Sign & Digital Graphics

April '18

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70 • April 2018 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ARCHITECTURAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL your job even easier as you do not have to reinvent any wheels on the illumination of the structure. If there was an internally illuminated sign attached, bringing all of it up to code would be required. • Take photos of the houses within the neighborhood. You note the archi- tectural style of the newer or renovated homes for some possible design reference. Stone, brick, stucco; where is the building style trend headed in this community, or are the houses all stuck in the '60s? • Obtain a copy of the H OA 's guidelines. Knowing how the board looks at style, color and architectural elements is critical information for you and your designer. In order to create a favorable design, it's important to know how the HOA looks at style and building materials. Once you are satisfied that you have what you need, you make a quick call to your buddy at the city sign permitting desk and within 20 minutes you find out that you are free and clear to move for- ward with just about anything you want to do because the sign is not visible from any main thoroughfare; it is within the confines of the neighborhood and it's considered a decorative structure, not a sign. Your buddy does suggest keeping its overall height about the same so that it doesn't grab too much attention from the street. One complaint from a neigh- boring HOA and you may find your new sign suddenly up for review. This is great news, so you sit down with your artist and start to brain storm. Because budget is important to everyone no matter what they may say up front, you brainstorm to figure out a way to use what is there without start- ing from scratch. Fortunately it's a CMU block core and stone tile structure. This is great news because you know from experience that removing old stucco is a pain. You can easily build right over this stone giant without too much concern. To be on the safe side, you consult with your long-time friend in the masonry business. No doubt he will most likely be doing most of the work on this project. You explain to him your idea and after his quick site survey, he gives you the thumbs up to proceed. The H OA guidelines specifically require a specific stone veneer be used on all new and or remodeled homes, along with a decorative ledge stone. This is great news because it eliminates the guess work on which stone veneer to use. You and your artist settle on an idea to remove the existing top caps and add stone ledges in their place. Then you will add stone veneer to an expanded frame- work that will attach directly over the existing structure. Following a detailed survey of the structure, including determining if the structure is still level and has not settled or listed over the years, you can confi- dently put together a plan for the big beauty makeover. Your artist suggests that since the water pool is already in place, and because they do not want to include the name of the development; maybe a waterfall over the top of the structure's main wall might look great. Because you have taken measurements of the round-about where the sign is located, and there is currently power to the sign via several old broken spot lights, you decide to move that idea along and make the wall's waterfall the new focal point of the sign. After a couple of days, your designer proudly knocks on your office door and tells you to check your email. There it is, the design you had hoped to present, along with a stunning night view that will provide the residents of this community a significant upgrade in the neighbor- hood's curb appeal. This sign has now become a focal point of visual interest. Naturally for the sake of this exercise, the HOA unanimously votes to approve your design and they hand you a hefty 50 percent deposit for the job. The project runs smoothly because your estimate was spot-on. Your artist was able to create a nearly-exact scale shop drawing, with all of the details spelled out so there was no guessing and no surprises for anyone involved. Your intent was clearly defined, and everyone was able to provide their bid without guesswork. We all know that even with the best up-front planning by highly seasoned professionals of their trade, unforeseen obstacles can sometimes rear their ugly heads and throw a monkey wrench into the construction process. Yes, sometimes this happens. However, by taking the time to accurately obtain the details of a project like this up front, and by insist- ing that your sub-contractors follow the same survey protocols, and by discuss- ing these potential hidden speedbumps with your customer, in writing, you sig- nificantly increase the likelihood of a smooth-running job that actually puts a profit in your pocket and a smile on everyone's face. SDG The night view illustrates the down lighting placed underneath the ledgestone's, as well as the area lighting of the waterfall provided by the existing spotlights.

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