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Letterplate or not?

Whether you like them or not, an essential element of any entrance is a place for a letterbox or letterplate. Your post needs to be delivered one way or another, so here are some points to consider when making decisions about its placement and use: 

letterplate in a vertical groove design

1.  When letterplates are installed onto your door, remember:

  • The Security Risk:  it's placement too close to the middle of the door could be a security risk - enabling easy access to the lock.
  • Considering the Postman: Our customers are sometimes concerned about the postman having to bend down if they place a letterplate at the bottom of the door.  This is entirely a personal choice but letterplates do look more up to date and attractive lower down and out of the way.

2. Letterplates may not be suitable for Passive House

Or zero carbon rated houses with high insulation values because they are a source of heat loss. It is possible to buy certified letterplates, however they are not always attractive or contemporary

letterplate in vertical and horizonal groove designs
letterplate in vertical and horizonal groove designs
example of postbox on wall near the door
example of postbox on wall near the door
Example of a mail chute in a side panel
Example of a mail chute in a side panel
contemporary concrete postbox on the wall near the door
contemporary concrete postbox on the wall near the door

3. The placement of letterplates on timber doorsets with grooves is important:

If the door is vertically grooved,  then the letterplate should be vertical to prevent water rolling down the door and sitting in the grooves where the letterplate is. The same applies if the door is horizontally grooved - the letterplate should be horizontally fitted as well.

4. Mail chutes might be a solution

But are best implemented when the building is being built as they are hard to fit after the fact. 

A postbox sits on an outside wall, with a tunnel through the wall with an internal basket for the post to fall into on the inside. A very good option for new builds when an abundance of space is available. 

example of letterplate in  a wood side panel
example of letterplate in a wood side panel
letterplate in panel in side lite
letterplate in panel in side lite
example of letterplate in a side panel
example of letterplate in a side panel
Example of letterplate in a the wall
Example of letterplate in a the wall

5. Creating a special place for the letterplate on the door is another option.

This is usually done in the side lite in a dedicated panel at the bottom or middle of the door.  The benefit of this is that it is not in the door.

6. Be mindful if you have glass side panels (sidelights)

It's worth noting that if there is a clear glass side lite by your door, there is s security risk if post is left on the doorstep while you are away. Would be burglars will know you are away. In this instance, sandblasted glass could be a good glass option.

CPD RIBA logo

There are benefits in choosing an external postbox, which make a lot of the above points obsolete. But of course you need to go outside to get your mail!

Choosing a contemporary letterplate that's integrated into your front door is a practical but sleek solution for any homeowner.

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