You might need to install a new mailbox post or change one every few years. Mailbox posts are constantly exposed to the elements and wither away with time. If it is time to replace it, you will need guidance on installing a mailbox if you don’t already know how to. Regardless of your situation, we have researched the issue and found some answers.
If you wish to install a new mailbox post or replace an old one, here’s are all the steps that you need to know:
- Purchase a new post and mailbox. If you already have a mailbox installed, remove it.
- If you are installing a new mailbox post, locate the utilities.
- Using a post digger, dig a 20-inch-deep hole.
- Fill it with gravel.
- Check the height of the mail post by placing it in the area you've chosen.
- Add concrete to the spot and cover it with water.
- Let the concrete sit for 4-6 hours.
- Attach the mailbox post and fill the hole with dirt.
If you have the right tools, installing a mailbox post is pretty simple. All you need is a measuring tape, post digger, level, concrete powder, and of course, a mailbox and a post! For an in-depth look at how to install a mailbox, keep reading ahead.
Steps For Installing A New Mailbox Post
Purchase A New Post And Mailbox
When buying a new mailbox, keep in mind that most of them are mounted on a 4x4-inch post, while some mailboxes have more complicated hardware. If you're merely replacing the mailbox post, make sure you get something that will work with your current mailbox.
Almost all mailbox boxes come in three sizes: Standard (T1), large (T2), and extra-large (T3). Sizes of novelty mailboxes may vary. Choose the size and style of mailbox that best suits your needs.
Remove Your Current Mailbox Post
To remove the mailbox, you need to dig around the area with your shovel, and if your shovel blade hits concrete, you need to dig a wider hole around the base of the post. After this process, pour some water in and around the area to make it soften a bit.
Then, wiggle the mailbox post until you are sure that you can pull the box out of the soil. You can use leverage like scrap wood or a car jack to help you with the task.
If you'd like some ideas on what mailbox posts you can have, check out our post here.
Locate the Utilities Before Installing A New Mailbox Post
If you’re digging around in your yard, be mindful that there’s a high chance that you might come across a water pipe, power cable, or any other essential utilities. Be careful as you might hit them in an accident while shoveling.
Search for services in your local area to locate the utilities in your yard and mark their location to make sure you don’t hit them when installing a mailbox post.
Dig A 20-Inch-Deep Hole Using A Post Digger
Post diggers help in digging small holes that need to go deep. You should be able to find one at your local hardware store. Use the post digger to dig a hole at the location that you’ve marked.
While digging, you can throw the dirt out and onto a tarp to make it easier for you to clean up later. Make sure the hole that you’ve dug is at least 20 inches deep.
Fill The Hole With Gravel
You can pour in some gravel, small stones, or anything of the sort to fill the hole. These help with making sure that the bottom of the hole has proper drainage. You should make sure you pour in enough for it to cover around 4 inches of space, leaving a 16 inches deep hole. You can either find gravel in your local hardware store or a nearby nursery.
The amount of gravel you will need depends on its density and the size and depth of your hole. In general, you will need around 10 to 30 pounds of it. If you already have gravel that you’ve taken out from your previous mailbox post, there shouldn’t be a need to add more.
Place The Post In The Hole To Check The Height
After you're finished with all of the above steps, you need to take the mailbox and place it into the spot that you’ve made. This step is essential to make sure that it’s the perfect height. You can use a measuring tape to check the length.
If there’s any problem, you can add or remove gravel accordingly. Usually, mailboxes are around 20 inches in height.
Add Concrete To The Hole And Cover It With Water
Pour concrete powder into the spot, leaving around 4 to 5 inches of space at the top. You have to start by keeping the mailbox as level as you can. Afterward, begin pouring the powder.
You can move on after making any final adjustments. Use a level tool to check whether the post is straight or not by placing it parallel to the post. You can then pour water in so that the concrete powder can turn to concrete.
Let The Concrete Set For 4-6 Hours
After you’ve finished pouring water, leave the post to set for around 4-6 hours. You have to make sure the post stays steady for this period. For some extra stability, a few pieces of excess timber should lay on each side of the post. This way, it will keep the mail post stable for you.
Attach The Mailbox Post And Fill The Hole With Dirt
When the concrete is all set, cover it with dirt, making sure to keep it flattened out so that it sits evenly on the ground. Mount the mailbox in place using a mounting bracket and screws. Give the mailbox a final check and see if it is opening and closing comfortably.
Installing A Mailbox Post Without Concrete
If you wish to install a mailbox post without the hassle of digging and pouring in concrete, some tools can help you achieve it.
It helps you place a regular 4x4 inch mailbox post in spots without support. All you have to do is screw the anchor into the ground using a crossbar and then secure the mailbox post on the bracket using the provided bolts.
With the No-Dig Ground Anchor, you can install the mailbox post in winter. Additionally, it can help when it is difficult to dig holes or pour concrete.
How Many Bags Of Concrete Do You Need For A Mailbox Post?
To set up a mailbox post, you will need around 60 lb. of dry concrete. Check the bags for their weight when you purchase them at the store. Get over 60 pounds of concrete to be on the safe side. But, before you go out to buy concrete bags, make sure that you don’t have any dry concrete in your garage or store from previous projects.
What Side Of The Driveway Does The Mailbox Go On?
The United States Postal Service (USPS) recommends putting the mailbox on the right-hand side of the road. Check the USPS guidelines before you begin installing a mailbox post in your yard. This way, you can avoid having to remove it and start all over again.
If the mailbox is surface-mounted, the door must be around 6 to 8 inches away from the curb. Additionally, it has to be 41 to 45 inches above the ground. Check the guidelines thoroughly and make sure that you comply with them. We go more in-depth with this issue. You can check out our post here.
How Long Does It Take To Install A Mailbox Post?
If you make sure to follow the steps given above, installing a mailbox post is a simple task that you can finish in just a day. You will need some time for the concrete to harden and settle, but the installation itself doesn’t take more than a couple of hours combined. You can quickly complete this project over the weekend.
About How Much Does It Cost To Install A Mailbox Post?
To install a mailbox post, you can get a low estimate for around $46 to $125, while the higher estimates go from $135 to $435. Make a budget before you begin working on this project, and then stick to it as you go along. Mailboxes and posts vary in size, quality, and style. The prices change according to these factors. The cost of the material that you use to install the mailbox post can also vary.
Make sure you always wear safety equipment while doing the job to prevent any injuries. You can rent out the safety equipment from hardware stores at cheap rates. That is if you don’t wish to purchase them. It is better to be on the safe side.
Installing a mailbox can increase the curb appeal of your home by adding a finishing touch. We hope that these steps will help you in self-installing a mailbox post in your yard. Good luck, and happy mailing!