And why the process of acquiring the perfect business sign takes so darn long
Our experience has been the best teacher. While helping hundreds and hundreds of customers like you get exactly the right sign, we have learned a universal truth. Customers are always surprised about the lead time necessary for getting a new business sign. The timeline is longer than they anticipated. So we arranged this guide to explain why. In case you’ve wondered, here’s how we at Loumarc Signs work with you to get a business sign of your dreams.
You’re ready to talk about ordering a business sign. So you’ve called us on the phone and we had an initial conversation. Then what happens?
Step 1. Meet
Our first step is a face-to-face meeting. You are welcome to come to our office or we can meet at your location (and save you time). While we get to know each other, we determine your needs and budget, and assess the location(s) of your new sign(s).
You may want to ask us questions about our experience with your type of sign, how long we’ve been in business and why we are qualified to handle your project. To help you meet your goals, we will need to know when you need to have your sign done, the budget you have set and why you are looking for a new sign.
“What are the two biggest things you can bring to the first consultation to ensure a smooth process? Share with us the turnaround time you need and the budget you’ve planned for the sign,” says Christy Gannone, Marketing Consultant
Step 2. Quote
After the meeting, we will have our team formulate the best sign based on your needs. The turnaround time for a quote is usually 2 to 3 days. We will show you an estimate based on your needs and budget. Once you approve the estimate, we go into design and ask you for a deposit. Meanwhile, we will have one of our technicians visit the site to ensure we have complete information for a smooth installation.
Step 3. Design
Next, our design team will create a design that fits your specifications of size, image, branding and visibility. This usually takes less than a week. Designing standard signs may take less than 3 days. The timing varies due to the materials chosen and the design’s complexity. Once completed, we review the design proof with you. This may include showing samples of materials to help you visualize your business sign. After you approve the proof, we submit paperwork to the municipality for permits.
Step 4. Permits
The permit process for each sign is different. Why? Because permits may require all or some of these documents: the property owner’s signed approval, a licensed surveyor’s site plan, sealed plans by a licensed engineer, a special committee review application (such as planning board or special improvement district), a zoning application form, a building application form, an electrical application form and our drawings of your sign.
We have an excellent rapport with many of the towns in our trading area, so we typically have a smooth process obtaining permits in a timely fashion. Please be aware, though, that the municipalities can take anywhere from a few days to legally up to a month or occasionally longer to authorize all the approvals. We cannot start building your sign without permit approvals.
Once we have permit approval, we present you an estimated timeline from building the sign to installation.
Step 5. Build
With permit approval, we can begin manufacturing your sign. Depending on the type of sign, building a sign ranges from a few days up to about 6 weeks. For example, a simple aluminum sign can be done in a few days, most electric signs take 3 to 4 weeks and awnings or carved signs can take up to 6 weeks.
Step 6. Install
Now it’s time to install — a last but important step. Depending on the project, this can take a few hours to several days. You’ll be contacted with an expected installation date. We install in most weather conditions, but a heavy snowfall or a downpour can alter the date. We manage a footing inspection, required for any in ground signs, and notify “Call Before You Dig.” By using our own installers and trucks, you have peace of mind in knowing the project will be managed successfully from beginning to end.
Step 7. Close Permit
Leave the permit placard that our technicians have posted in plain view until you see the “approved” sticker from the town. We will call the town for final inspection after the installation is complete. Then you should take down the placard and file it with other important documents.
Now you have a better idea of what to expect. When you’re ready, Loumarc Signs is here to help you discover the right sign for your company. It just won’t happen overnight. And now you know why.