If you’ve seen the latest Version 3 images and videos, perhaps you’ve wondered whether your current computer can run the powerful new Version 3 or if you’ll need an updated setup.
This past year, our team has focused on developing new tools that help make it easier for you to get work done on your schedule, no matter when (or where) you’re working. Whether you’re making changes on the spot while you help your client create a “staycation”-ready outdoor retreat or you’re making headway on your to-do list in the office, having the right timesaving tools is key.
With this Spring Update, we are sharing with you new timesaving tools and features that will help you design beautiful projects for your clients. Whether you are working from home this month and presenting projects remotely to clients or you’re gearing up for summer and helping your team stay healthy and productive during uncertain times — this update offers the tools that will help you design projects quickly and easily.
Here at Structure Studios we’re taking steps to stay connected to our Members while remaining healthy and productive during the COVID-19 crisis.
This year marks a special one for us here at Structure Studios, because it has been 20 years since Noah designed the very first 3D swimming pool!
Looking for a computer that boosts your productivity? We’ve put together this list of computer recommendations for you. This regularly updated list will help you get the best deal and pick the computer that’s right for you.
Last year, we focused on updates that save you time. This year, we’ve been focusing on updates that save you time — and make it both faster and easier to personalize every detail to achieve incredible results for your clients.
Two new features in the Hardscapes Stage make it faster, easier, and even more enjoyable to create the perfect custom design for your clients. Whether you’re designing a beach entry or a pool deck, a new driveway or a new sports court — Coping Draw Mode and Custom Scoring Mode make it easy!
Last year, we focused on developing for you time-saving tools and features that made it faster and easier to personalize projects for your clients. From easy imports to quick exports, beautiful floors to gorgeous windows, hardscape that automatically follows the terrain to Augmented Reality that automatically follows you and your clients around the yard — saving time has never looked so good!
We promised to focus each and every update of 2018 on the tools, tips, and features that would make it easier to create and perfect the beautiful custom details that clients love most. With spectacular custom windows and floors, hardscapes that follow the terrain, new posed characters, realistic pool coves, custom hardscape coping, tiered spillovers, and so much more — we think we delivered!
When you’re busy readying designs for prospective clients, scheduling meetings, and getting your designs built — you’ve probably come up now and then against a quick design question that you want answered right away. We know you don’t want to add hunt down answers to your already full to-do list. That’s why we've made it easy to find answers to those pressing questions, discover new time-saving tips, and get the support you need — fast.
We love it when our members share their wish lists with us — and, with this update, we’re happily checking quite a few wished-for items off the list!
This year, we’ve been focusing on updates that save you time — easier imports, faster pdf exports, even easier ways to personalize your client’s house, from indoor flooring to custom windows, rounded fence posts to wedding cake stairs. We’ve brought Augmented Reality to swimming pools, hardscapes, and outdoor kitchens with YARD and we’ve added tools to help your clients and your team understand the details, including text tables, new project information fields, and detailed new labels.
Custom details are often the key to truly transforming a design and making it feel like it’s already the homeowner’s very own space.
Summer’s the season when many families enjoy going on relaxing tours, trips, and holidays — so take your clients on a tour like none other with today’s update! The new tools and features in this update are powerful, flexible — and incredibly easy to use. After all, it’s summer — we know you have a lot on your to-do list! Spectacular new windows are now incredibly easy to create: we built on two of the most popular tools, Wood Decks and Pergolas, to make windows just as easy to create and customize. And we didn’t stop there. Creating a custom floor, choosing a custom water level, even personalizing your tour with one of 12 new characters — all of that and more now takes just a couple of clicks, making even the most beautiful designs even more impressive. So amaze your clients with a gorgeous tour of their future outdoor living space, customized just for them. Check out the update video to see how the latest new tools will help you create absolutely stunning living spaces for your clients that will make them feel right at home.
For many clients, visualizing and understanding the true scale of a project remains one of the most challenging steps when beginning an outdoor living design project.
Last year, we shared updates that covered every square inch of your clients' outdoor living spaces — the sky really was the limit, with tips on how to use your drone to map a client’s property quickly. Calculators to make measuring layouts a snap, smart tools to speed up design time when make designing decks and pergolas, and new video options to make creating interactive 360 images and videos as easy as taking a screenshot. So we’re starting off 2018 with updates that will help you focus your client’s attention on all of the precise details that make your design so perfect for them. New staircase options, new import options — even a faster new way to email your design to your client. All that, and much more, is available now in today’s update. Check out the update video to learn more about the new tools and features that will help you wow your clients:
When you invite your client to explore the new pool and spa you've designed for them, you can make your 3D tours even more enticing by adding thoughtful details that will help them understand exactly why your design is so perfect for their family.
Helping you make your already incredible designs even better is what motivates us to develop and share brand-new tools and features. With each and every update, we put the power of the most awesome new technology to work, improving lives through 3D experiences.
