February 1, 2023

house number, personal expression, neighborhoods, safety


I'm an observant person.  It's in my nature to notice things, sometimes odd things.   

So, one summer day when I was outside for a walk, I began to scrutinize the house numbers in our neighborhood—I know, you're thinking weird.  But here me out.  I was surprised to find quite a variety.  As you can expect, many were standard and fairly common, "nothing special" as my mother-in-law would have said. Though others reflected the homeowner's personality.

Come along with me and let's have a look.  Below are photos of houses in my neighborhood.  

This house number is difficult to see.  What does this number say about the house owner's style?  


And this one near the garage door instead of by the front door?


Here's another:


And this one:



And lastly:  

                                                                          Laid back. 

The variety of house numbers gives our neighborhood a welcoming, homey vibe.  But I get the feeling that I'm one of the few that even notices them.  They are probably one of the last details anyone would think about when buying or building a home.  And yet, the International Association of Certified House Inspectors (InterNACHI) has guidelines, especially so that emergency responders can locate them.

Here's their suggestions:   

  • Be sure numbers are visible (at least 5 or 6 inches tall) when approaching from either side of the house.
  • Remember script numbers or numbers that are spelled out can be difficult to discern. 
  • Use numbers that contrast with the background.  Brass or bronze numbers are difficult to see. 
  • Trim back shrubs or trees that hide numbers.   
  • Keep flags and decorations from covering up house numbers. 

Many neighbors could give a sh*t about following the recommendations.  I'm not judging them.  It's their choice.  Some people however, understand the importance of having house numbers that can be easily found.  And some of these neighbors had gotten a little fancy.  I've noticed folks had balanced readability and creativity.  They had combined safety with flair.  They found a way to thoughtfully flaunt their style.

À la prochaine! 

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