Over the last fifteen years, the pool industry has grown to embrace computer technology.Prior to 1995, Auto-Cad was the only design tool available to pool-builders. The introduction of PoolDraw®, a Microsoft Visio add-in with a familiar Windows interface, provided every pool builder, salesperson and designer, with an easy to use technology tool to draw their pool designs, produce construction drawings and save time in their job management process. In 2002 Pool Studio entered the market with an amazing 3D sales tool and today there are many pool builders using a variety of pool design and technology options. However, there are many more who have yet to realize the advantages of pool design software. Now is a good time to get started!In our industry there are a wide range of pool markets, pool companies, salespeople and sales techniques.Some pool job sales require an in-house sales design and computer presentation; another sale might involvea preliminary discussion and then a second appointment with design ideas and job details. Some jobs call fora 3D presentation; for others a 2D sales layout is more appropriate. Whatever the sucessful sales approach,pool design technology should be part of the sale, contribute to the pricing and facilitate the pool job management.The use of design software allows the creation of multiple design options from an initial drawing. With a CAD interface,once the initial drawing has been created – rear home profile and backyard space – pool designs can be saved, modifiedand tweaked over and over again. Plot plans can be scanned or drawn. Construction drawings can be created from theinitial drawing with dimensional information provided for any required measurement. Dimensional information can be savedand exported to an Excel spreadsheet for pricing. A bill of materials can be generated from the drawing page. Specifictools can provide construction relevant information. Company template forms can be created to present job information, standardize permitting material and create job specific plans to be given to contractors. The pool builder, salesperson or designer is able to create their own library of re-usable resources.Using design software to work with your pool designs will save you time and add to your professionalism
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  • I have used 4 different swimming pool "drawing" programs, and I can easily say that PoolDraw is the most professional CAD type software on the market, specifically geared towards our industry. With VGB being such a forefront issue in the industry, and local health and building departments wanting more and more details, PoolDraw has given the capability to deliver professional plans, and set a standard in our market for design.
    Thanks PoolDraw! Also - best support ever.
  • Hi Ed and Karen, just joined here, for the record, I have been using PoolDraw just about from when you first brought it out. It was the same time I first started using computers so it help me learn the over all use of one. It has been a great tool for me as well as my sales people when I had my company. I was the first one in my area to use a laptop in the homes designing and selling pools, it was always a home run for me. I appreciate you guys very much.
    Thank you,
  • I started with PoolDraw in 1999 and after about a week of practice with the software... IT BECAME THE MOST VITAL SALES TOOL EVER!... No one in the area even took a second to consider at the time the power of such a program. To enable such accuracy and easy preparation of not only sales drawings but layout schematics in minutes. My success is owed largely to the Bogel Family and cohorts for taking the time to perfect this wonderful application.... If anything this software will at the very least save you time which equals $$.

    Good luck to all newcomers and feel free to contact me with any questions

    Nick Benoit
    Benoit and Sons'
  • Good job Karen.
    Like I told you many times I love using PoolDraw for all the reasons you wrote.After 6 years I can do many pool drawings in the time it used to take to draw one and when I sell a pool I have everything done for permits and construction.Maybe this year I will try the 3D I will be over near you guys next week. See you Art
  • I am an old dog also.
    I started using Pool draw about 10 years ago i guess.
    I had no computer experience and when I got the Pool Draw program it came with a VHS cartridge that showed how to use it and thats how I learned it.
    It was really easy and I still use it today.
    I built a custom spreadsheet and now I draw it and capture the diminsions and export it to excel and it tells me immediately what it costs to build it.
    I tried Pool Studios but it doesn't allow the custom spredsheet export like I use.
    It Has nice 3D though.
    I am waiting on Pool Draw to come up with a good 3D as the one I have now from them doesn't work very well.
    Anyway if you want easy try the Pool Draw.
  • I am looking to try a drawing program. I do all the drawing by hand and have been doing it that way for over 20 years. Is there a program out ther that can teach old dogs new tricks, If the dog is willing to try. I would like to hear from a few old timers that have tryed it and liked it. Thank you in advance for your coments
  • Karen,
    I've used the AUTOCAD (Release) program for 10 years, and I've found that more architects, here in Tucson anyway, use the AUTOCAD programs. The local community college teaches AUTOCAD, which I attend every few years for a brush up. The local ITT will explore other CAD programs, but only a couple. I've been hearing about "Pool Studio" and have even attempted Google's "Sketch Up". Alas, self instruction is NOT one of my strong points and acquaintences that are self-taught in AUTOCAD drive me crazy with "their" method. I totally agree that CAD is necessary in our construction environment and 3D CAD is helpful in presentation materials as well as construction documents. The problem with learning, perhaps a better program, is finding the proper venue to learn in. Will the pool industry offer CAD classes at the next convention? Will they be 'Pool Studio' or AUTOCAD or 'Sketch Up' classes? Oh well, at the end of the day....go with what you know!
  • Great article Karen,
    I started out using Splash about 5 years ago in Bakersfield, then I switched to Pool Studios. My customers often remark how helpful it is to have a visual representation (esp. with 3d) so that they have a better idea of what is being discussed during the evaluation.

    There is one thing that I feel cannot be stressed enough though, regardless of the medium, is for the designer to THINK about accuracy, and detail in the drawing. It is unbelievable what I have seen turned into the Building Dept for plans, and even less believable that the customer accepted the drawing, I feel that if a person is going to spend good money on a permanent vessel in there back yard, then there should be some real work in the design, and detail of the drawing. It saves everyone a lot of trouble/money if the person working on the plan can take the time to get it right, even if it means multiple trips back to the clients house. Also I feel that it is important to paint the pool out when a copy of the plan is delivered to the client, and I mean an exact representation, using the measurements from the plan. It makes a huge impression on the customer when they see the company go the extra mile to get it right the first time.
    Steve Comerford
    Pacific Pools and Spas - Bakersfield,CA
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