Coming soon...Companies that offer installation in your area. If you live in the Chicago metro or northwest Indiana area, The Mail-House also offers installation.
The first thing you do before you actually start digging is call your local utility locator. These companies will come out and mark your property with the location of underground cables and pipes. Generally, if you're using the exact same spot for your new mailbox, you should be safe. The Mail-House cannot be held responsible if underground utilities are damaged during a mailbox installation if you install your mailbox yourself.
Tools you'll need:||
- Post hole digger (Twist Auger or clam shells)
- 40 lb. bag of cement (preferably Sakrete)
- Phillips screwdriver or cordless drill with a Phillips bit
- Select the location of your mailbox, making sure that you are at least 40 inches away from your driveway. This allows cars and delivery vehicles ample room to enter or exit your driveway.
- Check with your local postmaster for the proper height of your box and the distance it should be from the street. Sometimes, a city will require something slightly different than normal. Come see what the U.S. Postal Service says about mailbox location. Generally speaking, the bottom of the box should be between 42 and 48 inches above the surface of the street (not the curb). The front of your mailbox should be approximately 4 to 6 inches away from the edge of the street or even with back of the curb if you have one.
- Once you have selected the location for your new mailbox, begin by cutting a 12 inch square section of ground, saving the sod. Dig down at least 6 inches. Then use your post-hole digger to remove the rest of the dirt down to a level of 28 to 30 inches. A gas-powered twist auger will do this job in only a few minutes, and if you don't own one they are often rented out at local equipment stores.
- Place the post in the hole and measure from the ground to the top of the support arm. It should be 38 to 42 inches above the ground. If the top of the arm does not fall in this range, remove the pole and dig deeper or refill the hole as necessary to achieve this height.
- Then, with the post in the hole, begin adding 1/4 to 1/2 of the 40 pound bag of cement. Use a hard instrument to tamp the cement into the hole firmly. The handle of your shovel is easiest to use. You will be placing the cement into the hole dry, not wet. It will harden and cure from the natural moisture of the soil around it. If your area is extremely dry, whether naturally or because of drought, then follow the directions on the cement bag to make a wet mix. Even if you use a wet mix, still start filling the hole with only 1/4 to 1/2 of your mix.
- Check the post on all sides with a level to make sure the post isn't leaning in any direction. Filling the hole partially lets you reposition the post if it is leaning at all.
- Continue to empty the cement into the hole around the post, stopping at least once to make sure the post isn't leaning. Continue to tamp the cement down into the hole around the post. Leave 4 to 6 inches of space at the top of the hole so that the sod and dirt you removed earlier can be replaced around the post. This will allow grass or other landscaping to grow easily around the post, but more importantly it will help to prevent your cement from cracking in the future. You do NOT want any cement showing at the surface when you are finished.
- Place the box on top of the support arm and flush against the upright of the post. You will be attaching it to the post with the three screws included with the box. Place the first screw inside the box, at the top of the back end and screw it to the upright. Then add two screws to the bottom (inside) of the box. Sink them until the head of the screw is flush with the floor of the box.
- Now, you can stain or paint your box to match your house. However, before you do, make sure the post is clean and doesn't have any cement residue on it from installation. Then simply follow the directions on your purchased stain or paint.