“What happened to your mailbox?”
This, it turns out, is what happened to our mailbox:
During the night someone snapped the post off at ground level. Note to that person: you need to a) get glasses, b) stop texting while driving, or c) quit driving drunk before you barrel over a person instead of a post. Since the postal service won’t deliver to an inaccessible mailbox, replacing it jumped the to-do list queue.
How did new home owners survive before google? Five minutes searching and I had my shopping list: new post, mounting board, new mailbox, new street numbers. At least it’s a pretty drive to the hardware store. The city limits end a few blocks from our house. Once past the edge of town it’s three miles of hills, pine woods, and lakes to Lowes.
Overall, I could almost thank whoever hit the mailbox. Instead of a morning painting I learned another home upkeep skill and spent a sunny hour out shoveling, sawing, and playing with power tools while juggling a post, level, and measuring tape. The end result looked like this (less my amateurish photoshopping on the street numbers):
In case you’re another newbie like me, the steps are:
- If you’re putting the new mailbox in the same site as the old one, you’ll need to dig out the old post first. I moved the new post several inches over to avoid damaging the bush roots so it didn’t matter.
- Dig a hole about 18 inches deep.
- Cut your post to length – the mailbox should sit 41 – 45 inches above ground
- Attach street numbers to the post and mailbox
- Set the post in the hole, and either fill the hole with concrete (checking the post with a level) or fill it with dirt while tamping it down and checking with a level every couple of inches. If your spouse is in Afghanistan and unable to help, you may look like an idiot this point as you hold up the post with one leg, stretch across the lawn for the out-of-reach tape measure, and drop the level.
- Nail a mounting board to the post arm
- Screw the box to the mounting arm. If you’re enjoying playing with your cordless drill, sink several more screws than necessary to “make sure it’s really secure”
- Take a picture because you feel like a suburban MacGyver