Residential Mailboxes

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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You may not think of residential mailboxes as much of an architectural style statement, but it's worth doing so. (True enough, the USPS does dictate dimensions for mail slots and all types of post-mount mailboxes, of course. It does so with safe mail delivery in mind.) The function half of the residential mailboxes equation focuses on protecting mail from the elements between the time the mail carrier drops it off and you take it inside.

Most mailboxes are made of aluminum, in large part because it's durable and doesn't rust--certainly not if it's powder-coated. This treatment involves painting the aluminum while it's electrically charged, which ensures the best possible adhesion. This is important because a good finish will last as many as 20 or more years in severe weather conditions, from subzero temperatures to salt air to desert sun. Copper and brass lacquers protect those metals well, but they're still more fragile and need more maintenance.

Residential Mailboxes as a Design Element

If you're thinking about a custom mailbox as an exterior design element, you've hit on a great idea. Maybe you're an HGTV fan. Shows like Curb Appeal and Design on a Dime are right up your alley. Residential mailboxes are an easy and inexpensive way to put your thumbprint on your home, and can be a lot of fun as well.

Maybe you're a serious animal lover. A mailbox topped off by a tasteful cat, dog, deer, or squirrel sculpture might be just the tone you want to set. Painted mailboxes are a more restrained approach you might want to think about. Perhaps you're thinking more along the lines of echoing the architectural style of your house. Whether you have a wall-mounted mailbox on the porch or a post-mounted mailbox at the end of the driveway, your design options are endless. Express yourself!


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