Anybody who has tackled a home improvement project knows that the best improvements come from the best plans. If you are looking to upgrade your landscaping, you may want to consider purchasing landscape design software. The best landscape design software will allow you to combine your talent and creativity with the precision and detail of computer-aided design.
Benefits of Using the Best Landscape Design Software
Like any computer program, learning the ins and outs of a landscape design software will take some time and dedication. But, it may be worth your effort for the following reasons:
- Budget-friendly. Hiring a professional to design and build your dream outdoor space is the best way to guarantee good results. However, the price of a professional at each step may be cost prohibitive. By using the best landscape design software, you can create the initial plans before hiring a company, saving you some significant money in consultation fees.
- Revision Opportunities. Landscape design software helps you visualize the final result without having to create the final result. Seeing the 2D and 3D images of your landscape design will help you make changes and revisions before the project gets underway, saving you time, money, and a headache.
- Time Saving. In addition to saving you time in the revision stage, once you learn how the software program works, designing via computer is much quicker than designing by hand. The many features, drag and drop tools, and ability to replicate without having to redraw will save you time when creating your design.
While the best landscape design software is certainly not for everybody, if you have a computer with specifications to handle the graphics, time to devote to learning a program, and a need for professional quality designs, it may be time to invest in the software.
Best Landscape Design Software Comparison Guide
Top 2 Best Landscape Design Software Reviews
Chief Architect is a leader among home design software, and Home Designer Pro is a great option if you are looking to design both outdoor and indoor spaces at a professional level.
Home Designer Pro 2017 is designed for both Windows and Mac operating systems, and will work on Windows 7, 8, or 10 or Mac OS X v 10.10 (Yosemite) or newer. At minimum, the program will run on computers that have 4 GB of RAM, 5 GB of available hard drive space, and an integrated graphics card. If the graphics card is an Intel integrated model, it must have drivers from 2014 or newer. Home Designer Pro 2017 will run more smoothly in computers with dedicated graphics cards.
The large variety of landscape design elements of Home Designer Pro 2017 give you flexibility to create decking, gardens, and pathways for your outdoor space. This version allows you to automatically and manually design multi-shape and multi-level decks and create accurate product lists. The included Plant Chooser lets you select your plants from over 3,600 plant options and then use the grow plants tool to visualize what the landscaping will look like over time. To get an accurate idea of what your space will look like, Home Designer Pro 2017 also gives you the option to import elevation data from your GPS. This software, however, does have limitations in the tools available to build roads, sidewalks, and fences compared to previous versions.
Home Designer Pro 2017 is software created for professionals, and you are paying for software to design both indoor and outdoor spaces. But, it is a versatile product for enthusiasts who are willing to dedicate some time to overcoming the learning curve. Chief Architect does offer many helpful training tools and videos online, so with some time and effort, even those unfamiliar with computer design could create detailed landscapes.
Realtime Landscaping Architect is another professional level landscape design software that can be used by both businesses and individuals.
The software is compatible with Windows operating systems, and it will run on Windows 7, 8, 10, and Vista. It is not compatible with Mac operating systems. In order to function properly, the software must be installed on a computer with 4 GB of RAM, 30 GB of available hard drive space, and a video card that is DirectX-11 compatible with at least 512 MB of video memory.
Unlike Chief Architect’s Home Designer Pro line, this best landscape design software is strictly for landscape design, so there are more options available. With this software, you can, among other things, design gardens, decks, water features such as ponds and pools, irrigation systems, fences, and paths or walkways. There are over 7,200 built in plants to include in your design, and by using the plant growth tool, you can visualize what they will look like as the mature.
Two features that make this program especially versatile are the ability to design over a photo and design simultaneously in 2D and 3D. The software will allow you to import a photo of a house or property to use with your landscape design, making the final image much more realistic. The simultaneous 2D and 3D design views will allow you to create detailed CAD-style designs while also seeing what the finished product will look like. The two views will be especially helpful if you are unfamiliar with CAD images or are creating designs for a client.
Realtime Landscaping Architect is an intuitive software program that is good for home enthusiasts who aren’t familiar with CAD and professionals with design experience. The program is easy to learn and use, and, at a reasonable price, it is a great option for digital landscape design.