As soon as a new client walks into designer Jim Bellamy of California Pools’ office, they’re immersed in a unique experience that incorporates visuals, sound, and even sample design materials ready for their inspection.
For many homeowners, renovating the backyard is about much more than just keeping up with the Joneses or finally getting rid of some overgrown landscaping — it’s about increasing the amount of enjoyable living space and transforming what might otherwise be a mundane yard into a private retreat. That’s probably one reason why pergolas rank as one of the “top upgraded outdoor structures” — with more than a quarter of homeowners undertaking projects opting to update their pergolas (and of those, a quarter opt for a “major renovation” while 30% opt for an overhaul). With Vip3D, VizTerra, and Pool Studio, you can now create and customize the perfect pergolas, patio covers, and arbors for your clients — offering your clients not just a shady area but also an ideal gathering spot and a focal point in their outdoor living space. And it’s incredibly easy to do with fully integrated pergola design software.
When clients ask for custom landscape designs that transform their outdoor living space, designing even the most innovative elements of your client’s new backyard is easy with 3D design software. Until now, however, taking the measurements so your installers can build those intricate pools, multi-level decks, and unique pergolas has still been one of the more time-consuming tasks to complete. So we’re here to help.
Do you feel like you spend more time drawing a client's home than designing their outdoor living space? Is it sometimes tedious to get their home to look exactly right? Or is it time consuming to measure everything you need on their home? Wouldn’t it be cool if, instead of painstakingly drawing and measuring every detail of your client’s home to use in your design, you could simply design around a scaled 3D model? And wouldn’t it be neat if your drone could capture more than just nice pictures? What if your drone could give you a 3D model of your client’s home, right now, in Vip3D?
Delivering the custom results your clients want just got easier. With the Fall 2017 update, you get access to streamlined tools designed to help you create those detailed custom results your clients are looking for — while also streamlining your design process. That includes a new custom pergola design tool (bringing the features of last update's integrated deck design software to custom pergolas, patio covers, and arbors), a streamlined interface (putting the most-used tools right at the top for easy access), and automatic new measurement tools (revealing the most intricate measurements of your design instantly)
The first time that Tod Brown of Barrington Pools saw a 3D pool design, he knew it would change for the better the way he shared his work with his clients. He already knew that clients loved seeing pictures of potential pools — and as a pool guy who'd sold $3.5M in just his first year designing pools, Brown was always excited to find new ways to make the process of winning over clients not just easier but also more enjoyable for his clients. That was especially important to Brown because his clients wanted increasingly ingenious, spectacularly custom pools.
When many homeowners begin thinking about hiring a professional to update their outdoor living space, a deck is often a default item on their list. That’s why decks often rank as one of the top upgraded outdoor structures — and also why decks offer designers a great opportunity to amaze clients with a phenomenal custom design.
When you need to create the most incredibly precise, accurate, and detailed custom projects, the right tools mean the difference between good enough — and absolutely spectacular. With all-new 3D Measurements, you can now share an extra level of detail with your clients and installers, making certain that the design you’ve created is exactly right.
Summer is a great season for kicking back and relaxing on the deck — for your clients, at least! Today’s update offers you awesome new options, incredible new features, and some of the most precise tools to help you create amazing wood decks (and much, much more) for your clients — no knocking on wood required! This is the update that makes designing custom wood decks incredibly easy — with integrated 3D wood deck design software that will help you design those decks faster, and more impressively, than ever before. Ready to see what’s new today with the deck design software? Check out the update video and then read on for details!
Every week, we offer training workshops designed to help you create your best work. From the fundamentals to the most advanced strategies, our workshops cover everything you need to know to create the most impressive — and the most client-amazing — 3D designs. In case you haven’t had a chance yet to join a training workshop (or you’d just like a refresher) — we don’t want you to miss out. Many of your fellow pool and landscape designers who attend our training say these are our top tips: the best timesavers, the greatest shortcuts, and the most impressive ways to create the most impressive designs. Ready to enhance your design process? Read on to discover the Top 5 Most Popular Vip3D, Pool Studio, and VizTerra Tips:
Creating and sharing the most innovative, and the most immersive, 3D experiences with clients is one of the best ways to engage your clients with your designs. Now, standing out and reaching even more clients with your 3D designs just got easier. Capture your clients' attention when you add 360° images to your website, ready for your clients to explore instantly — from every angle, from any device.
The question of whether to charge clients for pool and landscape design work is one that many designers — from those just starting out to seasoned professionals — often face as they consider strategies to grow their business.
Creating interactive presentations for your clients just got easier. When you use Vip3D to create interactive 360-degree screenshots, images, and videos — you’ll be able to share with your clients the easiest, most engaging new way to explore every detail of their future outdoor living space. All it takes is one quick press of the button in Vip3D’s Presentation Stage — then just use the mouse on your PC, or the screen on your tablet or smartphone, to let your clients explore your design in any direction.
