I must confess that my motives in starting this thread were far from pure; at the core was a disagrement between the sign guy and myself. It probably didn't help that I ... the budding new EC ... had quoted assuming I would just tie into a nearby light.
Casual conversation in the chat room produced 'first take' replies that the sign guy was right, theat the signs had to have their own circuit, anywhere, anytime. Conversations with two parties at the city revealed they were happy with the sign being fed by the lighting circuit, capacity allowing.
As for the job itself ... further conversations with the customer revealed that he has further sign plans, so I decided to humor the sign guy, and make the dedicated run on the face of the building. This is being very time-consuming, as I need to paint the pipe to blend in as best I can; the location couldn't be more visible if I tried. It will be a cinch, however, to add th future signs to this circuit; I'm including the appropriate junction boxes and splices. (Now this is where Wago's ot In-sures really shine!)
Not that it mattered; the sign guy made sure to call for inspection today - I had told him Friday - and the inspectors' greeting was "now what are you tying these signs into?"
Now, I was facing away as he approached; as soon as I turned, and he saw my face, the inspectors' demeanor changed completely to "Hey, I know you from the local IAEI!" Yup, and I'm even on the committee there, and part of the committee that's writing our local ammendments for the 2008 code.
The sign guy certainly wasn't expecting THAT response from the inspector.
He was delighted with my explanation, and signed off the job .... though the pipe wasn't quite yet complete.
If there's a moral to this story ... perhaps those dues, and active participation, made for a positive relationship.
As for my quote ... I'll honor it, even though it might not (quite) cover my material expenses. I'm eating my time on this one. Call it a lesson learned ... and laying the foundation for a very good relationship with this customer. He knows I'm in the hole with this one, and I'm confident I'll have an chance to recoup on future jobs.