Information about our House Signs & Plaques

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any queries or require
any further information about our house signs which is not covered on this page

All signs and plaques are hand crafted in our own workshops in rural Carmarthenshire. The processes involved - from original design and modelling to casting, lettering and finishing - are carried out entirely in the Standingstone studios, enabling us to have full control over production and maintain a high standard of product and service.

House name plaque including vine design and words Handcrafted House Signs

How the signs are made - materials and processes

Standingstone uses best quality materials to create functional, yet elegant products. The castings are strong and durable but lighter than a true bronze casting or an actual piece of slate. They will remain unaffected by even the most extreme weather conditions and will not rot, warp, split, crack or rust.

What is cold cast bronze?
Cold casting is a process of casting using metal or mineral filled resins. It was developed in the 1950's by Sir Alec Tiranti and is now widely used by fine art sculptors. Cold cast bronze is also known as resin bronze and bonded bronze.
The first layer applied into the mould, and so forming the exterior of the sign, is a mixture of pure bronze powder and a small amount of polyester resin - just enough to make the mixture brushable. When this layer has set, the casting is strengthened with further layers of reinforced resin composite. This process results in a casting with a slightly hollow back.
Once the casting is removed from the mould, the low relief modelling is highlighted by the application of paint washes to create a patina effect; the bronze-rich surface is then polished to enhance the metallic finish. Finally the sign is sealed with several coats of clear gloss lacquer in order to give the surface long-term protection against dulling and tarnishing. Customers can specify a waxed finish as an alternative to lacquer but should be aware that the bronze will mature to a dark nut-brown colour after a few weeks.

... and resin slate?
A similar process is employed when making resin bronze house signs except a resin/slate mixture is the first layer brushed into the mould. Again further layers of reinforced resin and fillers are applied. After the lettering has been etched into the surface a semi-mat, clear lacquer finish is applied.

The Lettering

Both cold cast bronze and resin slate house signs have the lettering engraved/etched into the face of the sign using a grit blasting process - it is set just below the surface of the nameplate. It is then finished in white using a durable sign writer's paint.

There is a choice from seven different lettering styles (fonts), these are illustrated on the Lettering styles page. If in doubt 'A - THE OLD SCHOOLHOUSE' is recommended. Heritage house signs are supplied with a clear calligraphic style of lettering as standard. A choice of one of these styles is not mandatory - we can, where possible, use a font of your choice.

Great care is taken with the design, layout and accurate spacing of the lettering in order to provide the best visual effect and legibility in the space available on the nameplate. If you have a preferred layout please enclose it with your order. All Foliate and Heritage signs have the option of a larger nameplate to accommodate longer names or a house number and name on two lines.
 
If you are unsure how your address will look on a sign in a particular lettering style or layout please use our free "View before you buy" service and we will email you a draft picture of the sign with the lettering for your approval. To use this service look for and click on the "Request a draft picture" link included with the description and details for each sign.

Placing & fixing your sign

All house signs and plaques are supplied ready for fixing with pre-drilled holes, appropriate screws, masonry plugs and press-fit screw covers. As part of the casting process they have a slightly hollow back to them and will 'give' slightly when screwing them into position; this especially helps if you're fixing a sign to a rough or uneven surface. They are easily secured using ordinary DIY tools.

If there isn't a vertical surface available where you want to site your sign - with a little ingenuity and maybe carpentry - it could also be fixed to a post, gate or similar. For example, at the end of a drive you could set a paving slab into the ground or a bank and then fix the sign to it. When positioning your sign be aware that walls are sometimes out of true, in which case don't be a slave to the spirit level - take the attitude 'if it looks level, it is level'.

House Names - the procedure for changing the name of a UK house address

If your address has a house number - then that number will always remain as the postal address. A house name can be added as an alias, e.g. "11 Church Lane" may become "Rose Cottage, 11 Church Lane". You can inform your local Council of the change but this is not obligatory. In these circumstances it is most important that you continue to use and display the existing house number which will still take precedence over the new house name.

If your address has a house name only and no number - a request for a change of name must be put in writing to your local Council, usually the highways or engineers department. This procedure also applies if you are building a new home and have been given permission to give it a name only. Before approving the change, the council will contact all the relevant authorities to ensure the change of name is satisfactory. If they approve the change, the department will inform Royal Mail but it is worth checking that they have done so. You will have to notify the Land Registry and all other official bodies who may need to find your address or contact you by post - these include the local emergency services, your mortgage provider, bank, utilities, etc.

It is most important to follow these procedures and ensure your house name or house number plaque can easily be seen from the road - you never know when the emergency services may need to find your address in a hurry!. Also try and get neighbours and local businesses to do the same as it’s far easier to find an address when following a logical sequence of numbers. Under the little known Town and Improvement Clauses Act of 1847, a local authority can bring proceedings against a householder who fails to display a house number if their property has one.