The Sum and Substance House Numbers

While house numbers are a necessary part of your home’s outside, they are also somewhat like jewelry — the finishing touch that ties the entire package together. Follow these tips for picking numbers that meet practical considerations and hit all the right style notes too.

It’s The Small Things…

Are they easy to see from the road? This is not just a consideration for supper party guests — first responders will need to have the ability to spot the numbers right away in a crisis. Some towns have codes that dictate how big numbers must be; assess if this is the case in which you reside.

Step outside and study your house from the road to test how well the numbers appear. Is the font clear and readable? Would you want a bigger size or even more visual weight? If your home is set back from the curb, figures on a mailbox or post close to the road will likely work better than numbers hung over the doorway.

Cary Bernstein Architect

Are they durable? House numbers need to be made of a solid material that withstands weather such as stainless steel, aluminum or tile. If you decide on iron, then be sure that rust does not corrode the numbers with time and make them more difficult to see.

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Does the placement make visual sense? Most house numbers are organized in a vertical or horizontal row because they are easiest to read that way. If you decide to experiment with different configurations, like hanging them on a diagonal, make sure that people still can read them at a glance.

Jeffrey Gordon Smith Landscape Architecture

Can there be contrast with this background? Bronze house numbers on, say, dark timber shingles might not be the best option for easy reading. Pick a material that contrasts strongly with the surface where it’s mounted. When the numbers are dim when dusk falls, consider backlighting or uplighting them to boost visibility. Consider a solar-powered version for electricity and ease.

Debora carl landscape layout

Can foliage get in the way? Trim or prune trees and shrubbery that may obscure the numbers, or select a spot where plantings will not get in the way in any way. In the same way, if you reside in a climate that gets a whole lot of snow, ensure that you set them over the typical snow line.

Company & woodburn Landscape Architecture

Can they fit in with your home? We have mentioned it before, but it bears repeating: Layout is in the details. Pick numbers that match the architectural design and materials of your house — they help to set the tone for what awaits inside. Stainless steel versions in a very contemporary font might look discordant on a 1920s Dutch blossom, but place them on a modern exterior and they bring the setting to life.

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