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How to Install a Mailbox


Ready to replace a damaged roadside mailbox? Or, maybe you want to give your curb appeal a boost with a stylish new mailbox. Installing a mailbox is relatively simple. All you need are a few hours and some basic tools.

Roadside Mailbox Placement

Remember to keep federal regulations in mind when placing the mailbox. When you replace an existing mailbox or install one for the first time, make sure that it will be easily accessible for your mail carrier. Keep these things in mind:

  • The regulation height is 42 inches from the bottom of the mailbox to the ground.
  • Your house number should be clearly marked on the mailbox with painted numbers or stickers no less than 1-inch high.
  • The box should be on the right-hand side of the road as traveled by the mail carrier.
  • It should be located approximately 2 feet from the side of the road to ensure the carrier can get off the road enough to clear traffic.
Before you excavate, check for underground utilities. Call the North America One Call Referral Service at 1-888-258-0808 (or just dial 811) for a national directory of utility companies.

Project Steps

Step 1

Dig your post hole. The hole should be deep enough to allow for 6 inches of gravel (to promote drainage) and to set the post at the correct height. The bottom of the mailbox must be 42 inches off of the ground.

Step 2

Pour about 6 inches of gravel into the hole.

Step 3

Prepare your concrete mix according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Step 4

Set the post and fill the hole with the prepared concrete mix. Tamp the mix while filling to eliminate air pockets.

Step 5

Slope the concrete around the base of the post to allow for water runoff. If you want to conceal the concrete, pour it to within a few inches of the top of the hole and cover with soil after the concrete has set.

Step 6

Attach the mailbox to the post. Attachment brackets designed to fit a standard 4 x 4 post are available, but check to see if they come with your mailbox before purchasing them separately. You may also want to check to see if you have a set from your old mailbox.

Step 7

Check the mailbox assembly for level. Adjust as needed.

Step 8

Label the front and side of the box with your house numbers (and name, if you wish) using stick-on numbers or paint. The numbers should be at least 1-inch high.

Project Information

  • Skill Level: Beginner

*Time and Cost are estimated.