PDA

View Full Version : Landscape design programs


jymie
12-23-2010, 01:24 PM
There has been many discussions in the past about what Landscape design programs work the best. Pro Landscape being one that seems to be very favorable. Are there any other programs out there that anyone is using on site with a laptop to sell their services. Which programs would you recommend and what are the pros and cons of it?

Steve
12-24-2010, 01:11 PM
What price range are you looking to spend on this? I have seen members do pretty well with a standard graphics program when they needed to keep the price down. But as you have more money to spend, you can get a more niche software package.

We also see members hand draw designs as sales tools.

jymie
12-24-2010, 05:16 PM
I was pricing the landscape pro 16 the newest version, it is $1200 for it. I like the thought of taking a picture of the customers home to give them the most realistic vision of what their landscape can look like after it is done. I am not sure if the cost is justifiable for me and may want to go with a prior version if thats the way I choose to go.

Steve
12-26-2010, 09:01 PM
How often do you find you lose a job because of the presentation you are giving? Do you feel a full color graphic would help you sell more?

jymie
12-26-2010, 09:08 PM
I think the more professional presentation you can present them, the more comfortable they will be with you. I had one instance this year that the customer went with another company and paid more to have them do the job because they were more established and did a better presentation.

Andrew7dg
01-20-2011, 02:05 PM
On the flip side though, I have won a landscape project design over someone that had a landscape plan for them.

It is all on how you sell it. For me being on site with flags, digging soil up, showing them what you have to deal with helped. The other person just did a design and didn't bother to look to see what is possible.

Plus one thing about plans is that when it is on paper some people feel it is too set. For me moving one flag is pretty easy.

I have been on both sides, I have used dynascape as a landscape program. That is was I was taught in college and thats what I still use. It works pretty well. Pro landscape work well also. You can't go wrong.

I guess I use a combination depending on the client, hand drawn, computer, flag, picture out of a book, samples of material

If you feel like placing flags isn't enough for them to get the image of the landscape then try prolandscape. It is a great program. However if you see yourself using it once or twice a year.... maybe the cost isn't justified..

Steve
01-21-2011, 01:51 AM
That is a very good idea. I think it is the first time the idea of using flags has come up.

That way a customer can get an actual feel for the size the area will be.

What is your suggestion on the best way to utilize flags in a landscape/hardscape presentation?

Andrew7dg
01-24-2011, 07:50 AM
Really? no one has heard of using flags while presenting?

This is how I have heard how it works with some design services that garden centers offer

They offer landscape design services and they present them in whatever media that they are comfortable presenting with (drawing, landscape program)

However not everyone needs a drawing or landscape presentation. In fact they are rather expensive (time it takes to measure out landscape space, go back to office, draw it up, Recheck to make sure everything looks good) I guess unless it is a really BIG landscape install I would do the plan but in todays economy most of my projects have been small 1 to 3 day projects.

So for the alternative I usually go out with my bucket which consists of marking paint, white flags, measuring tape (50' fabric and 20' carpenters) Box of permanent markers and white ribbon (the ones that they use in the nursery for tagging trees),
As we are walking around the house, they point out the area which they would like some landscape help which may just be a corner of the yard or back of the house. I often have the ideas right there, ask permission to place flags where I am visualizing a shrub or plants, once plants are marked we can see the shape of where the bed edging is going to be and I mark it out in white paint. Plants that they want removed get tagged with ribbon. Plant names are marked out on flags.

This is usually a fun experience in which the home owner often get involved and get exited. They can somewhat visualize it because you see it 3 dimensional and not on paper. Also if you fill their yard up with flags and marking paint, you put your mark on their yard and why would they go with anything else.

Once everything is listed out (because you know how many plants and how long of edging you are using) you spend less time drawing out the plan. Plus everything is well marked out for a crew to install.

If the home owner wants to install it from there, I usually charge an hourly rate (which is still less then what people charge for landscape plans) otherwise if I am installing it, i throw in the design in for free.

jerreber
01-24-2011, 11:12 PM
I use Dynascapes. It's a bit pricey and has a yearly service fee but looks professional and supports CAD. They have a newer rendering version that looks amazing but I think it's only worth it if you have your own plotter since printing costs for oversize can get pricey. I usually just print a black and white and then render it myself. Only downfall is there is no 3d with pictures. A nice feature is you can derive a bid right from the plan automatically with plant details and pictures. Wow, Dynascape should pay me for this plug!

Steve
01-25-2011, 03:24 AM
This is usually a fun experience in which the home owner often get involved and get exited. They can somewhat visualize it because you see it 3 dimensional and not on paper. Also if you fill their yard up with flags and marking paint, you put your mark on their yard and why would they go with anything else.

It does sound fun. Anything that gets the customer involved in the creation is great! When you are done inserting all the flags and ribbons, do you take pictures of it with your camera or write it all down on paper?

What's your view on the best way to make a record of the design and inventory of what you will need?

I use Dynascapes. It's a bit pricey and has a yearly service fee but looks professional and supports CAD.

Do you do this on the spot or do you talk with the customer and then go back to the office to create the design? Then after it is created, how do you present it? How important is the way you present the design to the customer?

brian'slawncare
01-25-2011, 03:14 PM
does anyone know of a decent free one? I realize it will not be any thing as good as some of the ones your talking about. but probably good enough for me