It goes without saying that a successful business is one with a positive history and a solid reputation. But a long-standing business doesn’t have to show its age across its exterior walls and on its lawn. It is important for any business location to not only maintain a squeaky clean reputation, but a crisp, inviting exterior that boldly states, “We are open and ready to serve you!”
Following are four DIY outdoor improvement projects that will have the exterior of your business rolling out the welcome mat and laying the groundwork for a successful future.
Shape Shrubbery for a Manicured Look
Before addressing the exterior walls of your business, make sure to clear away the hedges. Most hedges can be pruned anytime, so all it takes is electric or gas hedge clippers to get the job done. These can be rented at most hardware stores, and they will make the job far easier than manual tools.
- Formal hedges: Formal hedges take on a specific shape and should be pruned twice each year. The most popular form for these hedges is an upside down “V,” and the top should be flat or slightly rounded.
- Informal hedges: Informal hedges are planted side by side, and grow naturally together. They are pruned once a year to thin out old wood and maintain a preferred height and width.
Don’t just focus on the hedges around the building, though. Make sure to shape other shrubbery on the property for consistency. This will provide a kempt look that will make your business pop.
Power Wash for a Cleaner Appearance
Location is critical for any business, and there is no better place to attract customers than on a well-traveled thoroughfare. Unfortunately, this also means dirt and other pollutants are constantly stirring, and are at war with the facade of your building. Renting a power washer is inexpensive, and you can spray away dirt and grime in no time.
Note: each sprayer nozzle attachment has a specific purpose and distance requirement (how far away you stand when you spray) based upon the material of your building’s exterior, so be sure to discuss that with your home improvement specialist when you rent your washer.
Once you have the power washer, follow these steps to a brighter exterior:
- Inspect the exterior of the building to make sure that there are no areas that could be harmed if they become wet.
- Mix together cleaning solution that can be purchased at the rental location with your equipment and pour it into the tank.
- Connect the water hose to the power washer, and plug it in.
- Once it is turned on, use the sprayer in a sweeping motion to blast away the dirt and grime that has accumulated on the surfaces.
- Once the job is complete, rinse the equipment before returning.
Paint and Texture to Make the Building Pop
Consider a fresh coat of paint or a spray texture to bring new life to the walls. Airless paint sprayers and texture sprayers are available for rent, are easy to use, and will brighten the personality of even the gloomiest structure.
- Airless paint sprayer: A bucket of paint and a paint brush may sound simple, but this traditional approach is not one for the faint of heart. The secret to a new professional-looking paint job is an airless paint sprayer, which makes it possible to cover large swaths of wall space with broad strokes. Pick out a fresh color in an exterior paint (make sure it’s compatible with your sprayer!) and quickly and easily give your business a new coat.
- Texture sprayer: Texture sprayers allow you to elevate the paint job on the exterior of your building, and with the right nozzle, they can create a unique look and feel. Knock down, orange peel, or stucco nozzles will define your building with a personality that will welcome customers.
Edge Walkways and Sidewalks for Clean Lines
With the building clean and painted and the shrubbery finely manicured, it is time to pull it all together by adding fine lines to the walkways and sidewalks. An edger can finish the crisp look that you have been craving with the following simple steps:
- Make sure that your edger is powered, whether with gas, a new battery, or outlet connection.
- Begin at the corner of the driveway or walkway, and place the guide wheel so that it sits against the surface.
- Press the trigger and guide the edger as you walk the edge of the walkway, making sure to keep the blade the same distance from the edge.
In a few minutes, the sidewalks, walkways or driveway will have a crisp, clean look that compliments your clean, bright exterior.
It is easy to become overwhelmed when considering the many options for improving the look of your business. But it doesn’t take a high-dollar, high-effort project to create a do-it-yourself success story. It simply takes a little time and the right tools.
What are some of your favorite outdoor power projects? Do you have any tips for first-timers?
Mike Tuma is a Home Depot store associate in the Chicago area, where he has been helping customers since 2005. Mike focuses on outdoor products ranging from a standard chipper to chainsaws and lawn mowers.