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Site & Hardscape Documentation

Welcome to our Site & Hardscape Design documentation section. Site and hardscape design in AutoCAD 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.

Resources for Site & Hardscape

Power Tips

Take what Land F/X does with planting and irrigation, and apply it to pavers, fences, and furniture – watch the three-minute preview.

We have even more short two- to three-minute videos on site and hardscape design. Take a look at all our site & hardscape Power Tip videos

PDF (download & print)
Webinars

Want to go more in depth? We provide free hourlong training sessions on almost every topic related to our software. Browse our site & hardscape webinars.

 

  • Intro to Site Tools: This webinar covers the basics of what our Site tools have to offer. (1 hr 2 min)
  • Concept Site Plan Tools: Conceptual design is an important preliminary step in any site design. We’ve made some recent improvements to our site concept tools that will make it even easier for you to develop an initial plan that lays out your design intent in a logical and clear way. (56 min)
  • Hardscape Design: Hardscape design with Land F/X is all about Reference Notes (RefNotes). Learn about the myriad options available within our RefNotes tool that will streamline your project's workflow. We'll go over all the basics of RefNotes, including setting up and placing a RefNote, calling out your features, and placing a schedule. (1 hr 2 min)
  • How The Manufacturer Connection Works: The Manufacturer Connection is the relationship between the designer and manufacturer that Land F/X has used to separate ourselves from other design software programs. Learn how it works. (53 min)
  • Grading and Drainage: Learn simple grading processes using our annotation tools, as well as some basics in Civil 3D for more dynamic site modeling. We'll explore how to automate your grading workflow based on the needs of the project. (1 hr 2 min)
  • Common Land F/X Questions: This webinar covers some of our lesser-known tools, including our Highlight and hardscape tools, Reference Note User Fields, Spot Elevation, Saving a Dimension Style, and Xhair Angle. (1 hr)
  • Working With Blocks: Take a broad look into the role of blocks within Land F/X and how to integrate your personal set of blocks into our system. (1 hour 4 min)
  • Customize for Office Color Standards: his webinar covers the necessary tools and techniques for a black belt in the art of office standards – from CTB plotting files to valuable Land F/X tools that enable instant layer color conversions and office color setup. (1 hr 2 min)
  • Using Photoshop in Post-Production Renderings: This webinar provides an introduction to the fine art of fine-tuning your drawing in Photoshop. (1 hr 12 min)
  • Using Photoshop in Post-Production Renderings Part 2: Learn additional techniques for enhancing your plan in Photoshop, including translating hand-drawn graphics into digital form and using photos and textures for a more realistic plan. (58 min)
  • Site Plans and Land F/X: Aaron Emerson of Mills Design Group will show some award-winning case studies of how the Land F/X Site tools are used throughout the firm's office. Aaron will also go over some important lessons learned while setting up an efficient site design workflow. (57 min)
  • A Practical Approach to Low-Voltage Lighting Design: Brian Quall of Unique Lighting Systems goes over the fundamentals of lighting design, including fixture placement, visual objectives, proper transitions, and the three levels of light. (53 min)
  • A Practical Approach to Engineering the System (Low-Voltage Lighting): Aimed at landscape architects and other designers, this webinar will show the engineering side of a low-voltage system. We'll move past the idea that "we are not electrical engineers" and show you how low-voltage lighting has the same design fundamentals as irrigation systems. (52 min)
  • Using RefNotes & Cost Estimates: Setting up a project with RefNotes right from concept can help speed up the process to produce accurate detailed drawings, and construction drawings, with cost estimates at every step along the way. We'll go through some advanced-user tips with RefNotes using an actual project. (46 min)

Customize Site & Hardscape

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

 

View our Customization Overview section: Build your office standards from the ground up, or use our customization tools to enforce your existing office standards.

