September 23, 2020
One of the easiest ways to grow your business is to invest in your own building and making the decision to buy a piece of commercial real estate that your company can grow into. However, if you’re like most business owners, you focus your decision solely on the location and the amenities the building offers. While those are certainly important components, you need to pay attention to the condition of the exterior and landscaping already established on the property. If you’re like most business owners, you’re likely feeling a bit overwhelmed. Your local tree service is here to help. These are a few key things you should look for when inspecting the building’s exterior.
Inspect the Sidewalks Around the Building
Before you turn your attention to the interior of the building, take a walk on the sidewalk. Look for cracks and damage to the concrete and make a note of where those cracks are happening. Check the area for any trees or large shrubs and bushes nearby. Often, the cracked cement is caused by spreading roots and water damage.
Though it’s possible to repair the cement, the repairs will often be temporary. You’ll need to weigh the benefits and downsides of removing the problem trees and shrubs if you want to keep the walkways in good condition. Remember, you need to make your building accessible to everyone and cracks in the sidewalk are a major safety and accessibility hazard. At best, you’ll keep people from being able to enter your building. At worst, those cracks could cause them to trip and, as the business owner, you could be liable for their injuries.
Look at the Condition of the Trees
As you walk around the exterior, do a quick visual inspection of the trees on the property. Are they growing and thriving or do they look like they need a lot of TLC? Remember, when trees are healthy, they have a canopy full of leaves and bark that is firmly attached to the trunk of the tree. This is a sign that the previous owner has carefully maintained and cared for their landscaping. However, if you notice discoloration on the leaves or see falling bits of bark and evidence of insect damage, proceed with caution.
Once you take over the building, you’ll be responsible for all tree care and maintenance. If you can’t afford to care for the trees or remove them once you buy the building, it’s not the right property for your company. Think of it this way: damaged and dying trees can fall in severe weather. Often, those fallen trees cause extensive property damage that can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Though your business insurance policy will likely help cover the cost of repairs, it’s best if you don’t have to file a claim in the first place.
Make Note of Low-Hanging Branches
Having trees around the exterior of your building is a great way to shade your property and keep your electric bills down month after month. However, when the branches hang too close to the building, you risk serious roof damage. Unfortunately, repairs due to fallen branches can cost thousands of dollars and there’s no guarantee that your business insurance provider will cover the cost.
Look at where the trees are growing near your building. If the limbs are hanging too close to your property, you’ll need to remember to get them removed before you start using the building. You may even be able to negotiate the cost of the removal with the seller. After all, they should have gotten the branches trimmed back before they put the building on the market. Use your judgement and consult with your real estate agent before you decide to ask for landscaping work. They’ll be able to help you get the best deal on the property.
Pay Attention to Shrub and Bush Placement
Shrubs and bushes along the exterior of your building can improve the curb appeal of your business. However, they can pose a threat to the foundation if they’re too close to the building. Overwatering the shrubs is a fairly common problem in commercial landscape maintenance. All that water can soak into the foundation of the building if the building owner isn’t careful. Over time, this can lead to cracks in the concrete and threaten the structural integrity of the building itself.
If you’re worried about the placement of the shrubs and bushes, consider scheduling a foundation inspection with an experienced contractor before you buy the building. If they find any damage, you’ll be able to ask the seller to fix it or discount the purchase price heavily. Once you get the foundation taken care of, call your tree trimming team and let them remove the problem bushes correctly. This way, you won’t have to worry about future structural issues.
Look for Places to Add Trees
Once you’re in the building, you’ll inevitably want to make a few adjustments to the landscaping and one of the best ways to see a return on your investment is to add trees to the property. When touring the area, look for places to incorporate those new trees and start planning for them now. This will help you budget for those new additions and any ongoing maintenance they may need in the future. It’s a good idea to double-check your placement with your local tree service before you start planting. This way, your trees will have the best chance of growing and thriving.
Always Keep Your Landscaping and Trees in Mind
No matter where you’re thinking of buying property or what type of business you run, you need to keep your landscaping preferences in mind. The right design and the right number of trees can increase the value of your property, thereby making your business more valuable. Even better, you’ll encourage customers to visit your building more often when it looks as pristine and beautiful as you can make it. If you need a second opinion on the overall condition of the trees on a property of interest, don’t hesitate to reach out today.