Elevate your curb appeal in 3 (easy) steps

Elevate your curb appeal in 3 (easy) steps

You may think your clients judge you on your medical expertise alone, but the sad truth is that they’re judging the exterior of your practice first.
Aug 04, 2017

You take pride in the quality medicine you practice. Now it’s time to show it in the first, or 400th, impression you present to clients. Turn the practice that gives you slight pangs of embarrassment when people come to see it into the sparkling gem it is. Just follow these three steps from Heather Lewis, AIA, NCARB, of Animal Arts in Boulder, Colorado.

Step one: Walk the perimeter

Take a stroll around your building. Really. Get up, look at your exterior and answer these questions:

> Is the paint faded or peeling?
> Is your sign dirty or damaged?
> Are your plants dead?
> Do you see debris or trash in the parking lot?
> Do the exterior light fixtures and parking lot lights work?

Because this practice is your baby and it's hard to be objective (we get it), it's even better to enlist a friend who won't be afraid to tell you the answers and give you an honest opinion.

While you walk the property, trash any garbage or debris you see. If you're unimpressed with the exterior you've got, get some inspiration for your new look in our gallery of veterinary hospital exteriors by visiting dvm360.com/hdext.

Don’t forget to snap a “before” picture in this step. You’ll happily compare it at the end. We promise.

Step two: Pick one thing and do it

Plan and execute a significant touch to your building exterior:

> Repaint your building.
> Clean and fix your existing light fixtures—or install new ones.
> Clean your signage—or invest in a new one.
> Update your awnings, if applicable.

Melrose Animal Clinic before their remodel. | Tim Murphy, Murphy Foto Imagery

Pictures of Melrose Animal Hospital in Melrose, Massachusetts, illustrate a "modern" remodel that includes a lot inside (check the window changes for one). But, for the exterior's sake, look at the difference a new coat of paint and an awning swap makes in creating the new, more modern look.

Melrose Animal Clinic after their remodel. | Tim Murphy, Murphy Foto Imagery

A relatively small cleaning job or one special update above could make a huge difference in the appearance of your building—without rebuilding your building.

Step three: Show off your green thumb

Now, we're looking at Mother Nature's gift to your practice—the landscaping—as well as the start to everyone's trip into your hospital, the entryway.

It's time to:

> Remove urine-soaked or dead bushes.
> Add planters or new bushes.
> Clean your floor mats—better yet, buy a new one for each day and rotate them.
> If you have a vestibule, give it a nice coat of paint and think about installing a seating bench to make it a functional space.

BelaCoop Animal Hospital in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, transformed their vestibule into a cheery seating area. | Tim Murphy, Murphy Foto Imagery

Now—don’t forget to take your “after” picture of your spruced-up space! You suitably impressed? We thought so.