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Sprucing Up The Exterior — It All Starts With A New Mailbox

After almost two-and-a-half years of completely neglecting the exterior of my house, I finally did my first exterior project this weekend. I have a new mailbox post and mailbox! Remember the old one? It had a hand-painted floral design on it, and it just wasn’t quite my style.

Now that mailbox and post have been completely replaced with something that is much more my style.

mailbox 8

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Isn’t that pretty? Is it strange for me to be so excited about a mailbox post and mailbox? 😀

I had considered building something like this from scratch, but then I decided that that was silly when it would take much longer, probably cost much more, and would then require more upkeep since it would be built out of wood. So in the end, I decided to go with this Mayne White Polymer Mailbox Post from Lowe’s. It was really pretty simple to install. I first had to dig a hole two feet deep, and then set a 6-foot-long 4 x 4 two feet into the ground with concrete.

mailbox 1a

And then the two pieces that form the main post just slid right over the 4 x 4. The first piece went on quite easily.

mailbox 2

The second piece didn’t go on quite so easily. It was a very tight fit, so it took quite a bit of work to get it to slide all the way down, but I finally managed.

mailbox 3

Before I bought this mailbox post, I read almost all of the reviews, and one thing that several people mentioned was that the mailbox arm wasn’t quite as strong as it should be. So I decided to give mine some added strength by cutting down a 2 x 4 to fit the entire length of the mailbox arm, and to fit the width of the opening on the back of the mailbox arm (which was exactly 2 inches wide) and securing it with a large “L” bracket.

mailbox 4

The mailbox arm already had a horizontal rectangle cut out of the back, and a piece of wood in the arm for the mailbox bracket to screw onto. But the wood didn’t go the entire length of the arm, and it didn’t add any real support to the mailbox arm. So I removed that piece of wood, and used my Dremel Multi-Max to cut a vertical rectangle to accommodate the “L” bracket that I used.

mailbox 5

Then I just slid the mailbox arm right over the brace and secured it with the lag bolts and screws provided with the mailbox post.

mailbox 6

That one extra step gave that mailbox arm a great deal more strength. Some of the reviews also mentioned the planter box not being quite secure enough, and I can attest to the fact that when it’s installed according to the directions, it doesn’t feel like it’s very secure. So I added two 3-inch screws drilled through the inside of the planter box, through the polymer post cover, and into the 4 x 4 post. I put the screws about two inches apart, and as close to the top of the planter box as possible. Adding those two screws made the planter box very secure.

mailbox 8

And finally, I added this mailboxthis house number plaque, and some pretty pink flowers to finish it off.

mailbox 9

It’s a small start, but I’m so excited to finally have something accomplished in my front yard! And I’m hoping it’s just the motivation I need to really get the ball rolling on these outdoor projects.

Now I know some of you are thinking, “What about the dining room? What about the music room?” Well, here’s the deal. 🙂

For the past two years, I pretty much completely missed spring and summer. Our first year here, I was cooped up inside working on my kitchen remodel all through spring and summer. Our second year in this house, once again I almost completely missed spring and summer because I was either cooped up at the house working on the bathroom remodel, or I was at the condo getting it ready to sell.

Yes, I have a thousand projects that I could be and probably should be working on inside my house, but this will be the first spring and summer that I don’t have a major remodel underway that I’m feeling pressed to get finished. Sure, it would be nice to have a finished entryway right away, or a finished music room this month, or a finished dining room in the next few weeks. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to miss out on another spring and summer because I feel obligated to be inside my house finishing projects in there. This year, I plan to take full advantage of the beautiful spring and early summer weather when we have it, and I’m going to spend as much time as possible outside working on projects. When the weather isn’t nice (we’re expecting rain this entire next week, and part of next week), then of course, I’ll work on projects inside. But I’m not on any timeline with the interior of  my house. I can work in there 12 months of the year, and it’ll all get finished eventually.

But this is my year to get outside again. I’ve missed it. I love our late winter, spring, and early summer weather here in central Texas, and I don’t plan on missing it for a third year in a row. So if things go as planned, you can expect quite a few more outdoor projects this year. 🙂 The inside stuff will get done eventually. I promise!



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49 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment
    Melissa
    March 7, 2016 at 8:33 am

    Great plan! Sometimes the weather gets hot so quickly, it is important to take advantage of nice weather when you get it. I am looking forward to seeing what you do to improve the curb appeal of your home. And of course, I can’t wait to see the front rooms of your house. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Sue
    March 7, 2016 at 8:48 am

    I like your mailbox and your planter box gives it a punch of color. Well done.

