Rules Regarding Homemade Mailboxe

Reply

  #1  
Old 05-02-11, 04:55 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,000
Rules Regarding Homemade Mailbox

Can't really think of a category so I'm asking here.

I was thinking of making my own mailbox because the one I have is really too small for some of my mail. I didn't want to spend much money and I could put together a simple box with hinged top painted black for next to nothing. Any one ever made their own mail box, not decorations on a mailbox but the whole box. If so did your delivery person give you a hassle? Does anyone know of a federal regulation against it. Seems I remember seeing a USPS approval on some boxes but is the approval required?
 

Last edited by ray2047; 05-02-11 at 06:28 PM.
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 05-02-11, 05:44 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Oooh, good question. I have built several "custom" mailboxes, mostly for fat cat real estate offices back in the boom. I found I had to build them to minimum size specs of the USPS, and they had to be quite substantial to withstand daily use, so I just started using an "approved" mailbox for a carcass and completely hiding it with my decorations. The door is the only "creative" part that is a bear. With that said, however, I have seen mail boxes not of the old humpback design, but square with slots, all sorts of designs, so I think the question is "what is approved"???
 
  #3  
Old 05-02-11, 06:01 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,000
I found I had to build them to minimum size specs of the USPS, and they had to be quite substantial to withstand daily use
Where did you get the specs? Did you have to submit your proposal for construction? If so to who?
 
  #4  
Old 05-02-11, 06:09 PM
Gunguy45's Avatar
Super Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 21,019
Talk to your local Postmaster (not just a carrier)..give them a drawing of some sort and ask them to sign off. My Dad made a great mailbox out of an old buttermilk barrel...and got a notice about non conforming...and that was in '63.

Best to do as chandler stated....build what you want around an approved box.
 
  #5  
Old 05-02-11, 07:17 PM
Tolyn Ironhand's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 12,259
If those fish mailboxes are approved it shouldn't be that hard to make one that is. Cabela's: Sportsman's Mailboxes
 
  #6  
Old 05-02-11, 07:33 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,000
Best to do as chandler stated....build what you want around an approved box
But that defeats the purpose. My purpose is cheap not arts and crafts. If I bought a bigger mail box I would just use it.
 
  #7  
Old 05-03-11, 03:32 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
Cheap? The mailboxes cost $17. After I did what the customer wanted to do to it, the cost jumped to $250. You ain't gonna build a "cheap" mailbox.....time and materials.
And, Scott, what an ugly mailbox....just waiting on the drunk teenagers to drive by with baseball bats at night.
For light reading: USPS - Residential Mailbox Standards
 
  #8  
Old 05-03-11, 03:57 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 44,041
You definitely want to talk to your local postman. I used to have a young neighbor that worked in a sheet metal shop. He made his own box complete with custom paint job. The flag was a chevy bowtie painted yellow. While the flag didn't meet postal regs, the postman didn't complain. The box looked kind of neat but I think it would have looked better with a blue oval

My experience has been the postman is more concerned with the height of the box and the operation of the door than anything else.
 
  #9  
Old 05-03-11, 05:34 AM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Northern Minnesota
Posts: 1,505
Last year they re-paved about 5 miles of road here. After they were done a contractor came in, yanked up every mailbox, post and all, and threw them on the ground. Then they installed new posts and identical boxes. Never have seen that before.

They didn't widen, narrow, raise or lower the road, same old thing. Some were regular boxes, some the fancy newer plastic ones....torn them all out.

Don't suppose that helps much, just one of those things that drives me crazy....why?
 
  #10  
Old 05-03-11, 06:11 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,968
If they repaved the surface, they raised the height of the roadbed, which could have possibly thrown the mailboxes out of the parameter of the 41-45" height requirement from the roadbed. We had the same problem in Atlanta a long time ago. Interstate bridges were marked with heights from roadbed. Trucking companies used those markings to ensure their oversized loads would fit. Between time, the DOT paved the road, raising it up 4 or 5". Southern Railway didn't remark their bridge. Tore up a lot of oversized materials before someone realized what happened. Lawsuits out the wazoo......Southern RR, State of GA, trucking company, injured parties
 
  #11  
Old 05-03-11, 06:37 AM
Member
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Northern Minnesota
Posts: 1,505
No, they used one of those machines that chews up the old blacktop, reheats it or whatever they do, and puts it back down. They never touched the curbs and gutters so the height stayed the same.
 
  #12  
Old 05-03-11, 07:21 AM
Beachboy's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Northeast Kansas
Posts: 735
On a similar note, several years ago, the postal service wanted to discontinue our walking-route front porch delivery and part of the plan was for them to hire contractors to install individual curbside mailboxes, totally free to the homeowner, so they could deliver the mail from a vehicle. They had already installed several of the standard curbside mailboxes when our small town city council put a stop to it, saying that installing the curbside posts was trespassing on city property and ordered the post office to yank out the curbside boxes and to remain delivering to the door. I didn't know a small town city council could trump a federal entity.
 
  #13  
Old 05-03-11, 08:19 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,000
Just a couple of notes. The cheap rural mail boxes or galvanized steel but have plastic latches which according to reviews at Amazon break after only a short time.

This is house delivery not curbside. I belong to a paperback rental place similar to Netflix. I get 3 paperbacks at a time and they just don't fit the usual wall hung rectangular mail box. I wanted to make a larger version of that box using scrap wood.

If you want a real shock look at Walmart or Ace Hardware online. Average mailbox price id $50-$300.
 
  #14  
Old 05-03-11, 12:23 PM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Hamilton County, Ohio
Posts: 4,292
Here is a link to find further spec info.

USPS - Residential Mailbox Standards
 
  #15  
Old 05-03-11, 01:16 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Group Moderator
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,000
Thanks guys. I'll just mark this project DOA for now and buy a rural mailbox. I can probably make a better latch when the plastic one fails.
 
  #16  
Old 05-03-11, 03:03 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,188
Just be glad you don't have to replace it 2-3 times a year. Between punks with baseball bats and snowplows mailboxes have a short life expectancy in my neck of the woods.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes