Another Landscape Software thread

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by TPnTX, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. lopomon

    lopomon LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    ding ding, venture got it. it's best not to cover up windows.
  2. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    Any softwares imaging feature should only be used as a presentation tool, not as a design tool. CAD or paper and pencil will be your best design tool for spacing and arrangements. An excellent knowledge of plants and their growth habits is imperative along with an intense understanding of soils and drainage will insure your designs are sustainable.

    Don't forget to add lighting to those images to sell and additional feature so that your client can enjoy your work after the sun goes down.

  3. Casey21

    Casey21 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    I agree that you should only use photo for a presentation . Also think of this, If you designed a full landscape with photo design you are going to make multiple photos all around the house. Then go back and measure everything and work up a quote. If you design with CAD , you meet with the customer and usually afterwards draw a site map, take photos and then go draw it all out. The nice thing also with the scale drawing is you can bid the job right from your PC(very accurately) saving you trips to the customers house.

    On a side note. I was thinking about of saving a CAD drawing as a .PDF then saving as a .jpeg and then use Idea spectrums 3-D program to place everything right over the top of all the symbols for a 3-D walk through of your design. Has anyone done this before? I’m not even sure if it could be done with that software.
  4. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    As far as windows, depending on the tree/plant and trunk structure, it's fine to put one in front of a window.
    When you look out the window and see an interesting pattern and bark colors it's nice. Maybe that is some design law you learned. It looks good.

    The Crapes are Natchez white. Fast growing beautiful tree. I can get them any day from 8' to 12' in the 30gal range.

    The Evergreens are Yaupon Holly. Same thing. 15-30 gal depending on what the customer wants to spend.

    The Lavender plants are 7 gal loropetalum. The will fill out nicely.

    Bronze are Nandinas and cleyera

    Green smaller plants are Pink Lady Indian Hawthorn.

    White/green is Eleagnnus Guilt Edge or Spirea Reeves or Bridal Wreath I am going to have to do some foot work on those for availability.

    Bright yellow is Lantana

    Purple is creeping phlox

    The smaller white is something that I cant remember the name of right now but its at a customers house right now and i like it. I priced it sort of middle of the road.

    There will be some society garlic, mondo grass, Harbor Dwraf nandinas, maybe some dwarf fountain grass. to help fill out any areas if needed.

    The is explained as a rendering to the customer of a mature landscape. It is subject to price and availability. The customer is also made aware the landscaping has to be design and installed correctly so that 2-3 years its not bunched together. Correct spacing will appear more sparse initially.

    I kinda figured everyone knew all this. So it's good to bring it up.

    The next step for me is to draw this up in a proper plan accompanied by a plant list and a contract. Sign it and pay me half.

    If this process works for me then the fact that I need a little visual assistance before I can draw a plan is not incorrect. Perhaps down the road I won't need it.

    The first thing the customer said was I afraid I can't afford it. I explained that we can adjust the price mostly by plant size. So I'm trying to cover all basis.

    I am knowledgeble on the growth habits of these plant. As a matter of fact the Eleagnnus Guilt Edge may not work unless they are willing to keep it trim back.

    This house faces due west the neighborhood was a farm field not long ago. Im very limited to plant selection because the sun is brutal.

    I'm doing the bed prep myself so the drainage will be correct and compost is used to not only elevate the beds but to bring it up to par in terms of the soil condition.

    I touched on lighting, trees and stone edging. Those are subsequent phases to be considered.

    So while I'm off the beaten path what else? I sincerely appreciate all criticism and comments.
  5. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    AGLA that is a real good idea about the effects. I have paint shop so I can do that easily. I give that some thought.

    Oh and the reason for all the Loropetalums. The customer does not what too much green.
  6. Casey21

    Casey21 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    I thought that pro landscape had the distort effects option...... been awhile maybe not. I agree with you that photo design can help inspire your drawing and give ya some good ideas.
  7. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,406

    Casey, your right. Pro Landscape has many rendering modes for imaging and plans. They also have a 3D flyover function that works with the plan mode. You can move around the entire plan and adjust the viewing angle. Version 14 promises to add additional rendering modes to further your artistic choices.

    I have used imaging as a lead in tool to capture a design contract, and if you are able to use it as a visualization tool, even better.

    I think the objection to the plant in front of the window is a classic design issue. Not being able to see the view from different angles, limits any real critique. Most windows are installed to allow light and air in and views to the outside, so blocking them is typically avoided. Depending on the distance away, which cannot be determined in your imaging, a planting still allows the intentions and adds a view, which may screen a more objectionable view.

  8. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    I live in a similar house meaning decent size windows, no trees for several hundred feet , facing west. In this case it adds to the view and creates a break from the summer sun. I put crapes in from of my windows. I gives shade in the summer and allows light for warmth in the winter.

    Function over form maybe.
  9. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778


    I think a lot of us were concerned that you were using the photo image in place of a plan in your contract. The concern is for your own protection against a customer who wants to be a jerk. I think it is fine if you use it help yourself along with building concepts and then you use it as inspiration for an actual plan.

    I agree with Kirk and Casey in that any detailed mock up photo should be based from a plan that you know will work.
  10. TPnTX

    TPnTX LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    Yeah I know you guys are trying to help. Thats the problem with email and forum threads. Conversations take on a life of their own. It's alot different than sitting around talking.

    I've thought a lot of this through, I hope most of it. I've missed a lot as well. I'm not a know-it-all and do appreciate comments.

    I got a call from this customers boss. Since my last post I went to his house today to bid his landscape. He said "I saw that pic you did for Shane, thats really nice"
    I said " thanks it's going to be a nice project. You understand of course that the pic is a rendering of a design that has had a time to mature after installing"

    He said "oh yeah , I understand that. It looks good"

    So now I'm about to do it again with his house.

    Again I will include a formal plan with the contract.

    life is good.

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