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Fitting Signs - anyone can do it, right?

Posted by James Laird on

One of the scenarios we considered when setting up this business, was "How will customers install their prefabricated signs themselves, if we’re just shipping it ready-made and not turning up to fit it for them?"

It's a rather good question and completely on point. "How will I fit my beautiful LED illuminated built-up letters that have just arrived?"  Well most sign makers/fitters don't set out to become sign makers.  Unlike other technical professions such as joinery, electrical and plumbing etc., there's not an abundance of college, government and employer backed apprenticeship schemes.  Most sign makers learn 'on the tools' from others who also learned 'on the tools'.

Truth be told, for the fabricated signs we ship out, such as light boxes, folded trays, flat cut and built-up letters, you often need little more than a level, wall plugs and a sturdy drill/screw gun.  The most important requisite is common sense.  If you're not used to using such tools and standing on platforms or ladders then don't do it yourself. Look (through your fingers) at the photo below. We have some danger loving daredevils using a forklift to raise a scissor lift...those crazy guys. If you take one thing away from reading this, it's not to copy them!

In every town there's usually the larger firms who manufacture some signs in-house combined with bought in fabricated signs they mark up and install, followed by the smaller businesses, often just one or two person operations.  Asking these smaller outfits for a quote to fit your sign is a straightforward option that most will be happy to indulge. Installing supplied signs and graphics is part and parcel of the signage trade.

Should you require a second quote, asking a joiner or competent handyman is just as good an option as a sign company for the signs we supply.  As previously mentioned all that's often required is a level, wallplugs and drill/screw gun.  With regards to illuminated signs, even though they are normally only 12v LEDs these days, the Health & Safety at Work Act states that it must be done by a 'competent person,' however even most large sign companies tend to call in an electrician for an hour to make the connection to mains safe, and that's what we would advise as well.  To be honest I've yet to meet an electrician who also couldn't fit a sign. There's no harm in asking any contractor to show you their insurance schedule, as well as conducting a basic risk assessment prior to fitting if you wish. When we fit signs for large companies and corporations their health & safety protocol sometimes requires a risk assessment and method statement as well as proof of insurance. 

All the signs we ship are very easy to install and come with templates and instructions where appropriate. So whilst you can fit your sign yourself, you may prefer to put the kettle on and hand it over to someone else, then joke that they've put it up squint! Sign fitters love a laugh.


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