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Question DetailsAsked on 3/23/2017

through the wall mail drop slot

install through the wall a large mail slot for magazines

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You are looking at about $70-100 retail for the unit for a box that hangs on the outside of the wall and is locking and tamper-resistant - about $100-200 for a through-the wall slot only without drop basket or box or more like $200-250 range with interior non-locking drop box or basket, $250-450 range typically for complete through-wall with locking interior catch box depending on box size and how high security it is. That cost also for package-sized ones - there are now oversized mail delivery slots and boxes that can hold the normal Amazon-sized boxes which hold up to about 6-10 DVD's or a couple of books or such, as well as most all padded mailers, if you get a lot of packages in the smaller size range. Course, there are larger package drop boxes (aka package vaults) too - up to quite large, for in the $400-800 cost range for the unit itself for the sizes most commonly used by residences.


Below is link for simple slot-only version, other options shown further down the page, as an example - www.mailboxworks.com and Grainger and US Mail Supply have hundreds of other mailboxes and slots on their websites, and most home improvement box stores carry at least a minor selection.


Installation - from $100-150 minimum labor charge probably by a Handyman (possibly a bit less in a simple straight-forward flat siding to flat interior drywall case with no wires in the way), on up with more difficult to work with siding (especially metal or lap siding) or through brick or concrete wall or if utilities have to be moved from where you want it. Pushing the $400-500 range probably if you just HAVE to put it where a stud is so the stud needs to be moved.


Simplest to find a space for it without stud interference or wiring/pipes - pipes not usually an issue on exterior walls except for with hydronic or steam heating, but entry and porch light wiring can commonly be an issue on one side of entry doors.


I would make sure you get a contractor who says he can bring circuit and stud finder tools, so he can space it between studs and where there are no wires to hit because cutting into a wall to determine if there are interferences is NOT the way to go about it. For things like this and dog doors and such I cut a hand-sized hole in the interior drywall first (but not larger in any dimension than the rough opening hole you will need for the item being installed) and reach in and probe around to check for wires, hydronic heating pipes, studs, fire blocking, etc.


Also tell him in advance (and make clear if you KNOW or THINK this) what type of wall construction you have, and of course for this sort of thing either give him a minimumm opening dimension up-front and anhy preferences on barealuminum, black, or brass and how firm that preference is so he can get the unit, or buy the unit yourself up-front and have it ready (simplest solution so you get what you really want or like the looks of).


And don't forget to get a USPS approved one because they will generally not put mail in a non-approved one or one without the approval stamped on it, and put within the regulation height from the surface the mailman is standing on. Link here with the dimensions required -


https://www.usps.com/manage/mailboxes...


Make sure he caulks around the unit well when he installs it (best, considering not gumming up the door, to caulk at the contact area and smush (that is a technical contractor term) the unit into the caulk to ensure good contact - especially on rough surfaces. Sloping surfaces like lap siding will need a tapered shim, piece to install correctly. And in any siding with a gap behind it like lap siding, shingles, stucco, EIFS, etc you have to make sure the unit is installed with proper water barrier wrapped around it and tied into the existing water barrier so water coming down the water barrier does not get into the mail slot or into the wall at its opening - which care obviously adds a bit to the codst, but be sure he knows in advance you want the water barrier behind the siding properly tied in and waterproofed. MUCH easier to do on smooth surfaces like T1-11 and board and batten siding.


And make sure any architectural vertical slots or grooves like in T1-11 are caulked so the rain does not go through the slot onto/into the mail slot - also to keep insects out.


Obviously, if this is going to be exposed to rain, you need a fully rainproof one with oversize outward sloping top flap door. Best if you can put a miniature shed roof or awning over it to protect from rain - just be sure that does not interfere with dropping oversize mailer envelopes and such into it.


I assume this is for a single family residence or at least will have the name of only one family on it - because generally the USPS will not deliver mail for different customers into a common drop slot or box - they generally require a separate one for each customer unless it is a facility like a dormitory or school or such where all the mail goes through one central person. Check with them on delivery regs if questions.


BTW - if you have coons or squirrels common in your area either make sure it is too small for them (not easy to do with squirrels) or check that it is critter-proof (which with coons is very hard to do because if it opens and the opening is big enough for them they can find a way in). Normally critter-resistant (I don't think anyone if foolish enough to say it is critter-PROOF unless it requires a key to open) ones use a hefty spring to keep the flap/lid closed.


And of course with a slot, make sure it is far enough from the door that someone can't reasonably reach through and open the door from it.

Answered 1 year ago by LCD




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