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Posted by Joseph     0 Comments Friday, April 22, 2016
Selecting House Numbers or a House Number Plaque

Selecting and installing house numbers for the home can be a daunting task “for some”. There are many styles, materials, and finishes available as well as sizes. Determining an appropriate installation location for your house numbers can add to the challenge.
Let us shine some light on some options and the task at hand.

I’m a bit of a “detail awareness personality” so I tend to notice everything from house numbers, mailboxes, and doorbells on a home or building. As I walk my dog in my own community, I sometimes entertain my mind by rating the wide variety of aesthetics of house numbers I see. My criterion includes considerations such as;

1) Is the style appropriate for the architecture of the home?

2) Is the size proportionate to the installation location or size of the building?

3) Is the finish in sync with other related elements such as the door hardware, doorbell, mailbox, door color, color of the home, or wood trim?

4) Oh….and the functionality (in this case readability).

At my lowest rating scale are house number stickers. I see it all too often. Gold and black angular stickers purchased from the local home store, and stuck on a door, mailbox, or wood trim. Vertical or angular positioning of the stickers does not help the look or functionality. It boggles the mind why someone would brand their home with crooked stickers when they are paying $1500 or more per month for the home.

At the high end of my rating scale is a thoughtful presentation of the home’s assigned number where the size, location, and overall cohesiveness of the aesthetic has a sensibility. It communicates pride in home ownership.

Where to begin….


Assess the best possible location for the numbers. Can they be seen from the distance? Sometimes it makes best sense to locate the numbers beneath or nearby a light fixture so they can be illuminated at night. Many municipals now have codes or established ordinances where the numeral height must be a minimum height. Check with your local municipal or village.

Individual Numbers Or Number Plaque?
One word here…”Contrast”!
Keep in mind that the finish or coloration of individual house numbers must be considerably darker or lighter than the background they will be mounted to in order to read them. Does the background have a pattern such as bricks or stonework with mortar lines in between? Generally, an even color or textured background will work best. A house number plaque can provide the maximum contrast you may need.

Ease Of Installation
How many numbers do you have? If you have 3 or more numbers, keep in mind that you will need to drill from 2 to 3 holes per number. And you will need to measure for and align every number, making it challenging to get them straight or level. House number plaques typically have only from 2 to 4 holes to contend with and getting a plaque to be level is much easier. Plaques also tend to have more options for personalization.

What is the style of the home? Is it Craftsman? Is it Tudor? Is it Contemporary? Try to “right-fit” the style of the house numbers or number plaque to the architectural style of the home. For example, if the home is Craftsman or Prairie in style, then there are many number fonts available in the Craftsman style. If the home is Contemporary in style, then consider a number font that is a sanserif font style. There are many number plaque designs available where the number font style takes a back seat to the overall architectural shape or style of the plaque and the plaque becomes a stylistic statement.

Is Bigger Better?
It is of course easier to see bigger numbers from the distance. But I profess that ease in visibility is more important. Contrast is the key. Think about the size of the home or building. Select a number or plaque size that looks and feels comfortable in relationship to the volume of the structure. Oversized numbers or plaque can look out of place on a smaller home. And just the opposite, too small can appear underwhelming and may not be functional on a larger home. If you are unsure, find a variety of numbers or plaque options online, print them out to scale or cut out pieces of paper to size and tape them up to the intended installation location. Or if you know how to use Photoshop (or know of someone who does), take a picture of the home, measure something on the home for scale, and insert the numbers to scale on the picture of the home. We do this all of the time for customers with lighting and it is a great visualization tool. Ask friends, family or your Designer for their opinion.

There are many finishes available these days from painted finishes; living finishes, to stainless steel. Paint finishes are typically powdercoat finishes, which are durable and will not change over time. A true oil rubbed bronze finish is a hand rubbed patina finish typically applied to copper, brass or bronze. If a lacquer finish coating is applied, then it will not change over time (unless it is a water-based lacquer). Living finishes have become very popular for a variety architectural styles. Living finishes allow the environment to naturally weather the material building a patina on its surface. A developed patina can be brown, greenish or both depending upon the material and chemicals used in the finishing process.

What is the overall plan? Will you be purchasing a new light fixture, door, mailbox, and doorbell? Or will you be keeping the existing? Will you be painting the door or trim? These are important considerations when selecting a finish. Commit to a theme and work towards it. For example, is your light fixture and door hardware an oil rubbed bronze? You may want to purchase new house numbers (or plaque), doorbell and mailbox in the same or similar finish. The goal effect should be an overall cohesiveness.
Installing numbers or number plaque is by far easiest when mounting to wood. Many people are weary about drilling into brick, stone, or stucco but sometimes there may not be any other option or it may be the best option. When installing onto brick, it is easier to drill into the mortar in between the brick. In either case a plastic or metal anchor should be used to screw into. Your local hardware store may provide some help in determining the best type of anchor. On uneven surfaces such as stucco, you can use a number of standard washers behind the numbers or plaque before attaching, in order to achieve an even appearance. Most importantly, measure-measure-measure and use a level!

That’s It!
Selecting appropriate house numbers or number plaque for your home is worthy of some consideration. Clear number identification is a safety issue, making it easier for emergency personnel to locate the home. It helps delivery personnel to locate the home easily as well as friends and family.

House numbers or number plaques can be a way of branding the home with style and sometimes personality. The number display is also a way to show pride in home ownership and validates your investment.

Oak Park Home & Hardware has hundreds of house number and house number plaque options available. Please let us know if we can help in your decision. We are here to help!
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Oak Park Home & Hardware specializes in lighting products in the spirit of Arts & Crafts, Mission, Prairie, Bungalow, English Tudor, Tudor Manor, and Spanish Revival styles.

We have developed unique relationships with many of our Craftsmen, and suppliers of products allowing customization for our customers. All at very competitive pricing!

© 2018 Oak Park Home & Hardware, Inc.
Oak Park Home & Hardware offer high quality lighting designs. We provide customized lighting solutions with manufacturers such as Arroyo Craftsman Lighting, Mica Lamp Company, 2nd Ave Lighting, and UltraLights Lighting.

We also offer quality lighting products with manufacturers such as Quoizel, James Mattson Coppercraft, and Lundberg Studios. Please check out our unique lighting designs in the style of Greene and Greene!

We offer handcrafted Mission style hardware, Craftsman style mailboxes, Arts & Crafts style house numbers and so much more. Please bookmark us!
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