Members’ Guide to House Numbers

Last year, our doors were replaced during HIP– and with the original doors, away went the historic, gold-on-glass numbers for our unit!  Those original numbers were both elegant and unobtrusive, and I decided to re-apply gold numbers on our doors. It’s not hard or expensive to do– and so much nicer than vinyl stick on numbers.

Before giving instructions for how to apply gold letters on glass, let’s examine the requirements for house numbers in general.  House numbers are a practical matter– most importantly, emergency service workers need numbers to find your house. Universal building code includes them, and individual municipalities regulate them.  (The GHI member handbook does not have any rules about house numbers.) According to building code, you must have house numbers on the side of your house that faces the street, and also on any side of your house that faces a fire road, alley or access lane.  House numbers should be 4-6 inches high, and should visually contrast with the surface on which they are mounted.  And, lastly, numbers should be clearly visible from the street– not hidden by overgrown shrubbery. ( Continue reading “Members’ Guide to House Numbers”

Tips for HIP

gray nails beside beige wooden planks and hammers
We were part of the 2017 HIP cohort for our frame home. After our experience and listening to those of other members, I have compiled a list of Tips for HIP.  Please join in the chat to share additional tips and suggestions.

We selected only one optional improvement – covering and sealing our trash door which was already sealed by a previous owner, but the unusable door remained. With a comparison of winter 2016-2017 versus winter 2017-2018, our house maintained 8 degrees warmer (we only use 3 of our 5 baseboard heaters) while our electricity bill averaged plus or minus $15 from the previous winter. With a bill that was relatively the same, our house was warmer and we were significantly more comfortable. Continue reading “Tips for HIP”

Opinion: One Member’s Insight on Crawl Space Improvements

This year, after GHI Members voted to approve asbestos remediation in frame homes, contractors began that work alongside the crawl space improvements already scheduled through the Homes Improvement Program (HIP). These two projects are different and are being carried out by two separate contracting companies. While the asbestos remediation is ahead of schedule, the crawl space improvements have fallen months behind schedule. As a result, many courts will have their insulation removed because of the asbestos remediation, but the insulation WILL NOT BE REPLACED UNTIL SPRING 2019. GHI Members without crawl space insulation will endure winter with colder homes and/or higher electricity bills.


Crawl space work began in my court on October 24, 2018. We were not given prior notice of the impending work nor what it would entail. The first step of the asbestos removal was cleaning which resulted in extremely loud noises, shaking, and odors within our unit. We reached out to Tim Goins, the now-departed GHI employee in charge of this project, and were told this was normal and to be expected; expected for him, but not for us nor other Members as we were never given notification before work started. Mr. Goins then explained that the asbestos remediation project was a 3-step process. Cleaning was the first step and entailed removing old vapor barrier, insulation, trash, and other debris. The second step would be the asbestos removal. The third and final step would be part of the crawl space improvement project and included encapsulating the asbestos, installing the vapor barrier, and installing the insulation. Mr. Goins told me this process would last three weeks and was scheduled to be completed the week of Thanksgiving. After reaching out to Joe Wiehagan, Director of HIP, we were told this information was incorrect and that the crawl space insulation crew was so far behind schedule that we would not have insulation installed until mid-February 2019 at the earliest. Continue reading “Opinion: One Member’s Insight on Crawl Space Improvements”