A Cost-Effective Solution To Sandblasted Signs

Traditional sandblasted signs are beautiful, but expensive in the long run.

Sandblasted signs used to be made of old-growth redwood because the 100+ year old wood had a beautiful spaced grain pattern that blasted well, leaving a contrast between the wood grain texture and the raised graphics. They stopped the harvesting of old-growth redwood a few decades ago, which lead sign manufacturers to come up with an alternative solution, one of which was cedar. The more recent was HDU (High Density Urethane).

• Cedar – while similar in color as redwood, the grain pattern is tighter and doesn’t blast as well. Cedar is harvested young, and the seasonal expansion and contraction damages the finish. Regardless of what you are told, there is no commercial primer or topcoat finish that can withstand wood expanding or contracting. This means that just like the exterior of a wood house, a wooden sandblasted sign will have to be repaired and refinished every few years.

• HDU (High Density Urethane) – this is a synthetic wood material that does not expand or contract, meaning the primer and top surface coats will stay intact for the longevity of the paint manufacturer’s specifications. HDU is an open-cell foam, without grain for structural support. HDU does last, and a faux wood grain pattern can be blasted into it, but there is a structural issue. You can walk up to a HDU sandblasted sign and snap it in two pieces (on post application).

There are other factors to take into consideration. Let’s say your sign is 25 feet off the street and traffic is going by at 30 mph, or if you sign is located above your entry door on the facade.

• Do you think viewers will see the dimensional effects of the sandblasting?

• Is it worth the added expense for the sandblasted relief?

Our experience in the field is that it is not worth the added costs of dimensional relief by sandblasting when looking at ROI (Return On Investment) when taking into consideration the maintenance costs and lack of distance visibility.

As with any technology, times change. We offer the ability to computer graphic design a sandblasted sign “look” that can be directly applied to a lifetime, maintenance-free product (such as sheet aluminum). It looks like a sandblasted sign with dimensional effects, but at half the cost.

This is an example of a church that had a dilapidated sign that needed replacing. Here are the before and after pictures:

Saint Gabriel's Church dilapidated sign that needs replacing.

Saint Gabriel’s Church dilapidated sign that needs replacing.

Saint Gabriel's Church aluminum sign panel to look like sandblasted sign, with changeable service hours and pastor name.

Saint Gabriel’s Church aluminum sign panel to look like sandblasted sign, with changeable service hours and pastor name.

As you can see, a little painting and minimal costs on new graphics makes this church look like new.

Contact our sales team with photography of your project and let us make a recommendation.

Commercial Sign Monument with Full-Color LED Panels

Orthodontist owned multi-tenant sign monument with full-color P-10 electronic LED panels.

Orthodontist owned multi-tenant sign monument with full-color P-10 electronic LED panels.

Commercial signage is going digital. Electronic LED panels allow the ability to change graphics as demand is needed. A multi-tenant property owner can change a new slot on the fly. Animation grabs attention of drive-by traffic. Promotional programs can be displayed easily and as frequently as wanted.

Getting a full-color electronic LED is a project in itself.

The first issue is getting the LED display approved in the community through the Sign Permit process. The way to battle this issue is to fully understand the problem. Our team speaks all current LED technology. Our staff includes technicians who have personally built electronic LED panels, repaired all major LED manufacturer damaged displays, and retro-fitted new displays with current technology. We offer our knowledge in approaching City Municipalities (and County Properties) with a game plan that satisfies all needs. In many cases, we have been able to get the Municipalities to update their own Ordinances.

The next issue is costs. Yes, electronic LED displays are expensive. It’s basically an outdoor television with a built-in computer, controlled by another computer. The ROI (return on investment) is a no-brainer once you consider the immediate payback on increase in sales and recognition in the community. The ability to promote and/or change information is a bonus that pays back immediately.

This project was for a commercial facility with multiple tenants. It was a County property (more difficult than City ordinance in most situations). We walked the entire project through Permit approval with a dozen Variance applications, which took nearly a year.

Keep in mind that our modular sign monuments are the Best because they ship directly to the job site. These electronic LED panels literally screwed to an integrated support frame in the stucco sign monument. The cost savings in our stucco sign monument, which perfectly matched the architecture and stucco color of the building, deducted from the costs had the client paid a local contractor (architect, masonry contractor, installer, etc.) took a HUGE chunk out of the LED costs. We are high-volume and represent numerous LED manufacturers, so there is savings there as well.

Here are pictures of the unit after delivered to the job site. The LED panels are a P-10 (Pitch 10mm between pixels – 1R1G1B):

Stucco sign monument being lifted in the air during installation.

Stucco sign monument being lifted in the air during installation.

This is a picture of a bright white smile the Doctors wanted on their new full-color LED display:

Bright White Smile picture on P-10 Full-Color LED Panels

Bright White Smile picture on P-10 Full-Color LED Panels

And this is the picture of on the full-color P-10 LED displays after installation and electrical connection:

Orthodontist P-10 Full-Color LED Panels on Stucco Sign Monument.

