Technological advancements — the Internet, in particular — paved the way for a more digital method of sending and receiving messages. From electronic mail to instant messaging, there are now more ways to express your thoughts for your loved ones or receive your utility bills.
Taking this into account, one would think that there is no need for a structure to serve as a receptacle for all your mail. However, the truth is that plenty of people consider a letterbox to be an integral part of their home.
This is because the fact remains that this iconic piece serves not just as a mere receptacle of letters and postcards — it also holds many memories and traditions about how people lived their lives many years ago, and exhibits how they hold similar values close to their heart to this day.
If you’re planning to buy a letterbox, you should make sure that you fully understand the importance of this neat piece of mounted furniture, as well as the important factors you should consider when choosing the kind of letterbox you need.
The Importance of Letterboxes
Letterboxes hold centuries of tradition and memories. In fact, one photo snapping event showcased how the letterbox can provide insight about a person based on what it looks like and how it matches the house it is attached in.
In other parts of the world, like the United Kingdom, letterboxes ensure that parcels are kept safe from exposure, damage and theft. To be more specific, front door letterboxes are popular as a means of receiving parcel in the UK without the need to venture outside their homes.
In Australia, a letterbox is also considered an important piece of the home security system. It prevents other people from accessing important mail and valuable items delivered, and has even grown into a more high-tech piece of equipment.
For parcel delivery, letterboxes have been developed to be more secure so that the courier can leave packages inside using a code that can only be used once. This means that the continued use of letterboxes is helping the e-commerce industry grow, albeit indirectly.
Functionality aside, letterboxes also add to the aesthetic of any property. In fact, these are considered as a key addition to enhance your home’s kerb appeal — something that can prove to be very useful if you are looking to sell your home in the future.
5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Letterbox
When you’re planning to have a letterbox mounted somewhere in your property, you should pay very close attention to five important things: the materials used, style, design, mount, and position. These will help boost your property’s kerb appeal while ensuring the optimal functionality of your letterbox.
The material used to make the letterbox is an important consideration since it will affect its durability.
Those made from metal or stainless steel are very popular since they are sturdier, especially under harsh weather conditions. A steel letterbox is also relatively fire resistant and can complement structures with a modern or industrial-themed exterior.
On the other hand, wood letterboxes are best suited for a more traditional abode. These don’t have the same level of durability as their steel counterpart, so these letterboxes often have a roof of their own or are installed along the front door. That is, unless you opt for a letterbox made from a kind of timber that has been modified to enhance its resistance to damage caused by moisture and UV rays.
Letterbox styles typically vary from traditional to more modern ones. When choosing one for your home, it is important to ask yourself first whether you want the letterbox to stand out or simply blend in with the overall aesthetic of your property. Try to imagine how your home’s façade will look like with a certain style of letterbox installed and decide if it is what you want.
If you’re after emphasis and want something that will boldly express who lives in the house, you can opt for a free-standing letterbox that offer flexibility in style. Alternatively, if you choose to make the receptacle blend in, then the post-mounted letterbox is the best choice for you.
Free-standing and post-mounted letterboxes are only two kinds of mounts that you can choose from. Many homeowners opt for fence-mounted letterboxes because of their sleek appeal and resistance to vandalism. These can also exude a more elegant vibe if the letterbox is custom-made to fit the size and appearance of the existing fence for a perfectly flush finish.
Other options you may consider are the wall-mounted letterbox or the post-mounted letterbox. The former entails integrating the letterbox into the wall of your home while the latter, as its name suggests, consists of a post that holds the letterbox in place. A post-mounted letterbox is used best in safer neighbourhoods as it can be susceptible to vandalism.
The positioning of your letterbox also makes a big difference in its functionality and ability to enhance the property’s aesthetic.
For instance, post-mounted and free-standing letterboxes are often set up across the yard so that the postman can easily access it. However, this means that you would have to cross your yard to secure your mail.
Meanwhile, door-, fence-, and wall-mounted letterboxes offer you the convenience of not having to walk too far to get your own mail, but may not offer much when it comes to enhancing the property’s kerb appeal. The bottom line is to think about your priorities and understand how well the letterbox can improve your way of living, one way or another.
After deciding on the material, style, mount, and position, you are now faced with limitless design possibilities to choose from. To make it easier, you should remember to base this decision on why you are adding a letterbox to your property in the first place. After that, you can already proceed with the more specific details like the width of the slots (narrow or wide), its size, and level of security it can provide.
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.
Beau Flavell has been a Product & Account Manager for Sandleford Holdings since July 2017. He completed his VCE at Brighton Grammar School and also holds an A-Class Electrician License. Beau has been working on developing a new range of innovative letterboxes and currently lives in Melbourne, Australia.