Archive for November, 2010

House Numbers – Why You Need a Nice House Number

The importance of clear signage is often underestimated, but in reality your house number is the first chance your home has to make an impression and may actually save your life.

When you are planning the appearance of your home it is important to pay attention to the exterior as well as the interior. It is not enough to have a home that looks fantastic on the inside; you also need to make sure that your home gives the impression of being welcoming and well-maintained. There are a number of practical considerations that you need to think about when planning how to make the exterior of your home more welcoming and attractive.

If you are running a business you know how important signage can be. This is equally important with your home as well. If a sign such as your name and address numbers are clear and easy to read it can help friends, family and other visitors tell where you are living and make them feel welcome in your home. The right sign can add to the curb appeal of your home and a beautiful house plaque can draw buyers in and cause them to be much more interested in your home.

But beautiful house numbers, house plaques and address numbers are used by a group of people who are not limited to guests and potential home buyers. If there is a medical emergency going on or your home needs routine maintenance it makes it much easier for you to get the assistance you need if the people who are trying to assist you can tell where you live. In a medical emergency situation this may suddenly develop into a situation that is actually life or death.

You need to make sure that the style of house number you choose is easy to read and large enough to be noticed from a short distance or in conditions that may not make it easy to read a small or poorly designed sign. For example, a medical emergency may take place at night when it is difficult for an ambulance attendant or other important visitor to see what is going on.

Many of the same principles that apply to good curb appeal also apply to choosing the right porcelain enamel sign for your home. The farther away your home sits from the road the larger your house numbers or house plaques need to be. A set of small house numbers that do not stand out properly from the surrounding area may be difficult to read and because of this your home may get passed by several times before they realize where you live. In a medical emergency that time can be the difference between life and death.

It is also important to make sure that your house plaque or other signage will not dim or fade over time. A sign that is made out of something other than enamel may become difficult to read as the lettering wears away. A porcelain enamel sign, on the other hand, will not fade or lose its beautiful color since that color occurs throughout the porcelain enamel rather than only on the surface the way painted lettering and numbers will.

If you want to make sure that your home has beautiful and durable house numbers, or door numbers you need to look at Ramsign’s full range of porcelain enamel signs. They are made by hand and are fired at a very high temperature so that the enamel becomes durable and is permanently fused to the metal backing.

Porcelain Enamel – A Fascinating Story

Enamel icon of St. George from the 12th century.

Enamel icon of St. George from the 12th century.

Porcelain enamel has been widely used for signs during the last 150 years, but enameling actually dates back over 2000 years.

When you look at the fresh, modern look of an enamel sign it is hard to believe that the art of enameling metal is actually one that has been around for thousands of years. The same techniques that are used to make strong, colorful house plaques, address numbers and door signs have been used by many different cultures to create jewelry and other decorative items.

The process of creating an enamel sign, door sign or house plaque involves placing powdered glass on a metal backing and firing it at a high temperature. At high temperatures the glass will melt and fuse with the background. This creates a surface that is glossy and because the colors are an intrinsic part of the enamel they will not fade or dull over time. This gives them a distinct advantage over signs that are painted or which use other manufacturing techniques but which may be prone to fading or weather damage.

Although porcelain enamel is often placed on a metal backing when creating modern pieces it was not uncommon to find items that had enamel areas on a base of pottery and stone. This is because the act of applying powdered glass to a backing and then firing it could produce a coating that was durable, brilliantly colored and able to handle a variety of different uses. Items that use a metal base often had the advantage of being more durable than an item made from pottery.

Blue Enamel House Number

Blue Enamel House Number

In its earliest history, porcelain enamel techniques were used to create decorative and religious items. In the Middle Ages, it was not uncommon to find items that included the use of precious and semi-precious stones in the design. Some of the most famous enameled decorative items include Faberge eggs which are known for their intricate enamel work and use of precious gems. Many people are familiar with jewelry pieces that use the cloisonné technique which involves the creation of enameled areas that are separated by thin metal wire.

Because porcelain enamel techniques do produce such a glossy, flawless finish it is no wonder that they were used for display items such as signs and address numbers. In the 1850’s, European craftsmen were just beginning to create enamel signs. They soon became very popular and it was not unusual to find them on many houses and businesses in cities throughout Europe. They were expensive and time consuming to produce, however, and slowly the process of hand enameling became rarely used. Modern enameling techniques still involve mixing clear glass powder with small quantities of metal oxides before firing in order to create the beautiful colors which these pieces are known for.

Now, the interest that people are showing in hand enameling is growing again. For anyone who is interested in purchasing a sign or set of house numbers which are beautiful, intricately crafted and extremely durable the choice is clear. Hand enameled signs from Ramsign are designed to add class and beauty to your home while maintaining their color and design for many years to come.