Orthodontist P-10 Full-Color LED Panels on Stucco Sign Monument.

3-D Graphic Shields for Chateau Elan Estates

Chateau Elan Estates entrance sign monuments with CNC routed sign shields and street names in HDU.

Chateau Elan Estates entrance sign monuments with CNC routed sign shields and street names in HDU.

Chateau Elan Estates is a huge resort and golf community in Georgia. This property has multiple entrances to the residential areas and gold courses.

Best Sign Monuments was asked to produce 3-D embossed shields with the Chateau Elan logo as well as the names of each entrance. After an extensive tour of the 3,000+ acre development, we identified all points of entry and intersections.

Our installation team took specific measurements of each sign location, which were all unique. This information was transferred to our design team who produced mechanicals for perfect fits.

The signs had to match the one existing main entrance that was made way back in the past when the property was originally developed. We recognized the materials to be HDU (high density urethane) and the graphic style was a computer (CNC) routed embossed style. Our sales team matched the color perfect on site, and the project was completed with 100% accuracy in under (2) weeks.

Amtrak Signage – Camden, SC

We have been awarded the Bid Packages for numerous historical Amtrak stations. Our team of artists and fabricators are perfect for the complexity of these locations. The architects have designed the Amtrak locations to modernize the historical building, brining each to ADA compliance.

These Amtrak Stations now have a separate building for a wheelchair lift, directional signage in braille, automatic doors on push-button switches, and both track and field-side station identity markers to let ravelers know which station they are arriving.

These projects are extremely complicated, using 6063 aluminum (high strength) with Matthews metallic enamels and clear coats.

Here are pictures of the Amtrak – Camden, SC Station after installation. Our company is recognized by the architect and construction companies awarded these projects as a “vendor who has delivered on time, and has not made any mistakes in production.”

Amtrak Camden, SC Station Information Directory

Amtrak Camden, SC Station Information Directory

Amtrak Camden, SC Station Location Markers

Amtrak Camden, SC Station Location Markers

Amtrak Camden, SC Station ADA push-button door open assembly with braille photopolymer signage

Amtrak Camden, SC Station ADA push-button door open assembly with braille photopolymer signage

Amtrak Camden, SC Station ADA braille photopolymer signage

Amtrak Camden, SC Station ADA braille photopolymer signage

We have materials and machine setups in place to produce all of the Amtrak Signage, which we ship nationally, ready to install. We include all of the specified mounting hardware down to the masonry drill bit for easy one-day installation that’s right on time, and right every time.

Some Amtrak Stations require specialty items, such as these bollards. We designed these to fit down into a receiver piece that is installed recessed in concrete. We welded handles for lifting, and welded eye-hooks for the ability to lock the bollards in place.

Removable steel bollards with lock assembly and lift handles for Amtrak Station

Removable steel bollards with lock assembly and lift handles for Amtrak Station

Here are pictures of Amtrak Prince, WV Station in our paint booth before shipping. These are the Amtrak Station location markers that are installed both track and fields sides.

Amtrak Prince, WV Station Markers

Amtrak Prince, WV Station Markers

Wentzville, Missouri Historic District LED Sign Monument

The City of Wentzville, Missouri contracted best sign monuments to produce their Historic Downtown sign monument with full-color P-10 LED panels.

Wentzville Sign Monument with Full-Color LED

Wentzville Sign Monument with Full-Color LED

This custom sign has integrated programmable LED panels on both sides. With all of our LED sign solutions, a new pre-programmed laptop and wireless (wi-if) controller access was included. Our LEDs are made in the USA and have 24-7 toll free tech support.

This entrance sign has faux brick and The community organizations who sponsored the project are honored with circular dedication plaques embossed in the columns.

Wentzville Historic Downtown Sign Monument with Full-Color LED panel Open

Wentzville Historic Downtown Sign Monument with Full-Color LED panel Open

We make everything in house and ship sign projects fully assembled. This client need only to position the unit and connect the 3 wires to the integrated junction box to a dedicated power feed. The LED functions like on and off, dimming the brightness at night, time and even daylight savings time are all controlled by the pre-programmed laptop. We’ve taken all the difficulties associated with programmable LED panels and simplified all processes into what our clients describe as both “easy to program” and “fun to play with.”

Property Developer Sign Projects

We have recently added a property developer in Maryland to our family of clients!

Here are pictures of the first two properties we produced community entrance sign monuments for. Our clients love that all the design, engineering, and production are under one roof. We are truly a one-stop solution and take everything off our clients’ plate.

Community Entrance Sign Monuments

These are the main entrance signs for Spencer Woods, a townhouse community in Maryland.

Our clients also love that our production methods allow for multiple materials and finishes to be integrated in our signage structures. Most importantly for developers, they can easily install our products themselves, or enlist their landscape contractor to install for them.

