What landscape design software do you use and why?

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

  1. Steiner

    Steiner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    Quick, under an hour easily.
     

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  2. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 801

    OK I get it now...That looks like it might work on the initial visit so that you can go back and draw the "real" design..is that how you guys use this?
    Steve
     
  3. Steiner

    Steiner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    I use these as concept drawings usually presenting 3-5 per meeting. A few revisions then I either draw up a contract for simple stuff or jump into SketchUp for more complex designs.

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  4. New2TheGreenIndustry

    New2TheGreenIndustry LawnSite Senior Member
    from GA
    Posts: 853

    So when you're doing a design in sketchup, is it a lot like hand drawing?
     
  5. Steiner

    Steiner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    No but it is free and there are a ton of videos for free on youtube since google used to own it. Literally a few hours and you can be up and running. Check with a local high school teacher or community college for a few classes. It really is awesome!

    -Chris

    PS I teach it to my middle school students every year and they are up and running in no time!
     
  6. recycledsole

    recycledsole LawnSite Gold Member
    from MD
    Posts: 3,231

    How much do you typically charge for a design? Say for a $1k install and for a $5k install?
    Thanks!
     
  7. Steiner

    Steiner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 408

    Usually 25-50 per hour and I explain that up front. I estimate the time it takes and complexity of the design. Most designs for a quick front yard are around 200 dollars....



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  8. cotyledon

    cotyledon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 529

    I haven't charged for one in a while. We used to charge 500$ , then refund that fee if we installed. Then one day when I was walking thru Home Depot they offered me free kitchen design and we went with it. I realized that people get on a high when they see what can be , the iron is then hot for striking .
    I've seen other crews installing my ideas on free designs and paid ones. I chalk it up to keeping sharp you I like to be constantly working on layouts , keeps the brain hungry?
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  9. Fine Gardens Landscaping

    Fine Gardens Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 132

    I really disagree with doing work for free just because you like that aspect of the work. Everybody has some sort of career or vocation, some people like their work, some don't, but they pretty much all want to be paid for it and they deserve to be paid for it. Plus, most of our clients have more money than us, why should we be giving them a break.
     
  10. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,740

    It is very difficult to get paid to do design work on a landscape under $10k. One reason is that there are many other contractors that will do a quick sketch or simply describe what they'd do and give a plant list for free because there is little complexity to a job of that budget. Another reason is that a few hundred bucks is a big part of a small budget.

    If you are working the under $10k market, which is a good market because there are a lot more of those jobs than $100k jobs, you have to be competitive. You can't spend too much time for free, but you have to find some way to sell a job. A plan is good, but they don't need you to implement the plan. Don't make it about a plan. Make it about you.

    Tell them what you'll do and why you will do it that way. This shows them that you understand them, the site, and that you know what you are doing. It makes YOU important rather than a plan or a picture. The better you get at doing that, the better you'll be at selling yourself and that is going to land those jobs. Write up a plant list and brief description of the work right there and then. - One visit, one shot, and no one is going to shop your plan to another landscaper.

    Once you draw a plan for a simple landscape, the plan seems more important than you are in completing the work. Make it about YOU.
     

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