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How to build an outdoor wooden billboard structure from the ground up

Updated July 20, 2017

Renting advertising space on an outdoor billboard can be lucrative. In fact, in many areas these signs provide between 75 per cent and 100 per cent annual return on investment, which is unheard of in traditional investment vehicles. At a small cost of construction, and relatively easy design and installation, an outdoor billboard is a simple project that can reap large rewards. It is important to build it correctly and structurally sound, as unsound construction can cause maintenance issues that erode your profits and cause costly liability issues.

Decide what orientation the billboard needs. Usually billboards are two-sided, so orienting the billboard along a road to take advantage of two-direction traffic patterns is ideal.

Dig two holes for the supporting posts using the post hole digger. Dig the holes approximately 20 feet apart and 3 to 4 feet deep.

Drop the support posts into the holes and attach 2-by-4 braces in two directions for support. At the other ends of the 2-by-4 braces, nail short sections of 2-by-4 for the support legs. All of this is temporary form work to hold the post straight while the concrete sets.

Pour concrete into the hole around the base of the post. Fill the hole to within 6 inches of the top.

Drive the short 2-by-4 support legs into the ground to anchor the post in place while the concrete cures. The longer 2-by-4 support braces can pivot to aid in straightening the post before driving the legs into the ground.

Attach a 2-by-10 board approximately 20 feet long to both support posts using heavy duty lag screws. These are large wood screws used to attach heavier pieces than a regular screw will support. Use at least four screws per board per post. Attach one board at the top of the posts and install the other approximately 8 to 10 feet lower.

Attach 2-by-4 framing members to the face of the 2-by-10 boards using wood screws. The long edge of the 2-by-4 should be flat against the 2-by-10.

Attach sheets of plywood to the 2-by-4 framing members using wood screws. This will be the base for the billboard signage. It can either be painted or have the billboard sign attached to it.

Things You'll Need

  • Post hole digger
  • 6-inch-by-6-inch posts
  • Concrete
  • Scrap 2-by-4 for temporary braces
  • 2-by-4 permanent braces
  • 2-by-4 framing members
  • Plywood
  • Lag screws
  • Wood screws
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About the Author

Brandon Maxwell began writing professionally in 2007 by creating how-to articles and tutorials for production software within the design industry. In addition to the training guides and technical resources he has written, Brandon also has in-depth knowledge of home improvement and repair; landscaping and outdoor maintenance; and various subjects involving outdoor recreation. He graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Virginia Tech in 2007.