5 Tips for Choosing an Entrance Mailbox

8 min

Emails and messages in instant messengers have replaced a huge amount of paper correspondence, but humanity will hardly be able to completely abandon it in the coming years. Utility bills, periodicals, important letters from government agencies and banks still come in paper form, and that’s not counting promotional brochures. For all this, mailboxes are installed at each entrance. Probably, each of us is familiar with this simple design, but, nevertheless, not everyone thinks that the boxes are different. Some, for example, are deformed a month after installation and open with a simple paper clip or with a slight blow of the palm, while others are protected from burglary and advertising. So it’s not as easy as you might think. Let’s deal with the intricacies of choosing a mailbox for the entrance.

Types of mailboxes

What is a mailbox? This is a container for letters, newspapers and other correspondence; the postman and the addressee directly have access to it. The mention of the first mailbox dates back to the 16th century. Then in Florence, boxes with a gap at the top were installed near the main church communities. Anyone could send an anonymous letter informing about a possible enemy of the people. Many years have passed, but the very idea of ​​a mailbox has not undergone significant changes.

All mailboxes are divided into two fundamentally different types:

  • for outgoing letters, these are the boxes that hang in post offices;

  • for incoming correspondence – those boxes in which postmen drop all correspondence intended for a specific addressee.

Incoming mail can be dropped by postal employees into a cell in a subscription cabinet. These are installed in post offices, and a person needs to go there from time to time and check letters. Not very convenient, but nothing will definitely get lost and will not be stolen by hooligans. This type of mailbox is often used by legal entities, as well as individuals who are very worried about the safety of their letters and newspapers. Much more popular have become mailboxes installed in the immediate vicinity of the addressee’s residence. Yes, yes, these are the very boxes that meet us at the entrance to the entrance. We will talk about them.

Entrance mailboxes can be divided into several types:

  • single-section, or individual. They are rarely used in apartment buildings. This is an option for private homes and offices. However, in some entrances you can see similar items. Some tenants just want to stand out. Someone receives a lot of correspondence and prudently installs a larger box so that the paper does not wrinkle in a standard cell of a multi-compartment box. There are also private entrepreneurs and legal entities, they receive more correspondence and put forward increased requirements for the security of their mailbox, and you can put a more reliable lock in an individual locker;

  • multi-section boxes are classics of the genre. They are usually placed in orderly rows immediately after the front door, or on the staircase between the first and second floors. As a rule, vertical boxes are used, the number of sections will differ, ranging from 4 to 10, but any configuration can be created to order. Horizontal placement of boxes is extremely rare, and then only in small houses. Each drawer door has an apartment number and a keyhole. Correspondence gets inside through the slot provided for this. Usually the doors of the drawers are made deaf, and in order to understand if there is something inside, a person needs to open the drawer and look. There are more sophisticated models with a transparent window. The addressee will immediately see if there are new letters in the mailbox. This is an analogue of the indicator of new messages in a smartphone. The transparent insert is made of durable plastic, but even despite the resistance of the material to mechanical damage, such boxes are recommended to be placed in entrances with a concierge;

  • The anti-vandal mailbox looks very similar to an ordinary vertical multi-sectional mailbox, but if you look closely, you cannot find slots for correspondence in it. Such a hole can be used not only by the postman, but also by criminals to steal letters, as well as to distribute advertisements. All risks are taken into account in the design of the anti-vandal box. How does correspondence get into such a structure? It’s simple. The postman has a key to a whole section of boxes, he opens them, throws them into each letter and closes the entire section. The addressee can open only his own mailbox with his key. Another difference is thicker steel, which cannot be crushed with a light blow. In addition, the locks are used more burglary than in conventional boxes. It turns out that annoying ads will not get into your box, and it will be very difficult to damage the cell. Such boxes are recommended to be installed in houses without security.

    Mailboxes from a warehouse in Moscow from the manufacturer

    A wide range of anti-vandal and conventional drawers, locks and nameplates can be found on the page http://sclad.ru/pochtovie-yachiki/… Products are presented in different price categories, dispatch is possible throughout Russia.

Metal thickness

The vast majority of mailboxes are made of steel. Budget products are covered with a layer of ordinary paint, more expensive models receive a durable and strong powder coating, which perfectly protects the metal from corrosion. The service life of the box and the safety of correspondence is influenced not so much by the type of coating as by the thickness of the metal used.

The metal can have a thickness of 0.5-1 mm. The boxes, made of steel 0.5 mm thick, are inexpensive, and therefore they are often installed in the most common entrances of five- and nine-story buildings. But such savings are very soon going sideways for tenants. Thin steel is very easy to bend. This can happen even from a not very strong blow, when something more or less dimensional is brought into the entrance. It becomes difficult to use deformed cells, the question arises about buying new boxes or permanently repairing existing ones. In general, such savings do not bode well in most cases.

