When it comes to designing award-winning landscaping projects, there is no question that it can be time-consuming. Every tree, plant, piece of furniture, and line has to be hand-drawn. Then it needs to be colored and shaded to bring out the visual, and perhaps multiple, viewpoints needed to be designed to give the client a walk-through of the space. Eventually, that design has to be turned into an actual dollar value, fully costed-out for all the material used and labor time. Needless to say, it can be very labor-intensive.
It’s why many in the landscaping business are dropping their pencils and markers in favor of landscape design software. Computer-assisted landscape design programs streamline many aspects of design work and complete it in a fraction of the time. Your designs not only leap off the page with beautiful color and 3D renderings, but you also get accurate and precise shapes and measurements in your designs. If you’re looking to grow your landscaping business, CAD-based design solutions are a must. Let’s take a look at how software is streamlining the design process:
Sketch from a site plan
For design accuracy, start with survey plans of the property and load them into your landscape design software. One aspect of streamlining design is improving accuracy, so having exact surveyed plans will definitely be a better starting point for any design plans. You can also scan in plans you have mocked up on a notepad. Scanning allows you to transform your customer’s napkin drawings into a professional design. It’s about precision in your measurements, so you get the most accurate estimates possible.
Some design elements have groups of objects that you will constantly use in designs. Think about a table and chairs or a grouping of flowers. Putting each individual piece down over and over again can be time wasted, especially when you have used it in a previous design. In landscape design software, build custom kits of items, objects, or groupings that you commonly use in order to speed up the production of your designs.
Pre-drawn shapes and libraries
One of the benefits of using CAD-systems is that they’re computer-generated. If you are using specific shrubs, stones, trees or water features, you want your clients to see exactly what they will look like. With over 1,200 pre-drawn library figures, select these objects and put them into your design. These are already drawn and rendered for you, so you can just scale them to size and add colour to get the exact plant or stone you want in your design. With over 9,000 plants in the library, set your designs apart from your competition with a detailed and accurate rendering, giving your designs character and more realism than what could be completed with pencil and paper.
Add a lot more colour
Colouring designs can be very labour-intense. Each tree, shrub, plant, water feature, deck and grass area has to be coloured, shaded, and textured in order to offer that wow factor to clients. It’s difficult to do manually, not to mention how much time it takes to complete a full design. With colour tools in your landscape design software, bring your designs alive with colour swatches that can instantly change the look and feel of your design.
Colour will win more bids, but it’s another part of the process that needs to be streamlined to cut down the time it takes to complete. With landscape design software, you have the ability to change shading, opacities, textures, and colours with the simple sliders and paint tools. Put the pencil crayons away and bring your designs to life with an easy-to-use colouring function.
Make it come to life in 3D
Flat designs can sell. That’s what you get with pencil, crayons, and paper. But if you really want to wow your potential customers and win more bids, you need to bring those designs to life. And that means giving them a real 3D look at what their landscaped space will look like. With 3D modelling tools as part of your landscape design software, transform your 2D designs into a 3D world in which your customers can actually envision themselves.
Take them through a walkthrough of their space. With a 3D rendering, let them see the height of the trees, how the shadows will fall during the day and where their pathway will take them. If you want to guarantee a sale of your project, wow your customers like no one else will. The proof will be in the presentation when you deliver an award-winning and, most importantly, job-winning 3D design.
From design to estimate
Having a great design is one thing, and you can definitely wow your customers with designs made in landscape design software. However, your customers still want to know the cost of all the work. Eventually, you will have to give them a price. The old way is to do the bid in a spreadsheet, accounting for each plant, shrub, and tree you have designed and pricing them from your cost book. That’s every single item, one by one, put into an estimate. That keeps many landscapers up late at night completing bids, instead of spending time relaxing after a day working in the field.
With landscape design software, turn your design into an estimate automatically. With a cost book in your software, each element you place in your design is accounted for and automatically put on the estimate. You don’t need to go plant by plant, as the software will account for it all. It’s one of the fastest ways to turn designs into estimates and streamline all your bidding. Change a price in the cost book and the price updates on your bids. Get the most accurate bids you have ever completed in a fraction of the time by removing the manual process and replacing it with automation.
Success in landscaping is about streamlining
To be the most successful and grow your business, you need to streamline processes. Saving yourself time in one area is time you can put in another. It can also take your bidding, estimating, and designing to a whole new level that you weren’t able to do manually. Multiple angles, 3D renderings, and real shades of colour for plants are going to make your designs more appealing to customers and win you more bids. By using landscape design software it’s a path to winning more jobs by doing a fraction of the work you did before.