If your mailbox is dangerous, damaged, or lacking security, it’s time to replace it.
Whether it’s for your home or business, it’s a simple process that you can easily accomplish in a few hours.
Before we get into how to replace a mailbox, you’ll want to make sure you order a new one and have it before you begin. If you’re changing the size or location of the mailbox, you’ll need to check in with your local post office to get it approved.
Other than that, here are 5 simple steps to get the job done.
1. Remove the Old Mailbox
Luckily, mailboxes have been widely used since 1863. This means that plenty of people have replaced their mailboxes, simplifying the process over time.
First, you’ll want to remove the box. This may require various tools, such as a screwdriver and a socket wrench, depending on your set up.
Once that’s removed, it’s time to get the old post out. Take a shovel and dig around the post to loosen the soil.
Dig and wiggle the post around until you can get it out. If it’s really in there, you may need to add some water to soften the soil.
If the post is mounted in concrete, you’ll have to dig around that, too.
2. Adjust the Post Hole
If there are any differences in size between your old and new posts, you’ll want to adjust by digging out or adding soil.
The hole should be no more than 24 inches deep and the bottom of your mailbox should be between 41 and 45 inches from the top of the road.
These regulations are in place to make the postman’s job easier. There are around 187.8 million pieces of mail delivered every day, after all.
Refrain from using concrete unless absolutely necessary. It will make it harder to replace the post in the future.
Instead, you’ll want to line the bottom of the hole with about 4 inches of gravel to promote proper water drainage. Be sure to include this in your measurements.
3. Prepare Your New Post
Depending on the mailbox you get, you may need to treat the post to prevent water damage.
Most modern wood posts are pressure treated and weather-resistant but be sure to double-check. You don’t want it to rot prematurely.
Besides using a wood 4×4 post, you may use a steel or aluminum post that’s 2 inches in diameter.
4. Put the Post In the Hole
Rest the post in the hole and re-measure the distance from the road to the bottom of the box. It’s better to do this before you add soil around the post, in case you need to add or remove soil.
If it lines up, put a level on top of the post and begin filling the hole with soil. Fill it with 6 to 12 inches at a time, packing each layer down as you go.
This will prevent the post from being loose and wobbling around.
5. How to Replace a Mailbox: The Final Steps
Once your post is secure, attach the box to it using mounting brackets.
The mounting brackets, bolts, and nuts required should come with your new mailbox.
Some mailboxes attach to the top of the post or an extended arm, while others mount underneath the arm to hang.
Once it’s secure, you’ll add the finishing touches. This means putting your house number on the sides or on the opening of the mailbox.
If your mailbox is on a different street, you’re required to list your full street address.
Enjoy Your New Set-Up
Now that you know how to replace a mailbox properly, you shouldn’t have to worry about it for a long time.
Try to recycle your old post and box at a local recycling center.
Keep reading our blog for more tips and information on everything related to snail mail.