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Site & Hardscape Design

Welcome to our Site & Hardscape documentation section. Site and hardscape design includes everything from grading and zoning to paving, placing site amenities and lighting equipment, and calling out site objects such as retaining walls and furniture. Our collection of Site tools helps you do all of the above and more.     


Each of the site & hardscape design steps outlined on this page provides links to documentation on the various tools required for completing that step.



Customize Site & Hardscape

Apply your office standards to your site designs using our powerful customization features. 


Setting Up a Land F/X Project

Before jumping into site and hardscape design, take a few minutes to set up a Land F/X project.

View our Working with Land F/X Projects documentation section >





Reference Notes (Hardscape & Landscape Features)

Our Reference Notes (RefNotes) system is your key ally in adding amenities, features, and materials to your site design. 

View our Reference Notes documentation section >





Site Planning & Zoning

Build your site from the ground up with the help of our Site Planning and Zoning tools.

View our Site Planning & Zoning documentation section >




  • Concept Graphics: Create representative designs for the diagrammatic, conceptual level of site planning. Concept tools include viewports, custom nodes, and custom lines.
  • Zoning: Create a land-use zoning plan with graphic visualizations. Apply data to each zone.
  • Site Development (Estimator): Create a site use study or master plan, optimized for implementing an in-depth analysis of your site usage areas.



Grading Tools

With our help, slopes, elevations, and other grading features are a snap.

View our Grading Tools documentation section >




  • Our Grading Manager gives you access to everything you need for site grading, including the following callouts:



Site Amenities & Blocks

Think of an object you want to place in your drawing, and we probably have it in one of our block libraries.

View our Site Amenities & Blocks documentation section >




Smart Blocks



Generic Blocks

  • Search our block libraries for DWG blocks representing a staggering range of site objects:
    • Plan Graphics (Site Amenity Blocks): We've created an ever-growing library of site amenities ranging from cars and site furnishings to athletic and play equipment, gazebos, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
    • Elevation Graphics: Need to place objects with an elevation (side) view? Use our Elevation Graphics. 
    • Discipline Graphics: Place standardized symbols from disciplines such as civil or electrical.
    • Generic Plants: Not ready to place specific plants? Place representative plant symbols early in the design process to show where plants may go. You can easily turn them into specific project plants later using our Match Properties tool.
  • Once you've placed generic site blocks, you can easily assign data to them using our Reference Notes system.



Custom Blocks

  • Save your custom blocks into our library of site amenities using our Save Block tool.
  • Our system also allows you to save and use dynamic blocks. In fact, many of our default site blocks are dynamic.



Hardscape Hatches & Lines

Our hatch library includes a wide variety of patterns designed to represent hardscape materials ranging from rocks and sand to brick, flagstone, and paving materials. Site hatches can be generic or "smart," depending on your needs. We also offer several linetypes for sketching out your site design, as well as a Railing tool for fencing, walls, and more.

View our Hardscape Hatches & Lines documentation section >





Lines, Fences, Walls, and Railings

  • Make quick work of linework using our specially designed Line Graphics.
  • Create your own custom linetype (such as electrical, gas, or water) using our Custom Line tool.
  • Place a fence, rail, or wall using our graphic Railing tool.
  • Add a Length Reference Note to calculate and record the total length of all linear objects on a given layer.


Video Resources for this article

Tool Kit

Our Site Tool Kit is brimming with tools that will help you build, edit, and error check your site design.

View our Site Tool Kit documentation section >




Site Annotation

Call out your site objects and materials using our site annotation tools.

View our Site Annotation documentation section >




  • Control the appearance of your site annotation text down to the font, width, and point size using our Text Manager.
  • Place clear and organized dimensions using our Site Dimension tools.
  • Give your callout leaders the exact look you want by selecting one of our many available leader styles.
  • Call out site items in a variety of ways:


Site Schedules

Once you've placed all your site objects and materials, catalog them with a variety of schedule types, placed in your drawing or in a spreadsheet for further editing. Our software allows you to place separate schedules showing all instances of a specific type of site item you've placed in a drawing. Examples include:





  • Land F/X

Our software tailors AutoCAD to the needs of landscape architects, irrigation designers, and other professionals. We automate your most tedious tasks and ensure accuracy, giving you more time to design.