 

 

Set Your Preferences
  • General Preferences: Customize options such as: 
    This article includes a video.
    • Dimension Styles (DimStyles): Give your site dimensions the exact look you want. 
      This article includes a video.
    • Text Styles (Fonts): Set the fonts and point sizes you want for all your annotation and callout text.
    • Line & block colors: Match our default line colors to your office standards. 
      This article includes a video.
    • Numeric displays: Configure how numerals appear in your drawings, including choosing a currency setting for monetary amounts.
    • Schedules Uppercase: Choose whether or not your schedules will appear in all uppercase (capital) letters.
  • RefNotes Preferences: Organize your Reference Notes (RefNotes) using Construction Specification Institute (CSI) divisions, or create your own classification system. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Preference Set: Store and save your office standards in one central location, known as a Preference Set. Create a different Preference Set for each client, project type, region ... it's all up to you. 
    This article includes a video.

 

Customize Your Site & Hardscape Text Styles:

Each of our default Text Styles is customizable, allowing you to tailor it to your office standards by assigning settings such as your preferred font and point size.

  • Customize our default Text Styles (Fonts), applying your standards to the following styles that apply to site & hardscape design:
    • Callout Text: Text associated with detail callouts, Reference Notes (RefNotes), and RefNote callouts.
    • Callout Title: Detail numbers within detail callouts, as well as RefNote codes within RefNote callouts.
    • Detail Text: Text that appears within details.
    • Dimension Text: Text that appears within dimensions.
    • Photo Label: Text within Photo Callouts.
    • Schedule Text: Text (not schedule titles) within most schedules, including the RefNotes, Lighting, Zoning, Site Development (Estimator), Grading, and Concept Graphics schedules.
    • Schedule Title: The titles of all schedules, including those listed above.
    • Zone: Zoning callouts and Work Area titles.
  • Reload all Text Styles (REAT): Changed your Text Style standards? Use this tool to apply them instantly to your current drawing.

 

Manage Your CAD Layers:
  • AutoCAD layer settings: The AutoCAD Layer Properties Manager allows you to configure a number of layer settings. See our recommendations 
    This article includes a video.
    .
  • Edit layer information: We've consolidated a number of important layer settings into our General Preferences screen. These include: 
    This article includes a video.
    • Line colors: Match our default line colors to those your office standards. 
      This article includes a video.
    • Layer Names: We provide the ability to edit the names of layers in your drawings, although we highly recommend using our default system of layer names, which we've based on CAD best practices. 
      This article includes a video.
  • Layer States: Once you've configured your desired layer settings, save them into a Layer State to apply to future drawings. You can also use one of our default Layer States. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Layer colors: Match a single drawing's layer settings to a client's standards or your own. 
    This article includes a video.

 

Customize Your Blocks and Hatches:

 

Colorization Tools:
  • Site Color: Colorize your design and create your own custom color palettes. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Add color to blocks placed in your drawings. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Color Render: Liven up your trees, shrubs, and groundcovers with our extensive collection of color plant symbols and hatches. 
    This article includes a video.

 

And Don't Forget:

 

Webinars
  • Customize for Office Color Standards: his webinar covers the necessary tools and techniques for a black belt in the art of office standards – from CTB plotting files to valuable Land F/X tools that enable instant layer color conversions and office color setup. (1 hr 2 min)
  • Transitioning to Land F/X: If you’re thinking about introducing Land F/X into your office, this webinar is the perfect place to start. We'll show you how to set up your first design project and how to use our software to improve your office standards. (1 hr 2 min)
  • Working With Blocks: Learn how to integrate your personal set of custom blocks into our system. (1 hour 4 min)
  • Common Land F/X Questions: This webinar covers some of our lesser-known tools, including the process for Saving a Dimension Style. (1 hr)
  • Intro to Site Tools: This webinar covers the basics of what our Site tools have to offer, including how to create and save a custom hatch. (1 hr 2 min)
  • Customize for Office Color Standards: This webinar covers the necessary tools and techniques for a black belt in the art of office standards – from CTB plotting files to valuable Land F/X tools that enable instant layer color conversions and office color setup. (1 hr 2 min)
  • Customizing Land F/X: Learn how to work with specific blocks, layer names, sheet protocols, and other distinct elements that make up your firm’s practices and preferences. (1 hr 3 min)
  • Setting up Templates and Preferences for Repeat Clients: To save time and increase your accuracy, learn how to deliver a consistent drawing package for your repeat clients by setting up project templates and Preference Sets. (50 min)
  • Working With Blocks: Take a broad look into the role of blocks within Land F/X and how to integrate your personal set of blocks into our system. (1 hour 4 min)
  • Browse our site & hardscape webinars

 

Setting Up a Land F/X Project

It's important to set up a new project for each new job you start.

