If you order items online, you know that deliveries can be tricky. Sure, the delivery company will leave the items on your porch—but will they still be there when you get home? Package theft has become a huge problem, as thieves see boxes left on porches as an easy opportunity to make off with someone else’s property. One way to help prevent theft is to use a secure lock box. Here’s how to create a DIY parcel drop box to keep your packages safe.
Don't leave your packages exposed like this!
So, what are you trying to accomplish if you decide to build a package drop box? As we see it, there are three main goals:
- Security. Obviously, this is at the top of the list, as the whole point is to prevent theft. If the drop box is going to serve your needs, it must keep potential thieves out until you arrive home. It will need to be tough enough to withstand damage, and it will need to be fixed so that thieves simply cannot walk away with the entire thing.
- Aesthetics. You don’t want to put a big, ugly box out on your porch. Your neighbors may complain about an eyesore, and you will quickly get tired of an ugly box sitting out in front of your house. One of the biggest challenges that comes with building your own solution is making something attractive enough to set out on your porch with pride.
- Durability. There is no point in building a drop box if it is going to fall apart after only a year or two. Both the materials and the construction need to be focused on long-term performance.
With those three goals established, you can already see the significance of the challenge. To be happy with the final product, you will need to build something that keeps your packages safe, looks good on the porch, and is built to last. Still up for the challenge? Let’s keep going!
PARCELBIN package lock box shown here for reference.
As you design and build your drop box, there are a number of steps you will need to complete. You’ll need to eventually develop your own plans based on the space you have available, the size of the packages you typically have delivered, your budget for the job, and more. However, in this section, we can offer you a guide on some of the key elements to creating a worthwhile lock box:
- Use materials suited for the outdoors. This is an important key if you want the box to hold up for years to come. Even if you are going to place it under a covered porch, you should still be using materials that can handle outdoor conditions. A roof will protect the box from getting hit with rain directly, but there is still going to be moisture in the air at times. Materials that aren’t meant for outdoors will soak up that moisture and the condition of your box will soon deteriorate.
- An opening for dropping packages (optional). The delivery person is going to need to have a way to place your packages inside the box. You could stick with just a lockable door, or you may consider adding a slot on the top of the box. If so, you will need to make sure that packages can be easily placed in, but not taken out. One effective design is something similar to a library drop off hatch. A door with a holder swings open, blocking the space below, but allowing for a package to be inserted. When the hatch is closed, the package drops into the protected space.
- A locking door. Of course, dropping packages could result in damage, and hatches may be less secure. Either way, you will need to install a lockable door for you to be able to access your packages. Whether it is a key or combination lock, you will be able to open it up to collect your deliveries whenever you get back home. If you decide not to opt for the hatch design, a code or key can simply be shared with the delivery company so that they can access the box for drop-offs as needed.
Some Drawbacks Of DIY
As should be clear by now, building your own parcel drop box is not an easy task. Some of the notable drawbacks to think about when considering building your own box include:
- Level of security. Even if you build a box with a locking front door, the overall unit might not be sturdy enough to turn away a determined thief. It will be better than nothing, to be sure, but it might not prevent package theft in the end.
- Time and effort. Simply put, this is a project that is going to take some time and plenty of effort. Do you want to take on the job, or would you rather save that time and order something that has already been designed just for this task?
- Getting past the HOA. If you live in a community with an HOA, you might find that they are unwilling to permit your homemade parcel box for placement on your front porch or another visible location.
While you may lean toward DIY in most of your endeavors, creating a durable, reliable, and secure solution can be a tough task. It may be best to seek a proven alternative to keep your packages safe.
Consider The PARCELBIN
Each of the concerns you may have with a DIY lock box will be addressed when you order a PARCELBIN instead. This industry-leading package drop box is built to a high standard of quality, preventing thieves from stealing your items. In addition to its highly secure and durable build, it looks great. You should have no trouble with HOA approval. And, of course, you can save yourself a lot of time and effort by opting for a reliable prefab model.
With a PARCELBIN, you’ll have a high-quality drop box to keep your packages safe until you return to collect them. And you don’t have to build a thing!