I work with one of the larger custom home builders in the country and my speciality is designing the exterior appearance of our homes. Not the style so much -that’s what the architects do- but I take care of the details that make one of our homes look that much better than the standard houses you might come across. Big things like decks, pergolas, fences, garage doors, driveways and walkways, as well as smaller things like the color and style of shingles, the use of decorative shutters, storm doors, Mailboxes, light fixtures, porch railings and having ornamental shrubs planted in the front gardens to make a newly built house look like a welcoming home. The interior of a house may be what convinces someone to buy it, but it’s the appearance of the house from the street that brings the customer inside in the first place and an attractive, coordinated house exterior is the key to driving walk-in traffic.
You’d likely be surprised at how much work there is in ensuring that these relatively small items are properly taken care of. The problem is that there are not only dozens of individual items on my checklist, but some of these in turn have virtually unlimited options (especially if the house is being built to order and the customer has specific ideas about what they want). Take something relatively innocuous like Residential Mailboxes. Most homes are equipped with a standard black, sheet metal mailbox that’s worth about ten bucks if you were to buy it at Home Depot. It’s not very attractive and it won’t last more than a few years, but it works until the house is sold. For most builders, Mailboxes simply aren’t a high priority. Houses that are built in massive subdivisions often use communal Commercial Mailboxes -the large green or grey units you see on the boulevard with dozens of locked doors. Discriminating buyers will often approach me with Mailboxes they’ve seen online at a site like mailboxworks.com that sells nothing but. They have idea about how they can personalize the look of their home’s entrance relatively inexpensively by incorporating a uniquely styled mailbox.
Typically, even if clients aren’t looking for something fancy instead of the standard issue mailbox, they want something much more substantial. There are many models available in cast aluminum that not only look much beefier and much more stylish than the typical Mailboxes, but they usually have a bigger capacity and they’ll certainly last much longer. There are also models that are much more difficult to source locally, including Locking Mailboxes, post mounted models, wall mounted systems that can accept large packages, letter slots, even Mailboxes that are available in materials like cedar, copper or stainless steel.
Our homes run the gamut from Contemporary to Victorian and that means I need to find complementary external accessories (including Residential Mailboxes) to suit a wide range of building styles, personal tastes and budgets.
Written By Robert Urgo