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How-To: Display Your House Numbers

There's nothing more frustrating than a late delivery (especially if it's 2 a.m. and you've got the munchies). It's easy to blame UPS or your pizza delivery person, or whoever you're waiting for, but believe it or not, you could be at fault for your own delivery woes. When I say that I mean if your house numbers are poorly placed, you could be sending your guests, delivery people, and service men on a wild goose chase. Here are a few simple things to consider that will maximize the visibility of your house numbers from the street:

  • Put your numbers horizontally on the side of your mailbox facing traffic, not the door or the nontraffic side.
  • Put your numbers in a well-lit area above eye level close to your front door. Centered above the front door is best.
  • Make sure that no trees or bushes are blocking the view of the numbers from the street.
  • If your front door recedes, just place the number on the house itself, not the door.
  • You should also paint your numbers on the street curb about two feet from the driveway towards your house, with the number facing the street.

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  • Be sure not to park your car in front of the curb numbers, and brush away any leaves or debris.
  • Pick a color that contrasts with the number's background. If your house is white, choose black numbers. If your mailbox is green, choose red numbers, etc. If your house is brick, white numbers will show up well.
  • A lighted house number is ideal.
  • If you have motion detector porch lights, the numbers will not be visible from the street. Put a porch light on a timer to go on at night instead.
  • Brass or bronze numbers are practically invisible, unless the sunlight happens to hit it at a precise angle.
  • On the house or curb, the numbers should be at least four inches tall, and on the mailbox, at least three inches tall.
  • Choose a bold, sans-serif font. Serifs, cursives, etc. can make sixes look like eights, ones like sevens, etc.
  • Don't display the number vertically or diagonally. People read from left to right.


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