How to build a retail shop on a DIY budget #2 (Part 2) "Signs Signs Everywhere Signs"

In the last post, our trusty sign maker Dave had just given me a quote after coming out to see the shop.  The conversation went like this...

Them - “Hey Dave did you end up drawing up that Bowtie Guy’s sign?”

             “(inaudible mumbles)”

              (to me)“Was that going to be a lit sign?”

Me –  “Nope. Just the sign. No lighting.

Them – “OK cuz if you want it lit you’ve gotta get a permit before we can start, but we can get it for you” (wink)

Me –   “Right. Nope not lit”

Them – “Dave. Its unlit”

              “(inaudible mumbles)”

              “Ya he says it’ll probably be around 5 Grand”

Wow. And also…absolutely not. Not when all I wanted was for my 2’ ($45) sign to be blown up to a larger version,  add a “return”. Why couldn’t I just make that little sign bigger? No really. Why couldn’t I?

I called Carolina from North Shore Printery back. I asked her if we could make a bigger version of the sign we had made a few weeks back. Like could we make a 5’ tall version of it. She said we could, but that it would be easier and cheaper to make it 4’ tall since the sheets of PVC come as 4’ x 8’ Sheets. That sounded smart. OK 4’ tall by 5’ wide it is.

I explained that I might be using it to put on the front of the building and did she think it would stand up to the elements? She told me we could use a 6mm (twice as thick as my last signs) to help it keep its form. It was a little more expensive but it would be worth it and that otherwise she thought it’d be fine.

The Cost: $240.

So the next step was to figure out how to get a “return”? And how do we hang it? I consulted my awesome carpenter Justin on just what we could do. I explained that basically I just wanted black on the sides the top and the bottom and a way to mount it. Did it have to be exactly 6 inches he asked? Nope. Could it be 5 ½ inches? Absolutely. What if we just built a frame. 4 pieces of 2”x6” (actually 1 ½ x 5 ½ ). A top 2 side and a bottom. Painted the frame black. Screwed the PVC sign onto the front of the frame, Anchored another couple 2x6s to the wall and screwed the frame/sign to the anchor.

Seemed like such an easy plan that it couldn’t possibly work. But it did. We simply screwed the $240 PVC sign onto a painted 5’x4’ frame made up of 4 pieces of 2x6 ($11), used a handful of anchors ($5ea) to mount 2 additional 2x6s (another $5.50).

The sign is sturdy, strong and lightweight and most importantly it is an invitation to the party that looks beautiful and enticing. It took 2 of us to guide it up and hold it in place as Justin scrwed it permanently in. But ultimately it took 30-40 minutes to get it mounted. The sign cost us all in just under $300.

I still don’t know how costs of $5000 would be justified, or if perhaps even after my long conversation with Dave (again, not his real name), he still didn’t understand what I wanted. And if so, then that is on me for not being able to communicate it. But the most important thing is to realize that sometimes, if you think to yourself ( yes even your non-expert, non-professional, never-done-this-before self), if you think…but wait, couldn’t we just… Sometimes, you really can.

 Look out for our the next blog post entitled "You got a friend in us. The importance of the team." and it appears that I will be naming all these posts after cheesy songs.  Sorry about that. It wasn't intentional. It literally just happened right now.

Til then.