Address number

Garden Clippings for Sept 30, 2023

Where do you live?

Whether you live at 123 Main Street or the third house past the corn crib on the 9th concession, your municipal address is essential for wayfinding.  Essential for the UPS driver to find your home to drop off your latest Amazon purchase, and essential for emergency vehicles to find your place if you need help.

For many, a simple black row of numbers adjacent to the front door or above the garage door will do the trick just fine, but these days, address numbers are often used to enhance curb appeal with the realm of options as vast as your creativity.

Those looking for ideas on a nifty address sign can get instant inspiration on the big Web.  Pinterest is an obvious source while Houzz is perhaps more architecturally focused.  When I browse these sites for clients, I won’t copy an idea, but will find inspiration, then modify to suit the home, landscape, neighbourhood and the homeowner’s personality.

The materials of choice for structure are wood, stone, metal and brick.  Wood has the advantage of being lighter, flexible, and most suited for the do it yourselfer.  Wood can be left natural or painted to suit the décor.  If using wood, be prepared for a shelf life of a decade or two.

Metal is long-lasting and with selective design and colour, will likely be your most unique option.  Galvanized metal, aluminum or stainless steel will give a contemporary feel, while metal left to rust has a certain appeal of its own.

Natural stone or brick gives a sense of permanence or longevity.  The options for natural stone are endless, ranging from flagstone to armour stone to granite boulder.

For the actual numbers, a trip to the local hardware store might do the trick but will give limited options for size and font style.  The stock black colour can be changed to suit your taste, but the standard 6 inch size might be too small to make a statement.

For my home address sign, I found a local fabricating friend to make numbers that are 12 inches high, with a thin profile.  Large sized numbers are also available from on-line sellers.

When installing numbers on a stone background, don’t install flush with the surface, but leave a half inch or more space between the number and the surface behind.  Large numbers will often include spacers for easy installation.  The resulting shadow makes the number far more visible.

Another option is to have an engraver etch numbers permanently on the stone.  You will likely want to paint the numbers black or white for extra effect.

To finish your creation, add plants around the address sign.  If there is no street lighting, consider landscape lighting for evening benefit, particularly for winter when days are short.