Deliver curb appeal with a DIY block mailbox

(BPT) – We’ve all heard the old adage, “you only get one chance to make a first impression.” Well, that statement holds true when you’re talking about a home. Whether it’s the landscaping, the siding, the front door, the windows, the paint, the driveway or the outdoor furniture, the initial reaction to the exterior appearance of a home is permanent. Quite literally, the curb appeal of your home can influence the experience of visiting guests. In addition, 63 percent of homebuyers will visit a home they like after viewing it online, according to the National Association of Realtors. So, investing the time, energy and money to maximize the curb appeal of your home makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, an important element of curb appeal that is often overlooked is the mailbox.

There are more than 50 million curbside mailboxes in the U.S. While these mailboxes serve an important daily function, they also set the tone for a home’s curb appeal. Rather than feature a mailbox on a plain wooden or metal post, placing one in a brick, stone or block enclosure is a popular alternative that can be done without hiring a contractor or being a skilled mason. Building an attractive mailbox column is a DIY project any homeowner can now handle using a versatile block system like Stonegate Country Manor from Keystone Hardscapes.

Note: Wearing gloves and eye protection is recommended.

Steps for building a block mailbox column:

* Mark off the mailbox footprint with paint and remove the dirt from inside until the hole is 12 inches deep. Level the bottom with a hand tamper.

* Add 6 inches of crushed stone a few inches at a time and compact with a hand tamper.

* Install the first course by centering the blocks inside the mailbox footprint and place 6 inches below finished grade. Check front to back and side to side with a level and adjust as necessary with sand and a hammer.

* Lay the second course of block on top of the first course of block in an alternating pattern to make sure they fit correctly. Remove the blocks and apply two quarter-inch-wide strips of QUIKRETE Polyurethane Construction Adhesive on each block in the first course approximately 3 inches away from the inside and outside edge before attaching the second course.

* Repeat the process until you complete the column, being sure to alternate the course layouts as indicated by the directions. Be sure to use a level on each course.

* Once the seventh course is completed, fill the core with the remaining crushed stone so the mailbox has a location to rest. Build the mailbox layer by placing the first course of blocks and securing with concrete adhesive as indicated by the directions.

* Use spray foam to seal behind the face of the mailbox and use QUIKRETE Non-Shrink Grout to fill around the mailbox so that it’s flush and the door opens and closes freely.

* Install the second mailbox course and secure with concrete adhesive before filling around the mailbox again with grout.

* Finally, secure the mailbox in place with concrete adhesive before installing a cap of your choice.

There are a variety of block mailbox column styles, colors and sizes to match the look of any home. In addition, you can easily update your front or back yard with fireplaces, fire pits, kitchens, benches and retaining walls by downloading block system project designs and step-by-step instructions like Stonegate Country Manor at