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national permit runners for sign industry

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by FASTSIGNS, May 29, 2019.

  1. FASTSIGNS

    FASTSIGNS Member

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    Jul 9, 2012
    Fort Lauderdale, Florida
    Hi all,
    Does anyone know of or use a national permit running firm- possibly specifically for signs? We have several upcoming permits around the state of Florida. TIA!
     
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  2. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    Interesting question, most places i deal with let you do it online for through email. Tell the inspector you're from out of town and they're likely to work with you.
     
  3. markchilders55

    markchilders55 New Member

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    May 30, 2019
    Mexico
    Yes it is absolutely possible.You can apply Online, tell your whole story and wait for few days for the confirmation of your request.
     
  4. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

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    Jun 8, 2005
    Sunny Florida
    Not in our area of Florida. Couple places you can do totally online, the most you're still handling paperwork. And on top of it you have to be licensed separately in almost every County. The Statewide license will work for some, mostly electrical. But as far as regular graphic or face changes or new signs that are not electrical, it's pretty much a county-by-county basis
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    Lawton, OK
    Obtaining installation permits seems to be more of a chore than ever. The requirements vary city by city. Some are super strict and require a whole bunch of red tape garbage submitted. Others aren't so bad. Generally smaller, less affluent towns tend to be easy on sign companies unless the location is some kind of trendy zone that is attracting tourists and McMansion developments. Then it can get as ridiculous as some cities. Aside from local requirements some states have their own rules. We have to do a bunch of licensing and continuing education stuff to be able to do sign work across the river down in Texas.

    I have no problem generating a complete electrical cross section drawing of something like a channel letter building sign if the sign is something we're going to make a bunch of times for a chain of stores. But it kills time and profits if you have generate that stuff along with the usual building elevation drawings and other junk for a modest sign you're going to make only once. It's a pretty backward situation if you have to spend more of your time working on red tape forms than the actual sign design.

    Combine the pile of red tape certain municipalities require with the increasing restrictions or outright bans on certain kinds of signs. You not only get to submit a pile of paperwork (and maybe pay a bunch of money too) to get a permit, but the restrictions might confine you to building something so small and inconsequential that there's barely any profit in the job.

    Amazon has to be loving this. Just another thing to kill brick and mortar retail.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. Jean Shimp

    Jean Shimp Member

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    Oct 26, 2012
    jacksonville, fl
    I recently obtained a permit in Jacksonville through a painful process. The property is located in an "Overlay" district. In order to get a ground sign, 4'x4' on two posts I had to go through these departments for approval: 1. zoning, 2. traffic, 3. landscape, 4. overlay, 5. historic, 6 (last but not least) sign review, in person. To make matters worse, the people in zoning said the sign could be 12' high and the people in overlay said 5' high and the people in historic said 4' high. After endless wasted time with these departments we finally got a consensus and the permit was approved. Then the day of installation the "footing inspector" - yes, that's right - a footing inspection to dig two holes, made us stop work because he said we had the wrong type of sign - he claimed it was supposed to be a monument type sign. After wasting another 3 full hours tracking down the right people to get this ironed out, he gave us the go ahead. That was 2 men on site, 3 hours each. The lesson here is that dealing with city governments can potentially be a real problem. Granted this was a bit of an exception but it is not unusual to run across these situations where different departments give conflicting information.
     
  7. JTBoh

    JTBoh I sell signage and signage accessories.

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    Jun 15, 2011
    Clermont, FL
    Yea, here we have to dig, cover (to prevent rain from killing the hole) and wait for an inspector (usually a day or 2).
    Then, set poles and concrete, and have it inspected again.
    Then set the sign and have it inspected... again... for final.

    The one thing that always cracks me up about FL is the foundation size for, say, a big pylon on the coast. 9' down is not unexpected. Literal tons of concrete and dirt (and steel rebar) holding this big pole to the ground... and 1.5" of aluminum retainer holding a 8' x 20' piece of glass. I'm more worried about the 200 pound guillotine during a hurricane.
     
  8. johnwon

    johnwon New Member

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    Mar 27, 2016
    Jacksonville, FL

    We have one in Jax right now where no one can agree on what would be allowed and we've been going between departments for over a month now with no progress. It doesn't help that the existing signs were installed by the developer without permits originally so they keep getting hung up and telling us that they don't want those removed even though the customer wants brand new signs.
     
  9. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

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    Feb 4, 2005
    Lawton, OK
    I think one of the problems is these clowns in big city governments (or snotty rich suburb governments) are woefully out of touch. My theory is they think most sign companies are big operations with lots of employees, including lots and lots of staff to wrangle with bureaucratic red tape. It doesn't occur to them that even "big" sign companies with several decades of history might have only 20 or fewer employees. We don't have the manpower or budget to have anyone spending days bouncing from one city department to the next trying to "earn" an installation permit for a modest sign with a narrow profit margin.

    I'm thankful my home city has kept its sign code fairly simple. Not lax, mind you, but simple. Electrical signs need to wired to NEC standards and listed via UL or equivalent authority. Gotta prove wind load and get an engineer's stamp for street signs above a certain height (we still allow street signs here). The city doesn't attempt to legislate taste or ban whole categories of signs. They do have various limitations set for how much stuff you can plaster on a building facade. But the regulations are within reason. That's partly due to the city council listening to our perspective on the situation.
     
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