The whole concept of having a letterbox in a UK property may not seem that important at first, but it is one of those weird decisions that will have a genuine impact on how well a new or replacement residential aluminium, composite, hardwood, metal or PVCU front door performs energy efficiency wise, plus although it sounds strange, the position of a letterbox can genuinely affects just how secure any particular dwelling is.
Fundamentally, when you have a letterbox that gives the outside world mini-access into your private dwelling, both visually and physically, plus does not offer a thermal barrier between the cold outside and the warmth inside, it might be worth a re-think.
Taking a moment to consider the implications for thermal efficiency, cutting a door leaf open to take a letter plate is rather a counter productive operation to an otherwise well insulated double glazed or triple glazed door, especially if the intention of you fitting a replacement double glazed door in the first place was to exclude draughts and the cold. Even with a brush draught “excluder” fitted in between the inside and outside letterplates, this is not sufficient insulation in itself to keep out some of the extreme Winter weather we get from time to time.
Some UK house owners choose to position their letterbox in a side panel to the left or right of their front door, well away from the front door handle and locking mechanism (which in doing so makes the door itself more secure). Not putting a letterbox in a front door is much better for the aesthetics of any main entrance-way , and means the doorway cannot be cluttered up with holiday post that could prevent the door from opening inwards properly on ones return home.
It is an idea security wise to position your letterbox, so when you are away from home for a period of time, any “build up” of post is visually obscured from unwanted external prying eyes. This can be simply achieved by having solid panels in your doors and side panels or the specifying of really obscure glass, as double glazed and triple glazed glass comes with a choice of obscure glass patterns and designs that have different levels of privacy. Positioning a letterbox away from an entrance door still does not address two things that let a letterbox down, a) that they let in the cold and draughts even when closed and b) that unwanted items or liquids can be pushed through them by undesirables. Property owners can alleviate cold and draughts by stuffing foam or a towel into the gap between the letterplates, but this is not something the postman appreciates!
One can argue that the most sensible place for a letterbox is either i) an exterior letter box, or if one is worried about others getting hold of the mail, ii) a letterbox positioned in a panel or wall that goes directly into a secure locked area such as a garage or porch (i.e. a location that can not be viewed externally). It is surely a bit crackers to spend good money investing in a high quality thermally efficient replacement double glazed aluminium, composite, PVCU or timber front door and then dismember it by cutting a huge hole in it or a side panel to accommodate a letterbox! But as the old saying goes “There is none so queer as folk.”
For homeowners where the maximum possible daylight in their new living space is not a priority, rather the best possible thermal option for their new…
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