Are you fed up with the old mailbox and you want to make a change into something new? I have seen many people building their own mailboxes and they are all creative and unique! I am inspired and today, I will share with you every step to create your own mailboxes with bricks, which is not a very difficult mission. You can build a stone or brick mailbox as well, however, in this post, I will talk about brick mailbox only because it would be cheaper and easier for you to finish. Whether you already have a mailbox or not yet, it is time to refresh your house.
First, you have to go get all the tools and materials you need to build a mailbox.
Here are the tools:
- a stiff- bristled brush
- a level
- a jointer
- a masonry trowel
- framing squares
- a tamper
- a digging shovel
- a measuring tape
And the materials you will need:
- a mailbox (get the quality sturdy steel one)
- bricks (up to your choice)
- metal strap anchors
- concrete blocks
- fast-drying cement (my favorite is Quikrete)
- pea gravels
- premixed mortar
Ok! Let’s get started!
You must determine the place you will put your mailbox and clean all the dirt to prepare. If you have an old mailbox, remove it and clear all debris. Mark the point at the place you will put your future mailbox. Next, if you want to have a 24 inch square mailbox, dig a 32 inches hole and use the tamper to compact and level the soil. The depth of the hole depends on your conditions, for example, if you live on the street and the underground line run along, do not dig too deep, you should not dig over 12 inches, or if you live in the North with frozen snow, dig about 36’’ deep hole in order to clear the freeze line.
Add the pea gravel about 2” high then use the tamper to level and compact them (this step you can pass if you don’t like)
Next step is preparing the footer. Mix the fast- drying cement following the direction and pour it on the pea gravel until the hole is level with the ground. Make sure the footer is level, this step is very important and might be difficult, but you can level and smooth it by using the trowel and level. Now the cement needs to set up, wait for it about 24 to 48 hours depends on your condition.
When cement is set, return and build the block core in the center. Mark the center of the hole, measure 8 inches for each direction to make a square, this spot is where you set the main column. Now start to lay the blocks. Place two 8 inch blocks side by side, remember to place it right in the center, the first blocks are the most important to set the following ones. Then mark their positions using a pencil and remove the blocks.
Next, prepare the premixed mortar following the direction of the manufacturer, lay the mortar layer on the position you have marked. Do not use too little mortar; you have to make sure that the block has enough mortar to support it.
You can place the blocks now. Carefully put them on the mortar, make sure they are plumb, level and square. Remember, the first blocks are the most important always. Next, you lay another mortar layer on these blocks and put other two same blocks, press them to settle down. Remember to do it like exactly the way you do with the first two blocks.
It is time to set the bricks. You need to lay a generous mortar layer around the blocks, on the footer. Then put the first brick on the mortar layer and press it down gently. With the second brick, you apply a layer of mortar on its end that connects with the first brick; also press it down in the mortar on the footer. Clear the excess mortar if need. Keep on this work until the brick courses cover the entire of the center blocks. When you are done, check the brick course to make sure they are plumb and square; you can adjust the bricks by using the trowel.
Next work you need to do is completing the foundation and the brick course to determine the height of the mailbox. To secure the foundation and the wall, place the metal strap anchors across the cement blocks and brick courses that you have already laid. Continue applying the mortar on the previous row of center blocks and then put more 2 blocks on it, and then other courses of bricks. Keep doing this until it reaches your favorite height of the mailbox.
The last step is installing the mailbox. Put it on the top of the bricks and blocks, remember to let it face the road and settle down by mortar. Check its door. You can cover the mailbox by bricks. Wait for the mortar to dry and use the brush to clean the mailbox.
You have finished the easy brick mailbox!