My mail box was in a serious state of disrepair. With it’s broken lid, loose flag, and shackeldy, weathered post it was a poor receptacle for the many bills, credit card offers and magazines that come our way. It had been on my fix list for a long time and finally made it to the New Years resolution list.
I had already built a new post and repainted a mail box I had on hand, so all systems were go. Now let’s get started.
You’ll need: Post hole diggers, Shovel, Tamp bar,Level, 5 gallon bucket, New post/ Mail box, and Pre mix concrete.
1. Buy or build a new post. Pre-made units are available at any hardware, home and farm/garden store. If you opt for wood, the post and box will be separate. If your box is still good you can obviously reuse it. Some communities require all mail boxes to be the same, so keep that in mind.
2. Measure the height to your old box; should be around 40″. Remove old post. This sounds simple, and probably will be. However, be prepared to do some digging, breaking concrete, and maybe jacking, to get it out.
3. Dig the hole to accommodate the new post. Remove any old concrete and dig deeper or wider as necessary. To be safe, you may want to “call before you dig” to avoid possibly hitting wires, water or gas lines. Since there’s already a post there, this is probably unnecessary, but you never know. The Georgia # is 811. Do this a week ahead of time.
4. Set the post in the hole and check height to bottom of box; again around 40″. Dig or add dirt as necessary. I put a big rock in the bottom of the hole to keep the post up out of the damp soil, it may not help, but can’t hurt.
5. Put 6-8″ of dirt in the hole and tamp it down. Check the post for plumb and level. Add a few rocks or chunks of broken concrete if you’ve got em and pour in some concrete mix. Add enough water to thoroughly dampen concrete and use the tamp bar to mix and pack everything. It’s usually better to mix concrete in a wheelbarrow, but this method works fine. Repeat this step until the hole is filled, while checking often for plumb/level.
6. Mount the box. The base board for my box was 6-1/4″ x 20″ and I cut it from a scrap 2×10. Check your box and act accordingly. Be sure to measure the length with the lid open.
7. Add numbers and any decorations you like.
Now step back and take pleasure in a job well done. I’ve already had compliments from the neighbors; and even my wife!
You only have one chance to make a good impression, and now our mail box stands on the front line, making us all look good.