An Old-Fashioned Mailbox-Raising, Part 2: Construction

Our mail was stolen (see Part 1) and with our neighbors we decided to put in a new, locking mailbox. It was a real barn-raising– everyone pitched in.

New mailbox New mailbox, please protect our mail.

Picking the Right Mailbox

Our next-door neighbor led the selection of the mailbox and checked it out with everyone, including the mailman. (The post office has to approve any mailbox changes.) We chose this cluster unit because it was secure, not too ugly, and had two boxes for parcels that could be used by anyone in the cluster.

Another neighbor managed the order, including collecting money from everyone once all construction expenses were included. When it was delivered, the neighbors with the closest garage kept it until we could coordinate construction.

It ended up costing 8 of us about $125 per person.

Putting the Darn Thing Up

The company can install the mailbox for an additional $1,000. Because we’re a go-getter kind of a neighborhood, we decided to do it ourselves. My husband was in charge of that. Major steps included demolition of the old mailbox stands (not as fun as it sounds) and digging a hole with a pickax.

We needed a good bit of rental equipment and material, including 20 bags of concrete. Yet another neighbor got out his truck to pick up the concrete mixer and take the waste to the dump.

The project took a few weeks altogether. Work crews formed whenever neighbors were around. Pictures:
Puring concrete, new mailbox
The first pour.

Pouring concrete, new mailbox
Ahh, concrete.

Buyers’ Remorse and Recriminations

There’s none of either. The new mailbox seems pretty solid so far. We got to know our neighbors. And our mail is safe. I highly recommend a locking box.


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