Our Complete Commercial Flagpole Buying Guide
Well worth reading if you've never bought a flagpole before, and even if you have. :-)
It's a fact. Nothing gives you a sense of pride like one or more majestic commercial flagpoles flying flags in front of your business, office or place of worship. And nothing sends a more positive message to your customers and potential new customers. People love seeing large American flags flying high atop commercial flagpoles. And whether they realize it or not, it creates goodwill toward your organization.
First, A Word Of Encouragement...
If you’ve never purchased commercial flagpoles before, the process can seem daunting. There are a lot of decisions to be made and it seems like all the websites assume that you know exactly what you want. We’ve learned over the years, that most people aren’t sophisticated purchasers of commercial flag poles and need a little help here and there. So, in the next few paragraphs, we’ll cover some of the most important points to keep in mind when you buy your commercial flagpole. (If you don't feel like doing a lot of reading and just want to get started now, you can call us at 404-409-3972 and speak with a commercial flagpole consultant). Browse our selection of commercial flagpoles for sale and let us help you find the right flagpole for your business today!
1. Commercial Flagpoles - Choosing the Right Height
One of our very first considerations is going to be deciding what size commercial flagpole you want to buy. This is one of those areas in life where size does matter - the bigger the pole, the bigger the flag, the bigger impact. But, of course, deciding the optimum height for you isn’t as easy as spontaneously deciding, “Hey, I want an 80’ pole!” The most important determinants of this aspect are 1) municipal regulations and 2) your budget.
Some cities will only allow commercial flag poles of a certain maximum height. Additionally, you could be subject to what is called the “fall down rule”. Which is a rule that says if your pole were ever to fall, it can’t fall into traffic or into utility lines, etc. So, step one is to determine any regulations relating to flagpole height in your area.
This can be one of the most important first steps in getting your commercial pole. If you need help with it, we have good news, all commercial flagpoles purchase from FederalFlags.com include our “white glove” service in which we handle all aspects of getting your pole installed for you – at no additional charge. We’ll take care of making sure you stay within regulatory codes. Just call us at 404-409-9737 to get started.
2. Choosing the Best Installation Location
Once you know the maximum allowed commercial flagpole height in your area (Note that in some areas there is no height restriction.) you’re ready to decide where to place your pole. For many businesses, this will be a prominent location, often front and center of the building. For others it might be beside the building. Whatever your choice, there are a few things to keep in mind as you decide where to place your symbol of this great country.
First, you don’t want to place your commercial flagpole so close to a building that the flag will hit the building either when it is flying or when you are raising and lowering it. Hitting concrete or brick repeatedly will destroy a flag in short order. The same consideration goes with placing it too close to trees. We’ve seen poles placed near trees in the wintertime when there were no leaves, only to find that in the summer when the trees are full of leaves and the branches are growing that they begin to encroach on the flag and pole. In general, you should place your commercial flag poles at least as far from any potential obstruction as the length of the largest flag you intend to fly, plus 20 feet. That will make sure that your flag has excellent clearance in all wind directions.
Other considerations in where you place commercial flagpoles would include choosing the most aesthetic location. Flagpoles naturally look good on small hills and rises. And this also tends to increase the height appearance. Likewise, flagpoles are best placed in open areas where there is a good chance of a breeze blowing through. Obviously, if you place your pole too close to a stand of trees or too close to a large building or cluster of buildings, then there is going to be very little wind flow and you won’t get to see your flag flying very often. Related to this is choosing a commercial flagpole height (If your budget and local regulations will allow it) that is taller than your building. This ensures that any wind will be able to reach your flag and provide you with a patriotic and inspiring display on many days of the year.
3. Making Sure It's Safe
We recommend that you choose more than one possible location that you would be pleased with. Why? Because of the last, and in some ways, the most important step in site selection – making sure it is safe to dig a deep hole where you want to plant your flagpole. Digging a hole and hitting a power line, gas line, or cable line is one of the most expensive and potentially dangerous mistakes you can make. Fortunately, you can call “Call Before You Dig” for free and they will come out and make sure that your chosen installation site is safe. Just call “811” and ask them to come out. Before they do, it’s a good idea to mark the area where you want to place your pole with a stick or with white spray paint.
4. Staying Within Budget
Once you know the maximum height allowed in your area, budget will probably be your next consideration. Commercial flagpole prices can vary widely depending on the configuration and strength of your pole. Factors that directly affect the price you pay include halyard configuration – internal halyard or external halyard. Internal halyard is the most secure setup (because the halyard is fully contained within the flagpole), but also the most expensive (because it requires more internal hardware). External halyard is the most common and affordable commercial flagpole option. It’s our most popular seller.
