By SignCraft Magazine
Posted on Wednesday, August 12th, 2015
We recently asked readers of our Trade Secrets e-letter what they would charge for this typical 4×8 sign project:
A real estate developer wants a double-faced 4×8 site sign for a new development. They do not have a logo yet, and also want to talk with you about a monument sign once the project gets underway. For now, though, they want to get a sign on the site announcing the development.
They want the sign done on aluminum composite material and mounted on two 4×4 posts. Quote a price that you would charge to produce the sign and install it on the site, which is about 30 minutes from your shop.
The response was terrific, and we want to thank the hundreds of sign shop owners who took a few minutes to help with the survey. We’ve got some great information to share as a result.
The average price for the double-faced 4×8 on ACM was $769. The average price for installation on two 4×4 posts was $242.
When we broke down the price for the sign by range, 37% of the sign prices were between $500 and $750. Another 24% were between $750 and $1000. Fifteen percent were over $1000 and 23% were under $500. (Installation was extra in all cases.)
When we broke the pricing out by region, there were differences in price, with the West leading the way:
West: $932 for the sign, $253 for installation
Northeast: $873 for the sign, $239 for installation
Midwest: $721 for the sign, $269 for installation
Southeast $683 for the sign, $195 for installation
We had quite a few responses from Canada, so we pulled those averages as well. The Canadian average price for the double-faced 4×8 on ACM was $716, and the average price for installation was $262.
It’s important to note that the pricing surveys were completed by veteran shop owners. The average was 21 years in the sign business, and 76% of those responding had 10 years or more experience in the business.
Where else can you get great information like this that helps you price your sign work accurately and effectively? Only in SignCraft. Subscribe today and see more designs plus complete pricing breakdowns for this project in the Design & Price feature.
There were many excellent comments from those who participated. They covered everything from fabrication to sales to installation:
“Installation charges could go up depending on how difficult it is to dig the holes. More time = more money.”
“My installation charge would include posts and caps. The sign would be two single-sided 3mm Poly metal sheets mounted back-to-back on a 2×4 cross brace going between the 2x4s.”
“I would use 6mm ACM and computer-cut pressure-sensitive film.”
“We try our best to charge enough for design and installation but somehow always seem to come up short on those two items.”
“We offer PVC posts in place of 4×4 treated wood posts at $175 for the pair.”
“I’d use 6mm aluminum composite panels. The top third of the graphics would be a digital print with laminate, and the bottom copy would be cut vinyl.”
“Future work doesn’t always happen, so I can offer a discount at end of job—not on a promise.”
“My price includes framing, which was not mentioned in the description. I normally use a 1-in.-square aluminum tube on each side. Materials and labor for this accounts for about $250 of the cost of the project.”
“I estimate the installation time on a $90 per hour basis, as you cannot know the digging conditions beforehand. I would give an installation cost of $295, including cement if deemed necessary, but if the buyer insists on a set cost, I will typically add an additional 50%.”
“We would use digitally printed vinyl with UV laminate applied to 10mm ACM. It would be mounted to 11-ft. 4×4 pressure-treated posts with PVC sleeves/ball cap by means of 1 ½-in. aluminum angle and stainless steel hardware.”