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How to Use Deck Design Software

Oct 10, 2007
A computer is a powerful design tool that can be used in many ways in relation to the deck planning, designing and construction process. This ranges from creating lists to generating complex drawings. With the word processing program it is possible to make a deck wish list, an inventory of site conditions, a materials list, plant lists, a breakdown of necessary tasks to do and a list of contractors. It is also ideal because all of these items can so easily be revised and prioritized at any time.

A spreadsheet program can be used for budgetary issues and cost estimations. It can also be utilized to create construction timelines in detail.

The computer is an outstanding research tool. Websites can be looked at for all manner of information related to the construction and decoration of an outdoor living space such as a deck. It is possible to visit manufacturer's websites to find out about new products, investigate building techniques, tour garden and plant sites and chat with other homeowners about specific questions and concerns.

Software programs that generate complete landscape designs with full working plans are a huge aid when working with computers. Other programs that are able to create deck designs of all shapes and sizes complete with detailed plans and material lists can enable homeowners to create their own unique layouts without the assitance of professionals. It is virtually possible to create a deck plan and test different arrangements of plants and hardscape features.

The computer program is perfectly capable of showing the deck and garden at the stage where it has been built and landscaped and then show how it might look several years later. It is also possible to plot the sun's path through the seasons in order to see where the yard will be exposed to sun or be shady.

The price, options and quality of deck design and landscaping design software varies widely. Three dimensional CAD (computer assisted design) software programs cost thousands of dollars and require moore powerful computer systems with large amounts of memory. Relatively inexpensive two dimesnional software programs are available to homeowners but have more limited design flexibility. The choice is simple. Sophisticated and expensive design programs may be worth the cost where homeowners have experience with CAD or graphics applications. However, if future projects are not planned to justify the expense then the less expensive software programs would seem to be the better choice.

It is extremely important to compare the features and capabilities of deck design software before making a decision as to which to purchase. A suitable programe will provide a variety of sample deck styles and shapes that can be altered to suit a homeowner's needs. It would allow the designer to add such features as railings, steps, level changes, angles and benches with the click of a mouse. It would also be possible to select decking material, its direction, color and texture.

Computers are certainly capable of adding a certain amount of speed, accuracy and convenience to the deck design process. However, the final results will still depend to a large extent upon non-technological tasks to be completed by the homeowner. There is no real substitute for studying a potential deck site carefully, determining the needs of the family in relation to such an outdoor living space. The more information that can be gathered and developed by the homeowner the greater the amount of information that can be input into the software program.

The result will easily be a deck with a unique styles that satisfies the desires and tastes of the homeowner, family members and guests.
About the Author
Richard Vande Sompel is a professional deck builder of 35 years and over 850
decks built and is the author of "How to Plan, Design and Build a Deck from
Start to Finish". To Discover More About
Deck Design and Claim your 2
FREE Deck Plans, Insider Report, MP3 Audio and discover everything to know about
building a deck visit:
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