Performing a proper sign survey helps avoid mistakes and return trips to job sites. It also helps the shop to provide the sign installers with the correct drawings and materials needed to complete the project the right way.
A complete sign survey doesn’t just consist of measurements and photographs. It should also contain an outline that explains the key aspects of the project, including:
- What equipment will be needed to perform the scope of work safely and proficiently?
- What type of access will we have not only to the installation site but the backside of a wall for wiring and mounting of the new signage? What kind of ground conditions do we have for access to the building or the pylon sign? Will we end up above the ceiling on the backside? If not, is this a finished space that will create an issue with the install?
- What is the type of building on which we are installing the new signage? Does it have a parapet wall or mansard roof? Does it have a brick, wood or metal wall and what is the depth of the wall?
- What is the diameter, wall thickness and length of the pole? Did you probe the ground around the pole to try to determine the size of the existing base?
- Is there a specific time the owner would like us to arrive and or depart from the site to be sure we are not in the way of their customers?
- Contact information such as Name, Phone number and the best time to contact them is necessary.
- Is there additional work that will need to be done for us to complete the work we have described on the order?
- Are there overhead power lines within 20 feet of the sign or building that will stop us from doing the install?
- The proper color matches for the building or existing materials of the sign depending on the scope of work to be done.
- Material thickness of channel letter faces, pole skirt materials or the skin on the exterior of the sign depending on the scope of work to be done.
- What is the type of materials used on the existing signage that we are going to be working with?
Taking the proper photos is a crucial part of the survey as well. As the old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” For example: When surveying an existing monument sign for replacement routed aluminum faces, internal photos of the sign will show how the sign is constructed to help guide the fabrication process of the new faces. This will also help the installation go faster as the faces will be made correctly so no modifications will need to be made in the field.
With a complete survey there is a lot more the shop can do to help the job go smoother, whether it is proper drawings or other helpful fabrication techniques that can be done to expedite the install.
This list could go on forever to cover every type of sign survey. The important thing is that each survey is a job-specific survey and provides the proper documents and tools needed to perform the survey.
Let’s work together as a team to perfect this process
Rick Rossetti, Vice President, Sign Effectz, Inc.