How to Display Your House Number

Bold Number
Your house number sign should be clearly visible to all
Why number your house? A paper published by Cambridge University argues that house numbers are more than just ways to make the post office’s job easier. House numbers facilitated huge a range of activities, from census-taking, to military enlistment, to law enforcement. House numbers became less political and more utilitarian over the years. Numbered houses are an easy way to give a place a unique identifier, making life easier for emergency services workers, your visitors, and commercial interests alike.
Using clear house numbers is important! It makes life easier for your guests, for your postman, and for emergency service workers who might need to find you. The rules for displaying house numbers vary, depending on where you live. However, the following recommendations will ensure that your house number is placed where it can be seen by emergency responders, postal services, courier companies, and so on.

Placement :

  • The house number should be visible from the road or street in front of the property. As such, the house number sign should be placed on the side of the house that faces the road.
  • If the house is too far from the road, the house number should be displayed on the mailbox.
  • There's a chance that you or someone else may park their vehicle in front of the mailbox; in this case, it’s suitable to paint your house number on your driveway. The number should be painted on the side of the driveway that faces the moving traffic.
  • If your mailbox isn’t in front of your house or near your driveway, post a house number sign in your yard.
  • The house number, whether displayed on the house, mailbox, or curb, should be unobstructed by objects such as tree limbs, bushes, debris, or decorations.
  • A house number sign should be placed in close proximity to the porch light so it can be seen at night. When that isn’t possible, invest in reflective house address signs.

Color :

Reflective House Numbers
Overglow can be blinding, and makes it difficult for anyone to see your house number.
  • The color of the numbers should be in sharp contrast to their background. Certain colors on reflective address number signs may glow too much under headlights, which can overshadow the number on the sign. This is a major cause of concern for emergency personnel.
  • White numbers on a black background is an ideal combination of colors when displaying the number on the house, mailbox, or curb.
  • Brass or bronze numbers should be avoided – they don’t offer optimum visibility at night.
  • When posting your address number or a sign on the mailbox, don’t use the same colors as the mailbox. Stickers with shiny silver numbers on a black background should be avoided, as well.
  • You can also mount a sign above or below your mailbox.

Design:

Horizontal House Number Sign
  • Use Arabic numerals. Writing numbers in words should be avoided.
  • Most local governments recommend displaying numbers horizontally.
  • While the color of the numbers and the background should contrast with each other, the alignment of the two should be the same. Avoid vertical signs with numbers aligned horizontally (and vice versa).

Size :

  • Always make sure you buy a sign that fits the post. Oversized signs are aesthetically unpleasing, and undersized signs are hard to read.
  • House numbers should be big and bold. According to the the International Building Code each number must be a minimum of 4 inches (102 mm) in height with a minimum stroke width of 0.5 inch (12.7 mm).
  • While the color of the numbers and the background should contrast with each other, the alignment of the two should be the same. Avoid vertical signs with numbers aligned horizontally (and vice versa).
Your address number can be the difference between life and death. House numbers can greatly assist fire-fighters or paramedics in arriving on time in times of emergency. Fires, crimes, or accidents in your house or the roads outside will all require the speedy arrival of emergency workers.
For specifics of your city or town’s requirements for address numbers, refer to its building code ordinances.

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