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How To Install a Post-Mount Mailbox: 5 Tips
Do you know how to install a post-mount mailbox correctly? It may seem relatively simple, but mailbox installation can be tricky. Below, we explain how to install a mailbox post for a residential home with step-by-step instructions. In most cases, the process takes about a weekend to complete. So, let's get started!
What Is a Post-Mounted Mailbox?
The next time you leave your house, look around. What do you see right on the curb or roadside? Rows of individual mailboxes: each consisting of a metal or wooden post topped with a letterbox. Most have a small, easily accessible door and house numbers on the side corresponding to the address. The mail compartment comes with or without a locking mechanism.
To install mailbox posts, most people simply dig a hole in the ground and then secure it in place with concrete for extra support. However, holes aren't necessary for installation when the area has a concrete or cement surface. Instead, the posts can go directly on the concrete using bolts.
Post-mounted mailboxes are available in various materials, shapes, styles, colors, and finishes.
Many people use a simple wooden post and metal letter compartment, but that isn't the only choice. Mailbox posts also come in metal, brick, tile, slate, stone, or even hard plastic. Some are quite fancy, featuring wrought iron, eye-catching details, artistic colors, and high-end design elements.
How To Install a Post-Mount Mailbox: 5 Tips
If you don't know how to install a mailbox, it's okay. The process is relatively straightforward, provided you have all the supplies. Here are step-by-step instructions for installing a new post-mounted mailbox:
1. Gather the Necessary Equipment and Hardware
The first step of any mailbox post installation is gathering all the necessary items, tools, equipment, and hardware, including:
- Measuring tape
- New mailbox post and compartment
- Mounting bracket and drill
- Post-hole digger
- Quick-set concrete
- Standard level
- House numbers
How to Find the Best Post-Mounted Mailboxes
The best post-mounted mailboxes use durable materials, such as wood, metal, or hard plastic, yet materials flexible enough to fall over or bend if a truck or car hits them. A 4" x 4" wood support post or a 2" diameter aluminum or steel post is ideal.
2. Determine the Best Location for the Mailbox Post
The next step in the instructions is determining the best location on your property to install your new mailbox. Here are some USPS regulations regarding optimal placement for a mailbox installation:
- Measure a distance (length) of six to eight inches back from the curb and then mark the space on the ground where you'll dig the hole.
- The bottom of the mailbox compartment from the road surface should be a height between 41" and 45".
3. Dig the Post Hole for the New Mailbox
Holes for a mailbox post should have a depth between 18" and 24" and a width of 8". Remember, wider holes allow for more stability when installing the mailbox post, making it easier to keep it straight and level. Use a measuring tape to get the dimensions correct, and remove any rocks or loose dirt from the bottom of the hole.
3A. How to Install a Post-Mounted Mailbox Using Dirt
You can use tools such as a post-hole digger or power auger for digging when it's time to install the post in the ground. First, center the post in the hole and keep it straight and in position. Then, begin filling the hole with the extra soil, pressing down with your feet to pack it in as you go, and stopping when it's about two or three inches away from the surface.
Make sure that the post is level and standing up in a straight line. Use support poles (like wood pieces or metal cables) to ensure that the post length stays in place, or ask a friend to help hold it while you backfill the hole.
3B. How to Install a Post-Mounted Mailbox with Concrete
The most important part of installing post-mounted mailboxes is mixing and pouring the concrete. While the concrete is optional, it ensures that the mailbox will stay securely installed in the ground.
Now, get out the concrete and read the instructions on the bag carefully to ensure that you measure and mix it correctly. Once you're ready, pour it slowly and steadily into the center of the hole, stopping before it reaches the top -- be sure to leave a few inches from the surface.
Take out your level, measure the post to make sure it's still straight, and adjust if necessary. It needs to stay in the proper space until the concrete sets completely. Ask a friend or use small pieces of wood or cable for support.
4. Attach the Mailbox Compartment
The next part of the installation is attaching the mail compartment. For holes with concrete, remember to wait until the concrete sets before adding the mailbox compartment, as it could cause the post to wiggle around or come loose.
Follow the manufacturer's instructions to attach the compartment. For example, you'll probably have to use a mounting bracket and drill to screw the mailbox on the post. Measure and mark the screw holes on the center of the mailbox post before you drill to ensure that it's installed in the right position.
5. Apply Street Numbers to the Mailbox To Help Your Mail Carrier
The last step when installing post-mounted mailboxes is to apply your house numbers to the outside surface of the mail compartment. According to USPS regulations, letters or numbers must be at least one inch tall. Many people use stickers, although some prefer to paint their own with a stencil or even freehand. Mark the side of the mailbox with a ruler and pencil before installation to ensure that the numbers will be straight and even.
For a mailbox with a different location, add the full street name. It helps your mail carrier avoid any confusion when delivering your mail.
Now, you've successfully installed your mailbox. If you wish, add decorations or plant some flowers at the base.
Bonus Tip: Perform Necessary Maintenance
Post-mounted mailboxes can take a lot of abuse from extreme weather. It's important to keep up with annual maintenance during the year to extend the lifespan of your mailbox. For example, you should:
- Promptly replace any missing letters or numbers
- Use a drill to screw in a loose door slot or hinges
- Fix or replace any rust holes or damaged mailbox parts
- Keep the area and path to your mailbox free and clear
- Check regularly for any sign of damage or wear and tear
Plus, taking good care of your mailbox can help prevent the weather from damaging your packages and letters and ensures that the mail carrier won't have any trouble identifying your home address.
Purchase and Install a Post-Mounted Mailbox Today from Mailbox Depot USA
At Mailbox Depot USA, we have an extensive selection of residential and commercial mailboxes, including post-mounted, wall-mounted, recessed, horizontal mailboxes, and more. Our mailboxes are durable, sturdy, high-quality, USPS-approved, and affordable. Once you make a purchase, you can reference this post for instructions for installing a post-mount mailbox to help you navigate the process.
Browse through our online catalog of mailboxes now or reach out to our customer service with any questions you may have; we'd be happy to answer them.