Welcome to the Spring Update! Whether you’re already enjoying sunny weather or you’re waiting out a few more snow days, today’s Spring Update brings you brand-new tools, features, and improvements that will get your clients excited to start their next projects! When we sent off 2016, we also celebrated our 15th Anniversary — 15 years of 3D swimming pools and landscapes, 15 years of incredibly detailed presentations, and 15 years of making lives better through 3D experiences. Let’s start the next 15 years off right: with spectacular new ways for you to share your most incredible work with your clients! First on the list: 360-degree photos and videos for your clients to explore! Ready to see what 2017 brings? Check out today’s update video — we’re sharing with you those new photos and videos, plus new ways of sharing on social media, and much, much more: Create 360 Photos/Videos (Vip3D Exclusive) Click to try the 360° Video In Vip3D, you can now create an incredibly beautiful new way of sharing your designs with your clients: 360 degree photos and video. The new 360-degree photos and videos are not just beautiful — they’re also interactive! Using your mouse, tablet, or even your smartphone, you can invite your client to look around and explore your design in any direction. For more information on 360 photos and videos, please check out our in-depth 360 Photo and Video guide.
Twelve years ago, Chris Anderson’s company was one of the first to start using Pool Studio for contemporary backyard design. Then a senior in college, Anderson had grown up in the pool industry, and he recognized a great opportunity when he saw one.
Smart Data, Virtual Reality, and so much more — 2016 has been a pretty amazing year. Here at Structure Studios, we’re incredibly happy today to share with you an extra-special update to mark the end of an extra-special year: we’re celebrating our 15th Anniversary! In 15 years, we’ve come a long way from that very first 3D swimming pool. From Smart Data that does the number crunching for you to Virtual Reality that lets you share the most breathtakingly immersive experience possible with your clients, we’re innovating the most game-changing software on the market today. We’d love to share some cake and party balloons with you — since our members are worldwide, however, we’re celebrating with you by offering you great new tools and features that are 100% focused on making your design experience better than ever. As we prepare the super-duper-amazing (we really can’t wait for you to see!) updates we’re readying for 2017, we decided to send off 2016 with super-precise, super-detailed improvements that will help you do your very best work. What better way to celebrate? In today’s update, we’ve refreshed art, polished features, added options — and eliminated more than 50 bugs, all so that we could help you create the very best designs. If you love precise, accurate, detailed designs as much as we do — then this is the update for you. Ready to see what’s ready for you? And ready to look back at just how much has changed in the past 15 years? Watch the update video and then read on for the full list!
Athletic Fields, 9-Figure College Campuses, and the 8-Acre Funhouse: How Tyson Scott Uses 3D to Knock it Out of the Park
When landscape designer Tyson Scott recently got the nod to design his alma mater’s $150 million, 2,000-acre campus, he knew that he’d earned the opportunity not simply because he’d presented a vividly detailed plan or because he’d taken the time to make certain that the plan he offered would transform the campus into a multipurpose space to inspire and invigorate both the companies focused on high-tech research and the students who’d live, work, and study there.
Perhaps you’re familiar with the saying, "fast, good, cheap: pick two.” It's a popular truism — one that often gets shared when comparing software options. The fastest and best option probably won’t be the rock-bottom cheapest; the fastest and cheapest option might not be very good. But when you’re choosing between options, it can sometimes be hard to tell when you’re comparing apples to apples, apples to oranges, or perhaps even a bushel of apples from last year’s harvest to a bakery-fresh apple pie. From marketing speak using jargon that obscures what you're actually getting to glossy charts full of features you’ve yet to see in action — finding the right software that actually does what it promises while also helping you as you work can be a headache, and that’s before you’ve even started actually trying to design with the software. Whether your goal is to get work done faster, to improve your designs, or to razor down your expenses — great software can be the difference between achieving your goals and designing great projects, or wasting time on a program that doesn’t give you what you need and sends you back to the drawing board to start your search for the right tools all over again.
Virtual Reality is the most exciting, most engaging technology on the market today, and it's already completely changing how we experience movies, video games, and architecture. Today, virtual landscape software is ready for you — ready for you to add even more depth and detail to your pool and landscape designs, and ready for you to start sharing even more immersive experiences with your clients.
