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Alternatives for Old Vertical Mailboxes

Old Mailboxes

Do you manage an apartment complex, or a commercial property meant for businesses? You may know that many older apartment complexes, strip malls, and other such properties have older, wall-mounted mailboxes.

Some of these mailboxes will be the vertical type. These mailboxes are typically mounted onto walls or recessed into them. These units have locking vertical compartments that are taller than they are high. Usually, vertical mailboxes have anywhere from three to seven customer doors.

Vertical mailboxes were popular in apartment complexes with multiple buildings. Typically, a property manager would install one cabinet per building or section. They were also popular for smaller complexes or commercial buildings that housed only a few families or businesses.

However, vertical mailboxes are STD-4B mailboxes. Although they’re still approved for USPS delivery, they’re not as secure or as durable as their newer STD-4C counterparts and can’t be installed with new apartments or other buildings, as they are being phased out. A property manager can only install new vertical mailboxes to replace some existing vertical mailboxes that are the same model and in the same location.

This means that it’s time to find some alternatives to your vertical mailboxes. Other reasons to upgrade to a better alternative include:

  • Improved security.
  • Faster mail delivery in some cases.
  • A better means to secure and keep packages safe.
  • Improved appearance and increased property value.
  • Less maintenance and fewer repairs.
  • Less damage to mail, and less bent mail
  • Tenants are reassured that mail is secure, leading to less turnover.

What Are the Alternatives?

Which mailbox type is right for you? This will depend on your property, how many tenants you’re serving, what your package volume is, and the needs of your tenants. Also consider the locations you have available for the installation of your new mailboxes.

Most often, one of three types of centralized mailboxes replace old vertical units. Just like vertical mailboxes, 4C mailboxes have multiple compartments in one place. These compartments are horizontal, so that mail is placed down flat rather than folded into a tall compartment. There is enough space for larger envelopes and magazines to fit comfortably as well.

Parcel lockers are often included in 4C mailboxes, which keep USPS-delivered packages safe. Customers will have fewer packages lying in front of their doors and open to package theft, which costs roughly 6 billion per year.

Centralized mailboxes can hold far more compartments than vertical mailboxes, allowing the property owner or manager to put more mailboxes in one place, versus scattered across a property. This can allow the USPS to deliver mail more quickly and efficiently to each customer. Some 4C mailboxes have only a few compartments, however, and can still work well for smaller properties or properties where tenants would prefer to stay closer to home. If you own a community where many residents have mobility issues, residents may prefer several smaller, centralized mailboxes that are inside each building or section, or outside of each building.

All types of 4C mailboxes can mount beside others of the same type, allowing property owners to easily meet the needs of all customers.

Types of Centralized Mailboxes

4C mailboxes come in three types:

  1. Wall-mounted models. These 4C mailboxes simply mount on to walls and are the easiest to install. However, they can take up a lot of space if you don’t have much room. Wall-mounted models are great for lobbies, outdoor walls, or some wide corridors that are well-traveled.
  2. Recessed models. Recessed 4C mailboxes are popular because they recess into a vertical surface, saving space and making access easier. Many property owners prefer the improved aesthetic these mailboxes offer, as they do not “stick out” from walls. They may be a good alternative to vertical mailboxes, as the number of model doors can range from a few doors to over a dozen
  3. Cluster, or freestanding mailboxes. Cluster and freestanding mailboxes stand alone, using only a pedestal or a freestanding cabinet. They’re best suited for outdoor environments, as they use concrete slabs. These mailboxes range from having a few doors to many doors. You can choose between a larger, centralized setup for your entire property, or you can opt for multiple, smaller cabinets to serve each building. Make note of how much package delivery your property expects before choosing your model, as some models with just a few doors may have one, or no parcel lockers.

Still Need to Choose? National Mailboxes has a good selection of centralized mailboxes that are approved by the USPS, so if you’re looking to upgrade your old, worn vertical mailboxes, look no further. If you have questions or are unsure how to best replace your old mailboxes, contact us and let us know. We’ll help you keep your tenants happy for years to come.