How To Build A Mailbox
By building a mailbox on a brick pedestal and positioning it near your driveway, you can add a major architectural focal point that will add punch to your curb appeal. By following the easy steps below you can build your own beautiful brick mailbox.
Before we get started, take care of the following business:
- Check with your local building and zoning office for any relevant codes.
- Ask at the post office if any specifications need to be followed.
Remove Old Mailbox
Take a mallet or sledgehammer and knock your mailbox out of its place. If your previous mailbox was cemented in, you will need to dig the old concrete out.
The footing will be the base for your new mailbox. Hollow out an area in the ground that is slightly larger than the mailbox you will be putting in. This area should be 8 feet deep. Keep your local codes in mind. Mix some fast-setting concrete and pour it in. You have about 45 minutes to work with the concrete before it dries. Use the trowel and level to make sure that the footing is smooth and even. Once you are finished leave it alone for 7 days to cure.
Now that your footing is cured you can lay the foundation. Your foundation will consist of two 8” x 8” x 16” concrete blocks placed side by side. Use your trowel to mark the footing where the blocks of your foundation will lay. Here is where the mortar comes in. Mix, then spread the mortar on the area you have marked for your blocks. Apply a generous amount, place your 2 blocks side by side and press them firmly into place. Apply mortar to the top of the two blocks so you can lay the next two blocks. The next 2 blocks need to be placed perpendicular to the first.
Now that your foundation is in place, you will begin to the lay the brick. Before you do this, do a test run. Lay the bricks without applying mortar to get a feel for how many bricks you will need and for the process itself.
Be generous with the mortar, applying it to the area where you will place your first brick. Press the brick gently into the mortar. Take your next brick and apply a layer of mortar to the end and butt that same end up against the first brick. Once the first course has been laid, take your level and make sure it is even. Adjust if needed. Repeat these steps to build your layers of brick, working your way around the foundation. Stagger the joints.
Enclosing the Mailbox
Now you will put the mailbox in the new brick structure. Place your new mailbox in a way that leaves room for the door to open and close. Once you have the mailbox in place, mark the mailbox as well as the bricks to know where to place it once you put the mortar in. After removing the mailbox, put a thick layer of mortar inside the base and put the mailbox back in. Once you have it in place push it down gently. Proceed to lay more brick courses until you have enclosed the mailbox to the desired height.
You may use a pre-formed concrete capstone to top it off. Just lay a thick level of mortar across the bricks in the top course and place the capstone on top. These are very heavy; you will need help to lift it.
After a few hours, the mortar should be set. At this time, you can clean up any loose pieces of mortar by running a heavy brush along the joints.