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Sign Install Goes Quickly with Precast Ledgestone Foundations

When it came time for Harbor Plaza to update their sign to increase business for the upcoming tourist season, they needed an easy-to-install foundation that would tie in with the aesthetics of the sign. With Pole Base precast Ledgestone foundations, the sign install went quickly, looked great, and installers avoided the pitfalls of cast-in-place methods.


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In the Spring of 2015, Harbor Plaza in Harbor Springs, Michigan, was ready for an updated sign to bring fresh new business for the upcoming summer.

As with most businesses, signs are a potential customer's first impression. With Harbor Plaza located right off of M-119, the new sign would be seen by many. With so much time and effort being spent designing and manufacturing the perfect sign, the project developer wanted a more attractive option for the new sign's foundations.

Traditionally, cast-in-place methods are used as the means to produce concrete foundations for signs. With concrete poured on site into cardboard tubing, many challenges often arise.

From risking expensive short loads of concrete for smaller jobs to uneven bolt placement and an inconsistent product, the uncertainty of the cast-in-place system has been causing contractors headaches for years and can threaten the quality of the finished product.


"One of the goals of this project was to have a nice, streamlined system for the sign's foundations that tied in with the architectural aspects of the building," explained Simon Wolf from local sign manufacturer, Signplicity. That's why Wolf chose Pole Base in a custom Ledgestone textured to provide the sign foundations.

Pole Base, an architecturally designed precast concrete foundation system, quickly began to produce the required 8-foot-4-inch by 24-inch (2.5-meter by 0.6-meter) Ledgestone textured bases. By being manufactured with the exact bolt configuration and conduit template in a controlled setting, the bases were delivered install-ready.

"In the past we have had issues with using poured-in-place bases, but by using a precast system on this project, the bolts were true and square, which led to an easy installation and a great looking finished product," said Wolf.

In addition to the bolt placement accuracy, having the conduit prefabricated into the bases made installation of the exterior lighting a breeze for Emil Buchbinder from Select Electric.

"It was pretty easy to run the wires through the precast bases. When I try and pour my own, it is a little tricky gathering all of your materials and making sure everything is just right. Even then you still risk the chance of a blow out if the [cardboard tube] is exposed to a high water level," explained Buchbinder.

Project installers in charge of excavating and setting the bases were also impressed with Pole Base.

"The biggest advantages we saw on this project using precast bases were that you didn't have to schedule any concrete trucks, and the bases installed much faster than if we had tried to pour our own," commented Warren Reynolds of MDC Contracting.


The response from those on site was overwhelmingly positive. "The finished sign looks great. I drive by it all the time and I really like the Ledgestone textured bases. They look much better than the plain concrete blocks traditionally used," said Buchbinder.


Project Name: Harbor Plaza Manufacturer: MDC Contracting Installer: MDC Contracting Project Location: Harbor Springs, MI Year Built: 2015 Case: 012 - Harbor Plaza Sign Foundation



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