Signs New York

Compliance Science: Why a Licensed NYC Sign Hanger and DOB Signs Are Essential

nyc licensed sign hanger for dob compliant signs

Almost any NYC property, business, or organization could benefit from the addition of signage that announces your presence, as well as welcomes guests and customers to your space. If you’re planning on putting up a new sign it’s extremely important to use a licensed sign hanger in NYC. In this blog, we’ll outline the different types of sign hanger licenses and how they affect the type of  sign each license holder can install — as well as go over the various Department of Buildings (DOB) safety signs that must be put in place at a site where any construction work is taking place.

Types of Licensed Sign Hangers

According to the Government of NYC, there are two main types of sign hanger licenses: a Master Sign Hanger and a Special Sign Hanger.

  • A Master Sign Hanger – refers to a type of sign installer that is legally authorized to “hoist, lower… hang or attach” any sign no matter how heavy, on the outside of a building.
  • A Special Sign Hanger – is authorized to “hoist… lower… hang or attach” any sign up to and including one hundred fifty square feet in area. This is measured as the sign face, or front of the sign where the graphics are located. A special sign hanger also cannot hang signs “exceeding one thousand two hundred pounds in weight” on the outside of the building.

So to recap, the main difference between a master sign hanger and a special sign hanger is the size and weight of the sign that a special sign hanger is authorized to install. Only a master sign hanger can put up signs exceeding 1,200 pounds and/or a sign face area of 150 square feet.

Size Matters

The size of a sign is one of the main ways a local sign regulation can be triggered. According to NYC storefront requirements, signs greater than six square feet in total — as well as all lit-up or illuminated signs — require a sign permit approved by the NYC DOB, including a formal application and plans submitted by a licensed engineer, architect or sign hanger.

In addition to that, your licensed contractor may only submit a sign permit application if the proposed sign construction follows these conditions:

  • The sign complies with all existing New York City Building and Zoning Codes
  • It must be an accessory sign, which announces a business on the same premises, which will be installed directly to the building. All advertising signs, such as billboards, will require a PW2 work permit application.
  • The sign face is no larger than 150 square feet. If the sign does exceed this size it is now considered an advertisement, which calls for a PW2 work permit — and also limits the installation work to a master sign hanger.
  • The sign does not project more than 18 inches from the building’s façade.
  • The entire sign is mounted below the ceiling level of the building’s second story.
  • The sign does not exceed 300 pounds in which case, you guessed it; the work will call for that additional PW2 work permit.
  • The sign is mounted with a minimum of 4 mechanical anchors, installed 12 inches apart.
  • The anchors must be rated for five times the weight of the sign, including not just the sign face but any structural elements as well.
  • These mounting anchors must also be installed at appropriate depths, which is normally around 3 or 4 times their diameter. For example, an anchor with a ¼ inch diameter must be embedded at least 1 inch deep.

This is just a brief summary of the various regulations needed for most signs. In most cases, if you’re not simply painting your sign directly onto the building — or posting a sign 6 square feet or smaller with no lighting — you will need to use a licensed NYC sign hanger in order to submit the appropriate blueprints to the NYC DOB.

Required DOB Signs

Speaking of the NYC DOB, you will also need to post the appropriate construction safety signage while your new sign construction work is being done.

As per the New York City Administrative Code, every licensed sign hanger must post conspicuous signage in accordance with existing NYC DOB regulations while the installation is taking place.

Installation Safety Signage must include:

  • Two plates or signs at least 18 inches (457 mm) tall and 24 inches (610 mm) wide.
  • These signs must contain the word “DANGER” in letters at least 6 inches (152 mm) high.
  • They must include the sign hanger’s name, business address, type of license, and license number.
  • The sign hanger must have a business address located in NYC

An 18 x 24 inch “Danger” sign shown to scale

Other Types of DOB Construction Signage

Many property owners will also carry out renovation work prior to or during their new sign installation. If the sign installation is happening at the same time as any additional type of construction or building façade work, there are additional regulations that must also be adhered to. Among these are construction fence signage requirements.

Any new building, excavation, or alteration project not occurring on a residential 1, 2 or 3 family house which requires a construction fence needs to post a project information panel and a sidewalk shed parapet information panel.

The Project Information Panel design must include:

  • A project rendering or image of the completed work
  • A brief description of the project, as well as its expected completion date

It must also contain:

  • Contact information for the building owner and contractor
  • Information about reporting hazardous work conditions in English and Spanish, as well as the DOB work permit

A sidewalk shed used to protect pedestrians from falling debris also requires a parapet information panel.

The Sidewalk Parapet Information Panel must include:

  • The location’s address
  • The name of the contractor or owner

A project information panel

A sidewalk shed parapet information panel

The great thing about working with a licensed local sign maker is that all these necessary regulatory signage can be made in-house. This will go a long way to streamlining the process of creating the necessary DOB safety signage both for your commercial sign work, as well as any concurrent construction or alteration projects taking place.

To Learn More Contact the NYC Sign Experts

If you’d like to learn more about the necessary permits and signage required for ongoing construction, new commercial signage installations or other building work feel free to contact us. Our entire team has extensive experience with various NYC sign and construction regulation and we can create all types of original, custom signs right here in our Brooklyn headquarters. Contact us anytime night or day, in order to get started on your next big project. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.

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