If you want to buy a durable product, then pay attention to boxes with a steel thickness of 0.7-0.8 mm or more. Thick enough steel is always used in anti-vandal models. Yes, such products are more expensive, but they also serve many times longer, retaining their original appearance and ensuring the safety of incoming mail.

The mailbox can be made of wood. This is very rare and rather exclusive. Such models are placed in the entrances of elite houses, where every detail should speak about the status of the residents.

Mailbox lock

There are two types of mailbox locks:

  • hinged;
  • mortise.

Padlocks are primarily used to secure individual mailboxes. The degree of burglary resistance may vary, but most of these locks will not be able to resist the bolt cutter, which simply bites the shackle. If you receive serious documentation by mail, then you will have to choose the most reliable lock. But here it is worth remembering that he will save from hooligans, but unlikely from experienced thieves. If your correspondence is extremely important and may contain secrets and secrets, then it is better to send it by registered mail or rent a post office box at the post office.

Most often, mortise locks are used. These are very simple structures, the main element is the tongue, which at the moment of opening the lock turns 90 degrees and stops holding the drawer door. Locks similar to door crossbars are much less common. Such constructions prove to be more reliable, they are more difficult to crack, but they also cost more.

There are several types of mailbox mortise locks:

  • with a diameter of 20 mm – the most popular option, suitable for thin steel boxes;
  • the lock with a diameter of 25 mm is placed in boxes made of thicker steel, it is more difficult to break it;
  • locks with a diameter of 30 mm are intended for wooden boxes, this is a great rarity.

In addition to locks with conventional keys, there are also combination locks. Their advantage is that they cannot be easily opened with a paper clip or a master key, but it makes sense to spend money on such a lock only if your correspondence contains extremely important or secret information.

Chinese castles are the cheapest, and in most cases there will be enough. If only receipts arrive in the mailbox, then more is not required. If it makes sense in additional protection, then pay attention to the products of European manufacturers. Some Russian companies also perform well.

When they put mailboxes in the entrance, they install standard locks for everyone. Of course, everyone will have different keys – even the simplest locks have at least 500 different key combinations. In addition to the standard one, everyone has the right to put their own lock to enhance the protection of the box. It will not be difficult to install the lock with your own hands, if you know how to handle a drill and follow the installation instructions.

Mailbox color

About the color of the mailbox, few people seriously bother. Walls in all entrances are usually painted, plastered or whitewashed in neutral shades. It is white, gray or cream in color. Beige drawers are well suited to beige and white walls, and gray ones to gray ones. However, all these neutral shades are in perfect harmony with each other. Many manufacturers can customize the color to your liking. So, for example, if the entrance of an elite house is decorated in a classic style with elements of forging and dark wood, then the boxes can be made brown using the powder coating method. Such products look very elegant. In modern homes, boxes of bright colors are often placed.

When it comes to individual boxes, there are many more options. These are any colors, an interesting design with antique imitation, for example.

Pay attention to the boxes with a transparent insert on the door. It allows you to literally understand at a glance whether there is a letter inside. Very convenient and practical, but slightly more expensive than a box with blind doors.

What else to consider when choosing?

When buying mailboxes for an apartment building, you must:

  • immediately calculate how many boxes and how many sections are needed. If, for example, there are 36 apartments in a house (the standard is when placing 4 apartments on each floor of a 9-storey building), then you can take six 6-section boxes, or four 9-section boxes – the choice depends on how much space is allocated for boxes in the entrance as well as personal preference;

  • think over the location of the boxes. The most popular option is the first floor, but if there is not enough space, then the boxes can be installed between the first and second floors. Other options are less commonly used;

  • choose products that correspond to the class of the residential building. Thin gray lockers in an elite new building and powerful, obviously expensive boxes in the entrance of a typical Khrushchev will look equally ridiculous;

  • give preference to drawers that have a back wall;
  • pay attention to spaciousness. Most drawers have angled sections. This design makes it possible, with a minimum occupied space, to provide the ability to place A4 correspondence in a box and not wrinkle it. The sizes of the boxes differ, but not significantly. If there is an opportunity to look at the product before buying, try putting a magazine in the box;

  • do not forget about the numbering of boxes. Most manufacturers and sellers of these products offer special nameplates that can be easily glued or installed on boxes. Of course, you can save on this item of expenses – you just need to print out all the apartment numbers and carefully stick them to the boxes. It is better if all boxes receive numbers in the same style, because if one locker is signed with a marker, the other with a pen, and a number is attached to the third, like on the front door, then such a composition will look ridiculous. It’s good if at the entrance everyone doesn’t care about it, but perfectionists will clearly be annoyed by this state of affairs.

Choosing a mailbox for an apartment building is not a tricky business, but nevertheless it is worth knowing some of the nuances before buying so as not to make a mistake.

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Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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