How to Build a Mailbox

A mailbox is one of the first things people see when visiting your home. A well-made mailbox can add to the overall appearance and value to a home, while a rundown mailbox can be an eyesore on your property. Here are some steps you can take in order to build a quality mailbox outside your home.


  1. 1
    Determine the height at which you want the mailbox. A quality mailbox should generally be approximately four feet above the ground.
  2. 2
    Cut a post to the height that allows the mailbox to rest at its desired height. Make sure you allow at least 12 inches (30.5 cm) of the post to be placed underground, perhaps more if you plan on installing a heavier mailbox.
    • A variety of materials can be used for the post, including a stout wooden pole, an angle-iron post fence, or a simple wooden post. If using a wooden post a 4x4 post will likely work best.
  3. 3
    Pour concrete into the hole where the post goes and allow it to dry.
    • Seek professional help if you are unsure about how to pour concrete.
  4. 4
    Design a mailbox to the specifications you desire. A simple standard-looking rounded mailbox can still add charm to your home. However, for the more creative types mailboxes could be made out of a wide variety of designs.
    • More elaborate designs could include, but are certainly not limited to, a lighthouse, a golf ball, a barn, a train, and many others.
  5. 5
    Determine what type of material is best for your mailbox.
    • Sheet metal boxes are the sturdiest but will rust after a few years if not repainted. Plastic boxes are more likely to break but less likely to rust.
  6. 6
    Decide what size mailbox is right for your home. For homes receiving a low volume of mail a small size mailbox will work. For home regularly receiving higher volumes of mail or large packages a larger mailbox is necessary.
  7. 7
    Determine if a newspaper box is needed to go next to the mailbox.
  8. 8
    Paint the post and mailbox to best suit your preference if necessary. Make sure to use a high quality paint that can withstand the elements of the outdoors to ensure the longevity of your mailbox.
  9. 9
    Install a flag on the mailbox using a screw. Even if this may not fit with your envisioned design the mailbox still needs to be functional.
  10. 10
    Paint or install your house number on the mailbox.
    • This can be done using pre-designed numbers or by painting the house number directly on the mailbox. If painting, use number stencils to ensure neatness and clarity.
  11. 11
    Attach your mailbox (and newspaper box if necessary or desired) to the post. Most pre-made mailboxes come with hole-drilled flanges. If making your own mailbox from scratch make sure to save room on the mailbox to fasten it to the post.
    • Gluing your mailbox to the post is an option if necessary. However, this will make it difficult in the future to replace the mailbox without taking the entire post out of the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • Post
  • Concrete
  • Plywood or pre-designed mailbox
  • Paint
  • Nails and screws
  • Pre-made house numbers, if desired

Article Info

Categories: Home Improvements and Repairs