Picking a decorative mailbox for your home

Your mailbox is the first thing anyone will see when they arrive at your home. As one of the most visible parts of your house, using decorative mailboxes can add a unique design and feel to your home. However, it is also just as important to place value on the maintenance and durability of your mailbox. Here are some important points to consider:

The first and most important thing to ensure is that the mailbox is USPS approved. The approval from the USPS ensures that mailbox meets certain standards. For example, one of the tests involves opening the mail flap seven thousand times. Other tests include heat and cold exposure.

Part of the evaluation should include spare parts and how easy it is to repair. When a certain component breaks, you should be able to buy and replace that individual part. Some mailboxes are bolted into a single piece, so when a single part breaks, the entire units needs replacement.

The material is the next consideration. Popular choices include wood, aluminum, and steel. Steel was popular a long time ago. Wooden mailboxes are at the mercy of the quality of wood and can be very expensive. Aluminum is tough to beat, lasting more than 20 years, with the wide availability of spare parts.

When buying, avoid generic brands from home improvement stores. Product lines from generic brands change too often, limiting spare parts and serviceability. Instead, use vendors like MailboxResidential.com that specialize in mailboxes.

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