Saturday, September 1, 2012

Hey Mister Postman

Curb appeal is important, right?  I feel like my house looks like a ski chalet from the outside, since it's brown and has those off-red shutters.

You may remember my giant mailbox from an earlier post... I'll refresh your memory if not. It has a big brick base and a rusting mailbox with no door on top. The mailbox is encased in concrete. Nothing says classy like a mailbox without a front.

I set out to rectify that at the beginning of August. By rectify I mean I took the outer layer of concrete and peeled it off with my fingers when I went to get the mail. That made it look even worse because you could see all the mold that had collected in the cracks. Jeremy really loves when I start these projects with no direction.

I have been working on this for a week or so now. Step one was to remove the concrete and the rusting mailbox.

Husband did a great job because the sledge is too heavy for me to use effectively.

Action shot!

We decided to leave the base intact because it looks fine and is sturdier than a post. Also cheaper than buying a post and concrete....

We had a rain delay and couldn't finish the mailbox install over the weekend, so we put a pink dropcloth down (not pictured) and the old mailbox. We definitely were the coolest house on the block Monday during the workday...

After screwing the wood to the bottom of the new mailbox I stuck it to the brick with construction adhesive. Once the mailbox was installed I got to work on making it excellent.

I bought some cedar boards at Lowes. I picked cedar because it's naturally rot and insect resistant. It's the only type of wood that you don't have to stain/seal (excepted treated wood, of course). I measured the distance on both sides of the mailbox and came up with plans for flower boxes.

The long boards are 23.5 inches and the short are 5.5 inches.

I used wood screws to hold the boards in place. As you can see they're not 100% perfect, but they're fine as far as I'm concerned. The circular saw makes it difficult to make really straight cuts, so everything gets a bit off...

If I did this again I'd screw from the inside to hide the screwheads. I'll just say I'm going for a rustic look...

Then I drilled some holes in the bottom for drainage purposes and picked up some flowers.
*Sidenote: I picked mostly red flowers because they're less likely to attract bees. I don't want the poor mail lady to get stung. I also planted them towards the back of the box to for the same reason and to keep access to the flag. These flowers should last to the late fall, hopefully.

Once the plants were potted I adhered some shelf brackets behind the mailbox to secure the boxes to. The boxes will be screwed to the brackets, but not permanently attached. Then I can remove them for replanting/repairs if need be.

Here's the finished product!