The business of landscape is changing. Whereas in the past we relied on pencils and tape measures, we are now using digital tools to assist our work. When used effectively, landscape software allows us to work quicker, more accurately, and to take on more projects than our predecessors could have dreamed of.
The important thing to remember is that like all business relationships, compatibility between user and software is key. While the right software can make our lives easier, a bad match can do the opposite, making day-to-day operations harder to manage and ultimately harming our bottom line. Because of this, it’s essential that we only invest in programs that are designed for our exact business needs.
At first glance, much of the leading software out there might appear to offer similar features and capabilities making it difficult to sort out which one is the best match for your landscaping business. Although many programs seem to offer the same features, they often do so in very different ways, depending on the type of user they are designed. What is right for a landscape architect will not be right for an internal salesperson, designer, or account manager.
Before you commit to software, it is worth considering:
- Who will be using the software? Are they trained in CAD?
- What type of projects will you be using it for?
- Do you need tools such as 3D rendering or photorealistic editing?
- What is your budget?
With this in mind, let’s take a look at two of the industry’s top software providers: Dynascape and LandOne.
What is Dynascape Design?
Dynascape Design is design software that allows landscape professionals to create detailed plans for landscape projects. The program is equipped with high-powered design tools, including full CAD (computer-aided design) functionality, pre-set layers and templates, automatic linear and radius dimensions, and the ability to add your own items to the extensive plant database.
Dynascape is the ideal tool for jobs that require detailed dimension plans for on-site layouts, colored landscape design drawings with texture and shade, and 3D rendered models. Examples of this include large hotel complexes with pools and multiple levels or housing developments with multiplex landscape features. It contains a feature that allows you to prepare and export your drawings directly to SketchUp format so you can open them directly in SketchUp for 3D rendering. It is also possible to integrate the program with others in the DYNA suite, such as Shaderlight for photorealistic rendering, and Manage 360.
The Cost of Dynascape
In terms of cost, Dynascape is one of the most expensive options out there. Users pay an upfront fee of $2,995 per license for the design bundle, then $189 a month per user for the sales and estimating add-on. Dynascape also charges extra for yearly updates. Although this might sound steep, it may be worth the money for companies with dedicated design teams who regularly produce detailed plans or 3D models. It is also a smart investment for professional landscape designers and architects working independently.
Who Should Use Dynascape?
The advanced capabilities of Dynascape make it a favorite among designers and architects. Because of this, the program is often on the curriculum for design and architecture students who receive comprehensive training on how to use CAD. Professional designers will appreciate the combination of convenient presets and the ability to create precise, painstakingly detailed designs from scratch.
On the flipside, landscapers who are looking for a program that allows them to quickly and simply create designs for everyday landscape projects – eg. new patios, firepits, or flower beds – will likely find Dynascape overly complicated, expensive, and time-consuming to learn and use.
What is LandOne Takeoff?
LandOne Takeoff is a program that allows landscapers to create designs, make materials lists, and calculate costs in one easy session. Users can upload photos or drawings of the site as a base layer, or even use the built-in satellite or drone support for aerial images. The program uses a simple click and drag interface to segment and zone mulch areas, sod areas, plant beds, and a variety of hardscapes, and plants can be added from the extensive pre-loaded library. Users can also place pipes, heads, and valves, and create quick irrigation layouts. Annotations can be added using the same method.
LandOne calculates quantities and costs as you go and automatically accounts for secondary costs like base stone, poly sand, and labor. This means that the margin for human error is removed, making it incredibly simple to create accurate takeoffs, which can be exported to a PDF ready for bidding. It is simple to alter aspects of the design at any time because material list quantities automatically update with any changes.
The Cost of LandOne Takeoff
In terms of cost, LandOne is one of the most affordable options out there for landscapers. The Takeoff and Design package starts at $80 per month, with no upfront fee. There is also an option to save 10% if you opt to pay yearly. This price covers the cost of two users on the program, with small price increases for additional team members.
LandOne also offers a free 14-day trial for people still on the fence.
Who Should Use LandOne?
LandOne is the ideal program for landscape companies looking for intuitive, high-powered software that doesn’t require in-depth knowledge of CAD. Designers love it too for creating quick base maps or concept designs to price condition a client before heading over into Dynascape to complete the final detailed design.
If you have a photo or base map of the site then it takes minutes to upload the file and begin designing, making it perfect for drawing up enhancement ideas like retaining walls, fire pits, and planting areas. This software equips landscapers with the tools needed to create high-level visual mock-ups that stand out from the crowd, without having to pay for a designer.
It is also one of the only programs on the market that automatically integrates the design and estimate processes, making it a fantastic all-in-one tool for everyday landscaping projects.
Start your free trial today and see for yourself why LandOne can be the design software solution you’ve been looking for.