Welcome to the Fantastic Freehand Fall Update 2.220! When Pool Studio was released in 2005, the common pencil became obsolete for pool designers all over the world. Today, we’ve reinvented the pencil. With today's update, we merge the best of the “old” with the best of the new: you'll get to experience the everyday pencil, now improved with the brand-new Freehand Tool. And you'll see how to transform the average trip through the backyard into an incredibly awesome experience with new Virtual Reality tools. That's just the beginning: today's update also includes new pool shape customizations, faster loading, more Smart Data, better construction, and, yes, full virtual reality support! Check out our update video and see what else you’ll discover in the Fall 2016 update, including the new Freehand Tool and more than 80 other awesome improvements:
When Lea Frederick started out in the aquatics industry, she didn’t enter the industry expecting that she would one day be the only woman in the world to attain accreditation as a member of the prestigious Society of Watershape Designers, by the Genesis Design Group. In fact, Frederick didn’t start out designing swimming pools at all. It was only after her husband, with whom she owned a commercial swim and tennis club, teamed up with a business partner who needed someone to do design and sales that Frederick decided to consider designing pools. Frederick’s background in engineering meant she had the necessary technical understanding to start designing beautiful pools. By leveraging those skills — along with her experience teaching lifeguarding for the Red Cross as well as kids’ swimming lessons — Frederick has been able to design and build stunning pools that clients love, enabling her to build a successful career as a business owner and Watershape Designer: she owns Vue Custom Pools and Vue Custom Design.
Achieving the perfect balance of sunshine and shade in an outdoor living space is a skill that sometimes goes overlooked by clients — even though creating just the right balance is one of the key ways that designers transform a yard from something mundane into their client’s dream space.
Outdoor living projects are the second largest investment most homeowners will ever make, next to the house itself. Perhaps your client is finally going to be able to realize their longstanding dream of building the perfect pool for their dream home. Or perhaps they’re asking you to design for them the perfect landscaping for their family to enjoy in their first new home.
What are successful pool builders doing that differentiates them from their less-successful peers? They’re finding new ways to turn an old sales truism to their advantage: they use health and fitness industry data to help them sell benefits, not just features.
Summer often inspires homeowners to start thinking about building a pool of their own — one that will be the perfect summer oasis, the ideal way to stay cool and make even the hottest days of summer enjoyable. Sometimes, however, building a pool can seem like a dream for the future, rather than an immediately possible reality. Perhaps a homeowner has heard cautionary tales about the expense of maintaining a pool, or maybe they just can’t imagine the pool of their dreams actually fitting into their own yard’s challenging terrain. When starting to think about building a pool, the first big question that many homeowners ask is, will building a swimming pool really increase the value of my house? For many, the answer is yes.
When Jeromey Naugle joined the pool and landscape industry in 1999, he started out stocking the shelves at a pool store in Gilbert, Arizona. Since then, he has built his own company, Premier Paradise, Inc., to not just earn seven-figure contracts — but to achieve that spectacular growth without even needing to advertise to prospects. Before he could achieve that success, however, Naugle knew he needed to find ways to do more than just build swimming pools. After all, his goal wasn’t just to earn a living — it was to build a career that would give him the freedom to create for his clients beautiful, innovative pools. To do that, he needed to find the right tools, and the right team, that would make it possible for him to create truly spectacular results for his clients.
The first day of summer is here! Summer update 2.210 brings to you brand-new tools that make creating super-spectacular projects a breeze. Want to show your clients exactly where you’ve created a perfect sunny spot or the perfect shady nook for relaxing? Now, you can with True Shadows. Want to take the headache out of punching numbers into a calculator — and let Vip3D, Pool Studio, and VizTerra do the number crunching for you? From concrete yardage to dirt displacement, plumbing to rebar, the brand-new Smart Data can handle it all — and today, you can try it for yourself.
Outdoor trends continue to mimic those from indoor design, so it’s no surprise pergolas remain a popular landscape design feature.
Creating great customer experiences, growing your business, and selling more — do those goals sound familiar to you? For many designers, finding the time to implement new strategies that will help achieve those goals — without taking too much valuable time away from clients — can mean that “find more time” ends up as yet another to-do item on their list. So here’s one strategy that you can put into action today: use Artistic Effects to create a work of art that will convert your clients.
Designer Shane LeBlanc has built a career that takes him both around the country and around the world to design the spectacular pools that have helped him grow from a once-small landscaping company into an award-winning outdoor living design company winning seven-figure contracts.
If you’ve been in the industry for awhile — or even if you’ve just been checking out some of the case studies we’ve shared — you've probably noticed just how many different routes to success there can be. But what is it that really distinguishes the good from the great, the truly successful from those just chugging along?
I can just hear it now. “C’mon, man”, you say. “What’s this all about? Talking yourself out of a sale? Really?” You may be saying to yourself, “I have enough problems talking myself into a sale. Now I have to worry about this too? You can’t be serious.” To which I reply, “Au contraire, my pool- and spa-selling friend; I am deadly serious.” As often as I find myself training salespeople how to talk themselves into a sale, I also find that I should be training them how to avoid talking themselves out of a sale. This is not a play on words, folks. It’s the real deal.
