When my wife and I were nearing the end of our new home build, we had an important decision to make. What mailbox should we have? There’s so many options available and they span a wild range of price points. For me, I cared about two key elements, the functionality and aesthetics, price was a distant third in the priority list (relative to the cost of the house, the mailbox was a rounding error).
After breaking down our previous usage of a mailbox, I knew the standard shortfalls of a regular, cheap mailbox from Bunnings. Like many households, more and more of our purchases are delivered and a significant majority would plausibility fit in our mailbox. Junk mail is useless in printed form, thanks to online catalogue sites like Lasoo.com.au. Wherever possible we get bills electronically (many providers now charging more for paper copies) so its really only the odd letter that gets delivered that’s actually of value and in 2017, that’s probably a familiar mail profile for lots of Australian households.
So what about those purchases? When the courier arrives, is the best we can do, that they leave a calling card and we have to scramble the next day during lunch to collect the parcel from the depot? The answer thankfully is no, we can do much much better.
After much research online, I found my way to mailboxes that contained parcel drop boxes. While I loved the idea of having a secure, miniature version of Australia Post’s red post box in my front yard, most designs were limited to awful steel boxes in boring colours.
Further searching led me to Australian designed, engineered and manufactured, Deliver-Eze’s Brighton parcel letterbox. This was different as its designed to be bricked-in. This important feature allowed the functionality to be achieved while affording the completely custom design I wanted.
After having modeled my future home in 3D Studio Max before a single brick was layed, of course I turned again to 3D modelling to design the custom mailbox. I came up with a brick layout that supported the placement of the Brighton, as well as leaving space for a street address nameplate and an aesthetically pleasing two-height structure, finished in 2-tone render to match the facade of our new home.
After buying the Brighton online, it was delivered and included was step-by-step instructions along with everything necessary to install it. I found a brick layer who was used to bricking houses, but was willing to take this on and did a spectacular job with the left over bricks from our build. The durable frame of the Brighton is manufactured from 304 stainless steel, while the equally robust integrated delivery door is finished in premium marine grade 316 brushed stainless steel.
Knowing the bricks were slated to be rendered, our brickie left the appropriate gaps for the render to sit flush with the rear door of the parcel box, where a combination lock secures your packages. After letting the bricks and mortar settle for about a week, I contacted the same renderer that worked on our house and was up for going round 2 on the custom (matching mailbox). While it wasn’t a fast production, it was one I’m incredibly happy and proud of, there is no other mailbox on the planet like this and as I look down the street at all the off-the-shelf boxes, I smile, knowing mine ticks the boxes I originally set out to achieve.
This will be the first Christmas in our new home and we now have a way to accept large online shopping packages, courier deliveries, parcel post, holiday, bulk and regular mail. The anti-theft delivery chute, is engineered as a self-closing door, so new items can be added, by pulling the mail slot out, but its not possible to get your arm down to steal existing drop-offs.
In terms of capacity, Deliver-eze say it’ll accepts parcels and boxes up to 325mm x 315mm x 225mm, or in laymen’s terms.. a slab. I haven’t tested that, but if any of you want to send me one to try, Jack Daniels is the drink of choice, thanks.
|Height:||690mm (allows for 6mm lintel in 8 brick 696mm cavity)|
|Width:||369mm (for bricking into 1.5 brick 370 mm cavity)|
|Depth:||480mm (allows for 2 x 5mm render)|
|Mail Slot Size:||230mm x 28mm|
|Front Delivery Door and Fascia Surround Size:||427mm wide x 322mm high|
|Max. Storage Capacity:||83 litres|
|Materials:||Marine Grade 316 stainless steel front delivery door and fascia. 304 stainless steel frame. Heavy duty pre-galvanised, phosphated, E-coated and powder-coated steel (rear door).|
|Supplied with:||Installation instructions, doorbell placard, delivery door label, fascia screws|
Pricing and Availability
Brighton (brick-in) – $499
Free Shipping to Victoria, New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and South Australia.
$30 Subsidised Shipping charge to Queensland, Western Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory.
At the end of the day, few projects come together as well as this one did. I’m absolutely thrilled with the outcome and it probably worked out better than I had hoped. The only piece to the puzzle is user education. Some delivery drivers see the mailbox slot and thinks its simply for letters. Thanks to the Ring Video Doorbell, I remotely speak to the courier from my phone and can inform them my mailbox is a little different.
Sure, not every delivery I get fits in the mailbox, but a significant majority do, which means a dramatic reduction in trips to pickup goods I had delivered to my home. One thing I haven’t got sorted yet is the ability to register my mailbox registered with Australia Post as a secure drop, which would enable drivers to leave packages that would otherwise require a signature. This would work by having the driver scan the barcode on the inside of the front drawer to confirm the drop off location had been reached and achieved.
The Brighton brick-in parcel letterbox is a fantastic solution to parcel delivery to our homes and with Amazon close to launching in Australia, this problem is about to magnify. If you’re looking for a new mailbox solution to solve the package delivery problem (definitely a 1st world problem), then I can highly recommend it.
If I was to design a v2, the Brighton would include a solar panel to power a package detection system that’d notify users a package has arrived.
- Combo lock
- Good instructions
- Complex install