 

Quick videos

How to start a Project in Land F/X

 

Scale/ Align Images, PDFs, and Linework

 

Articles

 

Webinars
  • Land F/X Admin & Setup: This webinar will show you what you need to know about Land F/X admin processes and project setup. (1 hr 1 min)
  • Transitioning to Land F/X: If you’re thinking about introducing Land F/X into your office, this webinar is the perfect place to start. We'll show you how to set up your first design project and how to use our software to improve your office standards. (1 hr 2 min)
  • Working With Scale: Scale is the most fundamental Land F/X feature. In this webinar, we'll start with the basics of scale in both Imperial and Metric systems. We'll then continue into advanced tips and tricks for creating a perfect-looking sheet. (1 hr 1 min)
  • Browse our planting webinars

 

Reference Notes (Hardscape & Landscape Features)

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

 

 

Articles
  • Reference Notes Manager: Add RefNotes to your project and place them in your drawing.
    This article includes a video.
  • Dock the Reference Notes Manager to work with your RefNotes while continuing to work in your drawing.
  • Learn about the different types of RefNotes:
    • Notation RefNotes: Place a numeric symbol referring to a text notation (example: Existing Wall to be Removed). 
      This article includes a video.
    • Amenity (Object) RefNotes: Place site amenities in your drawing, associate them with data (such as cost), and call them out. From boulders and bike racks to pagodas, pergolas, cars, and even people, Amenity RefNotes cover any site object you can think of. 
      This article includes a video.
    • Length RefNotes: Keep track of the lengths of linear objects in your drawings, such as fences and retaining walls. 
      This article includes a video.
    • Area/Volume RefNotes: Place site materials such as pavers, concrete, or mulches. Calculate area or volume, and assign data such as cost.
      This article includes a video.
  • Call out your RefNotes.
    This article includes a video.
  • Import CSV: Instantly place site amenities at the locations of given data points in your drawings using a comma separated values (CSV) file.
  • Add color to your RefNote hatches.
  • Organize your RefNotes using Divisions and Subdivisions based on CSI standards. 
    This article includes a video.
  • RefNotes Preferences: RefNotes are organized using the Construction Specification Institute (CSI) division system by default. You're free to edit the divisions or create your own using the RefNotes Preferences. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Import Reference Notes from a Template or Project: Do you find yourself using the same site objects or materials across multiple projects? Templates allow you to set them up once and use them again and again.
  • Create general notes using RefNotes. 
    This article includes a video.
    This article includes a video.
  • RefNotes Schedule List all your hardscape materials, site amenities, and other RefNotes.
    This article includes a video.
  • Send the RefNotes Schedule to a spreadsheet for further editing and formatting. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Limit the RefNotes Schedule to a specific area or phase using Work Areas. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Highlight tool: Locate all instances of a RefNote in your drawing with a click. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Verify Callouts: Use this tool to check your RefNotes Callouts for errors.
  • POLYDIVIDE: Instantly divide a RefNote hatch into up to 10 equal sections.
  • P-Hatch (PHATCH): Use this handy tool to modify or expand an existing RefNote hatch in your drawing, or to "paint" a new generic hatch from scratch. Quantities in the hatched region will update automatically based on the new square area of the hatch.

 

Webinars
  • Intro to Site Tools: This webinar covers the basics of what our Site tools have to offer, including a segment on the Reference Notes Manager. (1 hr 2 min)
  • Common Land F/X Questions: This webinar covers some of our lesser-known tools, including Reference Note User Fields. (1 hr)
  • How The Manufacturer Connection Works: The Manufacturer Connection works in conjunction with our Reference Notes tool to help you spec site amenities and hardscape materials from specific manufacturers. Learn all about it here. (53 min)
  • Using RefNotes & Cost Estimates: Setting up a project with RefNotes right from concept can help speed up the process to produce accurate detailed drawings, and construction drawings, with cost estimates at every step along the way. We'll go through some advanced-user tips with RefNotes using an actual project. (46 min)
  • Browse our site & hardscape webinars

