When it comes to unacknowledged items in the home, there are few that get as little attention as your mailbox post. In fact, once it gets put into the ground, if it isn’t knocked over, you probably don’t think about it at all. If you do, those thoughts probably don’t last for very long. However, if you have back into it or if the paint job on the post is peeling or if the insects have finally taken their toll on the wood, then now may be the time for a replacement.
Do a Little Pre-Digging Research
Before you choose a post, you should ask a few pertinent questions: Where do the utilities run? You can contact the utility company or even your local government agency to get the utility lines marked. Please don’t start digging without this information. Each of the various buried utility lines will be marked, so you will be able to work safely when you start digging.
What Type of Mailbox?
Next, consider the type of mailbox you want. Then ask yourself, “Will this mailbox post be appropriate with the mailbox I have in mind?” You’ll find that there are options in color (which can be changed) and material and even the level of decoration on the post. Before you get too crazy planning a unique post, remember the postal service has some guidelines for you. For example, you should allow a distance of 6 to 8 inches between the curb and the front of your mailbox, situate the box at a level of 41 to45 inches, and be sure that you’ve set the post at least two feet below the ground.
How Secure Is Your Neighborhood?
Consider the amount of security that is necessary in your neighborhood. If mail theft is a big problem, you may need to choose a post that is appropriate for secure boxes. In a relatively safe neighborhood, a cute vinyl post with a planter at the back and a cheerful opening for the daily news could be appropriate. In other neighborhoods, you might need something that is much sturdier and offers a bit of safety for your mail.
What’s the Budget?
Of course, you’ll want to ask yourself how much you can afford to pay for the post. The cheapest are usually pressure-treated wood or a sturdy iron bar with very little in the way of decoration. You’ll find that you can get one of these durable posts with a bit of ornamentation or you could upgrade all the way to a decorative post with side mounts and room for accessories.
Where Will It Go?
Do you have a protected spot for the mailbox? No matter how durable the post is, if you run into it often enough, it will give in. You might think that you can just plop the new mailbox post into the same place as your first post, but unless you’re using exactly the same type of post, this just isn’t going to work. You’ll find that there’s a lot of variety in the positioning and sizes when it comes to mailboxes. Measure twice, cut once!