Who would ever think it would be so much trouble to get signs? I started working on getting signs for the office after we got everyone moved in at the beginning of June. We had three different sign makers come out and give us estimates, and after a few backs and forth about letting, cost, etc. they all disappeared. They wouldn’t answer emails or their phones. Nothing. I asked the locksmith I had working on the locks if he knew any reliable sign makers. He suggested the Sign and Image Factory. I called them, sent them mock-ups, and they worked with us to finally get the vinyl letting on the glass and the letters on the curved wall in the foyer shown in the photo above. They did a great job and were reasonably priced.
We also needed a monument sign, but the Sign and Image Factory doesn’t make monument signs. Two of the three sign makers that disappeared were going to do the monument sign, also, but they fell off the face of the earth. We contacted three metal crafters. They were either 1) backed up, 2) would not give me an estimate because they couldn’t get firm prices on the cost of materials, or 3) they were very expensive when and if they could make the sign. The monument sign is large at 44 inches wide by 38 inches high.
We really needed the monument sign. For some reason our building in the center of the plaza is invisible. Contractors, UPS, FedEx, and Amazon drivers, clients, and visitors were all having trouble finding the building for the first time. As far as UPS, FedEx, and Amazon drivers are concerned, every new driver has trouble finding the building. Since we were getting nowhere with the monument sign, I started thinking that maybe I could get a temporary sign made until we could find someone to make a permanent sign.
I started looking online and after checking a few online sign makers, I found BannerBuzz.com. I got on a chat session with one of their agents, and she suggested I order an aluminum sign for the size I wanted, and she directed me to the page on their site where I could custom order an aluminum sign. I put in the dimensions, uploaded the artwork, entered the color codes, selected paint type and UV protection, and gave them instructions for the space at the bottom of the sign for the mounting bracket. The total price came out to $150 with shipping. Wow! That was a far cry from the $1800 to $4000 we got from the locals. I added the sign to the shopping cart, and when I went to check out I got a 20% discount for being a first-time customer. So the sign ended up costing $120, with free shipping.
As it turned out the sign was made in India. They shipped the sign a week after we finalized the proofs. It took four days to reach the FedEx hub in Memphis, TN, and then it sat for almost three weeks in Memphis before customs released it to be delivered to the office. The sign is perfect as you can see from the photos. Since the aluminum is only 1/16 inch thick. I mounted the sign on all-weather plywood that I painted the primer color of the mounting bracket. The sign maker who installed the letters went out and looked closely at the sign. He said he could see it had quality paint and a good UV coating on it. It should last a while in under out intense sunshine.
Goods and services have become very difficult to get in Albuquerque. I am still waiting for a gate I order for the patio in August. I have the hinges and the sprung latch I had to order from an artisan in Canada because I could not find the type of latch I wanted anywhere in the USA. I asked the alarm company that provides security for the office for an estimate on access control. They wouldn’t give me an estimate because they can’t find enough skilled labor. They said possibly in six months. We were locked out of the current access control system, and I had been trying to get Isonas (the system we had on the office downtown) installed since before we moved in. The Isonus people have become unresponsive. I finally found a tech that got into the access control system. I can now program the system, and I got new proximity cards and finally gave all of our staff card access. That only took nine months. Getting things done has become a slow, cumbersome and frustrating process.
The monument sing at night.
Colors at dawn this morning.