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When was the last time you thought about your mailbox? If you are anything like most homeowners, it might have been a while. This is a shame because not only are mailboxes one of the first things you see when entering your residence, but they are also an essential element of your security system. A nice mailbox could even increase the value of your property by improving its curb appeal.
Upgrading your mailbox 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 mailbox, here are six essential dos and don’ts to keep in mind.
1. DO: Research mailbox styles
Before you install your mailbox, 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 the freestanding mailbox, fence-mounted mailboxes, or brick-in mailboxes (to name a few).
Additionally, if you often receive parcels, make sure you are looking for a mailbox 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 mailbox 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 mailbox 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 mailbox, 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 look at valve boxes, for example, they’re all made of extremely durable materials that can endure any type of harsh weather. IT should be the same with mailboxes.
If you are looking for the most durable and reliable mailbox, 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 mailbox is the increased security that can come along with it. Because your mailbox 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 mailboxes.
To reduce the likelihood of this happening to you, you want to hold your mailbox to the same standard that you do the rest of your home security products. Opt to get a lock-secured mailbox 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. Check out our guide on how to pick the best CCTV cameras for home security as well.
Upgrading your mailbox 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 mailbox and, therefore, regularly check it. This makes it less likely for someone to target your mailbox.
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 mailbox. For example, many postal service regulations state what dimensions your mailbox must be, what materials it can be made from, and how it can be fixed to the post.
Additionally, specific locales may want all mailboxes 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 mailboxes 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 mailbox.
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 mailbox.
More than merely complying with the rules, working with a reputable supplier will give you access to the highest-quality mailbox 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 mailbox industry.
You want to purchase from a supplier who prides itself 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 knowledge.
6. DON’T: Procrastinate on updating your mailbox
Unfortunately, too many homeowners spend a lot of time and money on other aspects of their homes and neglect updating their mailbox. 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 mailbox!
Have you recently upgraded your mailbox? 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 in dealing with a number of major DIY & Home Improvement retailers throughout his career.