Whether your mailbox was taken out by a driver or it was damaged by some other inconvenient means, you may find yourself in need of installing a new one. It sounds like a simple endeavor to put a support in the ground and attach a mailbox on top of it, but because they are usually installed where driver’s can hit them and mail carriers need to have adequate access to them, there are several rules that govern the placement and type of mailbox allowed. In this article you’ll learn more than you ever wanted to know about the subject.
Installing Curbside Mailboxes
USPS has size and construction standards that must be met for any mailbox you want installed and have mail delivered to. If the mailbox has the Postmaster General’s seal of approval, then it meets the requirements of USPS. Most mailboxes that you can formally purchase have more than likely already been subject to approved plans, however, if you want to build your own mailbox, you’ll have to present your plans to your local postmaster for approval.
Curbside Mailbox Support Installation
You might be tempted to sink a post deep in the ground with a concrete footing to make sure that it’s not going to go anywhere, but that’s actually the opposite of what is desirable (or legal). The idea is that you want the mailbox to be sturdy enough that it’s not going to fall over, but that if a car or pedestrian hits it for any reason, the post will give way and not provide too much resistance as to prevent harm or injury to the person colliding with the mailbox.
A mailbox support post should be installed to the following specifications:
- Use a 4” x 4” wooden post or a 2” aluminum or steel pipe as a support.
- Make sure that it’s not made of something heavy that could cause damage were a collision to happen, like concrete or a heavy metal post.
- Sink the post in 24” deep and no deeper.
Curbside Mailbox Placement
The following are a set of guidelines to follow for best results:
- The distance from the ground or surface of the road to the bottom of your mailbox should measure between 41” and 45”.
- The front of the mailbox should be 6” to 8” away from the curb.
- Put your house or apartment number on the mailbox.
- Use a font that is at least 1” tall.
- If your mailbox is not on the same street as your house, place your full address on the mailbox.
Basic Mailbox Maintenance
To keep your mailbox in tip-top shape, do the following every year or so:
- Tighten loose hinges
- Replace letters or numbers that fade or get removed
- Keep a clear path to your mailbox
Mailboxes on Texas State Highways
If you live on a Texas State maintained highway and are in need of a mailbox, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will install a crash tested and approved mailbox support for you, the postal patron, free-of-charge so long as you provide the mailbox. The mailbox you provide needs to be made of light sheet metal or plastic and it also needs to conform to the requirements of USPS. TxDOT states that they will only install mailboxes that meet the required crash tested safety specifications. If your mailbox is approved, TxDOT will not only install the support, but they will also install the mailbox. To find out which mailboxes are approved, call your local TxDOT office.
Newspaper Delivery Tubes
You can attach a newspaper delivery tube beneath the mailbox support, but a separate support for the newspaper delivery tube is not allowed. The tube needs to be made of light sheet metal or plastic and can have the newspaper name imprinted on the tube. No other form of advertising can be placed on the newspaper tube.
If Your Mailbox Is In Violation of TxDOT Standards
If you happen to put in a mailbox and it (or part of it) is not approved, TxDOT will notify you by mail (ironically) and request that you remove the mailbox and allow them to install a support more to their liking. If you are notified and don’t remove the mailbox in a timely manner, they will remove it for you and will install a new one once you provide an approved mailbox.
If You Don’t Want The Complication, Call Butler Contracting!
If you don’t want to deal with that hassle of making sure you’re in compliance with USPS or TxDOT, you can have us install your mailbox and we’ll be sure that our work is approved by the appropriate authorities. Give us a call at (844) 628-8537 or go to our website and fill out some basic info and click submit!