Next, the strength of your flagpole will have a major impact on pricing. As you can imagine, the stronger it is, the more aluminum will have been used in its construction and therefore the more expensive it will be. A commercial flag poles strength is measured by its wind speed rating. The stronger the pole, the higher the wind speed rating. Fortunately, determining the ideal flagpole strength for your location is a pretty straight-forward process. You simply consult a wind speed chart and find your area of the country. That will give you the minimum wind speed rating for your area as recommended by engineers. Once you have that rating – it will be something like 90 mph – you know exactly how strong of a flagpole to buy. Check another consideration off your list!
So your next step will be to choose commercial flag poles that meet any applicable code requirements in your town and that is also strong enough for your area and that fits within your budget. From here, most people will simply get the tallest pole they can afford within these height and strength constraints.
5. Putting It All Together
Once you’ve narrowed down these factors, you will probably find that the range of appropriate flagpoles for your application has been narrowed down to just a few. Making your selection should be fairly easy. Just choose the height and strength that you want, within your budget and you are good to go.
But there is a small potential financial bump in the road on the way to receiving your pole – shipping. Shipping commercial flag poles is inherently fairly expensive. This is because they must be shipped by flatbed trailer. Usually your pole will come in several sections, especially if it is a taller pole ranging from 50 feet to 80 feet or more. As you can imagine, taking up an entire flatbed truck to ship several sections of aluminum tubing can get costly as compared to receiving a package from Amazon. And the farther away you are from the flagpole warehouse, the higher this cost can get. For this reason, you won’t see shipping costs on most websites that sell flagpoles. Instead, you usually need to call or email them and get a shipping quote. And these can vary greatly from company to company. At FederalFlags, we use our nationwide network of commercial flagpole warehouses to find the closest location to you so that we can get you the lowest possible shipping cost. We never markup shipping costs. What you pay is exactly what the shipping company charges.
6. Taking Delivery of Your Flagpole
Once shipped, our shipping companies will let you know when you can expect your commercial flagpole to arrive. You or someone you trust will want to be there to meet the truck when it arrives. Depending on the size of your pole, you may want to have some hands on standby to help unload the sections from the truck. They are usually light enough that each section can be lifted by two men. But more will make the work easier. The truck driver may be willing to help, but you should plan to have help available so that you can do the unloading without his physical help. Forklifts and other machinery are not recommended for this type of work due to the potential for damaging the pole. Although it is designed to resist a good deal or pressure from the wind, your flagpole won’t stand up to the force of a forklift being driven into the side of it.
Once the pole does arrive, you should inspect the packaging for damage BEFORE the truck driver leaves the site and BEFORE you sign off on the delivery. Your pole will come wrapped in a paper sheathing. It is not necessary to remove this when inspecting your pole. Instead, look for damage to the packaging. If you see tears or dents then there is a good chance that the pole inside is damaged. Remove the paper wrapping around the areas where you see external damage to see if there is, in fact, damage to the pole itself. You should not accept a pole that shows this type of damage. Instead you should decline it and sign off stating that the pole was damaged on arrival. It is also recommended that you take pictures of the damaged areas of the flagpole to further support your damage claim. Should this happen to a pole that you ordered from FederalFlags.com, call us immediately and we’ll get a replacement on its way to you.
Once you have verified that the pole is in good condition you can store it in preparation for installation. If it will be stored indoors, you do not need to remove the paper until you are ready to install the pole. If however, the pole will be left outside prior to installation, you should remove the paper covering on the pole. This is due to the risk of rain, which if it gets to the paper wrapping on your pole can stain the metal. Due to the rough, brushed texture of your flagpole, it can be difficult to clean once this staining occurs.
7. Installing Your Commercial Flagpole
Installing your flagpole is a bit easier than it may seem. If you pole is 30’ in height or less, you may even be able to do it yourself without any sort of special equipment. In any case, your flagpole will come with complete installation instructions. The only materials you will need are concrete (and mixing tools), wooden shims, gravel and a shovel – ideally a post hole digger. A plum bob is a good tool for making sure your pole is plumb and absolutely vertical.
If you aren’t planning to do the installation yourself, you’ll want a good commercial flagpole installer to do the job for you. Our free, white-glove, assistance program includes making arrangements to have your pole properly installed. We’ll locate an installer in your area and coordinate the install so that you don’t have to worry about it. Installation usually only takes a few hours. A professional installer will probably use a crane to stand your pole, so you’ll want to make sure he has easy access to the installation site.
Once your flag is up, the final step is to raise your flag. Hopefully, you have a beautiful, well-made American flag from FederalFlags.com on hand. Your installer can attach the flag to your commercial flag pole’s halyard and raise the flag for you. If it is a large flag – say 20’ x 30’ or larger, he made need some help. Large flags can really be challenging to raise if the wind is blowing.
And that’s really all there is to it! We know, it seems like a lot. But if you follow this guide, you’ll have a smooth flagpole buying experience. And as we’ve said, we’re here for you every step of the way. We’ll handle everything for you from start to finish so you never have to worry about making the wrong move. If you’re ready to get started just call us at: 404-409-9737. We look forward to hearing from you!
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