What do I need to know before buying a replacement uPVC letterbox?
Try to to establish the following:
- The width of the letterbox – 10 inch or 12 inch.
- The height of the letterbox – slimline (50mm) or standard (70mm).
- The aperture size – the aperture is the slot cut in the door.
Replacement uPVC Letterbox Measurement Questions:
What is aperture size?
This is the size of the hole that is cut through your door to accept the letterbox sleeve. If you take the letterbox off the door completely you will see a hole in the form of a slot. This should be just big enough to accept your new letterbox sleeve.
What is a midrail letterbox?
A midrail letterbox fits on the actual frame part of a door. You would know this as the horizontal frame that spans the middle of the door. This letterbox has a sleeve that can cope with the extra thickness needed for a midrail type door.
How do I measure the door thickness?
Open the letterbox and drop a tape measure through to measure from the external letter plate to the internal letter plate. Then take off the thickness of the plates internal and external to get the size.
Are letter boxes standard size?
They do come in standard modular sizes like 10 inch or 12 inch which is a good starting point. Always make sure you measure the aperture cut through the door to ensure the sleeve will fit through the door. It would be useful to check the fixing positions too. Follow our video page to see what we mean by a standard upvc door letterbox.
How is uPVC letterbox measured?
Measure the overall width and height and then take letterbox out of the door and measure the aperture hole in the door. It's a good idea to then compare this with the new replacement upvc letterbox. This pictorial guide on how to replace a letterbox for upvc door will be helpful. The actual upvc letterbox sizes in the form of diagrams may also help.
General Fitting Questions:
How do I fit a new replacement upvc letterbox?
Follow our video page - how to fit a upvc letterbox. The first thing to do is to take the old letterbox off the door. You can do this very simply by taking the screws out. The fixings will be underneath the plates. The letterbox can then be pulled apart from the inside and outside at the same time.
The fitting of the new replacement upvc letterbox is the direct reverse of the above. Do unpack the replacement upvc letterbox carefully and be sure to protect the surfaces from scratches. Now decide which is the inside plate. There are several ways to identify this:
- the side with the brush seal inside the plate
- the side whose plate opens least
- holes for the screws are inside the letter plates not the screw ports
- when installed the screw heads should always be on the inside of the door.
Now that you know which is the inside plate bring the two halves of the letter-box together in the door. You will find that the black sleeves will slide into each other and you are then ready to screw the two halves together. Be careful not to over-tighten but ensure a good solid fit and contact is made each side of the door.
How to cut a letterbox in a upvc door
To install a upvc letterbox for the first time to your door then you may need specialist support. An assessment needs to be made as to what you will be cutting through. On top of this you will need the correct router and cutting tool to ensure the aperture is cut accurately. The sleeve of the letterbox must fit through the new aperture with minimal clearance.
General Other Questions:
What is a letterbox cowl?
A letterbox cowl fits on the inside of a door to cover the letterplate. They are designed in a downward angular shape which will allow the internal letterplate to open sufficiently downwards. The idea is to stop keys phishing or anyone using their arm to reach inside to operate the lock or the door lever.
What can I use to clean my new replacement upvc letterbox?
Care should be applied when cleaning upvc style letter plates. They can often be cleaned with a soft dry cloth. If further cleaning is needed use a mild solution of warm, soapy water on a soft cloth and dry thoroughly afterwards. Make sure you do not use wire wool, scouring agents or chemical cleaners.
How to replace a upvc letterbox hinge pin or spring
This can't be done on upvc letterplates as they are factory fitted and the springs are model specific. There are no specific parts available to purchase.
How to seal letterbox on upvc door
If you are experiencing leaks or draughts then use an exterior silicone sealant. This needs to be exterior quality and used only around the perimeter of the outer letterbox. The best thing is to apply this onto the underside surface of the letterplate and then screw the plate down again.