Are you moving to a new neighborhood and wondering where you should position your mailbox along the driveway? A well-positioned mailbox will ensure that you don’t miss any of your mail since it can be seen even from far.
So, what side of the driveway should the mailbox be on?
The USPS Mailbox regulations indicate that mailboxes must be on the road’s right-hand side such that the mail carrier’s driver can reach it without stepping out of the vehicle. Ensure that the mailbox is facing outward for easy accessibility.
There are other things you should consider before placing your mailbox. For example, what’s the ideal size of the mailbox, and how far should it be from the driveway?
This article answers these questions and explains all that you need to know when positioning your mailbox.
Does It Matter What Side Of The Driveway Your Mailbox Is On?
All mailboxes are designed in standard specifications to conform to the United States Postal Service (USPS) regulations for mailboxes. These specifications also determine the side of the driveway where the mailbox is placed and its size. Therefore, the side you place your mailbox on matters should be according to USPS regulations.
As mentioned earlier, the USPS requires that mailboxes be placed to the right facing forward, and their numbers showing clearly and visibly even at a distance. So, the regulations require the numbers to be at least 1″ tall, written on the mailbox’s front or on a flag.
In most cases, the mailboxes come in different colors and shapes as long as the size specifications conform to the standardized requirements. The most important thing you should always be mindful of is the number to read the address easily.
Some people prefer to move the mailbox to the other side of the road for convenience and accessibility. There is no problem with that. But, if you decide to move the mailbox to the left-hand side of the road, you must communicate with your local area post office so that the postmaster can note these changes.
The mail carrier driver is notified of these changes and can quickly transition to maintain their efficiency. Failure to communicate can lead to loss or misplacement of your mail.
If you are moving to a different place within the same location and may want to move your mailbox closer to you, you can do so without asking for permission.
But you must ensure that it remains on the right-hand side for easy access. So, as long as the mailbox is on the right, there’s no problem.
Does The Color Of Your Mailbox Matter?
There are no ground rules on the color you should use in your mailbox. That means you can use any color you choose without affecting the functioning of the mailbox. You are also free to select any type of paint you want, whether spray paint or oil paint.
People who attach meanings to different colors and define their personality using them can choose colors that resonate with them. These could be colors that match their house colors or those that have meaning to them.
However, some colors are used to communicate a message to the postman, and they are represented as a flag. For example, a red signal flag on the side of the mailbox shows that you have something in the mailbox that the postman should pick and deliver at the post office on your behalf.
An alternative color to the red signal flag is fluorescent orange. Therefore, if you are to repaint the mailbox to a different color other than the common blue, you would have to choose another color other than red or orange.
These two colors are preferred because they stand out and are generally used for alert purposes even in other scenarios. That means you cannot have a white, blue, or green flag to play this role. But, you can paint the mailbox white, blue, green, etc., and have the flag as red or orange.
When you have something like a letter that you have already stamped and is ready to go, the mail carrier will pick it and drop the flag. However, in most cases, they drop one they were bringing and pick the one you left there.
So the flag remains raised to indicate to you that you also have something to pick up.
What Should Be The Distance Between The Driveway & Your Mailbox?
The USPS has also given guidelines for this, and it states that the mailbox should be mounted at a distance between 3-4 feet from the road’s surface to where the mailbox is. In areas where there are curbs, you move the mailbox about 8″ away from the curb.
These stipulated distances make it easy for the mail carrier to access the mailbox without a problem. Ensure that you put your house number or address on the mailbox where it can be seen clearly.
How Do You Maintain Your Mailbox?
The mailbox is exposed to every kind of weather and wearing out as it tolerates the changing weather patterns. It’s important to keep checking the mailbox to ensure that it is in good condition to not spoil your mail.
Others can become so disoriented that the mail carrier does not see the correct address on it. Regular maintenance practices will ensure that the mailbox remains in perfect condition all the time.
These practices include:
1. Check for any loose door hinges and tighten them
The door helps you to lock the mailbox and keep your mails safe after receiving them. The hinges may experience rusting due to exposure to different weather conditions. You can replace them so that your mailbox can remain secure.
2. Replace faded numbers
As time goes by, the numbers wear out and fade. This makes it difficult for the mail carrier to read the number. They might end up missing it and returning your mail to the sender. To avoid this, you must regularly check for the faded numbers and replace them immediately.
3. Clear the area around your mailbox
The mailbox has to be in an easily accessible area to allow the mail carrier to drop the mail conveniently. But if the path is cluttered or bushy, it may not be easily accessible, thus inconveniencing the mail carrier.
Check this area and ensure that you clear all the unnecessary things to allow easy accessibility to it.
4. Repaint the mailbox
Paint washes away with time, leaving your mailbox looking old and unattended. You can maintain its aesthetic look by painting it regularly when the paint wears off.
It will also make the mailbox more visible and avoid being hit as people drag their things near it.
As discussed in this article, the most appropriate side to place your mailbox on is on the right-hand side of the road. But, you can move it to the opposite side of the road to make it more convenient for you so that you don’t cross the street every day to check the mailbox.
However, it would help if you communicated with your local postmaster so that he could record your changes.