 

Site Planning & Zoning

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

 

 

Articles
  • Concept Graphics: Create representative designs for the diagrammatic, conceptual level of site planning. Concept tools include viewports, custom nodes, and custom lines. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Zoning: Create a land-use zoning plan with graphic visualizations. Apply data to each zone. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Site Development (Estimator): Create a site use study or master plan, optimized for implementing an in-depth analysis of your site usage areas. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Calculation tools: Calculate length or area with a click.
  • Select colors for your site planning areas.
  • P-Hatch (PHATCH): Use this handy tool to modify or expand an existing Zoning or Site Development hatch in your drawing, or to "paint" a new generic hatch from scratch. Calculated items within the hatch will be updated automatically based on its new square area.

 

Webinars
  • Concept Site Plan Tools: Conceptual design is an important preliminary step in any site design. We’ve made some recent improvements to our site concept tools that will make it even easier for you to develop an initial plan that lays out your design intent in a logical and clear way. (56 min)
  • Intro to Site Tools: This webinar covers the basics of what our Site tools have to offer, including several of our site planning tools. (1 hr 2 min)
  • Using Photoshop in Post-Production Renderings: This webinar provides an introduction to the fine art of fine-tuning your drawing in Photoshop. (1 hr 12 min)
  • Browse our site & hardscape webinars

 

Grading Tools

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

 

 

Articles
  • Grading Manager  
    This article includes a video.
    : Access everything you need for site grading, including the following callouts:
    • Northing/Easting Points: Mark known survey points.
    • Spot Elevation: Place elevations in relation to each other in your plan. 
      This article includes a video.
    • Slope Callouts: Indicate directions and percentages of slopes in your drawings. 
      This article includes a video.

 

Webinars
  • Common Land F/X Questions: This webinar covers some of our lesser-known tools, including our Spot Elevation tool. (1 hr)
  • Grading and Drainage: Learn simple grading processes using our annotation tools, as well as some basics in Civil 3D for more dynamic site modeling. We'll explore how to automate your grading workflow based on the needs of the project. (1 hr 2 min)
  • Site Plans and Land F/X: Aaron Emerson of Mills Design Group will show some award-winning case studies of how the Land F/X Site tools, including the grading tools, are used throughout his office. Aaron will also go over some important lessons learned while setting up an efficient site design workflow. (57 min)
  • Browse our site & hardscape webinars

 

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.

 

 

Smart Blocks
  • Lighting equipment: Spec fixtures from specific manufacturers, and place them in your drawings.  
    This article includes a video.
  • Amenity Reference Notes: Add and place "smart" blocks to represent your site amenities. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Import CSV: Instantly place site amenities at the locations of given data points in your drawings using a comma separated values (CSV) file.

 

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. 
      This article includes a video.
    • 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. 
      This article includes a video.
    • 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.
  • Assign data to generic blocks: Once you've placed generic site blocks, you can easily make them "smart" using our Reference Notes system. 
    This article includes a video.

 

Custom Blocks
  • Save Block: Save your custom blocks into our library of site amenities. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Dynamic blocks: Many of our default site blocks are dynamic, meaning they include several variations – especially useful when you need to place the same block multiple times. You can also save your own dynamic blocks into our system. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Site Color: Add color to your blocks. 
    This article includes a video.

 

Webinars
  • Working With Blocks: Take a broad look into the role of blocks within Land F/X and how to integrate your personal set of blocks into our system. (1 hour 4 min)
  • A Practical Approach to Low-Voltage Lighting Design: Brian Quall of Unique Lighting Systems goes over the fundamentals of lighting design, including fixture placement, visual objectives, proper transitions, and the three levels of light. (53 min)
  • A Practical Approach to Engineering the System (Low-Voltage Lighting): Aimed at landscape architects and other designers, this webinar will show the engineering side of a low-voltage system. We'll move past the idea that "we are not electrical engineers" and show you how low-voltage lighting has the same design fundamentals as irrigation systems. (52 min)
  • Site Plans and Land F/X: Aaron Emerson of Mills Design Group will show some award-winning case studies of how the Land F/X Site tools are used throughout the firm's office. Aaron will also go over some important lessons learned while setting up an efficient site design workflow. (57 min)
  • Browse our site & hardscape webinars

 

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.

