By Mary Harris, Architectural Signs
The Denver-Metro housing market is more unique than we’ve ever seen it; Some home values are increasing annually by 10% or more, while others moving at a steady 6% or less. Why? You might say location, and that would be true, but what other factors play a roll in this hot market? Consider the overall appearance of the neighborhood.
According to the Community Associations Institute, the number of community or homeowner associations has grown from 10,000 in 1970 to 342,000 in 2016. That’s a lot of competition. Now more than ever, it is imperative that your community signage leaves a lasting positive visual impression, conveying a sense of pride in the community.
Is the signage in your neighborhood antiquated and tired? Are street signs faded, leaning, broken, or beat up by the landscaper’s weed whacker? Are the flower beds over grown and covering your neighborhood entrance monument rendering them un-readable? All of these things can have an negative impact on the perception of property values.
Once you’ve determined that your neighborhood signage needs attention, where do you start? How do you improve your signage without draining your reserves and how do you determine where to focus your attention?
First, walk your neighborhood and determine what signs need repaired or replaced. If you have a trusted sign vendor, ask them to join you. A professional sign vendor will help guide you and essentially help you work within your budget. Once you have a list of sign “issues,” you can prioritize based on need and budget.
Addressing the needed safety issues should be priority number one! Stop signs, illegible street signs, and cross walk signs need to be maintained in pristine condition. Communities can suffer large financial losses due to lawsuits because of negligence in sign maintenance. The Department of Transportation requires that street signs and stop signs are constructed with high intensity reflective material. This adds night time visibility and safety.
The next area of focus should be on the community entrance signage. Can visitors easily find the neighborhood? Does the signage convey the message that the community would like to emulate? When you look at it, does it scream 1960? Keep in mind that monuments are built to last for decades, but the style can make the community look outdated. If you have an entrance sign (aka. monument sign) that was built decades ago, you may want to consider refurbishment.
Monument refurbishment is a cost effect way to modernize and revitalize the neighborhood. Consider the photos featured in this article. The existing monument was non-illuminated and a little dated. The original background was replaced with a stucco finish and halo lit, LED channel letters were added in a high contrast color. Now the monument sign is visible day and night, guiding residents and visitors alike to the neighborhood. The cost of a refurbishment verses a full blown replacement can save a community thousands of dollars.
A community message board is something that would be considered a community amenity. Either a box that houses paper posted notices or an LED electronic message board can lend to a sense of community and a perceived added value to the community as a whole. Posted near an entrance, pool, or club house, this offers residents neighborhood information and a place to communicate.
Pool, tennis court, and amenity signage should be updated for community liability purposes. It is imperative that regulations are posted in a clear manner and in compliance to ADA regulations. Outdated information or rules can have a negative financial impact for a neighborhood, leaving the community vulnerable to legal action.
If you take the time to address the signage in your community, keeping it all up to date, in compliance, and modernized, your community can and will benefit. Property values will increase, as well as the community's overall satisfaction.
Mary Harris, Managing Member of Architectural Signs, has been a professional in the sign industry for more than 30 years. Architectural Signs offers custom dimensional signage locally and nationwide. Contact Mary with questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at http://ArchitecturalSigns.com.