    Also, enjoy your spring and summer!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Pat
    March 7, 2016 at 8:58 am

    Sometimes…..the best things in life are missed because of the imagined “Have Too’s” we put on ourselves….. Good for you, Kristi… Enjoy the freedom to choose….

  • Reply To This Comment
    Laniece
    March 7, 2016 at 8:59 am

    I think the mailbox sets the tone for the whole house. I’m a detail person, though. (Probably some people don’t even notice mailboxes.) Your new mailbox is wonderful!! Can’t wait to see what you do to the outside of your house!! 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    terrillr
    March 7, 2016 at 8:59 am

    Inside or Outside, I still love following your progress! I love the new mailbox and wished I could have one at my house. We have a “neighborhood” box for our street, so no house delivery. I’m sure your mailman (mailperson?) will love your new box also.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Sue
    March 7, 2016 at 9:03 am

    Love the mail box and your plan. I, personally need that outdoor time, specifically, for me, gardening. I call it my dirt therapy and it restores me.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Cynthia Hathaway
    March 7, 2016 at 9:19 am

    Kristi you are so special. I love whatever you’re doing on any given day and for some weird reason I get very excited when I see a post from you. You gave me the courage to do my own baseboards. I don’t have a fast moving mitre saw because my fingers won’t trust me with one but I learned the methods of coping corners and finishing off an exposed end with a return. I’m so excited and really have to thank you for sharing your knowledge. I dropped my obsessive fascination with perfection and became a very experienced caulker because as you say, there are very few 90 degree angles. Love your mailbox. xo

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jeanne in Austin
    March 7, 2016 at 9:21 am

    Your new mailbox, with improvements, looks great! And you are so right about this time of year in Texas—the bluebonnets are already out, and it promises to be a good year for wildflowers. They are exactly why I fell in love with Central Texas as I drove in on April 6, 1984. And yes, I do remember the exact date! 😀

    So relax and take a tour of the wildflower bonanza! Thank you, Ladybird!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jo Ann
    March 7, 2016 at 9:33 am

    I have the exact same mailbox and number plaque! I love it! My neighbor even knocked on my door to ask where I got it.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Sharon C
    March 7, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Love the new mailbox, house number and planter. It looks so elegant and I also agree that it sets the tone to all your amazing renovations. As always, I look forward to seeing what you do, whether inside or outside……I love following all your ideas, creativity and progress! Enjoy the spring and summer.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Sheila F
    March 7, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Lovely new mailbox! It will bring a smile to your face each time you pull up to home. I totally agree that working outside when you can is important. I think your creativity will be enhanced as well. Walking away from the dining room and focusing on the outside will give you “new eyes” when you return to the inside work. And having a pretty outside area to rest with Matt will do you well also!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Colette J.
    March 7, 2016 at 9:33 am

    Loving the new mailbox. It really sets the tone for things to come!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Francy
    March 7, 2016 at 9:38 am

    As I was reading this post and seeing the pictures of the lovely mailbox I was thinking what a breath of fresh air this is… I mean, seeing all the amazing work on the inside is awesome and fun, but to be able to see such instant gratification in such lovely curb appeal and then to get the sneak peek of the yellow on the house just gets me excited for spring and all the wonderful things you will do with the outside of the house!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Liz
    March 7, 2016 at 9:40 am

    Its so strange to me that you have to justify what part of your home you work on and when. Maybe that’s why I don’t blog 🙂 I absolutely LOVE your new mailbox. It looks amazing! If we get somewhere that we have our own mailbox I would love to do that! We had our entire house repainted this past summer/fall and we just put a coat of spray paint on the house numbers, mailbox, light fixture and doorbell. Made quite the difference, but not so fancy 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Mary Anne Looby
    March 7, 2016 at 9:52 am

    Sorry you had so much trouble with strenthing the mailbox. Ours is so old 25 yrs, that they came in one piece. We just have the mailbox arm so it was not a problem to put in place. You mail box will still be there long after you are gone. I also think that it is the first thing you see when you approach a home. Looks great. Listening to you talk about your weather, I would hate TX. I too would have to be outside while the weather is nice so have at it. Don’t know if you have a light post in front of your home, but the gal from Between Naps On The Porch, uses a place that sells on Amazon and they are so reasonable. I am angling for one to slide down over my black post and then put my lantern back on top. They can also be used for bird house posts. Just lovely.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Sara
    March 7, 2016 at 9:53 am

