Landscaping computer program
There are a number of retail programs out there for doing residential landscapes but I haven't cared much for them. Most are under $50. Among other things many of them do not let you set the scales and they restrict the size plot you can draw. Of course their is AutoCad and programs like it that are full blown drawing/drafting programs. In fact, I think there is a "light" version of AutoCad.
I stumbled on Sweet Home 3D some time ago now and love it. It is free and open source. It works cross platform. You can set the scale. Although originally for floorplans there is no reason you cannot use it for landscape plans. Several contributors have developed complete sets of design elements like trees, shrubs, garden structures you can download.
Whatever you pick, you want to be able to draw the overall plot, position the house, and then do overlays for your planting plan, building plan for outdoor structures, irrigation plan and of course your grading plan. Sweet Home 3D will let you do that. Like more sophisticated programs, it also builds a running take-off list which is nice.
It will not calculate grade changes and I do not know if there are programs that do. It would be handy. I am not sure how well it will handle detail drawings but I think it is worth a shot given that it is free.
Do post and let us know what works out?
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