Using drones to capture aerial shots of a build in progress, sharing screenshots to lock in contracts even before the design’s fully complete, and networking to get discovered by clients — these are all strategies John Kay uses to sell his clients on phenomenal designs. From his start studying landscape architecture at UNLV, through working for an established landscape company in California, and then obtaining his landscape and general engineering license in order to begin his own company, John Kay has always looked for state-of-the-art ways to set his work apart from the rest. And to set his work apart — John turned to Vip3D to see whether the latest 3D technology would earn him even better results.
When we rounded up the shortlist of member-favorite tools in 2015, we promised that our next update would help you shave time off your design process. Today, we're following through. With new and improved features that will help you make your Vip3D, VizTerra, and Pool Studio designs absolutely spectacular — Update 2.2 includes faster tools, better controls, and smoother finishes. What’s ready for you to try out today?
When designer Sherman Kellow of Standing Stone Pools and Patio wanted to improve his closing ratio, he set out to find ways to create a better customer experience.
A good design is more than a sketch or print out. You pour your blood, sweat and tears into crafting the perfect design for your customers — bringing their pool and landscape wish lists to life. While it may sometimes seem like a simple process to homeowners, creating designs that sell takes valuable time and effort. And you want to make sure you’re earning what the designs are worth.
Custom Pool Designer Chris Adamczyk uses Pool Studio to Create Designs Featured on TV and in Multimillion-Dollar Homes When award-winning designer Chris Adamczyk of Watercolors Custom Pools in Atlanta decided to make the switch from digging pools to selling them, he set out to find the right tools that would make his designs stand out amongst the competition. After eight years digging pools as a heavy equipment operator, Chris Adamczyk had ideas for designs of his own that he wanted to see built. Those designs have not just featured on TV six times, they’ve also won him multiple awards and earned him clients all over the Atlanta area, from suburban homes to multimillion dollar estates.
You’ve talked with your prospect over the phone about what they’re looking for with a landscape project. But until you see the actual property, you’re pretty much in the dark on where to begin. Instead of wasting gas driving to your prospect’s home beforehand, take advantage of some online landscape design tools. There are a variety of sites and programs to choose from, and you can use these to view aerial and satellite images. Here are just a few of the benefits of being able to see an aerial image of a site before your first visit:
From Video Games to Modern Pools: 3D Artist Thai Tran uses his video game development background to create ingenious 3D landscapes for his clients.
Have you ever heard a client say his pool deck is too large? I doubt it. It’s much more likely you’ve had clients ask for a deck expansion because the space isn’t big enough for entertaining, or they underestimated how much space furniture takes up. Help clients avoid that regret by designing a pool deck that will meet their current and future needs. It’s your job to help them understand how much space is needed. A pool deck can be used for a lot more than lounging and drying off, so it’s important you know how your clients plan to use the space when proposing a size. Here are things you should consider when designing a pool deck.
Deciding to start a business can be one of the most exciting — and terrifying — times for any landscape designer. There are so many unknown factors as you head into this uncharted territory. Whether you’ve been thinking about starting a business for a few months or several years, you need to make sure you cover all of your bases to be successful. Here are six things you need to do before you start your landscape design business.
As we look forward to 2016, and wrap up a year in which we released some pretty big updates, we decided to check in with thousands of our Vip3D, Pool Studio, and VizTerra members to get a feel for what our users liked best — and what they want to see in the next year! The results are in: Vip3D, our redesigned take on 3D outdoor living design software, tops the list as one of the most exciting updates we’ve ever released. It’s fantastic to see the awesome projects designers are creating with Vip3D’s new tools and features. (If you haven’t checked it out yet — take a look!) What else caught designers’ attention? Check out our highlight reel: the top 19 new features of 2015, according to our members. Have you tried all 19? Watch the video to find out!
Considering the numerous landscaping business models that exist — with landscape design playing an important role in each — our customers often ask us, “What is the best way to charge for landscape design services?” As your design software partners, we know how important the answer to this question is. We’ve worked with landscape designers at all levels of expertise, with businesses of many sizes, across the country. But no matter who you are, the best landscape designs are the ones that make money in one way or another — so it’s essential you have a firm grasp on the best fee structure for your business.
Just because there is a big new movie coming out this week, doesn’t mean we're too busy to update Pool Studio, VizTerra, and Vip3D! Today we’re sharing some great updates that will make your designs look amazing — and your life easier. From an improved Construction page layout to new Snaps and Constraints settings, plus new tools that make it easy to give old favorites a refreshed look, this update has it all. Grab your lightsaber, and watch what's new!
Embracing Innovation: Designer Tommy Davis has grown his company’s reach by taking advantage of all technology has to offer to delight his customers For Tommy Davis of the award-winning, Texas-based Krause Landscape Contractors, transitioning from pen-and-paper designs to 3D computer renderings has been one of the keys to his success, helping him achieve phenomenal growth. His decision to embrace industry-leading design technology throughout his career has served Davis well, helping his team at Krause Landscape Contractors to not just gain an edge in their market but also flourish. Growing from Krause Landscape’s beginnings as a small lawn-mowing service, today Davis is part of a thriving full-service landscaping company that covers the state of Texas from Amarillo to Dallas while employing more than 100 people.
