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Who is responsible for pulling a sign permit

Discussion in 'Newbie Forum' started by EbsWeb5150, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. EbsWeb5150

    EbsWeb5150 Member

    Jul 24, 2009
    Is it the sign shop manager or is it on the Client side of paperwork
  2. neato

    neato Very Active Member

    May 16, 2003
    Henderson, IL
    Whatever you decide, or in some cases, whatever your local municipality decides.

    We always tried to obtain the permits as part of our services. But it became so difficult dealing with the little town we were in, we started to charge for it and give the customer the option of dealing with it themselves.
  3. G-Artist

    G-Artist Active Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Pulling permits can be the ultimate ***** even when the political subdivision is staffed with nice folks. It is getting so bad that companies who do nothing but pull permits are springing up everywhere.

    They will take your design, have it approved by the proper engineer and walk it through the system. They do try to establish good relations with the permit folks.

    In my area, a sign shop who is properly licensed (ELECTRICAL or MECHANICAL, depending on the class of the sign) is the one who has to pull the permit. The client can BUT the client has to OWN the property. If the client is merely a tenant, then the requirement in our area is the landlord has to provide an approval letter which attaches to the permit app. and the client cannot pull a permit, being a tenant.

    Bottom line, if you are not licensed to do the work, you can't pull a permit. If any sort of electrical work is involved, then you have to have an electric sign license. And in many areas, you have to have a UL sticker on electric cabinets. That's a few extra bucks.
  4. heyskull

    heyskull Very Active Member

    Sep 2, 2007
    I don't know how the planning permissions for signs work in the US work but here in the UK but it is the biggest time wasting PITA.
    I state to customers that any planning permission for their signs etc. has to be applied for by the customer.
    If there are any problems later it is theirs as I will supply on request all the images, dimensions & proofs they require for the local council.
    In my experience I have seen instances when requiring permission can add upto and beyond of an extra 30 hours onto the job!
    When the customer starts questioning why you are charging so much for just sorting the permission you can end up losing the job.

    Avoid getting involved with planning permission, I wont and anyone who does is mad!!!:banghead:

  5. signage

    signage Major Contributor

    Oct 5, 2005
    I my opinion it is the sign shops job, this way you know the permit is correct for the work you are preforming.
  6. signmeup

    signmeup Major Contributor

    May 5, 2005
    I make the customer do it because I have yet to find one that will pay me to do it. Get a deposit for the sign before you make it though.
  7. Circleville Signs

    Circleville Signs Very Active Member

    Sep 30, 2009
    Circleville, OH
    Whomever is doing the install should pull the permits (if you are usig a sub for install, then you should pull permits).
  8. Jillbeans

    Jillbeans Major Contributor

    Dec 24, 2003
    Butler, PA
    I make the customer do it.
    However, I do not install signs.
    I will provide a sketch for them to give to the zoning officer after they give me a deposit.
  9. Bigdawg

    Bigdawg Just Me

    Jun 8, 2005
    Sunny Florida
    We charge a prep fee plus any professional fees we pay (such as engineer drawings) and the actual cost of the permit.

    Never had anyone actually try to pull the permit themselves for anything other than a banner (yes - they have to be permitted here).
  10. TheSnowman

    TheSnowman Major Contributor

    Aug 28, 2007
    Our town isn't too bad on permits, you just have to file them, they don't normally make you make changes, or question anything. We just charge $35 for the time to file the paper and the $10 fee they charge us. However, that's itemized on all quotes, so it's the customers choice.
  11. G-Artist

    G-Artist Active Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    Hey, Bigdawg what county in sunny Florida are you in?

    Permits for a banner??? WOW!!!
  12. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

    Oct 19, 2009
    I just to get them, it is on the customer now. If we are installing I won't even begin making the sign until I see a permit in hand. If the customer is installing, I make the sign and send it out the door.

    In the last five years our local politics has forced changes in our sign codes about every month. This month no LED message boards, next month they are OK. Depends on wh is appliing I guess.
  13. signgal

    signgal Very Active Member

    Dec 29, 2009

    Us too! Osceola County
  14. speedmedia

    speedmedia Very Active Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    I find pulling permits are usually the toughest part of the entire project. I usually pull them if it isn't a lighted sign, anything else I either have their people pull the permit or whoever we have perform the install.

    Either way I charge and I do not make anything or have anything made until the permit is in hand. You can get burned easily otherwise.

  15. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

    Sep 24, 2004
    We usually pull em here regardless of type of sign - we charge hourly for drawings and city time, and charge the permit fee as additional. Usually $150-$250 + cost of permit, according to detail needed on permit acquisition drawings (elec. vs not usually)

    Of course we give the option of customer pulling them, I have just found that 8 times out of 10 they don't want the hassle.
  16. pointjockey

    pointjockey Member

    Nov 18, 2009
    I charge between $150 and $500 depending on the City and County. Most permits I can get back the same day, a few will take up to 30 days. I have found that when a "customer" trys to get it, they wind up making things more difficult that they have to be
  17. G-Artist

    G-Artist Active Member

    Jan 25, 2010
    While on the subject I really have to ask...do your permit folks demand the sign copy? If so, is B& W acceptable or does it have to be in color?

    I ask because a few years ago I tried to walk a permit through a particular city and the gal at the desk asked for copy...and it and to be in color for a series of pan faced signs. I thought that strange as they have no legit reason to ask for either. That wasn't a pastel-only area like some enclaves demand.

    I tried to explain, to no avail, that the industrial park buildings they were going on were still under construction and to the best of my knowledge the project had yet to accquire tenants and the 28 pan-faced signs were to be to be installed now and then lettered/decorated to suit once a client signed a lease. And the client was free to use any sign company they cared to.

    Jeez, now we have the copy police as well as the color police.
  18. J Hill Designs

    J Hill Designs Major Contributor

    Sep 24, 2004
    Usually need three copies, all in color...
  19. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

    Oct 19, 2009
    We have to give two copies in color. In our town you need a permit to even do changes to a sign (phone number change) It is geting bad, power trip!
  20. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

    Apr 17, 2003
    Valle Vista
    It's best to pull the permit for signs because there are certain requirements that are usually requested for submittal. A sign company usually has to hold the clients hand way too much during the process. Then there is the occasional code note that you might miss making the trip to the building/planning messy and embarrassing because of some lost sign program or architectural review requirement that sometimes comes up.

    I think a lot of pain would be avoided if the permit drawings were submitted in color. Color is important, especially when working within a master sign program and if the architecture and sign calls for a certain look. Most retail programs will allow logos and color, but some colors look nasty and can make a nice building look cheesy if a tenant is allowed to use some hideous color. Over here there are quite a few areas where they restrict color use. Before submitting to a city, I check to see what they require so I hopefully only make one trip.

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