House Numbers

Something most homeowners never think of is the appearance of their house numbers. By house numbers, I mean the numbers displayed for the home’s address. Often times, house numbers aren’t present at all, and it isn’t uncommon for at least one number to be missing, loose or otherwise damaged.

House numbers are very important because they are how first responders (firemen, paramedics, etc) identify homes in an emergency situation. Missing, hidden, damaged or incomplete numbers can make a big difference when it matters most.

Many local authorities have begun passing ordinances with certain requirements for house numbers; but even if your municipality hasn’t, you should be diligent about it yourself to ensure your family’s safety.

So, here are some general guidelines to follow for your own house numbers. First, the numbers should be located in a clear location at the front of the house (such as a porch pillar) that is facing the road that the home’s address is listed on. This may seem obvious, but some homes that exist on corner lots have their numbers on a side facing another road – especially when the driveway and/or most common entrance is connected to the side road. In terms of size, each number should be at least 4 inches high – and preferably at least 6 inches high – to ensure they are readily visible. The width of each number should be at least a half inch, although wider is obviously better. The color of the numbers should contrast with the background they are against – again, to ensure they are clearly visible. If the siding is dark, for example, the numbers should be white or another light color. Along those lines, the numbers should either be capable of being lit or have a reflective surface so they are visible at night. Lastly, it is important to ensure that vegetation (bushes, trees, ivy, etc) is not covering any portion of the numbers from any visible angle.

It’s easy to forget about seemingly small things like our home’s house numbers because we wouldn’t have a need to identify our own home. We need to think, though, about all the factors that could come into play, especially in emergency situations. Take a moment to go outside and look at your house numbers to ensure they meet the guidelines listed here. If they don’t, take the time to make them visible and secure. Doing so may make all the difference at some point down the road.

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Author: hillinspections

I am a Certified Master Inspector (CMI) and the owner and operator of Hill Property Inspections LLC, the top-rated inspection company in the greater Johnstown, PA area, based out of western Pennsylvania. I specialize in property inspections and environmental testing services and have a passion for helping my own clients and other families in learning to properly maintain their homes. I’m also the owner of Hill Pest Control, LLC and a pest management professional committed to helping our clients rid their homes and businesses of unwanted pests. I am an Army veteran, former State Farm Insurance Agent, and real estate investor with experience in all facets of real estate construction, transaction and insurance. I am also the founder and President of the Southwestern PA Chapter of the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI) and an affiliate member of the Cambria-Somerset Association of Realtors (CSAR).

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