How to Buy and Install A Mail Slot Mailbox
When installing a mail slot mailbox you can choose either:
- Door mounted mail slot
- Through wall mail slot
Bursting forth with nostalgia, a door mail slot can be installed through a front door (or garage door). A wall mail slot can be installed through the wall of your home.
An exterior mail slot cover (or lid) covers the mail slot so that the home remains insulated against the elements. USPS mailbox guidelines require any horizontal mail slot to be hinged at the top and any vertical mail slot to be hinged on the opposite side from the door’s hinges (if mounted on a door).
When the postal carrier walks up to the house, the mail carrier simply lifts the lid on residential mail slots to insert the mail. The mail passes through your door (or wall for wall mounted door slots) and lies securely on the inside of your home, either on the floor or in a mail slot collection box.
While residential mail slots are only advisable for postal areas with walk up delivery, the advantages of these thru-wall and thru door slot mailboxes are three-fold:
- Residential mail slots are often far more secure than non-locking post mount or wall mount mailboxes.
- Mail slots are less expensive.
- Mail slots do not require the homeowner to exit their home to retrieve their mail.
For disabled persons or elderly persons with mobility challenges, this third advantage of mail slot mailboxes is hands-down the most significant, as their mail can be collected from the security and comfort of their home.
When buying residential mail slots, take time to consider these three factors:
- Mail slot size
- Mail slot finish
- Whether or not to accessorize your mail slot with an indoor collection box
Mail Slot Size – The size of your installed mail slot should be large enough to accommodate large envelopes, magazine subscriptions, or small parcels, and according to the USPS, the mail slot size should be at least 1 ½ by 7 inches in size.
Mail Slot Finish – The finish of your mail slot should match or complement the finish of your door or wall hardware. For example, if you have a door entry hardware with a natural patina brass finish, consider selecting a brass mail slot with a natural patina finish or consider a high contrast to that brass finish to avoid finishes that clash.
Mail Slot Accessories – If having your mail scattered across a heavily trafficked floor area is a safety concern, an indoor mail collection box accessory or simple drop basket inside the home is advisable. Additionally, indoor mail collection accessories are also advised when the floor surface (such as soft wood flooring) can be easily damaged by the regular delivery of parcels or packages that might scratch or ding it.
New Mail Slot Installation Considerations
Investing the time to consider these three factors can also augment the success of installing your mail slot in a new location:
- Check with your postmaster
- Proper mail slot height
- Interior hood installation
Consult with Your Postmaster – First, check with your local postmaster to ensure that mail slots are viable options for mail delivery to your home. While a trip to any of Europe’s great cities and to many of North America’s large east coast cities quickly validates the popularity of mail slot mailboxes (they are called letter boxes in Europe), mail slots are less common in the vast majority of North America. So, take the time to ensure walk up mail delivery is available to your residence before purchasing a mail slot for your home.
Install At the Correct Height – Second, the USPS requires that when installed, the bottom of your residential mail slot must be at least 30” above the floor. While there is no height restriction posted by the USPS, it is advisable that the mail slot be mounted at a height that allows the postal carrier to easily deliver your mail without reaching too high or stooping too low.
Interior Hood Installation – Additionally, to ensure the mail flows smoothly through the mail slot upon delivery, the USPS requires that if an interior hood is utilized for privacy, the hooded portion should not be below the bottom of the outside plate on the horizontal mail slot. For vertical mail slots, the hood should not extend beyond the side of the outside plate on the same side as the door’s hinges. Finally, regardless of orientation, the interior privacy hood should not project more than 2 1/16” beyond the inside of the door.
Mail Slot Brands
Auth Florence Mail Slots – The MailboxWorks features the elegantly simple aluminum mail slot created by Auth Florence, which meets all the USPS regulations regarding mail slots. Florence mail slots are available in eleven beautiful powder coated finishes including antique copper, antique bronze, black, gold, silver speck, and more. Additionally, Florence mail slots are offered with optional engraving on the mail slot door so homeowners can have their address or name engraved right on their mail slot.
European Home Mail Slots – The MailboxWorks also offers a European Home mail slot that resonates with a strong modern, contemporary design palate. These corrosion resistant stainless steel mail slots are handcrafted with a stunning satin-brushed finish and meet all USPS standards. Order your mail slot with a mail collection box for a complete mail slot system.
Streetscape Mail Slots – Additionally, The MailboxWorks also features a Streetscape Executive mail slot that is handmade by artisans in the United States. The Streetscape Executive mail slots also meet USPS standards and feature a unique patina brass finish that requires no maintenance. No two of these brass mail slots are alike and all are packaged with an interior mail chute of solid brass to guide the mail delivery. Additionally, your brass house numbers can be custom-welded to the mail slot door to further customize your mail slot.
Read all of our articles on Mail Slots including:
- How to Select the Perfect Mail Slot
- 3 Advantages of Residential Mail Slot Mailboxes
- 5 Types of Mail Slot Mailboxes: An Overview