any recommendations on a basic landscape design software?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by GarPA, Oct 22, 2002.

  1. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    when I have an extensive plan to do I charge the client $200 and have it done by a "real" landscape arhitect. But often I have a smaller plan to do and I dont have the software. I've looked at a couple of them but I dont want to spend a $1000 or more. Anything out there that you have purchased for less money that you like? I dont need allot of bells and whistles...thanks much
  2. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Intellicad is a Autocad clone for $200. There is a learning curve. I am assuming you want to draw plans.

    Honestly, 1/8" graph paper and a circle template really wow a client. Especially when you trace over your lines with varying thickness black pens and splash a little Design Marker color on it. ...particularly when you do it in the pickup before leaving the site. It is also fast and closes the sale before the next guy gets the chance.
    The graph paper allows you to quickly draw the house to scale and the circle template will also be in eights to keep your plants in scale ... 1"=8' or 4' or 16' depending on size of the job. You count squares rather than measuring and you don't need triangles, just a straight edge to keep it crisp.
    Draw in pencil and then add the black lines and color when it is ready.

    PS. where do you get a real landscape architect to do anything for $200?
  3. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    AGLA...she works for the largest retail nursery/garden center here in central PA. Its not super detailed or refined in multiple color but its usually good enough to sell the job.

    Will try your graph paper idea...thanks for the tips on doing it this way.

    BTW the customer pays the $200 for the plan b4 it is it should be for any formal design.
  4. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    I'm thinking about this one myself, so I may have just increased my competition. Oh, well.
    Landscape Design Software
    This is one of the design programs that I really like the looks of, for significantly less than new.
  5. heygrassman

    heygrassman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 509

    Actually in the back of this months Lawn and Landscape mag, there is a set of stamps (varing sizes and shapes) for under $100. This is a great idea to compliment the graph paper..

    I may look into the trial on ProLandscape next year. Expensive, but the photo imaging looks awesome.

  6. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Remember that with stamps you do not have the ability to match the scale of the symbol to the scale of your plan. They are what they are.
    Stamps are generally viewed as cheesy, even by clients.
    No one draws worse than I do and I will wow a client using the method I described when it is done before leaving the site.
  7. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073


    I'm wondering this 'real' architect too who does plans for $200. I can't think of many that will even do a simple planting for less than $600. Know, maybe a landscape 'designer', but not a architect.

    I use autocad, but that's the engineer in me. Quite honestly, a good hand drawing can sell jobs just as well, but like Ag, I can't draw a circle without it looking like a square, so I depend on the computer.

    My main reason for the computer is for accuracy and the ability to make changes. Being I do drawings for many different companies, the ability to go back and make changes without having to redo the whole project is huge time savings. Also, the accuracy that you can have with calculating such things as sq. footage, layout dimensions, etc. are required by many of my clients who have come to rely on my drawings for price quotes.

    I'm not a big fan of intellicad.......I had it for about 3 years...and now that I'm running autocad, I don't know how I ever did it. A very, very sloppy program........I mean very sloppy. I can't even begin to tell you how many times it froze up. Also, support is almost impossible to get.

    The only other program that I would consider is this one:

    A very nice program. Think it blows all the others away. Expensive though ($2000).

  8. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    I agree 100% with what Steve just said. Intellicad has many flaws as you go deeper into it. I think it is alright for light drafting, though. It is an affordable place to get through the learning curve on ACAD.
    Steve, are you running the full deal ACAD of LT? I have not used LT and I am interested to know how it is. I know you can't run add on programs and it does not do much 3d. Other than that it is supposed to be the same for $600 vs. $4k.
  9. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,073

    I'm running LT 2000. I've been fairly happy with it so far, but now it seems to be developing 'bugs'. Why is that? Every program runs fine for about a year or two, and then bam, it starts freezing up, doing wacky things, etc. I personaly blame it on Microsoft, but will say I'm not the most computer literate person in the world.

    I've been mainly having problems with it freezing up during heavy splines and when there's a lot of doubt it could be my outdated computer, but it just seems a little odd.

    Overall, though, very happy. I do no 3d work, so that's not a issue. Most of my drawings are very 'basic' in CAD sense, so I think it does exactly what I want it to. Now, for more complex work, I don't know how well it fairs.


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