People say there’s something intoxicating about that new-car smell, but in our experience, the same can doubly be said about buying a new house. The scent of concrete drying under the drywall, that fresh coat of paint, those smooth, silky walls, new appliances, and appliance boards, and that feeling when you wake up in the new construction house the next day can be equally intoxicating for homeowners.
There’s a sense of accomplishment therein. However, there is also a sense of incompleteness that you have to deal with as well. Not only are new construction houses not furnished, but there are many missing appliances as well. But apart from appliances, a question arises; do new construction homes come with a mailbox?
Again, this depends entirely on your contractors. On many occasions, new construction homes do not come with a mailbox unless you’re getting a luxury home constructed by one of the most premium construction companies out there. However, some old-school contractors might still give you a mailbox if you play your cards right.
Do New Construction Homes Come With A Mailbox?
Whenever you buy a new house from a contractor or a builder directly, you will find there are many appliances included with the purchase, fences, ceiling fans, and more. However, at the same time, you will also find that many things are missing, including many crucial appliances.
The choice of what to include and what not to depends on two things:
- The contractor’s past practice and the margin they keep, and
- The contract you made with each other.
The initial contract usually includes everything that the contractor will give the homeowner against a fixed compensation. Of course, profit margins tend to increase as well with price. Many contractors have a fixed profit margin that they earn on every project. Some contractors, in their honesty, buy appliances for you if what you paid is more than their profit margin – but that isn’t, unfortunately, a majority.
So in essence, what you get in your new construction home depends entirely on the builder and how much you paid for the home you are looking to build/buy. Of course, every builder is different, so you can’t make any assumptions when you are signing the contract.
It is vital that you either have a good agent that tells you about what is included (and what isn’t) with the purchase of your home. There is usually some wiggle room in any given contract where you can convince the builder to add some more appliances into the mix for the same price.
Remember, there is no code requirement for new construction homes to come with a mailbox.
When builders meet up with homeowners (or potential homeowners), the question of whether new construction homes come with a mailbox or not doesn’t come up that easily. The same is true when looking at property for a 2-bed house, 5-bedroom house, or a villa. This is because mailboxes aren’t considered an important element when inspecting a property or considering its use in the future.
However, while its presence isn’t something that is noticed, its absence is.
This is a problem only for individual homes, though. New construction home buyers often have to invest in individual mailboxes of their own accord. However, where the dwelling has more than two or three families, a mailbox might automatically be included by the contractor. Take residential or commercial flats or apartments, for example.
A majority of these flats usually have cluster mailboxes at reception where the mail for all residents gets dropped. New construction flats usually have these installed already because of a requirement set forth by the US Postal Service (USPS). The USPS requires builders and developers to install kiosks that will hold a cluster mailbox in new buildings. However, there is no requirement for the builder or contractor to install the thing as well.
Instead, developers have to sign a contract that states that the contractor will have to install a cluster mailbox – ready-made or otherwise. The goal here is to reduce the time US Postal Service needs to spend delivering mail to individual homes within the same apartment building. Instead, they can just stand in front of the cluster and insert mail while standing at reception.
Some cluster mailboxes have a lever for individual mailboxes that tell the owners about pending mail within.
According to the USPS, these mailboxes save up $160 per address mail delivery, thus amounting to around $11 billion annually.
How to Make Your Own Mailbox?
If there’s anything we love to do at Cohesive Homes is DIY – and today, we will look at how you can make your own mailbox. We’ll be going for a rustic mailbox finish that you can make easily without having to invest in any fancy drill bits or saws (not even the miter saw).
Here is a list of tools you will need.
- The wood of your choosing. We recommend not choosing pinewood because your mailbox will be situated outside your home.
- Any type of saw – a handheld will do just fine as well. We used an angle grinder for this, but it isn’t as accurate unless you have years of experience using it.
- A drill. We recommend using a DeWalt drill with a 2 mm and a 4 mm drill bit.
- Some screws.
- Wood glue (optional). We didn’t use any glue, though, because we find it only creates a mess.
- A pencil.
And that’s it.
Use any pressure-treated wood. You can go for pine, but we don’t recommend it if you are looking for a mailbox that can stand the test of time. You will probably find 2x4s in your local hardware store, but you need wood that’s at least 8-inch wide to make a proper mailbox that can fit magazines as well. Follow these steps to make your own mailbox:
- Start by cutting the wood into four equally-sized pieces for the sides. Use your own judgment for the size, but we recommend at least 10-12 inches long.
- Now cut 4 pieces of wood measuring about 5-8 inches for the front and back. Again, use your own judgment based on the size of the mailbox you are looking for.
- To join two pieces together, use the 1.5 or 2-mm drill bit to drill straight holes into the wood sideways. We recommend three evenly spaced holes. You’ll be pushing screws through them. So, make sure they are straight. Use a spirit level if you need and take your time here if you don’t have a fixed drill as we did.
- You can use a pocket hole jig to drill these holes easily; we didn’t have one, so we used our trusty drill machine.
- Drill through the center and screw them together using 75mm galvanized screws. You should now have wider boards that can be fixed together to make a ‘box.’ Use the clamps to hold the wood in place while you drill.
- Simply place the four panels you have in the shape of a box and join three of them together.
- For the fourth one, cut about 2 inches from the top.
- Again, cut the 2-inch slab you have. Remove about ½ an inch from the top.
- Plain an angle on it to make sure rain doesn’t drip into the box.
- Install the fourth piece along with the three adjoined pieces.
- Install the ½ inch slab on the fourth face, leaving room for the mailman to drop mail through.
- Take two screws and drill holes into the sides slightly wider than the screws themselves. Now, place the slab and drill those screws through the holes and into the slab. Check to make sure that the slab is rotating on its axis.
- Cut a piece of wood (or join two as we showed above) and attach it to the rotating bit to make a “lid”.
You should have yourself a basic mailbox at this point. Polish it, oil it, varnish it, and the box is ready to be placed outside your new construction home.