    What a difference a mailbox makes! I’m thinking I need to add this to the to-do list. Looks great!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Kelly B
    March 7, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Love the new mailbox. Totally agree with enjoying the outside. Doing things outside will give you a break from inside and will make you excited to work there when the outside looks so fresh. I totally see you enjoying outside and some new ideas will be thought up!!! This is your house and how you work in or on it is totally up to you. We are just along for the ride for ideas and encouragement. Enjoy this Spring and Summer!!!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Rhonda McSweeney
    March 7, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Love the mailbox, what a nice touch. Everything you do even the smallest projects make a difference in the look and more importantly your joy. I love it!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Betty Paulsen
    March 7, 2016 at 10:09 am

    Love it!! Sara read my mind! I have been trying to figure out a better looking mail box and this is it.
    So glad to hear how you conquered the faults of the store mailbox. Great work.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jan
    March 7, 2016 at 10:16 am

    The mailbox looks gorgeous! And you’re absolutely correct in using the great weather while you have the chance.

    My hubby has told me about the hot Texas summers. Work outside while it is pleasant and indoors while it is sweltering.

    Sounds like a great plan to me!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Marcia
    March 7, 2016 at 10:23 am

    lovely – very nice — so enjoy reading and seeing your posts

  • Reply To This Comment
    Lynne
    March 7, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Makes all the sense in the world to me! Enjoy the beautiful weather and do outside stuff while it’s here. When it gets hot and humid go back and pick up where you left off inside. Either way your readers get to follow along and watch the fun!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Joyce
    March 7, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Good for you! Enjoy the good weather while you can and soak up some healthy vitamin D while working on exterior projects. You’ll be setting a good example for your readers to do the same.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Rita
    March 7, 2016 at 10:35 am

    Kristi,

    That is the most beautiful and stylish mailbox in your town. I wouldn’t be surprised if a photographer came out and put an article about it in your local paper. Love it. You do such good work.

    Rita

  • Reply To This Comment
    janpartist
    March 7, 2016 at 10:36 am

    That mailbox will make you smile every time you leave your driveway and pull into your driveway. There’s nothing small or insignificant about that.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Paige
    March 7, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Love the mailbox- my town is so small we have to use a PO box! Enjoy all the beautiful weather you can while it lasts. I spent Saturday trimming fruit trees, raking out flower beds and cleaning up the yard in the sunshine instead of cleaning my house- then on Sunday it snowed!! Have a great spring and I am excited to see your yellow house{ yay}!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Guerrina
    March 7, 2016 at 10:45 am

    I love the new mailbox post! Never occurred to me that you should be doing something else and no need to justify when you choose one project over another!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Gaye
    March 7, 2016 at 10:47 am

    What a great post! Love that mailbox! Ditto on the other comments …just add mine to the list. We have a generic mailbox provided by the builder and all are alike …standard brick with a hidden mailbox…they are ugly as sin but that is what you get in an HOA neighborhood… And you are so right about our TX weather…enjoy it while we can.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jaybird
    March 7, 2016 at 11:14 am

    It looks beautiful!!!
    What kind of flowers did you plant….I’m jealous :^) (and also lazy)……
    Can’t wait to see which way you go with the yellows. That is my FAVORITE house color!!
    Blessings to you,
    J

  • Reply To This Comment
    Candace
    March 7, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Just beautiful! I enjoy your blog so much and am so amazed by what you do. Glad you are being good to yourself and taking time out to enjoy the weather. If budget allows, perhaps consider hiring someone to do the pressure washing and/or exterior painting so you can have a well-deserved rest and do the fun things! Again, thank you for a great blog.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Theresa
    March 7, 2016 at 11:25 am

    You totally need to be outside this time of year. I live in Florida, so I feel like my “seasons” are somewhat comparable to yours. The past few weeks here have been amazing! I would do as much as you can outside now. Come June, with the heat, you’ll be spending your time inside in your new HVAC. You can finish up inside then!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Debra
    March 7, 2016 at 11:31 am

    That mailbox! Swoon! When you paint your house, everything will look so fresh and new!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Rebecca B
    March 7, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Mailbox looks nice and the petunias add a nice patch of spring color. Is your next project going to be working on the front yard? What kind of tree is that out there in front? Depending what kind of roots it has, you could put a nice shade garden in there with some hostas and ferns and some impatiens for color.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Marianne in Mo.
    March 7, 2016 at 11:53 am