Community entrance sign monument for Gablers Shore. This is our signature "wave" model.

Community entrance sign monument for Gablers Shore. This is our signature “wave” model.

Our clients especially enjoy the savings over local contractors using traditional brick and mortar. Our sign monuments are typically one third cheaper, and with a 3-4 week turn around we are typically faster than a local general contractor.

Please complete or online contact form for a free estimate on your next sign project.

Break Away Faux Stone Sign Monuments for Beehive

Beehive is a national assisted living franchise with numerous locations. The entrances to these facilities typically have real brick and mortar block stone monument column marquees with suspended embossed sign panels under wooden post arms that welcoming incoming traffic.

There is an ongoing issue with sign monuments and liability for businesses (and all other entrance-style sign monuments including city municipalities). The monument owner may be liable for driver injury and vehicle damages incurred by vehicle impact, especially in fatal incidents. So if an elderly driver hits your sign and is injured – the facility owner may be liable.

There is a simple solution to this situation which is referred to as a “break away” style sign monument. This means on impact, the monument itself will literally break off the ground and move out of the way, causing minimal vehicle damage and preventing fatal injury.

All of our sign monuments are a break away solution, and in our company history there have yet to be any injuries on impact.

Beehive Homes franchise owners wanted to update their existing entrance marquee signs to a break away style solution, which we easily matched in our faux masonry (foam core base). Here is a picture of the original block stone (real masonry) column-style monument:

Beehive Block Stone Sign Column Monument

Beehive Block Stone Sign Column Monument

And here is our break away style sign monument column in faux masonry before it left our shipping docks:

Beehive Break Away Faux Block Stone Sign Column Monument

Beehive Break Away Faux Block Stone Sign Column Monument

As you can see the faux masonry is a fantastic match to the real stone and mortar. We attached the embossed sign panels we fabricated in a permanent method (versus hanging from chain) to prevent theft or wind damage.

 

How To Install A Sign Monument with Concrete Footer

While we proudly advertise that our custom sign monument solutions do not require a concrete footer (they are designed and produced to rest directly on the ground), we do run into situations where a concrete footer (or concrete slab) is required by local Code.

Our installation kits include schedule 40 steel pipes, which go below grade in all installation applications, the rest post length goes up into the monument itself. As you can see in this example, a simple wood form was created, the pipes positioned, then QuikRete Concrete mixed and poured in place. The next step is to lift the sign monument and slide it down the step pipes. We decide our wooden form to accept the sign monument while the concrete was still wet (ask our experts). Due to the height of this particular project, we used a lift to get the monument up in the air with ease.

Here are pictures of the project throughout the installation process.

Sign Monument Concrete Slab & Footer Installation

Sign Monument Concrete Slab & Footer Installation

Sign Monument Installation with a Bucket Truck Lift

Sign Monument Installation with a Bucket Truck Lift

DFACS Sign Monument Installed on Concrete Footer & Pad

DFACS Sign Monument Installed on Concrete Footer & Pad

Sign Monument Re-Vamp – Primrose Schools

We are often asked to update an existing sign. To save costs, our sign design team uses as much of the existing structure that is in place, repairing any damaged areas as needed.

This example shows the “before” of a brick & mortar sign monument with recessed concrete area for lettering, and the “after” where we made a specifically sized insert panel to fill the area and cover the damage. We added a 3-D embossed “coin” with the logo up top to modernize the overall appearance.

Primrose Schools Sign Monument Before

Primrose Schools Sign Monument Before

Primrose Schools Sign Monument After

Primrose Schools Sign Monument After

LED Strand Lights – Add to Any Sign!

We carry LED strand lights for updating and electrifying your existing outdoor sign. We can also integrate these LED lights into your new sign project. These LED strand lights are commercial grade, outdoor weatherproof, and self-adhesive.

LED Strand Lights

LED Strand Lights

There are multiple advantages to using these LED strand lights, the most important being they are extremely bright (twice the brightness of fluorescent lights) yet only use half the energy of traditional lighting. Each (100) module string of LEDs (3 bulbs per module as shown) only requires (1) power ballast to convert standard 110v power source down to the 12 volts they need to run. This mean in a short time, LED strand lights will pay for themselves in energy savings on your power bill.

This is an example of a commercial business sign with dimensional letters. This customer bought (4) LED light strand kits, and used the self-adhesive modules to the backs of each character. They put the power supplies inside the monument (which was hollow). Here is a picture of the sign during the day time:

Commercial Business Sign with LED Strand Lights - Day Time View

Commercial Business Sign with LED Strand Lights – Day Time View

And here is the same sign at night with the new LED strand lights:

Commercial Business Sign with LED Strand Lights - Night Time View

Commercial Business Sign with LED Strand Lights – Night Time View

As you can see, they are so bright it was difficult for the camera to take the picture clearly! These are visible a half mile up the street in both directions. A minimal investment with maximum results – not bad!