When your clients say they want a tropical oasis, what are they envisioning? Maybe they see a tranquil water feature, warm breeze and, of course, some lush and colorful foliage. You can bring this vision to life for your pool clients by installing a variety of plants. The right foliage can really transform the pool area. But with so many plant choices, where do you start?
Does your laptop feel slow in our 3D pool and landscape design software? Do you feel sad when your line won’t keep up with your mouse? After a long journey, searching many catacombs for the answers, on an adventure that would rival Indiana Jones, we think we have the solution to optimize PC performance! Follow us on this adventure and let’s optimize your PC! Disclaimer: Following us on this adventure will possibly help fix laptops that are slow in 2D and 3D. This adventure does not guarantee any gold, riches, or fancy money idols on top of pedestals.
Each stage of the design process calls for a different landscape design tool. To find qualified leads, you need a solid sales process. When it comes to closing a deal during a presentation, you’ll need a stunning design. But in between those, you’ll need to measure property sizes so you can create accurate designs. And that’s when you’ll need measurement tools. You want your designs to be exact, so there’s no room for error when you are collecting the site’s measurements. Make sure you choose the landscape design tools that will help you get the job done. Here are seven landscape design tools used for measuring properties.
I started consulting with pool companies in 2001. At the beginning, helping pool companies create 3D pool templates was all we did at Structure Studios. That gave us a lot of insight into what pool builders needed: a better way to design the unique, custom pools that customers want most. Building on what we learned working with pool companies, we developed Pool Studio, 3D Pool Design Software. Released in 2005, Pool Studio gave pool designers the power to design — quickly and easily — custom pool shapes that were limited only by their imagination (and their client’s budget!).
What would make the best Pool and Landscape Design Software even better? How about great new construction tools? New timesaving enhancements to design stages? Stunning new textures and 3D objects? Yes, Yes, and Yes! Last update, we made some pretty exciting changes (VizTerra became Vip3D, along with a new color scheme and access to the SketchUp 3D Warehouse). We also promised we had some exciting new tools in the works.
Before anyone can drive in the big race, they’ve got to qualify with a fast enough time. NASCAR doesn’t waste its time with drivers who are just going to slow others down on the track and cause accidents — just like you don’t want to waste your time with clients who won’t be good for your business. Although your process to pre-qualify clients probably won’t include spinouts and checkered flags, it’s just as important to ensure you don’t waste your time and resources.
Finding creative uses for our landscape design software tools is one of our favorite things to do. We’re just as excited when our members share their favorite shortcuts with us as when our team discovers a new use of a familiar feature. The reason why we love finding new ways to use familiar tools is simple: making the most of powerful features is what sets great designs apart. And time-saving shortcuts are an easy way to take advantage of the most powerful tools and features in your own designs.
We all get on a soapbox about work sometimes, whether it’s talking about a certain project or client issue. We all complain about things that aren’t working or are slowing us down. While landscape design software can help you close more deals and grow your business, there are aspects of certain software that will leave you feeling less than impressed. Here are the top 7 complaints we’ve heard from 3D landscape design software users, plus solutions for each.
Offering an all-natural organic pool as a pool design option to green-savvy homeowners will soon be essential to meet client demand. After all, the organic market is a $39 billion industry— and it’s overflowing into the swimming pool design business. In fact, The Organic Trade Organization says 51% of families are buying more organic products than just one year ago. With organic consumerism on the rise, homeowners are adapting organic principles into all areas of their lifestyles and will soon influence pool builders to adapt to the green market.
There’s so much to do and think about during the landscape design process. You have to schedule appointments, balance current projects, incorporate your prospect’s wants and needs, come up with unique ideas, prepare presentations and — oh yeah — make the sale. With everything that goes into it, you’re bound to miss something if you don’t have a solid landscape design process in place. Here are five important elements of the landscape design process you don’t want to forget.
We’ve all heard the saying, “Put it in writing,” but why is that so important, especially when it comes to subcontractors? When you hire a subcontractor, you’re entrusting aspects of your project to someone else and guaranteeing your client that work will be up to your standards. You might be a little wary to do that, so creating an agreement as a supplement to your bid form can help ease your worries. Having an agreement is all about setting expectations with your subcontractors and building a beneficial, long-term relationship with them. Here are the top reasons you need a subcontractor agreement form, plus what it should include.
Every month we speak to thousands of awesome pool and landscape designers. They ask us if 3D landscape design software is worth the time and money investment, and that’s an important question. Since we make 3D landscape design software, we sure think it's worth it. But that doesn't mean it's right for your business. So this article will discuss the pros and cons of 3D landscape design software, and you can decide if it's right for you.
