Installing a Mailbox: An Exercise in Patience

You know how there are some projects that you think "oh yea, give me an hour and it will be done!".  That's how I thought installing a new mailbox would be.  It seemed pretty straightforward.  Take mailbox off, put new mailbox on.  Not rocket science.

Oh, famous last words.  But before I get into that, I'll let you know what our old mailbox looked like:

First off, it was mounted really high.  I'm pretty tall (5'8") and I couldn't see inside.  I looked around at other mailboxes in our neighborhood, and they were all significantly lower than ours.

Secondly, it was old and rusted.  I'm not sure if it's the original mailbox or not, but it very well could be.  Also, they didn't remove it last time the house was painted, so there is paint all around the edges.  And right on the front.

Finally, it just wasn't our style.  Some people may be into the rooster/weathervane look, but we're more modern with sleek lines.  A new mailbox was in order.

Here's the one we chose.  You know it's a mailbox because it says "mail" on it.  Matt wanted it to say "male", but they didn't sell a malebox (tehe).

The old one came off pretty easily.  I just unscrewed it, no problem.  This lulled me into a false sense of security, that the rest of the project would be quick and easy.  We already knew that we wouldn't want to mount it at the same height, so I called Matt out to help me decide where to mount it.  We decided we wanted it center line even with the light and doorbell, so we measured and made the marks in the brick.

We marked where we would drill.
That's where things got tricky.  Earlier in the day, I had found videos describing how to drill into masonry.  The video I found said that you should drill a hole slightly smaller than the screw.  So I went out and bought a 1/8" masonry drill bit, and some 3/16" masonry screws.  So we started drilling.

After the holes were drilled, we tried to screw the masonry screws in, but even with the drill we couldn't get them more than halfway.  After trying for a while, one of the screws actually broke in the hole.  So we went back to the hardware store and got a 5/32" masonry drill bit.  We had to drill 2 more holes, above the old ones, because the end of the screw was still stuck in the other hole.  Luckily the second time was a charm, and we drilled the holes and both of the screws went in.

Making sure the holes are level.

After inserting the screws partway, I attached the mailbox.

Then I tightened the screws, and the mailbox was done!

I think it really updates the look of our entryway.  Plus, now we can actually see into the mailbox instead of feeling around blindly for mail! Have you ever had a project that seemed easy but ended up taking a long time?

1 comment:

  1. Yes! And this mailbox is very modern and really says a lot for the entry. Love your improvements. Hope you've had a chance to visit with us...we would love hearing from you. Hugs