Evaluating the Pros and Cons of Building Stack Billboard Units

When planning to build a billboard, you might wonder whether to construct a "stack" unit, which offers both advantages and disadvantages. Before making a decision, it's crucial to weigh the various factors that could impact your potential revenue and future opportunities.

Advantages of Building "Stack" Units

  1. Affordable Advertising Options
    Stacked units provide two advertising spaces at half the cost of a single tenant, offering an appealing, cost-effective option for advertisers in challenging economic times.
  2. Increased Advertiser Diversity
    With two advertising spaces, a stack unit provides a safer revenue source. Even if one ad space remains vacant, the occupied space still generates income, reducing the risk of having no cash flow.
  3. Potential for Higher Rents in Prime Locations
    In highly desirable locations, you may be able to generate more revenue from two smaller ads than one larger ad, similar to the concept behind LED billboards.

Disadvantages of Building "Stack" Units

  1. Sacrificing Larger Unit Potential
    Opting for a stack unit may limit your ability to build a larger, more lucrative single unit, such as the highly sought-after 14'x48' size. This can restrict your potential to attract larger advertisers or sell the sign at a premium price in the future.
  2. Shadow Issues
    The structural design of stack units often leads to shadows being cast on the advertisements, which may deter potential advertisers and negatively impact the perceived value of the ad space.
  3. Advertiser Conflicts
    Simultaneous visibility of both ads may lead to conflicts between advertisers, limiting your ability to rent out ad space. Certain advertisers might be sensitive about sharing the billboard with specific industries or messages, reducing the pool of potential tenants.
  4. Construction Costs
    The complexity of stack units may result in higher construction costs than single-face structures. The financial feasibility of building a stack unit depends on the potential rents it can generate.

Assessing Your Options for Billboard Construction

Before deciding to build a stack unit, carefully evaluate the various factors and considerations at play. By taking into account the economic implications, design challenges, and potential conflicts, you can make a more informed decision that aligns with your long-term goals and revenue expectations.

Frank Rolfe started his billboard company off of his coffee table, immediately after graduating from college. Although he had no formal training on the industry, he learned as he went, and developed his own unique systems to accomplish things, such as renting advertising space. Frank was formerly the largest private owner of billboards in Dallas/Ft. Worth, as well as a major player in the Los Angeles market.