    The mailbox is very lovely, and I appreciate the hints on your installation. We are getting ready to finally start the build on our new house, so this will come in handy!
    I’m totally with you on doing the outside projects while the weather is good. We always save indoor stuff for the bad weather and winters.
    Just found out my daughter and family are moving deeper into Texas, from Wichita Falls to San Antonio! Now instead of a 10 hour drive to see them, it will be 15. But San Antonio is nicer for them, they are always on the go and love having many shopping and activity places to choose from. Don’t imagine we will be heading there until fall, due to the house build, so it will be a long time since we saw them at Christmas! Hoping they will be able to come here first!
    Enjoy the weather today, we too will have rains the entire week!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Marcia
    March 7, 2016 at 12:02 pm

    Very pretty mailbox. It’s really going to set the tone for the curb appeal you plan to have. I’ve heard, however, that mail carriers aren’t fond of flowers on mailboxes due to bees and the chances of getting stung. Perhaps you could change the flowers to a pretty trailing green plant such as pothos.

    Enjoy your spring and summer. You’ve earned it!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Doris
    March 7, 2016 at 12:04 pm

    Looks great! Just remember when the weather is warm your pretty flowers will need to be watered everyday! Just another excuse to get outside!
    You give us diyer’s so much inspiration and courage to go and try new things because of you and your projects!!!! Thank you!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Ellen W.
    March 7, 2016 at 12:13 pm

    I grew up in a region notorious for its harsh winters, and no one up there would ever question anyone’s desire to take advantage of good weather to be outside! 🙂 In my case, summers were far too short and sweet to miss a single day. Your mailbox looks just perfect.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Dale
    March 7, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    We put in a new front door and new mailbox (very similar to yours) last year and i think it made a world of difference!! I love how you do what you feel like doing when you feel like doing it!!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    KathleenC
    March 7, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Oh yeah, I lived in Corpus Cristi as a kid for a few years and Houston for one year as an adult; come July and August I went outside only long enough to go back inside some other building. But the spring… oh the sweet perfumed memories that come back of the Texas springs… You take as much outside time as you can get!
    And really, re-doing a house isn’t just the walls and furniture of the inside… it’s the whole shebang, which includes the landscaping and the exterior. I think you have a good sensible plan there.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Lisa E
    March 7, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    No explanation necessary. Enjoy the weather and soak up some rays and Vitamin D. The mailbox is really pretty!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Mrs Mike
    March 7, 2016 at 3:53 pm

    Very nice! I have a ‘bank’ of mail boxes, so nothing pretty like that for me. Definitely get out when the wild flowers are in bloom. No one has wildflowers like we do here in TX! <3

  • Reply To This Comment
    Lynne
    March 7, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    Love the mailbox! Looks great! Details make all the difference! I don’t blame you for wanting to work outside! After being cooped up for so long it feels heavenly to get outside and enjoy the sunshine!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Maggie Obst
    March 7, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Hi Kristi, reading your post,I’m happy for you as being outside in beautiful weather is certainly the way to go. Love the letterbox,looks lovely. Well done on choosing to be outside,after all it’s your home and you can do what ever you want. Love reading about your achievements. Enjoy the weather!☀️

  • Reply To This Comment
    Phyllis E
    March 7, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    Beautiful choice, Kristi! It goes so well with the style of your newly trimmed-out interior and your fireplace, etc!!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Erica D.
    March 7, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    That is gorgeous! I would love to replace my current mailbox with something like this. It’s incredible what a mailbox can do for your curb appeal!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Chelle
    March 7, 2016 at 8:44 pm

    Good for you! I live outside as soon as Spring starts peeking out, and my friends and family understand by now they’ll see me in Fall. Lawn/landscaping is very addictive, there’s actually antidepressant properties in soil which is no doubt why gardeners are chomping at the bit for Spring to arrive. It’s never, ever time poorly spent. Happy gardening! 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Zovesta
    March 8, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    You don’t have to explain your workstyle to anyone – you can go ahead and start on a project and then finish it five years from now and we won’t care. It’s your home, we’re just glad we can see the process. =) The mailbox looks GORGEOUS, I can’t believe what a difference it makes… although, to be completely honest, my style would be switching from our black and white mailbox to a floral one, lol!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Brittany
    August 24, 2016 at 9:11 am

    i have a random question, the reviews for that mailbox on lowes say the handle is cheap and breaks off fairly quickly; have you had a similar experience or is it pretty sturdy?

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