How to Install a Mailbox on Vinyl Siding
Many homeowners are surprised to discover that a mailbox is actually one factor that many people consciously or subconsciously consider when gauging curb appeal. Though it may not make or break a deal, having a good looking mailbox is an easy and inexpensive way to improve the immediate presentation of your home.
Whether you’re looking to sell or just want to make a subtle improvement to the house, installing a new mailbox is a fairly straightforward and easy-to-do DIY project. If you decide it’s time to upgrade your mailbox, the next step you need to consider is if you want to have a post-mounted mailbox or one that is mounted to a home.
Wall-mounted mailboxes that are attached to vinyl siding are convenient and look really nice. However, there are some things you need to consider before installing one.
Benefits of Mounting a Mailbox to Siding
Though post mounted mailboxes near the curb tend to be more popular, there are many advantages to installing a mailbox connected to your home. That is if the neighborhood will allow it.
Here are a few of the highlights:
- They are more convenient. You don’t need to take more than a few steps outside your home to collect mail. Some kits may even provide a way for the mail to get deposited directly into the interior of the home from the outside.
- They will last longer. Wall mounted mailboxes, when properly installed, should last for decades. The chances of being abused either by people or the elements is far lower.
- They are less likely to get vandalized. The old-fashioned teen prank of driving down the road and bashing in posted mounted mailboxes still exists. Ones near the curb can also get backed into by cars or smashed into by other objects.
- They help keep you safer. Those that lure on homeowners by stealing mail for identity theft are less likely to target mailboxes attached to the home than those more easily accessible by the road.
Check with the Post Office First
Are you convinced that a wall-mounted mailbox is the right one for your home compared to one that is on a post? Great. Now you need to verify that your neighborhood and/or local post office will allow it.
Some neighborhoods have HOAs that may or may not allow wall-mounted mailboxes. For example, if you have a shared/community mailbox, you will unfortunately not be able to install one on your vinyl siding.
Additionally, the United States Postal Service (USPS) has specific requirements you must follow if you are allowed to install a wall-mounted mailbox in your neighborhood.
First, you should contact your local post office to make sure it is not an issue with the mail carrier. Secondly, you need to visit the USPS website for all the guidelines regarding wall-mounted mailboxes.
How to Install a Mailbox to Vinyl Siding
It is very important to make sure your mailbox is secure and mounted properly to your vinyl siding. Before you get too deep into the installation make sure that the location where you would like to install the mailbox doesn’t violate any HOA or USPS guidelines. Also double check to make sure it is a practical spot for the mailman and is highly visible.
The worst mistake you can make is to place it somewhere that is difficult to find, such as behind a bush or tree. It may prevent the mail carrier from dropping off time-sensitive or important packages.
Mounting a mailbox to vinyl siding isn’t any more complicated than mounting it to another surface, perhaps even easier than brick or stone. It is easy to complete the project on your own with little to no home improvement or handyman skills.
Step One: Buy a Wall-Mounted Mailbox
There are a variety of USPS approved wall-mounted mailboxes available anywhere from your local hardware store to online.
It is really a matter of personal preference. You obviously want something that is heavy-duty and able to withstand the elements, yet not too bulky that it may get in the way of walking in and out the front door or doing other outside activities such as mowing the lawn.
Some people like to custom build their own mailbox which is usually acceptable so long as it falls under USPS guidelines. The price of a wall-mounted mailbox can vary substantially. Basic ones are as cheap as $20 and others can exceed $100.
Step Two: Add Vinyl Siding S Hooks
It is extremely important that you never drill into vinyl siding. This is the biggest difference between mounting a mailbox to this type of material compared to other types of siding like wood or metal.
Vinyl siding is not designed to get drilled into for any reason. It will crack and immediately leave your structure vulnerable to water damage. So make sure that whatever you do, never drill screws into the vinyl in order to support the mailbox. Instead, invest in vinyl siding S hooks.
Vinyl siding S hooks are really handy accessories designed to support a variety of items on the exterior of a home. They are easy to install and are perfectly capable of supporting a standard mailbox.
Once you decide on an appropriate mailbox to hang on your vinyl siding you can install it by first sliding the S hooks under and over the vinyl siding where you want to mount the unit. Heavy-duty construction glue is an alternative to S hooks though not nearly as recommended. You definitely want your mailbox to be secured, and glue can wear under weather elements.
Step Three: Position the Mailbox to the S Hooks
Once you have slid the S hooks into place it is time to make sure the actual mailbox is lined up with the mounting holes of the S hooks.
In order to do so hold the mailbox up and check to see if you see daylight through where the mounting holes meet the vinyl siding S hook holes. It usually involves a little tedious quivering until you get the S hooks positioned just right.
It helps to have an extra set of hands. One person can support the mailbox and keep it in position while the other inserts the mounting screws between the mailbox and S hooks.
Step Four: Finalize Securing the Mount
Once the mounting screws are set into the S hooks from the mailbox, add nuts to the other end of the screws (the backside of the unit, nearest to the wall).
Then, fasten and completely tighten the screws on the front end with a screwdriver. Once the twisting gets tight, stop, in order to not strip the screws.
Step Five: Test the Mount
You don’t need to place a lot of weight on the mailbox, but make sure the mount is secure. In general, it is only going to support standard mail such as letters, though some smaller packages may get placed inside the box too.
Therefore, you can test its durability by placing a package that is less than 20 lbs. inside the box and let it sit overnight. If the mailbox did not fall off the mount you’re good to go and don’t have to worry about it collapsing.
In general vinyl S hooks are pretty secure so long as the screws are fastened tight. You may need to double check them periodically as over time they may loosen.
Mailbox on Vinyl Siding Improves Curb Appeal
That’s all there is to it. Thanks to vinyl, there is no need to screw or nail into the actual siding. All you need is a new wall-mounted designed mailbox kit and a couple of S hooks. The easy to do DIY project takes less than 10 minutes and can substantially improve curb appeal, as well as make mail gathering far more convenient.
Now, if you want to drastically improve your curb appeal then it’s best to get brand new vinyl siding for your home. At Feldco, our siding comes with a full thermal support system which significantly improves energy efficiency and insulation. Additionally, our list of matching accessories and colors will give a boost of curb appeal to your home. Speak to a product specialist to get started and get a free quote online today.