Minor Signs Starter Guide

This tip sheet is to improve the understanding of the best practice to ensure quality construction methods are applied in meeting specification requirements for the supply and installation of Minor Signs. The information should be used by foremen, leading hands, subcontractors and the workforce as a guideline for constructing minor signs. The scope of this post is to provide basic information on the requirements but limits the information to that pertaining to the installation of Minor Signs only.


  • Incorrectly installing the sign and not achieving the minimum vertical and lateral clearance required.
  • Confusion between Project Specification and Local Government Specifications.
  • Installing similar signs in the incorrect locations (Visually impractical)

Construction Methodology

  • The surveyor is to set out the sign locations.
  • Ensure an excavation permit is in place if excavating using destructive methods such as a mechanical auger.
  • Before digging, check that the surveyor’s set out points will achieve the minimum lateral clearance required.
  • Pre-assemble the signs where practicable. Install a nylon washer to protect the reflective sheet from twisting during tightening between the bolt head and sign face and a security washer on the back of the sign post.
  • Once the post hole is excavated, install the signpost in the centre of the hole.
  • Compacted earth and concrete (20mpa) should be used to backfill the hole, the top 50mm should be a similar material to the surrounding earth (alternatively full depth 10MPa concrete or stabilised sand).
  • The signpost should be vertical and measured by a spirit level.
  • Each layer of backfill should be compacted by six blows of a 10kg hand tamper. Excess material should be disposed of at an authorised disposal site.
  • A plastic or aluminium end cap should be fitted to the top of the post to prevent the ingress of water.


Hold/Witness Points

  • All signs should be checked for defects immediately prior to installation (Site Engineer).
  • All sign post positions should be surveyed prior to any sign installation being undertaken (Surveyor).
  • All sign locations should be pegged and reviewed to confirm visibility to the sign, location in relation to other features/signs, and the impact of the sign on sight distance prior to the erection of the sign.

Quality Tips

  • Signs stored on site should not be laid flat on the ground as this can damage the protective overlay film.
  • When attaching signs to posts, all connecting bolts should be tightened with offset spanners, not socket wrenches. This will minimise tool and hand contact with the sign surface and avoid scratching. Only one end of the nut and bolt arrangement should be tightened, preferably from the back of the sign i.e. the nut. Avoid overtightening or tightening from both sides as this can “pinwheel” the overlay film.
  • A circle diameter slightly larger than the bolt head may be scored in the reflective surface to avoid any cracking that may occur during bolt tightening.
  • When erecting large signs care is to be taken to avoid damage from lifting ropes, slings and chains from contacting the sign surface.
  • After installation and prior to leaving the site, signs must be inspected to ensure they have not been damaged during erection and there are no residues from fingers or tools.
  • Signs that need to be cleaned can be washed using a mild, environmentally friendly detergent and a soft bristled brush and then rinsed with potable water; the sign should be streak free after cleaning.
  • See design for information regarding the surface area of the sign and the hole required.