The post mailbox can be one of the most unique and most beautiful details that adorn every house’s lawn, but often we don’t give too much importance to it and its maintenance until it is very damaged, even till unfixable point. That’s why it is important to install the mailbox properly and by all regulation, so you are sure that your mailbox will last long.
Rules, rules, rules
The mail service in every country has its own regulations regarding the dimensions and installation of the mailbox. The United States Post Service regulations say that the opening of your mailbox needs to be 6 inches to 8 inches away from the curb and 41 inches to 45 inches above the surface of the road. (Local homeowner association can also have its own regulations for the installation of the mailbox.) Keep that in mind before you buy a new one and begin with its installation. And if you are not sure about regulations, you can always see how nearby neighbor installed their mailboxes. However, you need to solve this before you start with the work because you want to avoid unpleasant situations with authorities and paying unnecessary fees.
If you have an old mailbox (or the rest of it) and you want to replace it with the new one, you will need to remove the old one first. For that, you will need the shovel to dig around and then to lift the mailbox up and out. (If the hole from the old mailbox is suitable, maybe it’s possible to use it for the new one.) But, we chose for the installation of the mailbox post excludes the use of concrete and even the digging. For installing your mailbox, you will need a quality anchor like this one on the picture under.
The average price of a quality anchor goes around $30, but it’s worth every dime. You can buy it over the internet or in your local hardware store. It’s easy for the installation, typically made from galvanized steel, so it’s very durable. With its length of over 2 feet, it can provide a sturdy foundation going that deep, and it can guarantee the integrity of the structure for a long time. But the biggest advantage of using an anchor for this task is – ease of installation. With this type of anchor is even possible to do it over the winter, when soil is frozen so much that digging is impossible. Just pour some hot water on the ground and wait to get softer and after use anchor as in normal circumstances.
Let’s see how!
Time for some drilling!
Find a perfect position where you plan to install your new mailbox and mark it with white spray or simply with some stone. Put the crossbar that comes in the package with the anchor and slide it through the designated holes on the anchor. Place it on a previously marked spot and start turning it while applying pressure downwards. You must be sure in every moment that your anchor is going in vertically level, so it would be good if you can hold a small level against the side of the top portion of the spike to check yourself or to use a corner level, specially made for posts. After every few turns, you should check if it’s straight. If it is leaning on one side, you should be able easily to manipulate direction by applying pressure on the opposite side and on that way to straighten it up. When the bottom of the anchor bracket is on the ground level, you are deep enough and ready for the next step.
Installation of the post
The 4×4 wood is the standard for mailbox posts, which can also be ordered over the internet, or you can buy it in your local home improvement store. You should choose cedar or pressure-treated wood for your mailbox post. Choose cedar if you prefer more decorative design, but keep in mind that it is a more expensive choice. Also, it will not warp or shrink, and it’s very resistant to rot and insects. On the other side, pressure-treated wood is cheaper but less attractive. It can sometimes warp and shrink plus because of the treatment process of chemical preservatives in the wood-do not hold paint very well. But it’s very durable, very resistant to rot, insects and weather conditions and it can actually last over 20 years! When you finally find and buy your choice of 4×4 wood, you should place it into the top bracket of the anchor. When you have to define measures according to local and state regulations, and you are sure what is correct mailbox height for your post, you can cut your post to size and/or cut a little piece of the bottom, so you ensure that your post is flat and straight.
In the end, place your mailbox post in the bracket saddle. Check again. It is standing straight using your level and ensure it will be the correct height for your type of mailbox. If everything looks fine, attach the provided lag bolts through the designated holes using a wrench or a socket set. That is it! You’re all done and ready to mount your mailbox on the post, and the job is done without digging or concrete.
But keep in mind, this is only one option, in our opinion, the most simple and cheapest choice. There are a few more solutions that include complete kits, which include anchor and wood/metal posts various types and designs – cedar + anchor, a highly durable steel post, etc.
When setting up your mailbox, remember how high a mailbox should be. If you want to decorate or paint your mailbox, you can always find various tips on how to paint a mailbox. And if you do not want to decorate existing one, but want to buy a new mailbox, you can always find in the market locking mailboxes, to be completely safe that no one will even accidentally take your post.