Blog Description

A French-Inspired Garden and Home by Judith Stringham

New Address Sign | Country House

Thursday, December 28, 2023

Addresses are hard to find for houses along rural roads in the countryside. Half of the mailboxes with house addresses are not on the same side of the street as the house since all boxes are on one side of the road. Our mailbox with our house number stands across the country road to our house. 

Seeing our house street number wasn't a problem for over 30 years since the only people visiting us were personal friends and family. Whenever someone new was coming to our house, we gave them explicit instructions and directions about how to find our house. 

But, with the explosion of online shopping in recent years, FedEx and UPS delivery drivers need to find our house. Unfortunately, the drivers sometimes deliver our packages to our neighbors across the street where our mailbox stands next to theirs or to neighbors down the road. 

Our cedar house sits on two acres. We are lucky some delivery drivers find the house and deliver our packages without a problem. 

New Address Sign 

Country House 

Drivers miss our house for three reasons. 

The house sits about 75 feet from the country road, well back from the line-of-sight of drivers.

Three layers of deciduous trees separate the house from the road and hide the house from view. The first row of trees are along the ditch adjacent to the country road. The second line of trees are about 50 feet from the road inside a circular driveway. The third group of trees are next to the house in a raised stonewall landscaping bed. 

The front door sits in shadows well back from the front of the house between the main house and the garage. Any house numbers are hidden from the road. 

When the oak trees are fully leafed out, the three lines of trees hide the house from the road as seen in this photo. 

Previously, we added our house numbers vertically to a post near the end of our gravel driveway, but drivers still missed our house and delivered packages to neighbors.  

We needed a large street address sign with our house numbers big enough for drivers to read from the road. A large cedar wood fence panel now holds a house address sign with large numbers and words identifying our street address. The above photo shows the fence panel just after construction, but before the project was finished.  

The fence panel is 4' wide and about 4½' to the top of the fence boards. The posts on either end are a little taller than 5'. 

We painted the wood a pale gray color, that looks white in the photos, to protect the wood. We chose a bright, light color to create a high contrast between the blue street address sign and the wood background. 

I ordered the street address sign from the internet when the signs were on sale. The sign, made by Montague Metal, comes in several styles, several background colors, and 3-4 accent colors for the border and numbers. I chose the Arch Lawn style with dimensions about 24" wide and 14" tall. Once the sign arrived, I changed my plan from inserting the sign into the ground with the included stakes to mounting it on a large fence panel. Predrilled holes in the sign to attach the stakes to the sign were perfect for attaching the sign to the fence panel using screws.

A large concrete planter from a local home improvement store sits in front of the fence panel. 

I love how it looks! 

The house numbers are big enough to read from the road. The metal sign color is sea blue with gold, and the sign includes the country road name which is camouflaged for privacy on the internet. 

An added bonus is the fence panel is big enough to hide our large garbage can which has always been an eyesore. You have to love a project that solves two issues.

The panel was finished in November in time to decorate for Christmas. Fresh-cut cedar from our woods and horse apples collected from roadside ditches fill the concrete planter for perfect country Christmas decorations. 

A view from the road shows the new large house numbers are visible to drivers! 

More landscaping is needed. Two large 3"-4" diameter wild grapevines are growing up into a nearby tree. The trees along the ditch were "trimmed" by the electrical company late this summer, and the grapevines in the trees are dead. We will remove the large vines and cut off the vines at ground level, preserving the roots. 

Look closely at the sloped ditch to see lots of new green growth that came up after the late fall rains. New grapevine leaves have sprouted all over the ditch which will help prevent erosion and hold the soil in place in the ditch. 

The plans are to add a line of cut limestones along the gravel driveway as a border to the road to hold the pea gravel in place. The limestone border will be similar to an existing border shown above on the pea gravel cross drive in our front yard.

Additional cut limestones will form a short stone wall around the new fence panel. The new low stone wall will form a level border, with dirt filled in to also level the ground around the fence panel. You can see the heavy concrete planter currently sits on unlevel ground in previous photos. 

The existing concrete planter will sit inside the low stone wall. Right now, I'm thinking native drought-tolerant plants that go dormant in winter will be planted in the concrete planter. That will allow me to decorate the concrete planter for Christmas each year. 

After all the landscaping and stone borders are finished, we will add solar-powered flood lights in the ground to illuminate the house address after dark. We country folks are now being serviced by pizza delivery and Door Dash! Those drivers need to see our address after dark.