When was the last time you thought about your mailbox or letterbox? If you are anything like most homeowners, it might have been a while. This is a shame because not only are letterboxes one of the first things you see when entering your residence, but they are also an essential element of your security system.
Upgrading your letterbox is not a decision you should take lightly, but it also isn’t a matter that you can simply put off until the last minute. If you need a little assistance when it comes to choosing and installing a new letterbox, here are six essential dos and don’ts to keep in mind.
1. DO: Research letterbox styles.
Before you install your letterbox, it is crucial that you spend some time doing research on the array of styles currently on the market to figure out which one will work for you and your home’s aesthetic preferences. You can choose from among freestanding letterboxes, fence-mounted letterboxes, or brick-in letterboxes (to name a few).
Additionally, if you often receive parcels, make sure you are looking for a letterbox that has a broad opening to ensure that you can securely accept parcel shipments.
Whichever one you choose, keep in mind that you want the design to flow naturally with the rest of your landscape design and the architecture of your house. By spending some time researching the style of letterbox you want, you can ensure that it operates as a design focal point, accentuating the style of your residence.
2. DON’T: Presume all materials are alike.
One of the gravest mistakes homeowners make when it comes to purchasing a new letterbox is presuming that all materials are alike — this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Not all materials are able to stand up against the elements with the same rigor or for the same length of time.
To ensure you are going to get the optimal lifespan out of your letterbox, think about what conditions it is going to have to endure. In some locations, that may mean plenty of boiling-hot days, while in other places, it may be consistently snowy winter mornings.
If you are looking for the most durable and reliable letterbox, it is recommended that you go for a metal or stone material such as stainless steel or sandstone.
3. DO: Consider security.
One of the most significant benefits of upgrading your letterbox is the increased security that can come along with it. Because your letterbox will be located close to the street outside your home, having the wrong set-up can make it an easy target for theft or vandalism. More frequently, homeowners and businesses alike fall victim to identity theft through unsecured letterboxes.
To reduce the likelihood of this happening to you, you want to hold your letterbox to the same standard that you do the rest of your home security products. Opt to get a lock-secured letterbox that will provide you with peace of mind while away from home. Additionally, purchase one from a company that also considers them in this manner.
Upgrading your letterbox will not just allow you to take advantage of new security measures that are often included in more modern styles. You are also showing potential vandals and thieves that you care about your letterbox and, therefore, regularly check it. This makes it less likely for someone to target your letterbox.
4. DON’T: Ignore postal service regulations.
Depending on where you live, you are going to have different postal service regulations dictating your choices of a letterbox. For example, many postal service regulations state what dimensions your letterbox must be, what materials it can be made from, and how it can be fixed to the post.
Additionally, specific locales may want all letterboxes to be the same color, or they may say that they must have a removable flag or a door to protect the mail. Generally, a post must not have more than two letterboxes attached to it, and they must be located at a certain distance from each other. You also are likely to be responsible for ensuring that you take care of any obstructions.
Whatever the regulations are for your neighborhood, make sure that you are considering them when choosing and installing a letterbox.
5. DO: Find a reputable supplier.
To ensure you are complying with postal service regulations in your area, it is best to work with a reputable supplier who knows the rules and has experience with creating and installing the appropriate letterboxes.
More than merely complying with the rules, working with a reputable supplier will give you access to the highest-quality letterboxes in terms of materials, security features, and design. They will be able to advise you on which product will work best for your needs, while also giving you up-to-date information on advancements in the letterbox industry.
You want to purchase from a supplier who prides themselves on customer service and who will be there to answer any questions that arise throughout the process. Don’t underestimate the benefits you can reap from speaking with someone who has insider’s knowledge.
6. DON’T: Procrastinate on updating your letterbox.
Unfortunately, too many homeowners spend a lot of time and money on other aspects of their home and neglect updating their letterbox. This can bring about pressing security issues, as well as make a property look less than appealing. After all, first impressions count.
Whether you are looking to put your house on the market, or just want to be proud of the place you drive home to each night, how your home looks from the outside dramatically influences whether or not it appears cared for and welcoming. You, your mail, and your garden deserve to have a beautiful letterbox!
Have you recently upgraded your letterbox? If so, what tips and tricks do you have to pass on to other readers who are looking to make the same home improvement? If not, what is stopping you from making the change? Let us know your thoughts and concerns regarding this topic in the comments below!
Jay Flavell is the General Manager at Sandleford Holdings. He has been working in the DIY & Home Improvement industry since 2007 and has vast experience sourcing and developing products from overseas suppliers in the Far East. Jay has also been successful dealing with a number of major DIY & Home Improvement retailers throughout his career.