Any building will have more visual appeal and market value with detailed planning of its exterior. By combining various construction materials, you can have an impressive design, yet a reasonable budget. Always plan to use a small amount of bricks, stones, high-quality wood or upscale light fixtures to make a building exterior look appealing. Review ways to use texture, color and designing techniques to incorporate less costly materials in the mix to produce a pleasing outcome.
Look through various commercial building books and architectural magazines to review designs and materials used on commercial buildings. Review designs and styles that look appropriate for a given building to be built or remodeled. Make notes about appealing materials, such as specific colors of brick or stone, and amenities such as brass light fixtures or cloth awnings that might work.
Design the roof line first. Decide if it will be flat, an A-frame roof or hip roof, for example. Use the roof shape to define the building’s architectural style, such as colonial or high-tech. Look at other buildings in the neighborhood to gain ideas and design an appropriate exterior.
Draw the windows and doors. Decide if you will include awnings or shutters. Sketch a double-door entry and have ample room in the front hallway. Decide where other side and back entrances will be in relation to elevators or stairwells inside the building.
Plan the exterior materials. Use stucco over cinder blocks, for example, to save money and add beauty. Incorporate some brick or stone along the very top of the front facade or across the top of windows to add more style. Use metal sheeting with wood trim to cover the building as another option. Do utilize brick or stone over most of the exterior, if the budget will allow, since these are maintenance-free and tend to look good over decades. Keep in mind that glass must be cleaned, so use it strategically on a typical building
Use lighting and landscaping to enhance the exterior. Install brass lanterns on a colonial brick building, for instance. Place floodlights in the lawn area to shine back on a commercial building at night.
Use evergreen trees, mulch and various landscaping techniques to enhance the beauty of the exterior. Keep in mind that a nice building can look very plain without proper lighting and visual effects in the landscaping and sidewalk areas.