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Subcontracting Electric Signage

(May 2017) posted on Mon May 15, 2017

The good, the bad and the ugly.

By Darek Johnson

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Other install aspects include the removal and disposal of old signs; wall repair, patching or reinforcement; and surface mount or raceway preference. Olson adds that your letter fabricator should offer advice regarding install or maintenance access problems. He also said to carefully check the installer’s references and to have specific agreements on the work arrangement with the installer and any subcontractors they may bring onto the site. They should agree not to solicit future sign or installation work from your customer, for example. He also noted that pole sign installations may require unique mounts, and wall installations may require one-off supports or lengthy pass-through bolts.

Another hazard is if the sign doesn’t fit when the installers attempt to install it at the buyer’s site, an error that could occur because of pre-design survey errors – and is the seller’s fault, because they provided the survey-based contract. This predicament is avoided by in-depth site surveys accomplished by professional sign installers. The surveyor should also investigate the existing wiring system and breaker boxes and provide a status report of those aspects of the installation. And, they would also note any problems or hazards possible at the install site – overhead, high-voltage wires, for example, or on-street parking on a boulevard that may require non-traffic installation times.

Another important element in subcontracting electric signs is that finished signs are transported by truck via a private carrier and are therefore regarded by insurance companies as cargo with often complex coverage, so you want a clear agreement on both insurance and charges with the channel letter maker and shipper. Also, you’ll want a clear agreement with your installer, because if they move the sign and it isn’t specifically insured as cargo, any accidental damage that occurs while in transit won’t be covered. If your subcontractor claims to be insured, ask for a copy of the covering policy, see that it is recently dated and then call that insurance company to ensure the policy is in effect.


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