One of the most prominently displayed features to every homeowner's yard is a mailbox. From passing motorist to visiting friends and family, a mailbox often dictates the initial perception to the appearance of a home. However, rather than being content with a standard black mailbox on a metal pole, homeowners can ensure a positive first reaction to their yards with a designer brick mailbox.
In addition to effectively enhancing the appearance of a home, a brick mailbox offers increased durability and strength not associated with traditional mailboxes. It can be personalized with a family name, crest or other distinct signage to differentiate a home from others in the area. A feasible do-it-yourself project for homeowners, a brick mailbox is a long-term improvement to the appearance and value of a home. The materials and tools needed to install build a brick mailbox include a shovel, masonry trowel, framing square, wheelbarrow, QUIKRETE® Concrete Mix, QUIKRETE® Mortar Mix or QUIKRETE® Mason Mix, level, measuring tape, gloves, bricks, and concrete blocks.
The following outlines the steps to build a brick mailbox (specific directions for each product are located on product packaging):
Dig an 8" deep hole for your footer. Make the hole a few inches wider than the mailbox will be and level the surface.
Mix QUIKRETE® Concrete Mix and pour footer. Use trowel to level the footer.
After the footing has cured for about seven days, build the foundation with two 8" by 8" by 16" blocks. Use a trowel to mark reference points for the placement of the blocks.
Mark the center reference point on the far end of the footer and use a framing square to mark the outside edges and any other edges where blocks will rest.
Mix QUIKRETE® Mason Mix or QUIKRETE® Mortar Mix and lay mortar along each line where the edge of a block will rest. Place plenty of mortar on each line.
Work your way around the base until the course is done. Then use a framing square to make sure you're starting with a square base. Continue with additional courses until you reach the area where you want to install the newspaper box.
| Lay a block on each line, and press it into place. Make sure there is enough mortar to support the block. Then lay another block beside the first one, using the same procedure.|
Begin a second run of blocks by spreading mortar along the edges of the first blocks, then set the next run of blocks on top of them. Stack the second run perpendicular to the first blocks.
Lay plenty of mortar along the footing where the first course of bricks will be placed.
Lay the first brick in position, and press it gently into the mortar. You may need to adjust the placement of the bricks later. Apply mortar to one end of the next brick and butt it against the first one.
Continue placing bricks end to end. Occasionally check for level, and scrape off any excess mortar. Periodically check for square by measuring the distance of each brick from the block foundation. Adjust the placement of the bricks so that the measurement is equal on all sides.
Add a large bed of mortar to secure the newspaper box. Treat the box as if it were a large brick. Use your level to angle the newspaper box slightly forward so it won't collect water.
Lay a row of vertical bricks at the front of the structure next to the newspaper box and continue installing horizontal courses on the sides and in the back.
Add two more horizontal courses to separate the mailbox from the newspaper box.
After you reach the level where you want your mailbox, center the mailbox on the bricks, and move it around until the placement suits your taste. Allow sufficient clearance for the door to open. Mark the mailbox on either side to indicate the distance it will stick out of the brick structure.
Remove the box, and lay a thick bed of mortar. Place the mailbox on top of the bricks, and press it into place.
Lay another row of vertical bricks next to the mailbox to mirror the one for the newspaper box. Then fill in the gaps around the mailbox with mortar.
Install two more horizontal rows above the mailbox. Then extend the next course of bricks over the edge of the bricks below to create a reveal. Make sure the holes in the cored bricks are covered on the bottom and top.
Lay horizontal bricks on top of the mailbox to protect the surface and fill in the gaps with mortar.
Wait a few hours for the mortar to dry, then use a stiff-bristle brush to remove loose particles from the mailbox.