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  • Charlene Stark

Understanding the Costs and Benefits of a Chicago Sign Permits

Updated: 5 days ago



When it comes to installing a new sign in Chicago, one of the key considerations is the cost of obtaining a sign permit. While it's important to invest in a high-quality sign that effectively promotes your business or event, it's also important to understand the costs and benefits of sign permits in order to make an informed decision. In this article, we'll take a look at the different types of signs available in Chicago, the process for obtaining a sign permit for each type, and how to calculate the return on investment for your sign.


An Introduction to the Different Types of Signs Available in Chicago

Chicago has a range of sign options available, including:

  • Illuminated signs: These signs are internally or externally illuminated, and can include neon signs, LED signs, and backlit signs.

  • Freestanding signs: These signs are supported by their own structure, and can include monument signs or pylon signs.

  • Wall signs: These signs are attached to a building's exterior, and can include painted murals and vinyl graphics.

  • Temporary signs: These signs are intended to be displayed for a limited time, and can include event banners and construction signs.

Each type of sign has its own set of regulations and requirements for obtaining a permit. It's important to consider these factors when deciding which type of sign is right for your business or event.


The Process for Obtaining a Sign Permit for Each Type of Sign

The process for obtaining a sign permit in Chicago varies depending on the type of sign you plan to install. Here's a breakdown of the process for each type of sign:

  • Illuminated signs: Illuminated signs require a permit from the City of Chicago's Department of Buildings). To apply for a permit, you'll need to submit a completed sign permit application form, detailed drawings or plans of the sign, a site plan showing the location of the sign on the property, and a sign design review fee.

  • Freestanding signs: Freestanding signs also require a permit from the Department of Buildings. In addition to the standard permit application documents, you'll need to provide detailed plans and specifications for the sign's structure, including the materials used and the method of foundation.

  • Wall signs: Wall signs require a permit from the Department of Buildings. In addition to the standard permit application documents, you may also need to provide additional information on the materials and methods used to install the sign.

  • Temporary signs: Temporary signs require a permit from the Department of Buildings. In addition to the standard permit application documents, you'll need to specify the length of time the sign will be displayed and provide a detailed plan for its installation and removal.

The Cost of Sign Permits in Chicago

The cost of sign permits in Chicago varies depending on the size and type of sign, as well as the location of the property. The Department of Buildings’ website provides a fee schedule that outlines the costs for different types of signs. It's important to consider these costs when deciding which type of sign is right for your business or event.


How to Calculate the Return on Investment for Your Sign

Once you understand the costs of obtaining a sign permit in Chicago, it's important to consider the potential return on investment for your sign. To calculate the return on investment (ROI) for your sign, you'll need to consider the following factors:

  • The cost of the sign: This includes the cost of the sign itself, as well as any related expenses such as installation and maintenance.

  • The cost of the permit: As mentioned above, the cost of the permit will vary depending on the size and type of sign, as well as the location of the property.

  • The expected lifetime of the sign: The longer the sign is expected to last, the more value it will provide over time.

  • The expected impact of the sign: Consider how much exposure and visibility the sign will provide for your business or event, and how this will translate into sales or other benefits.

To calculate the ROI for your sign, subtract the total cost of the sign and permit from the expected benefits of the sign over its lifetime. If the result is positive, the sign is likely to provide a good return on investment. If the result is negative, you may want to reconsider your sign choice or consider alternative methods of promotion.

Obtaining a sign permit in Chicago is an important investment in the promotion and success of your business or event. By understanding the different types of signs available, the process for obtaining a sign permit, and the costs and benefits of each option, you can make an informed decision that maximizes your return on investment. Working with a professional permit expediter can also help you navigate the process smoothly and efficiently.


If you're considering installing a new sign in Chicago and want to maximize your return on investment, consider working with a professional permit expediter like Permit Studio. Our team of experts can help you understand the different types of signs available, the process for obtaining a sign permit, and the costs and benefits of each option. We can also help you navigate the permit application process smoothly and efficiently, saving you time and effort. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you make the best decision for your business or event.

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