Your commercial building’s exterior is like an advertisement — what message do you want to send out to the community?
Many school and other public building projects go to the lowest bidder, but if you’re in the business of making money, you’re probably going to want a façade that looks more attractive. After all, you don’t want people to see your building and wonder where the razor wire is!
If you own a commercial office building, you know that your quality of tenants depends on the quality of your building. Whereas the suitability of the interior space is critical, the exterior should not be discounted — it gives potential tenants their first impression of your building.
CONSIDER MATERIALS AND COLORS
Many suburban commercial buildings go with brick or block in beige, gray or traditional brick red. These finishes look beautiful, are strong and require little maintenance. Selecting a cream or beige trim to complement it can really wake up the look of a strip mall or other low-to-the-ground structure.
Wood trim requires regular painting, but many commercial building owners are going with vinyl these days — it looks like new for longer and needs less upkeep. If your space is going to house antique stores, high-end furniture shops, boutiques, jewelers, etc., it may be worth it to go with the natural wood trim though — think about your target market when deciding.
Likewise, if you own an apartment building or are in the process of building one, its exterior is going to have an effect on what kind of tenants you attract.
Your location partially dictates what would work well for your building. If you’re putting up a high rise downtown, your building would look out of place without lots of glass and stone. Yes, these types of exteriors cost more, but they bring in the rents that tenants are willing to pay in an urban location.
ON THE OUTSKIRTS
If you’re revamping a building in a more suburban location, you’ll likely be going for a different look. Here, you might want to choose siding in two or more colors, or combine siding with another element, such as stone or brick.
Luxury apartments or condos often feature stonework or brick and lots of glass. Many of these have terraces as well, which are often enclosed by wrought-iron railings.
If you want this look but you know your building is in a part of town that is not going to support a high rent, you can go with faux stone or brick — it saves a bundle and still looks beautiful.
GET QUALIFIED OPINIONS
No matter what type of building you own, talk to the experts before making any big decisions. Look at other buildings nearby — you want yours to look at least as good. You probably want it to look better, but not too good for the neighborhood — that type of investment might backfire.