For homeowners concerned with helping their home stand out from the crowd or tying in historic elements, custom mailboxes may be the solution. While there are certainly rules and regulations when it comes to your mailbox, there are a variety of options that can help make this residential staple really pop.

According to nationalmailboxes.com, mailboxes were invented following the use of postage stamps.

“Mailboxes became a necessity in 1863, when citizens began enjoying free city delivery,” the National Mail Boxes website states. “To ensure some form of uniformity when it came to the common mailbox, the U.S. Postal Service required that mailboxes for homes were big enough to make room for letter envelopes and magazines and be sturdy enough to withstand the weather and regular wear and tear.”

Those looking to maintain the historical integrity of their home’s architecture may choose to integrate a reclaimed mailbox saved from an architecture salvager. Websites like historichouseparts.com allow you to browse through a variety of vintage styles so you can choose the one that most closely fits your pre-existing design.

Crafty homeowners may choose to follow one of the hundreds of online tutorials for spicing up your mailbox yourself. This typically involves painting and updating a pre-existing mailbox, but for those up for the challenge, more advanced tutorials can walk you through building your own.

Still others may choose to go the more expensive route and order a completely custom mailbox online through a website like creativemailboxdesigns.com. The look of these mailboxes can range anywhere from looking like an airplane to a simple but elegant custom design; your imagination is the limit.

Regardless of which route you choose to take, be sure to consult USPS guidelines before installing your new mailbox to ensure you are adhering to their requirements and won’t run into any trouble receiving your mail. Specific regulations exist for the size of the house numbers on your box, how many inches they must be from the road, the size of the post and more.

Additional requirements exist for those that intend to use a locking mailbox. The appeal of a locking mailbox is obvious – security. Anyone who routinely receives mail that contains personal information or items of value may want to consider getting a locking mailbox. These mailboxes allow items to be deposited but require a key to remove the items from the box.