How To Install A Mailbox On An Existing Metal Post
If you’ve just moved into a new house and have a post but no mailbox, don’t panic! You can easily install a mailbox onto an already existing metal post. It’s a lot easier than it sounds, and it makes for an easier time with installation as you won’t need to dig the hole for the post or request permission. So, how do you install a mailbox on an existing metal post?
To mount a mailbox on an existing metal post, you will need to purchase a mailbox and pole bracket kit. After purchasing the kit, just attach the bracket to the pole and the mailbox to the bracket! To make this project go smoothly, check that you have all the necessary tools beforehand.
In this article, we will walk you through the process of installing a mailbox on a metal pole that already exists. In addition, we’ll give you some tips and tricks to make this go smoothly for you.
How To Install A Mailbox On A Metal Post
If there is already a metal post in your yard, lucky you! You can install a mailbox directly on to the existing post in a few simple steps.
You will need the following tools to install your mailbox onto the metal post:
- Galvanized mounting screws
- A screwdriver or screw gun
- A mailbox
- A metal post
- A cordless drill
Make sure that you have all the necessary tools before starting this project. Also, make sure that your cordless drill is charged and ready to go!
Step 1: Position Your Mailbox
Position the center of the mailbox over the metal pole. It will be easier to mount your mailbox if it is as close to the center as possible. Eyeball each side to check that it’s centered correctly before moving on.
Step 2: Position The Brackets
Position the brackets on the mailbox and metal post as desired.
Note: Each mailbox is slightly different and will come with different instructions. The instructions will call for specific bracket placement to help with mailbox alignment.
Step 3: Secure Your Brackets And Mailbox
Attach brackets to the metal post and mailbox with the mounting screws using a screwdriver or screw gun. Wiggle it to make sure that it’s going to stay in the proper position and place, and so that it doesn’t fall off. If it falls off, then you didn’t install it correctly and you’ll need to attempt this again.
Note: If the metal post does not have any existing holes, use a cordless drill to make some. Drilling pilot holes will allow screws to go in more easily during installation.
What Type Of Mailbox Should I Install On A Metal Post?
If you’re installing a new mailbox on top of an existing metal post, a metal mailbox is the best option! There are many benefits to having an all-metal mail set-up for your home:
- Metal mailboxes and posts are rust-resistant. If the mailbox and post are aluminum, they can resist rust for decades. Aluminum contains an outer layer that protects it against rust and oxidation, meaning you’ll have a gleaming mailbox for years to come!
If your mailbox and post are steel, you will have more issues with rust. You can prevent this by painting the mailbox and post or spraying them with a rust-proof finish.
- Metal mailboxes and posts are lightweight but durable. If your mailbox and post are aluminum, your mail set-up will be lightweight compared to heavier metals and wood.
An aluminum mailbox will also prevent your mail set-up from becoming top heavy and leaning as it ages. A steel mailbox and post won’t be as lightweight, but definitely provide more strength and durability than its aluminum counterpart.
- Metal mailboxes and posts are insect-resistant. Unlike with wooden mailboxes, metal mailboxes and posts aren’t friendly homes for pesky bugs. Metal also won’t be eaten up by termites like wooden post alternatives.
- Metal mailboxes and posts incur low upkeep costs. Because aluminum is rust-resistant, you won’t have to scrub the rust off your post and mailbox. Many aluminum mailboxes have a durable powder finish.
The finish also helps to keep your mailbox clean and rust-free! At most, you might want to spray your mailbox and post down with your gardening hose every once in a while.
- Metal mailboxes are easy to refurbish if they begin to weather. Often, mailboxes will fade a bit in the sun. Aluminum mailboxes and poles can simply be painted to counteract this fading. Apply a primer first, and your paint job will last for years!
What If The Existing Post Is Wood?
If your new home has an existing wood post rather than a metal post, you can install a mailbox on the wood post.
You will need the following tools to mount a mailbox on an existing wooden post:
- A piece of 1×4
- A circular saw or handsaw
- Tape measure
- Galvanized screws
- A pencil
- A drill
- A screwdriver or screw gun
- A mailbox
- A wooden post
Step 1: Measure
Measure the length of the bottom of the mailbox and subtract half an inch. This is so that you can cut it to the correct length in step two.
Step 2: Cut With Your Saw
Using a circular saw or handsaw, cut the 1×4 the same length as the measurement from step one. This length will allow the mailbox’s door to open fully.
Step 3: Center The Extension
Place the 1×4 on the wooden post’s extension arm and center it. The four-inch side of the 1×4 should butt up against the standing post. This will allow the mailbox to sit flat on the 1×4.
Step 4: Install The Screws
Install the galvanized screws through the front, middle, and back of the 1×4 and into the extension arm. Use two screws at each section for stability and strength.
Step 5: Line Up Your Mailbox
Place the mailbox on the 1×4 board, lining it up with the back end of the board. There should be a 1/2-inch gap between the front of the mailbox and the board’s front end.
Step 6: Mark The Mounting Holes
Mark the mailbox mounting holes on the 1×4 board with a pencil.
Step 7: Drill The Holes
Drill holes where you made the marks in step 6. This will allow screws to go in more easily during installation. Make sure you drive them straight and in line so that you don’t have any trouble attaching them.
Step 8: Install The Mailbox
Place the mailbox back on the 1×4 board, and install it using galvanized screws. You can use a specialized screw gun that fits inside the mailbox or screw the bolts in by hand.
Do you need concrete for a mailbox post?
Most mailbox posts require concrete during installation. A 60-lb bag of concrete should do the trick! If your existing post was installed without concrete, you need to pour concrete for stabilization. Otherwise, your mailbox and post will start to lean, especially if you receive a lot of mail.
Can I remove an existing mailbox post?
You can remove an existing mailbox post by following a few simple steps. Before you attempt to dig the old one out, you should call 811 to ensure that there aren’t any utilities below your mailbox. You certainly don’t want to dig right into a pipe! If the old mailbox was installed without concrete, you could yank it out. Attach a 2×4 to the current mailbox post and use a pry bar to pry the post out of the ground. If there is concrete, you’ll have to dig out the post, concrete and all. This requires digging far enough that all the concrete is exposed and can be lifted out of the ground.
Do I have to follow certain regulations when installing my new mailbox?
The United States Postal Service has strict regulation s for mailboxes. Mailboxes must be six to eight inches back from the curb or road edge. Mailboxes can also only be 41 to 45 inches from the road to the bottom of the mailbox. Keep these guidelines in mind when installing your mailbox on an existing post. If the existing post exceeds the 45-inch height or is closer than six inches to the road, you should look into removing it and purchasing a new one.
If you have an existing metal post at your home, you can easily install a mailbox on top of it! You will just need a mailbox bracket kit, a screwdriver, and, of course, a mailbox. Center the mailbox and attach your brackets to the mailbox and post following your new mailbox’s directions.
A metal mailbox and post comes with many benefits. Metal mailboxes are rust and insect-resistant, lightweight, and durable. They also have low upkeep costs and refurbish easily.
If the existing post is wood, don’t fret! You can install a mailbox on an existing wood post, though this requires a bit more work than a metal pole. You’ll need power tools, a 1×4, and lots of galvanized screws and bolts.
Following these steps is sure to give your new mailbox the stamp of approval it deserves!
Stacy Randall is a wife, mother, and freelance writer from NOLA that has always had a love for DIY projects, home organization, and making spaces beautiful. Together with her husband, she has been spending the last several years lovingly renovating her grandparent's former home, making it their own and learning a lot about life along the way.
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