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Choosing House Number Designs

The numbers that identify your house may be an afterthought unless you’re redoing your porch, but they serve an important purpose. They’re also a good feature to incorporate into your decorations! 

But why do we even use house numbers? Do they serve a purpose? What if you want to leave them off? And how should we choose them? We’ll look at all these questions in this article. We hope you find it helpful!

Why Numbers Are So Important

House numbers aren’t just cute decorations. They’re essential to help identify your house for Amazon deliveries, UberEats drivers, and good old-fashioned letter carriers. They also help visitors figure out which home is yours.

But even if you don’t want anyone stopping by and don’t get any deliveries, you still want to have your house’s number clearly shown. First responders may need them at some point to figure out where you live, or to get their bearings to find other addresses!

In most places, that final reason is the basis of a legal requirement that your house number be prominently displayed. But since you have to do it anyway, you might as well make it look good!

Of course, the numbers don’t always have to be on the house itself. Sometimes they can be on a roadside mailbox or post. They might also appear on a gate. You may have to check local regulations to see where you’re allowed to place the numbers.

For our purposes below, we’re going to assume they’re mounted on your house or an attached structure, like the garage. However, you can easily apply these principles anywhere.


For all of the reasons we’ve mentioned, your house numbers should be large enough to be read from the street. This also helps cut down on the number of people approaching your house by mistake because they couldn’t see the numbers.

Of course, the size depends on how far the numbers will be from the street. The further away, the larger the numbers should be. (Generally, larger is always ok, but then you get into questions of style).

Here are some guidelines to follow when choosing the right digits:

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You should also carefully consider the color of your house numbers. Sure, you want them to look good. But you also want them to be visible.

They should contrast with the wall they’ll be mounted on. Fortunately, contrasting colors often look great together!

Reflective letters are great, too. Nowadays, there are a lot of reflective paints that aren’t “obvious.” They don’t have to look like road construction crew vests! Instead, pigments in the paint subtly help them show up even in low light.


There are a lot of great materials for house numbers available. Metal, wood, and even plastic can be functional, durable, and stylish. Once you hang the numbers, they don’t have to contend with much other than the weather. But you do want to be sure that they’re durable enough for your climate and won’t fade, rust, splinter, or otherwise fall apart.

Line of Sight

Since your numbers are there to identify your home, you want to make sure they’re in a direct line of sight from the street, too. Try not to hang them where they’ll be blocked by trees or shrubs, or even by your vehicle when it’s parked in the driveway.

house numbers partially obscured by ivy
This home probaby gets a lot of lost visitors since the house number isn’t clearly visible!


It’s also helpful – especially for emergency services, but also for visitors – if your house numbers are illuminated in some way. 

If they’re near your door, you might find that a porch light is sufficient. But if they’re elsewhere, you may want to add some kind of spotlight – even if you don’t use it regularly.

Many great house number fixtures come mounted with a light built in to provide illumination from the back, above, or below.


Choosing the right house numbers isn’t all dry, boring business, though. You’ll find plenty of options that will suit your style and your home’s style. 

We suggest that you be sure the numbers will be legible. Simple, clear designs are better so they can be easily identified and understood.


House numbers are helpful and probably a legal requirement where you live. But they’re also an extension of your front porch design and a way to express your stylistic preferences. Be sure they’re functional, but don’t shy away from making them look great, too!

About Us

Tom and Sarah Greenwood are the dynamic duo behind “Yards Improved,” dedicated to the joys and challenges of gardening, pool maintenance, and lawn and patio care. With Tom’s passion for landscape design and Sarah’s enthusiastic approach to gardening, they share their journey of transforming their backyard into a thriving retreat. We strive to offer practical advice aimed at helping you enhance your outdoor space.