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Loumarc Signs fact: About six out of every ten people shopping for a business sign here have not purchased a custom sign before. Are you one of the six? Then you’re likely to experience “sticker shock” about a sign’s cost. Not only are we familiar with this response, but we also have a remedy.

In this two part series, we answer common questions about the costs and budget for purchasing a commercial business sign. Start with Part One, covering general costs for different types of signs, factors that influence a sign’s cost and the problems with a “ballpark estimate.”

Continue reading as we talk about how to start setting a sign budget, how Loumarc Signs can help you, and what additional costs you need to know that may not be covered in the signage quote.  

  • How do I start formulating a sign budget?

Knowing your budget will mean making fewer decisions, so you will be less frazzled with the sign buying process. The first step is to talk with the person or group who is the decision-maker. Whether this is a group of people, or the Chief Executive Officer, ask them for a budget number. If they don’t know, then ask for a range. Whey they insist you request quotes instead, share with them Part One that explains why you need to determine your budget before you obtain a “ballpark estimate.”

Laura Shreve, Loumarc Signs sign consultant, said figuring out your budget is about asking questions and analyzing your needs. Not every company needs a high-end sign. Loumarc Signs only build signs with high quality, long-lasting materials. This means all our signs are well-made and attractive no matter the price point. The proof is when you go see the signs we’ve installed five, ten, and 20 years ago throughout New Jersey.

What is a sign worth to your business? More substantial signage, such as carved, metal or simulated monuments, give your customers the impression you are established and will be in business for a long time. In general, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and vinyl materials are applications usually used for temporary signage.

“Companies that are trying to be cutting-edge and ahead of their field need signage that represents that image. So they should be using higher-end products and more modern designs and layouts. That’s why I always say the signage budget depends on what you are as a business and what you are trying to represent.” Laura Shreve

If you have a tight budget due to start-up costs, Loumarc Signs can recommend options for every budget and need.

“When your budget is what it is, it’s still better to be visible and be seen then to have no sign,” Laura said. 

  • How can Loumarc Signs help me set a sign budget?

Our sign consultants are available to answer questions and guide you on setting a budget. We’ve also developed resources to help you in your research.

  • A sign challenges checklist. A handy planning form to write down your concerns about signage to discuss with your sign consultant.
  • Price guideline sheets. The documents feature signs manufactured and installed by Loumarc Signs. The images, descriptions and costs (including installation) are organized by sign type.
  • Have you noticed a sign when you’re driving and learned Loumarc Signs built and installed it? We may be able to give you a price. The estimate will not reflect today’s costs because sign materials upgrade rapidly.

Once you have a budget, then we can share tips on maximizing your investment. We’ll also evaluate the features and materials that will best fit your needs.  

  • What are some additional costs to include in your budget? 

Customers need to know designing, manufacturing and installing a sign are only a part of the sign’s total investment. For example, other professional companies may need to provide electrical or landscaping work. It’s hard for a customer to anticipate associated costs because each new sign has unique requirements.

One way you know you’re working with a reputable sign company is how upfront they are with these potential costs.  

“I always want to make sure that customers understand the full scope of the project, so they are not hit by surprise. So we discuss this in the beginning. I want them to understand fully what all the potential costs may be and plan for them. Otherwise, these surprises can significantly throw off a budget.” Laura Shreve

  • Permits

The costs and requirements for permits vary widely. Loumarc Signs professionals have worked with zoning and construction officials in the tri-state area for decades, so they understand the pitfalls of the bureaucratic permit process. To learn more, visit frequently asked questions about the permit process.

  • Sealed plans requirement

When we submit an application for a permit to the town, some towns require an engineer to approve the plan. The engineer determines if the proposed installation will meet safety standards. If he agrees, he stamps a seal of approval. However, the engineer may specify changes, so Loumarc Signs revises the proposal and submits it again until approved. More towns are requiring sealed plans for every installation, including small signage. Sealed plans may cost up to $400 per sign.

  • Lighting (electrical needs)

If sign lighting is required, is an electrical source available? If not, an electrician is needed to run electricity to the installation site. Electrician costs are not typically included in the signage quote.

  • Landlord requirements

The landlord may specify sign requirements and/or restrictions in addition to any of the local zoning requirements. Talking directly to the landlord prior to shopping for a sign may help you understand what your budget needs to include.

You may have more questions than answers at this point. That’s okay. Feel free to contact us or click below to learn more about how we simplify the sign buying process for you.

Shannan Seely

Shannan Seely is a NJ writer for Loumarc Signs. She writes about choosing the right business sign, how the permit process works, sign costs and other business signage topics. Loumarc Signs is a NJ custom sign shop in business for over 24 years. Once a customer approves the sign, Loumarc Signs handles the rest — from permits to plans, fabrication to installation. 

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