Regardless the size, location, or design, there is one thing all homes have in common: a mailbox. Often times, it is the little details of a house that embodies the essence a home. Having the skills and knowledge to build your own mailbox could be helpful to any homeowner, which is why we have provided a simple step-by-step tutorial on how to install a mailbox:
Consider the location of your mailbox: Whether it will be a free standing mailbox or attached to your house, consider the mailbox guidelines according to the US Postal Service.
Choose the box: Almost any home improvement stores like Lowe's or Home Depot have a good selection of mailboxes to choose from. If you feel so inclined, a homemade box always makes a statement!
Choose the materials for your mailbox post:
- Wood: Pine and cedar are the most commonly used woods because of their durability. However, these materials require a good sanding and staining or painting. Keep in mind your wood might need a new coat of paint from time to time due to weathering.
- PVC: If you are looking for an easy, low maintenance material, opt for PVC. PVC is lightweight, low maintenance, and easier to work with than wood.
- Other plastics: There are other various plastics out there that work well as mailbox posts. Research the durability and longevity of the plastic before deciding. You wouldn't want to find your mailbox in your neighbor's seasonal storm!
Measure and cut: Once you decide on the height of your main support, measure and cut using a table saw. (hint: USPS recommends the height of the box to stand between 41 and 45 inches)
Base for the mailbox: Determine the length of the baseboard needed to support the box. Take note that the base will need to be slightly shorter than the actual mailbox as the door will need room to open.
Supports: Supports on either side of the base will be needed along with an extra diagonal support attached to the post. Supports should be in proportion to the length of the mailbox and height of the post.
Assemble your post: After measuring and cutting the pieces for your mailbox post, assemble your post and secure with screws.
Add your own flare: Although mailbox posts may not be the most exciting use of your creative flare, adding unique carpentry work or a stylistic touch will make your mailbox stand out in a sea of uniformity- not to mention add to your curb appeal.
Install: Dig a hole in your designated spot and install your mailbox. Fill with concrete, rocks, or dirt and test its stability.