We live in a condominium association and while the community areas are maintained by the association, we greatly enjoy enhancing and maintaining the landscaping and garden around our unit. Unfortunately, the association landscapers don't put nearly the time and care into trimming our front yard hedges and trees that we would. After several seasons of butchering, we decided to take matters in hand.
Create a set of signs that are highly visible when approached, yet barely visible from the street so as not to create an eyesore whilst ensuring the landscaping crew do not try to trim near our unit so that we can do it ourselves.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
Materials for Three Signs:
Six #10 x 3/4" Wood Screws (~$1)
One 11oz. Can of Performix Plasti Dip Clear (covers roughly three street-sized signs front and back ~ $6)
Three 4" x 18" Aluminum "Street" Signs (sourcing information to follow)
Six ABS Plastic Tent Pegs (~$5)
Sourcing the Signs:
We bought our signs online from Alotta Signs for ~$11 each with custom text saying "DO NOT TRIM"
Step 2: Step One - Protect Your Signs
Coating with Plasti Dip:
Plasti Dip is a rubberized spray coating that protects metal surfaces against scratches, dings, and weather. Since our signs will be mounted horizontally, the aluminum material and vinyl lettering will need some small measure of protection from rain, sleet, snow, etc...
By lightly spraying 4-6 coats per side, our signs will rest well in a clear rubber shell. Be sure to spray in a very well ventilated area and use a mask, as the vapors can be a bit on the strong side. Hold the can at 90 degrees to the surface and about 6" away while covering the material with overlapping passes. Allow 20-30 minutes per coat drying time. Be sure to coat both sides. You are going to want to do this on a relatively warm day since the spray tends to congeal below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Step 3: Prepare Your Pegs
In order to prevent splitting and/or crooked screws, pre-drilling holes in ABS plastic is highly recommended. For a #10 wood screw, a 9/64" drill bit works just fine. Simply place the peg in a vise or workbench, and try to drill straight into the head of the peg, parallel to its length. The screws aren't very long, so you don't have to drill very far. You may need to reverse your drill to back the bit out.
Step 4: Mount Your Signs
With your pegs still in the vise or workbench, change to a phillips head driver bit and screw the #10 wood screws through the holes in the signs and down into the holes in the tent pegs. Take your time and screw them in slowly to prevent stripped screw heads and crooked screws.
Step 5: "Here's Your Sign" Front Yard Hedges Saved!
Press the tent peg/sign assembly so the sign is parallel to the ground wherever you don't want landscapers trimming. The signs will be very visible close up and nearly invisible from the street.
I hope you enjoyed this, my first, Instructable.