The Board has been looking at options for refreshing or replacing the street signs and posts throughout the community. We initially considered repairing and repainting the posts along with cleaning and applying a clear coat to the signs. After looking at the condition of the posts and signs, we felt this option would still involve significant effort and cost, while only being a short-term solution. It became clear that we needed to look at replacing the signs with materials that will last much longer and give the upscale look that custom signs provide.
We approached a couple of well-respected local sign companies to discuss material and finish options, durability, and costs. We also looked at other communities in Columbia, new and old, to see what is being, or has been, used and how well the materials and finishes are holding up. Based on this research, we believe our posts and signs should be made of metal and sealed with a durable finish (i.e. not latex paint) that can withstand the elements better than the materials used in the signs we have in place now. New posts and signs should also retain the upscale, custom appearance that we have with the bold posts, caps, and decorative signs we have today. Those features help set our community apart from others.
The best estimate we have is from Metro Signs. They presented an estimate of $18,318.40. This estimate includes removal and replacement of 32 signs and posts–16 stop signs and 16 street signs. The posts will be made of aluminum, painted, and then sealed with polyurethane. The street signs will be made of aluminum and covered with a reflective vinyl material to provide the custom look we have today. Stop signs must now be larger and mounted higher. They must also be made of a higher reflective material, which they say can be identified by a diamond pattern in the reflection. Metro Signs will provide a written three year warranty for the materials and work.
Here are some shots of signs they made and installed in Preston Green:
The Preston Green sign posts look very similar to ours, but have a nice glossy appearance.
Metro Signs made and installed the signs at Portrait Hill. If you want to get an idea of their work and quality of materials in person, go check them out.
$18,318 is a considerable expense. Our last street sign revitalization project, completed in 2010, was $3400. At that time, we paid ADM Signs to make and replace the street signs. Board members Maureen and Cris repainted the posts at a savings of $1200. 18K is four times the cost of the 2010 project. While we are in good financial standing, last years water line replacement project took a good chunk of funds–about $6500. We are looking at options for funding this expense or reducing the cost. Metro Signs said they can provide an alternate estimate that combines the street sign and stop sign posts. This could shave up to $6000 off the cost. You can see this method in use in the back of Portrait Hill. I (Jamie) don’t think this would be feasible in all areas due to obstruction by trees and it doesn’t look that great. Here’s an example:
We are aware of the aging signs; however, we ask for your continued patience as we look for an affordable solution that will prove to be more durable.