03 August, 2011

Home By The Numbers

Uh-yup, I’m just another one of those aging baby boomers and my eyes ain’t what they used to be.  Of course, I blame my failing eyesight on my son and daughter.  Each time they have given me a new grandchild, (I have four) my eyes have taken a dive.  I didn’t have to wear glasses before the first one was born, now I can’t find my way around the house without the specs. I guess I'm descending into geezerhood.

So I’m out looking for this house a few weeks ago and after driving by three times, burning up expensive gas--I still can’t find the address I was given.  One house had three numbers nailed to a tree but it was a neighborhood with four-number addresses and next two houses had no numbers visible on the entry.  By looking at the addresses across the street, I made a deduction at which house I had my appointment.  When I pulled up to the house I finally saw the address plaque under the bushes next to the driveway.  The numbers were about 2 inches high on a rusted black background that blended well into the shadows and while I might be due for a new prescription for glasses, it was mighty hard to see that plaque from the street in daylight.

Now think for a moment about emergency responders (Fire-EMS-Police) trying to find that house address in the dark, if the numbers hard are to find—it can cause delays.  I’ve decided to display my address in a couple of places. The original set (3 inches tall) is still right next to my front door near the doorbell button.  The new set (6 inches tall) is at the end of my porch roof under a light.  It’s well illuminated at night when I turn on the porch light and the pizza delivery guy said he really likes that.  In my hometown, the city code (see it below) doesn’t say the address has be right at the front door, it should be near by.
Another thing that I see a lot is the house numbers that have been painted over with the siding color.  Once the sun goes down, they just blend into the wall and are invisible. 

     Every dwelling structure shall have the correct street number of such dwelling prominently displayed so that it is clearly visible at all times from the street in front of the property.  The numbers shall be numerals, not in script, and they must be at least three (3) inches high and in contrasting colors.  Such numbers shall be placed in close proximity to the main front entrance to the building.  (Cleveland Heights OH Ord. 67-1971)

Many communities will ticket a homeowner for not having an address on the house and the Post Office can refuse to deliver the mail when the address is missing.  If you don't have a roadside mailbox and the house sits back a long way from the street or is hidden from view by plantings or terrain, a post with the address should used at the end of the driveway. So just maybe, this old geezer will be able to find your house.