This month marks the sixth anniversary of VIP Suite. To celebrate, we’re introducing three exciting new tools and enhancements, all designed to help make it faster and easier for you to create the show-stopping designs and presentations your customers love.
One of the easiest ways to brighten clients’ faces and close more deals is by adding lighting to your pool designs — and that’s not going to change anytime soon. In a February 2015 survey from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), 72 percent of landscape architects ranked lighting in the Top 10 features they predict will be popular this year. But not only do homeowners want their pools and landscapes well lit, they are also interested in sustainability and energy-efficiency, leading to the popularity of LED pool lighting.
Adding a few tons of rock to a poolscape could be massively rewarding or disastrous, depending on how you go about installing them. Large boulders add texture, colors, focal points and natural elements to poolscape projects. You can even orient them to guide the viewer’s eyes toward certain garden elements and create a balance among all of the landscape’s features. But before you and your clients can enjoy the aesthetic value of large boulders, you have to first figure out the best and safest way to place them in a poolscape — while avoiding common mistakes.
What would you do if you were asked to design a swimming pool on a yacht being built for a prince?
Creating a contract is a vital part of a successful landscape project. As the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) said in one of its presentations on contracts, “You get what you negotiate — not necessarily what you deserve.” So make sure to put everything in writing. It helps protect both you and the client. To help you create a contract for your landscape projects, hire an attorney to make sure everything’s covered and you and the client are protected. Each state has different requirements, so they can help you with that, too.
In part one of our conversation, JR Rapp, our very own 30-year pool-industry veteran and Director of Business Development at Structure Studios, gave insider tips to industry professionals on how to effectively communicate with clients. In part two, find out what JR thinks about the evolving pool design industry — including the future of the pool industry, how software for landscape design and pool design has improved the design process, and what keeps him on his feet all day.
So what makes this update so exciting? We’re showcasing great new features — plus some detailed refinements that will save you real time. Perhaps you’ve heard us say that our goal is to give you the best pool and landscape design software. In keeping with that promise, today we’ve added more than 75 enhancements. We're making it easier than ever for you to get your designs done — and for your clients to sign on that dotted line. Ready to see what's new since the last update? After learning about some of the fantastic ways designers are making use of the exceptionally high-resolution GIS images and the easy-to-use Soundscape Design features introduced in the spring, we can’t wait to hear what you think of today’s latest features. So take a look at the Update Video and download the free software update!
Your client’s first impression of you normally comes from your design presentation. So you’ll want to wow them with your ideas, understanding of their visions and personalized approach. But it can be difficult to know how to present a landscape design this way, if you’re new to the presentation process.
Landing a new client takes a lot of time, effort and resources. So once you have them, wouldn’t it be nice to keep them for years to come? To make clients happy and improve their outdoor living areas, you can do the landscape construction in stages. Not only will this method give you recurring revenue, but it will also give your clients what they want — even if that’s not possible with the budget they have today.
This might be the most important piece of pool sales information you will ever receive. If I were to ask you who your biggest competitor is, you might be inclined to give me the name of another local swimming pool company. I'm going to suggest that you might be wrong.
Every week, we talk to hundreds of successful swimming pool designers and landscape designers. And from those conversations, we've picked up on an interesting pattern: The successful designers who consistently land large contracts — and make their clients happy — share some remarkably similar habits. Curious? If you're a pool, landscape, garden or outdoor living designer, read on to find out whether anything our list of successful habits rings a bell for you.
We’ve all heard it before: “You need to have it in writing.” That’s especially true when there are thousands of dollars on the line with a pool installation. You need a contract — or agreement, as I prefer to say — that protects your business and protects the client. It also needs to clearly explain what services you’ll perform and when. Offering your client an agreement that's clear and detailed can make the difference between building their dream pool and ending up in a total nightmare of a project. So make sure you have a solid swimming pool construction contract that includes all nine of these crucial elements.
Subcontractors can be a vital part of your business if you’re understaffed, inexperienced with a certain task or need some quick help on a project.
Starting today, you can now manage your Pool Studio or VizTerra account online. Much as we love hearing from you, we wanted to make it easy for you to manage your account online anytime, day or night. (We were especially thinking about our fellow night owls who like to finish up To Do lists after business hours!) So, what can you now get done online?
Whether you are creating a design for a difficult terrain on a tight deadline or having trouble getting features to fit together, it can help to get back to the basics. One way to do that in the early stages of the design development is by using form composition.
