20-20 Design Software Review
The price may not have been ideal, but the results of the implementation of 20-20 Technologies' bathroom and kitchen design software were music to Classic Kitchens & Baths' proprietors' ears.
Instead of spending days drafting kitchen and bathroom remodeling projects by hand, Steven Strano says he can now accomplish the same results in hours. Thanks to the time saved and the professional quality of the work he produces, Strano credits the bath and kitchen design software with actually increasing the income of his Littleton, Massachusetts-based firm.
He estimated, "I figure that, between the hours it has saved me and the additional income from a few extra jobs I won because the prospectus looks so professional, I've probably saved between $8,000 and $10,000."
The main drawback is the $7,000 price tag, said Strano, who admitted he generally considers software overpriced. The cost, coupled with no need for the latest version's expanded capabilities, are keeping him from buying the most recent iteration of 20-20 Technologies software.
Strano rated 20-20 Technologies' bathroom and kitchen design software 9 out of 10.
How long have you been using this tool?:
I have been using 20-20 Technologies bath and kitchen design software for three years.
What kinds of construction projects do you mostly work on?:
We build and finish kitchens and bathrooms. I also do additions and build houses.
Where did you obtain it?:
It was actually my partner's software.
How much did you pay?:
I think he paid $7,000 for it.
How are you using this product?:
You take the perimeter of a kitchen -- the walls and windows, and so forth -- then put the range in place, the refrigerator in place and then click auto design, and the software maps out the room. You can even use cabinet makers' catalogs to see how different lines of cabinets will look, based on their cabinets. By clicking auto design, you also can do perspectives, based on the height of the homeowner, so they will see how the room looks.
Why did you pick this product?:
In our minds, it was the best software we could get. It did everything we wanted it to do and more. You can add your own fields and you can even include part of the labor costs. It really saves a lot of time.
Did you look at other tools on the market before picking this one?:
No. Based on my partner's experience with 20-20, we only had this bath and kitchen design software in mind.
Comparing the way you work now with the way you worked before you bought this tool, what has changed? :
It saves so much time. When I first started in this business I did it all by hand on a drafting board. It took a long, long time, and a lot of hard work.
Can you give us an example of a job where this tool really made a difference?:
Before 20-20, it took days to create a prospectus that was good enough to give to a client. It was crazy, it took so much time. Now, I can design one in hours.
Can you estimate how much time or money you saved or other measurable benefits your firm realized using this tool?:
I've probably saved between $8,000 and $10,000 because of the hours it saved me and the additional income it has generated. I figured in the time it would take if you draw it by hand, as well as the income from a few extra jobs I won because the prospectus looks so professional.
What are the best features (for your business) in this tool?:
I like the fact you can use the kitchen design software to pick the cabinets -- by size and brand. It really gives customers a good feel for their new kitchen. It's also very accurate.
Do you think it's a fair value for the price you paid?:
I think the price was a little high. A better price would be about $4,000. But software always seems over-priced to me.
What would you change about the product if you could?:
Are there features that you don't use?:
I am self-taught and don't know how to use all the features. But I am really knowledgeable about all the features I need for my business.
Who would you recommend use this tool?:
Any company that remodels kitchens and bathrooms.
How much computer experience do you think someone needs to use this tool effectively?:
I've been building computers for years, and so I consider myself a computer expert. My partner could use it proficiently have about six months real-world usage.
Did it take much training (or studying) to learn to use this tool?:
Not really. I learned through trial and error. It didn't take long for me.
Have you ever called the company's support lines and asked for help?:
Once, during set-up. I had a problem getting the printer to recognize the software's security key -- put in place so no one can copy the software. The problem was simple -- the printer wasn't on -- but they were very nice and helpful.
How would you rate the user documentation? :
When the next version of this software comes out, will you upgrade to it?:
No. It costs too much for the new version. The newer version does everything the current version does, plus more. It's more detailed. But I think if you keep with software you're just throwing your money away.
Overall, on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate this tool?: