Dealing with cheap real estate agents


New Member
I've had more than one quote for $400 just to dig holes. I finally found a local young man that does it for $50 for simple stuff.
Surveying the site and calling in the JULIE request is going to cost over $50.00 for an insured installer. And of course you would never hire some kid with a pickup to do this kind of work; along with getting injured or killed if he hits a power or gas line, the bill to fix it and all the hospital bills will be paid by YOU or your insurance company (who will promptly drop you and welcome to the world of high risk insurance premiums - if you can still get it). Repair costs will be north of $1500 for a simple electric feed line, $2k - $10k for a broken water line, and god forbid you hit a main fiber communications cable, which can run into $100k or more!
I think $450 to survey and install (in town) a 4x8 on 2x wood posts (plus the cost of the sign) would be a reasonable price in a medium market. Many of our real estate agents now request 4' x 4' 3mm ACM sign on 2 lb. u-channel posts, which by direct printing on the substrate can be furnished, surveyed and installed (in town) for under $500.00.


New Member
Thought you all might like to see the aftermath of this one, and what happens when customers opt to install their sign. We've had a running bet in the shop that it would fall within six more storm and it's done. :p


New Member
So you think I overbid it? I was going off another job we just did, a single 8x4 panel on two posts and it took us right around 3 hours (including travel time and picking up lumber/hardware along the way). So I added a bit to cover the extra labor & materials to do a corner sign.

I read the hole digging/auger thread with interest and have one of those on my shopping list.
I have one real estate customer and not taking any more. That said, digging holes with a post hole digger seemed like too much work, so I got a power auger from Harbor Freight for about $200. Problem solved? The first - and last - job I did with my power auger was at a site with very little margin for error, given the underground obstacles. (I had them marked.) That was stressful. Add to that, the power digger had to go through tree roots and didn't like that at all. Think I could have done it easier with a post hole digger (but I broke it on a previous job and didn't bother to buy another.) The job took me two hours in the hot sun.

Next time I do an outdoor sign install, if there is a next time, I'm going to get a professional digger or a kid with a strong back. And I'm sure it will still take a couple hours if they run into trouble like tree roots.

(If there are any horticulturists among us, I don't think I killed any bushes as they are still there, as is my sign. But it's possible, I suppose, to be an inadvertent tree killer.)


New Member
It snowed quite a bit here today. I'm guessing the sign has even more of a drunken 30 degree lean by now and is completely unreadable.