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Shrink Your Construction Budget: How To Source Signs From Derelict Business Buildings

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Building materials and signage for new businesses can make your construction budget swell up like a puffer-fish, but there are ways to cut costs back down. One way is to take advantage of locally available materials. Specifically, taking old signage from worn-out business offices can save you a pretty penny on your new building's decorating costs.

Check Your Municipal Planning Report

Municipal governments usually make a regular public report for local citizens to read. In this report, you'll find detailed information about planned construction and demolition projects for the foreseeable future. Make a list of the buildings to be demolished and contact the planning office for information about contacting their owners. Be sure to check city planning reports for the local areas, too. Demolitions aren't frequent in most areas, so you may have to go a bit out of your way to find good buildings.

Talk To The Building Owners

Once you have the information about local properties slated for demolition, it's time to contact the owners and discuss your needs. Because the buildings will soon be torn down, the owner has likely already written off any assets inside as a loss. In a large building, this could mean duplicate signs for exits, stairwells, offices, and other generic building areas. Some owners may have recycled or sold their signage by the time you call, but others might even offer to help you gather signs if it means they can make extra money on the property.

Before you agree to anything, make sure you or your employee has a chance to visually inspect the building's signage from the inside. Older buildings may have been vandalized or may have deteriorated over time, and the signs inside could be worthless.

Plan Your Transportation

You may be able to do the job yourself if your building is small and only needs a few signs, but bigger projects will need advanced planning before you undertake them. When you know you'll be dealing with more than a couple floors' worth of signs, it's a good idea to hire a moving truck or have several pickups available. Bring a tarp for every open-cargo truck, in the event of rain.

This trick works best for small- and medium-sized businesses. Large businesses should carefully consider their options before attempting to strip old signs, since the time and effort involved may outweigh the potential savings from a bulk order of brand new building signs. Once an order quantity reaches into the hundreds, you may find purchasing new signs to be financially viable.

Whether you ultimately source your signs from an old building or opt to buy them new, scanning the local planning reports for potential recyclable material is always a good idea. Beyond used signs, some buildings may be able to offer you solid doors, fixtures, and even furniture, if you're willing to clean it up a little first. 

For more information about sign installation, contact a professional company such as Hickory Sealing & Striping.