By Christina Speiden, Director at ProBuilt Construction, Inc.
“I’m having a hard time visualizing it.” Sound familiar? I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s one of the top-five comments homeowners make when referencing a deck you've designed for their home. So if you aren't visually “wowing” clients during the sales and design process, you're going to have a hard time staying competitive in the deck-building industry.
So how can technology help you “wow” customers? My suggestion is to make your renderings as visually inspiring as possible to attract customers to your business. At ProBuilt Construction, Inc., we accomplish this by utilizing Vectorworks software with the DeckWorks plug-in by Trex® to generate floor plans and 3D renderings to go along with our estimates and contracts. Some deck contractors may see this as unnecessary fluff in the selling process. I can relate. I once had a homeowner request a drawing for interior decorative casing trim around an arched opening in their home. I had our carpenter, who draws and paints art as a hobby, hand sketch a drawing of the area with a front view and side profile of the trim. It was beautiful. I shared it with the homeowner, thinking how lucky this client was to have a custom hand drawing for his home. He responded by saying he didn’t understand the drawing. But when we drew the area in the computer using the DeckWorks plug-in for Vectorworks and presented it to him as a 3D rendering, he said, “Ah! Now I understand.”
This is where being “tech-savvy” can be advantageous. Contractors who use technology to help their businesses become more efficient and productive can make their sales presentations clearer to their clients. I cannot express how much offering CAD design has changed our company’s sales and production process for the better. As a complement to Vectorworks software’s modeling and smart worksheet capabilities, the DeckWorks plug-in provides all the symbols, colors, textures, and objects that a contractor could need to design a customer’s outdoor living space using the Trex product line. Plus, the newly released DeckWorks 2.0 features steel deck framing, aluminum railing systems, and even more colors.
I’ve learned that the added benefit of providing 3D renderings to clients is that they can sign off on the design, approving colors, spatial dimensions, and options selected. This not only helps us to differentiate ourselves from our competitors and close sales, but it also drives field efficiency and provides great marketing material once the project is completed.
To learn more about the DeckWorks plug-in, visit Nemetschek Vectorworks' Partner Products page.