Summary: When buying a new mailbox, consider how much mail volume you expect and where it will be located. Choose a material based on its location along with the amount of protection it will require for the elements.
There are several things to consider when buying a mailbox for a new house or replacing an existing one. Here are some of the most important considerations to take into account:
The first step is to answer the following questions:
How many people will receive mail to the mailbox?
What is the total volume of mail you expect over a specific period?
Do you go on long vacations often?
What sort of weather will the mailbox have to endure?
Will mailbox be at your home or the end of the driveway?
Once you answer these questions, the choices will narrow significantly. The last step is to choose the material:
Plastic – Probably the easiest to maintain but does not handle heat exposure very well.
Brass – Using brass for a mailbox adds class and character to a mailbox. Unfortunately, brass requires a lot of maintenance to look good and to avoid the build-up of patina.
Steel – Extremely durable and resistant to rust, steel requires additional protection against wet weather.
Aluminum – Light weight, durable and naturally resistant to rust, you will only need to add some form of water resistance to Aluminum.