Updated: June 8, 2015

Mailboxes - Mail Box

Ah, the humble mailbox. Even in this modern day of electronic email, most of us savor the walk down the driveway to the mailbox each afternoon. Unfortunately, we usually find junk mail and catalogs and bills, but the mailbox brings a feeling of nostalgia with it that can't be replaced by clicking away at a computer screen, reading and composing email. Some people have custom mailboxes, some people have community mailboxes in their apartment or condo complex. But if you are building a new house or replacing an old or damaged mailbox, you may be surprised at the choices available in mailbox design these days.

Most mailboxes are mounted on posts set into concrete, although there are also hanging models and special mailbox mounting systems. With the increased incidence of identity theft these days, many people are opting for locking mailboxes. Be sure to check with your local post office to find out what the options or requirements are when it comes to lockable mailboxes in your neighborhood. In any case, you should ALWAYS place outgoing mail in a LOCKED mail receptacle - identity theft often starts with stolen checks from outgoing mail. A lot of home improvement or hardware stores offer mailboxes for sale. You can stop by Home Depot or Lowes and see what they have in stock to get some ideas. Browse the best selling mailboxes here.

There are actually restrictions regarding mailboxes - their size, design, placement, etc. The US Postal Service covers these requirements. "Mailboxes must be placed so they can be safely and conveniently served by carriers without leaving their vehicles. They must be on the right-hand side of the road in the direction of travel of the carrier in all cases where traffic conditions are such that it would be dangerous for the carriers to drive to the left to reach the boxes, or where their doing so would constitute a violation of traffic laws and regulations. Generally, mailboxes should be installed with the bottom of the box at a vertical height of between 3-1/2 to 4 feet from the road surface, 6" - 8" from the front face of the curb to the mailbox door, and placed to conform to any additional state laws and regulations." There are three standard sizes and two styles of mailboxes (traditional and contemporary). Normally, any company manufacturing mailboxes has to meet the USPS specs, so any mailbox you buy should be within the standards. You can view the top rated residential mailboxes here.

Buying a New Mailbox

There are also a number of online sites where you can buy a mailbox, or just browse through the wide variety of mailboxes available. MailboxWorks.com offers both residential and commercial mailboxes. Decorative mailboxes, locking mailboxes, post mount, wall mount, address plaques, drop boxes - you've come to the right place. Their post mount systems include both locking and non-locking mailboxes. They have custom artwork mailboxes that can be personalized with your name and address, and they offer all sizes, including the larger sized mailboxes that can accomodate good size packages as well as normal letter and catalogs. They also offer a complete selection of name and address plaques that can be mounted on walls. Mailboxes.com is another good site, with rural mailboxes, classic mailboxes, decorative mailboxes, and column mailboxes (to name just a few categories). The company name is actually Salsbury Industries, and they have been manufacturing mailboxes for almost 70 years. They offer aluminum and brass and fiberglass mailboxes in a variety of designs and sizes. With their own manufacturing and warehouses, they can usually ship any product within 1 or 2 days.

SmithAndHawken.com offers some specialty mailboxes, like their hand-hammered copper designs, or their hand-painted flower designs ($79) (made of galvanized steel to be weatherproof).

Finally, check out MailBoxShoppe.com. Located in Long Island, NY this brick and mortar store has been selling mailboxes since 1993. But they also sell and ship mailboxes all over the US, and their website highlights mailboxes made by more than 30 mailbox manufacturers. They carry all their own inventory which means orders ship faster. You can also call them with questions or orders - not something every website offers. Check out the most popular wall mount mailboxes here.