The process of building a landscape in 3D is not that different from the process of building a landscape in real life. We need an understanding of the existing conditions so we can mark out the design using reference points and spot levels, then set new levels, install our hardscapes and finish up with planting and lighting.
Generally the information we required can be grouped into three categories
- Plans & Sketches
- Site Photos
- Additional Information
Plans & Sketches
Whether you currently produce your design drawings by hand or you’re using design software, the good news is that the kind of information you would be showing in your drawings for costing and construction is the same kind of information we need to construct your design in 3D.
As a bare minimum, the mandatory base information we need to see in your drawings are:
- The Site Boundary
- The footprint of existing buildings
- Contour lines and spot levels if topography is crucial to the finished design
- Any other existing features such as pool, trees, overhead structures and other hardscape elements that are being retained and are affected by your design.
- All these elements may be provided in a separate document such as a site plan, or be included within the concept design you have prepared yourself.
And of course we need to see your design, with as many notes and levels as you have time to provide.
Some basic drawing conventions we require you to adhere to are:
- That the drawing is prepared to scale
- That the notes are LEGIBLE. While your notes don’t have to be neat, if we literally can’t read them, we can’t understand what you’re proposing.
- A north arrow; and
- ONE known dimension. This is crucial if you are submitting scanned images of your design instead of a digital drawing file. Simply mark one known dimension on the plan that we can use to scale the entire drawing correctly in our software.
Your drawings must be submitted in one of the following formats:
- AutoCAD .dwg or if produced using software other than autocad, exported as a drawing interchange file also called a .dxf
- Scanned formats are .jpg. png and .pdf.
Here are some examples of drawings that we’ve received in the past that have been great to work from.
Besides the drawings, we also need site photos from you to show us what is currently on site in terms of the house, boundaries, existing structures and LEVELS, so we can cross reference these with the site plans.
If you don’t have architectural elevation drawings of the house, we will use your photos to approximate the location of windows and doors, get the colours and materials right, get the roofline looking accurate. We can count brick courses to judge heights and level changes. We can see all the existing boundary treatments, neighbouring trees and other structures too.
As much as possible, please try to take site photos systematically using the method described in our Quick Guide to Taking Site Photos Video.
Doing this will save you AND us a lot of time during the design phase of your project, and alleviate a lot of questions from our team.
In addition to the mandatory drawings and site photos, any and all other information you can provide us with will result in a much more detailed 3D model and save you a lot of time having to produce more drawings. If you have plans from a builder or architect, provide those, anything from council or the water authority or other regulatory bodies, send those too.
Inspiration images are always very helpful.
By sending us inspiration images of previous projects you’ve built or images of other projects or feature elements that you’ve downloaded from the internet, you can save yourself having to draw them in more detail during the concept phase.
Some examples are:
- water features,
- pergolas and other overhead structures,
- outdoor barbecues
- built in lounges,
- ornamental pots or sculptures
- other decorative elements
The more information you send, the more accurate your presentation will be. If you’re strapped for time, don’t worry, our specialised team is used to filling in the gaps. If there is anything we’re really unsure about, we’ll just give you a call or send an email and ask you directly.
If you have any questions about the information you need to provide, please don’t hesitate to get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org