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Designing Homes, Decks and Landscaping With Your PC

Techstination feature for Monday, May 26, 2003

Designing homes, decks and landscaping with your PC. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. When it comes to being handy around the house... software can only help so much. But if you're game, Broderbund's 3D Home Design Suite can help with a variety of projects large and small. Producer Rob Elhardt says if you can design a home from scratch, remodel what you've got... or focus on landscaping...

"We give you all the tools you need to recreate your environment. So we've got extensive terrain modeling like slopes and really to lay out the shape of your landscape. And then I think really the strongest element is we have a catalog of over 75 hundred plant objects."

While it may be handier to bring a book along when you're shopping for plants, Elhardt says the software has the advantage of being able to show users what their landscaping will look like during different seasons and different stages of growth...

"And so what you can do is define the age of the plant at the time you're putting it in your plan and then you can use the plant maturity feature to then look at your landscape five years down the road, ten years down the road, thirty years down the road."

There is a bit of learning curve with this kind of software that I suspect a lot of gardeners may not have the patience for. Too much time indoors..

"It takes a little time to get used to the idea of using a computer to do this kind of stuff, but once you're there, the product grows with you and you'll just discover more features all the time."

The software, designed for Windows based computers, sells for about 90 dollars. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.