When you run a small business, chances are that you are not also in the business of handy work or repairs. After all, you’re too busy operating a business to worry about the operations of the building. Since you’ve never done it before, it will be cheaper to just pay someone else to do whatever needs to be done, right?
Not necessarily. There are many simple DIY projects that you can complete over the weekend that will boost your business in at least two ways. Most immediately, you do not have to spring for hired help or a contractor to do the work. Perhaps more importantly, you can reduce your monthly energy bills with little effort and even less money upfront.
Here are three of the most common DIY updates small business owners should not shy away from (especially during the chilly winter months, when heating bills can send a shock to the monthly budget).
Caulking Crevasses in Windows and Doors
Leaky doors and windows literally equate to money flying out the window (and door). Think about it – when your building has gaps and cracks around the exterior doors and casement windows, you are paying to heat and cool the outside world. Plus, you have to increase your energy output efforts that much more to maintain consistent temperatures indoors.
Stymie that cycle by applying caulking around your windows and doors without delay. If you have windows and doors with multiple panes, go around the perimeter of each piece of glass thoroughly.
Tips for Less Mess
A caulk gun can be a pretty intimidating tool (maybe it has something to do with it being called a “gun” and all…) but if you keep one basic guideline in mind, you can eliminate much of the mystery and almost all of the mess: a little goes a long way.
This is true with respect to:
- Opening the tube: Seriously, just snip the tip off of the tube so that a small hole is visible. You can always increase the cut but you can’t add the tip back if you have hacked off too much, so just slice into the tube a little at a time, at a 45° angle.
- Squeezing the trigger: It will take a moment for the substance to push through the tube but once it starts going it can be difficult to slow it down if you have a heavy trigger finger. Patience at the beginning and then slow and steady wins the race.
- Applying the product: All you need is a thin bead to get the job done. Since you merely want to caulk around the casement and trim of your windows and doors, a dab will do since the goal is to get the caulking into the cracks and not all over your knuckles.
Weather Stripping Where It Counts
While you’re working on the doors and windows, apply fresh weather stripping as well.
The self-adhesive foam insulation is the easiest to work with. It comes in rolls that you can cut into lengths to fit your individual doors and windows.
- Start with a clean dry surface and apply your pre-cut lengths of weather stripping to the interior of your doors and windows all the way around.
- Peel back the adhesive tape covering and firmly press the strips into place.
Dress Up Your Floors
Although this isn’t technically a ‘project’ per se, incorporating area rugs into your small business space is an energy-efficiency ‘endeavor’ that involves creative energy output and results in immediate improvement to your physical office space. Consider the following.
Area rugs are the unsung heroes in the world of efficiency. Not only are they like little insulating coats for your cold floors and carpet, but they are also relatively inexpensive.
Moreover, they are like little security guards for your underlying floors in that they protect them from the sun’s harmful UV rays that soak through the windows and cause your floor to fade as well as protecting them from stains.
Finally, they can accent a room’s décor without overpowering the space and are a great way to incorporate pops of color. So, drop a rug by your office’s front door and others throughout the space as needed!
What other simple repairs or updates have you done for your small business that paid off in the end?
Published: February 5, 2014