Poolscape Inc.: An International Award-Winning, High-End Pool Designer Elevates His Efficiency And His Revenues With Pool Studio’s 3D Pool Designs Barry Justus founded Poolscape Inc. in 1991 with the goal of building one-of-a-kind concrete pools for homes and estates in the Toronto area. Today, he is one of the most accomplished and recognized pool designers in all of Canada and North America. His eye for design and commitment to quality have earned him numerous industry awards — the Best Family Recreation Centre Gold Award, the Technical Achievement Gold Award, and the Swimpsa/Current Pools Gold award, among many others. In fact, 90 percent of all Poolscape projects from the last decade have won international or national awards. But Justus doesn’t design to win awards. He designs to wow his customers.
Money can be an uncomfortable, yet necessary, topic to discuss when meeting with a potential client. You need to know what type of budget you’re working with, and they want to know how much your services will cost them. But mention the dollar amount too early or too much, and you may raise red flags with the customer. On the other hand, if you don’t know their price range, you may design a project that will cost more than they are willing to pay. So how do you find the right balance and figure out the best way to ask for a prospect's budget? Here are some dos and don’ts.
Few things are more relaxing than enjoying a beautiful day in a beautiful backyard. And when you’ve crafted every detail of your design to give your clients a spectacular outdoor living retreat that you know they'll love, you need your sales presentation to be as great as your design. Now, you can offer your clients a complete outdoor living experience by including 3D sounds in your design. Help your clients see exactly how their backyard will be transformed into the perfect retreat. Use soundscape design to immerse your clients in their new space, complete with the sound of chirping birds, gentle breezes, and splashing water. Get ready to bring your presentations to the next level. Here are six ways to incorporate sound into your next design:
Winter brought us new walls and fences, plus the awesome new Video Mode. What does our Spring Update bring? We can’t wait to share it with you: starting today, you’re going to be able to take advantage of the incredible new features that have been keeping us busy all winter. Creating better 3D experiences is as important to us as creating amazing designs for your customers is for you, so we’ve been working on some (seriously amazing) new features that will help you make your designs and presentations the best they can be. Watch the video overview:
What’s the biggest drain on your time, when you start a 3D outdoor living design? Many professional landscape designers say that gathering elevations and measurements takes up a lot of their time. How much time do you spend measuring a client’s home? Figuring out the property line? Triangulating existing obstacles that you need to work around? Calculating terrain elevations? These are some of the most important parts of a successful design, but they can also be the most time consuming. That's why we're excited to introduce an incredible new feature to VizTerra, Pool Studio, and VIP Suite: Aerial Imagery.
As landscape design software continues to become more sophisticated, presenting sophisticated landscape designs has become increasingly critical to the pitch process. The industry has moved from two-dimensional to 3D visualizations, and each new iteration presents a more realistic looking landscape. The visual nature of landscape software makes it particularly important to be able to help customers visualize the final project. Landscape contractors know this — but with several quality solutions on the market, it might seem overwhelming to sift through the options and choose the one that’s the best for your business. We field calls from prospective customers all the time about these landscape design software systems, particularly about the various payment options out there.
Damon Lang is the owner of Green Planet Landscaping, an award-winning landscape design and construction firm headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada. Since founding his company 16 years ago, Lang has established himself as one of the country’s leading landscape design experts.
Deciding to change the way you present your landscape designs to your potential customers is a big decision. From the first moment you consider switching from 2D to 3D designs, the task can seem like one of the biggest challenges you've faced―as insurmountable as your initial change from hand-drawn to 2D designs. Do you remember the days when asking the right questions and introducing a detailed (or even simplified) paper drawing was enough to turn a prospect into a customer?
People turn to talented landscape designers like you to make their outdoor living spaces shine and dream up creative solutions to their landscape challenges. But you can’t just show up to an initial meeting with product books about plants, pots and pavers; you’ll need to take the time to get to know what the customer really wants before you can present a design that they’ll really love. To put together a great proposal and win the job, you’ll need to ask them the right questions.
Since our Summer Update we've been hard at work on incredible new tools for VizTerra and Pool Studio. We’re really excited to release our latest update. Take a look:
I don't think Heraclitus had technology in mind when he said, “The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change." But given the speed at which technology changes, there's one thing we do know for sure: technology changes every day. So it’s a fitting maxim when you’re deciding whether you need to update your laptop. Because we often get asked for advice on choosing the best laptop, I thought I’d share some quick answers to questions like, "How often should I buy a new laptop?” and “When is the best time to buy a laptop?"
When you’re thinking of installing a new program or buying a new computer, you’ll first want to make sure that your computer’s hardware is powerful enough to meet your needs. That will help you make sure that your computer runs smoothly and gives you the best performance. Whether you’re running Windows 7, Windows 8, or OSX, you can find your computer specs in just a few quick steps. Let’s walk through the process. Windows 8 and 10 When in Windows 7 and 8, we’ll start in the Control Panel to find our computer specs. You can find the Control Panel in the Start Menu. Once in the Control Panel, click on System and Security. From System and Security, click on System.