drawing at a minimum scale of 1/8" = 1'-0". Usually if I have time I color render the drawings (with markers) just because I like to see people react the same way they did when Chili's first started doing sizzling fajitas and people heard them come out of the kitchen. But it's not part of the package.

    The only reason a client is going to push back if you say "2d plan view only" is because they don't trust you to provide the outcome they want. Period. I still get that on occasion and I'm damn good at what I do. The occasional client? Whatever. Not everyone likes coffee ice cream either. But if providing these renders is the price of admission for them to "let" you do a design for them? You need to figure out why.

    In my mind there are two reason NOT to do the fancy 3D work or the cheesy photoshopped pictures. First is on the front end of the design - cost. I need to recover all the time I spend designing or I'm not profitable. If a prospect knows I'm a better designer than my competitor (and I am), and he does a 3D but I don't but I'm within 20% of his price, I tend to get the job. Even if you're not charging for your designs, how much is your time worth? Would you rather land a job with 2 hours invested vs 6?

    The other end is on the back side of the design/construction end. A plan is open to interpretation in the field. A sketch is open to interpretation. A computer generated representation is the missing fifth gospel to a lot of clients. I've seen clients get agitated because the rocks look different than the picture they were given, or the tree is shaped differently. Not worth it, in my mind.

    Keep it simple, sell it, rock their world, move on. That's where the money is.
     

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