Software like that shown above allows landscapers to use an iPad to place elements on photos. Bottom right is the original landscape.
Photos courtesy of iScape

Designs and drawings help clients imagine the backyard of their dreams, but with new mobile technology, landscapers can show them what their property will look like when the job is done. Either through photos or augmented reality, different apps allow clients to get a better feel for what they’re getting. And it’s making sales easier for landscape contractors.

“Jaws are dropping and sales are up,” says Joe Adams, president of Adams Eden Design in Hudson, Ohio. Adams has been in the business for 41 years and used to use traditional drawings and photos of plants when making bids. Now, he uses an app on his iPad to place plants and hardscape materials on top of photos of clients’ properties.

Damon Lang, owner of Green Planet Landscaping in Las Vegas, is using augmented reality to the same end. Using an app that imports his designs, he can show clients how their finished projects will look just by looking at an iPad.

“You just hold the iPad up and the client is looking at the real yard in view and you can walk around and get different angles,” he says. “I can take it inside their house. I can take them outside. I can take them to the back of the property and look toward the house so they can see what that will look like.”

The first time Lang used the technology, he was working on a property overlooking the Las Vegas strip. It was a $300,000 project and when he showed the client the design, the reaction was jaw-dropping.

“He was shocked to see that now he saw his backyard with this design that hasn’t even broken ground yet, but he could see what it would look like when it was finished with the strip in the background,” he says. “We’ve come a long way.”

If a client wants to make tweaks to a design, contractors can use the mobile technology to make changes right then and there without having to set up another site visit.

Lang also uses the app to show construction crews exactly what they’re supposed to be installing and how it should look at upon completion.

And the technology works anywhere. Adams uses the photo technology to work on projects all over the country.

“It allows you to insert images of real-life plants and hardscape materials onto a photograph that you take or the client sends you,” he says. “The client can be in Syracuse, New York, or Peoria, Illinois, and sends you a photograph of the area they are wishing to get a vision of.”