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How software shortcuts save designers time

August 23, 2022 -  By
Design software, like Vectorworks Landmark, helps designers create and store design features for easy reuse in future projects. (Photos: Cheri Stringer)

Design software, like Vectorworks Landmark, helps designers create and store design features for easy reuse in future projects. (Photos: Cheri Stringer)

Cheri Stringer, founder of Gardens of Change in Longmont, Colo., uses Vectorworks Landmark software for her mostly residential design service, citing ample opportunity for customization. Stringer and Errick Harper, owner of Lawn Care Solutions in Shreveport, La., share how landscape design software creates new paths to efficiency while helping companies meet the specific needs of clients.

“I’m able to customize it to my particular methods, processes and protocols,” Stringer says. “The resource browser lets me create unique symbols for everything; hardscapes, furniture, every single thing.”

Vectorworks has been Stringer’s go-to since 2007 and keeping creations on file with the software’s resource browser has saved her an immeasurable amount of time.

“I create something once and use it 100 times,” she says. “That’s compared to 20 years ago when you had to do it from scratch every single time. With most programs, they give you a stock set, and you can customize some of that, but not nearly as customizable as Vectorworks Landmark. It’s not even close.”

Vectorworks allows users to create light fixtures and the bulb to go inside and customize the lighting fixture down to the color and style. Stringer says this comes in handy for her 2D and 3D modeling.

“It lets you get down to those very fine micro-details, but when it’s time for a new design, it’s right there waiting for you with just one click if you need it,” she says.

No steep learning curves

Harper is a 10-year user of PRO Landscape design software. He started using the program at the suggestion of an industry friend.

“He knew I needed a better way to show customers what I was trying to bring to light on their property,” says Harper. “It’s helped me bring my imagination out instead of just relying on drawings.”

Lawn Care Solutions offers landscape building, irrigation, maintenance, design/build and pest management services to a 70 percent residential and 30 percent commercial base.

Harper points to PRO Landscape’s ease of use and customization as prime motivators for sticking with the software for the past decade. He says while it took him a little time to learn the ins and outs of the program, time saved convinced him of the value of sticking with PRO Landscape.

“I never got into drawing too much and this (software) saves you so much time,” he says. “The biggest thing is it makes you look much more professional. Even today, not everyone is using this sort of thing for their designs.”

Before using PRO Landscape, Harper says a typical job would take about five hours to design.

“When you’re talking about a larger home or a larger property with a lot of things going in around it, yes, I’d say it does save you four or five hours doing it this way,” he says. “It’s just a cool program that’s set up to be easy to use and friendly to newcomers.”

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