 

 

Hatches

 

Lines, Fences, Walls, and Railings
  • Line Graphics: We've created a collection of unique linetypes that help you add variety and realism to your linework. Just select one and start drawing!
  • Custom Line: Create your own custom linetype (such as electrical, gas, or water).
  • Graphic Railings: Place a fence, rail, or wall.
  • Length Reference Note: Calculate and record the total length of all linear objects on a given layer. 
    This article includes a video.

 

Webinars

 

Tool Kit

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

 

 

Articles
  • Set the scale & units: Our Scale tool makes it incredibly easy to scale everything correctly. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Copy site objects along a polyline, line, or arc.
  • Drive game: Get on-the-road training on our keyboard commands for copying and placing site blocks by playing this fun game from within any DWG drawing.
  • Array blocks: Place a rectangular or triangular array of blocks.
  • Mirror tool: Copy a group of site objects and place it as a mirror image of the original.
  • Verify Callouts: Error check site objects and callouts. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Match tools (Match Object & Match Properties): Grab a site block or hatch, and any data attached, and place copies quickly.
  • Xhair Angle: "Snap" objects, lines, or hatches to a specific crosshair angle. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Calculation tools: Calculate area or length in seconds.
  • Verify Callouts: Error check your RefNotes and cite callouts.
  • SuperJoin: Clean up linework using this helpful tool. 
    This article includes a video.
  • POLYDIVIDE: Instantly divide an area in your drawing into up to 10 equal sections, including quantities of smart hatch objects. 
    This article includes a video.
  • P-Hatch (PHATCH): Use this handy tool to modify or expand an existing hatch in your drawing, or to "paint" a new hatch from scratch.

 

Webinars
  • Hardscape Design: Hardscape design with Land F/X is all about Reference Notes (RefNotes). Learn about the myriad options available within our RefNotes tool that will streamline your project's workflow. We'll go over all the basics of RefNotes, including setting up and placing a RefNote, calling out your features, and placing a schedule. (1 hr 2 min)
  • Intro to Site Tools: This webinar covers the basics of what our Site tools have to offer, including our Calculation (Area and Length) tools. (1 hr 2 min)
  • Common Land F/X Questions: This webinar covers some of our lesser-known tools, including our Xhair Angle tool. (1 hr)
  • Browse our site & hardscape webinars

 

Site Annotation

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

 

 

Articles
  • Text Manager: Control the appearance of your site annotation text down to the font, width, and point size.
  • Site Dimension: Instantly place dimensions for angles, lengths, and much more.
  • Add general notes to your drawing using our Reference Notes tool. 
    This article includes a video.
  • Leader styles: Give your callout leaders the exact look you want.
  • Call out site objects, slopes, and elevations in a variety of ways:
    • Site Callouts: We've consolidated all our callouts related to site and hardscape design into a single menu. Find them easily, and annotate away. 
      This article includes a video.
    • Call out your Reference Notes
      This article includes a video.
    • Call out details you've placed in your drawings. 
      This article includes a video.
    • Photo Callouts: Label your site objects by either selecting photos from an automatic online images search or browsing to your own photos. 
      This article includes a video.
    • Discipline Graphics: Call out standardized objects from specific disciplines, such as civil, electrical, or water. 
      This article includes a video.
    • Spot Elevations: Quickly call out elevations.  
      This article includes a video.
    • Slope Callouts: Show the percentages and directions of slopes. 
      This article includes a video.
    • Northing-Easting Points: Show the locations of known survey points.
    • Leaders & Text: Place callouts on the fly.
    • Multileaders (MLeaders): Many of our callouts are MLeaders – a type of callouts that combines its leader, arrow, and text into a single and contiguous entity for easy editing and repositioning. Learn how they work.
    • Place Text: Use our Text Manager to place single- or multi-line text anywhere you need it.

 

Webinars

 

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:

 

 

Articles

 

Webinars

 

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