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The $100, 20 minute, Upgrade that Seriously Amped up our Curb Appeal

July 18, 2017  —  Written by Julia 

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In, literally, less than 20 minutes and for $120 we completely upgraded our curb appeal this weekend. And to be honest, we’re so embarrassed we didn’t do this sooner! Last summer, I remember pinning a DIY project about building out a standard 4×4 mailbox post with trim and a cap to make it look so fancy, with all the intention of doing it. But time got away from us, and our mailbox situation wasn’t doing our home’s first impressions any favors.

(Disclaimer, sidewalk weeds are free to remove. We did that, too. *face palm*) And then I came across this ready-made, won’t fade or need re-painitng, 15 year-warranty decorative post cover for around $100 and I ordered it right away.

The install was the easiest and left us with a pretty sophisticated “after.”

Here’s the quick rundown of how it works: The post fits right over a standard 4×4 mailbox post. But since ours had a bracket holding up the mailbox, too, we had to remove that first. On the back of our post, there were 2 large hex screws holding the bracket in place that we removed and it came right off.

Leaving us with a lone pole.

From the below picture, you can see how the new cover easily slides right over the old post.

All the hardware to attach the new bracket in place came with the post and there were even caps for the visible screws. We were going to re-attach our old white mailbox to the new post, but it suddenly looked so very dingy so we forked over $16 for a new mailbox (this one, in particular) and simultaneously went to the dark side.

I don’t know why–probably because I have never actually bought a mailbox in my adult life–but I always assumed they were closer to $50+, not $16!!! Which made me question, once again, why did we wait so long?!

*Sigh.* So much better. Anyone else have any quick, exterior updates they’ve checked off lately?

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What do you think?

  1. Linda says:

    Oh… and still to this day … when I look outside I often proudly think “that was Chris and Julia’s idea!”

  2. Linda says:

    Loved this project so much! I followed your lead a few years ago ( as soon as I saw your post) and ordered this really easy , but so nice mailbox post update. We put it in and it was so great… and was a real springboard to several other front yard projects. I must say we have a great front yard/curb appeal… thanks to you guys. ????

  3. Caley says:

    Love this! Is there a minimum height the 4×4 needs to be? I can’t find anything on the website for the post. We have a random 4×4 post that is about 3.5 feet tall from an old real estate sign that would make a lot more sense as a mailbox.

  4. Lucy Spencer says:

    YES! The easiest upgrade I ever did was a $30 purchase for garage door hardware magnets! They’re now $20 for each door – but they’re awesome. Ordered on amazon and have had them for six months – it took more time to open the package then to place them on the doors! You would never know they weren’t legit hardware! I will send a picture!

  5. Andrea says:

    I’ve always loved the look of a beautiful mailbox in front of a house. In my neighborhood we just have big, ugly gray boxes spaced periodically through the neighborhood and you get a key and mail slot number (kind of like at an actual post office) and there may be 30 houses that go to the same area to get their mail. I get that it is quicker and easier for mail delivery but definitely doesn’t have the same charm as a mailbox in front of a house.

  6. Heather says:

    Just a thought. I live in the same town as Julia and the massive amounts of snow we get (and it feels like it lasts 11 out of the 12 months!) makes the placement of our mailboxes perfect on the sidewalk. If it were on the grassy area, we would have to constantly dig it out. Any further on the street and no bueno for snow plows. It’s a pain to shovel around it, but it would be an absolute nightmare anywhere else. Some houses have a mail slot on their front door, but the rule is, if it wasn’t built that way (pre-1960’s) you can’t change it now…dang.

    • Julie says:

      Thanks for the explanation! I thought it would be hard for joggers & strollers to get around the mailboxes in the middle of the sidewalk. I guess everyone gets used to their hometown quirks!

  7. Tara SC says:

    Amazing! What a difference!

  8. Leslie says:

    Looks great. Can you link your Pinterest post about building out a wood post. Ours is painted wood to match our shutters and we still like that idea but would like to jazz up the boring post. Thanks!

  9. Katie says:

    So glad to hear that your weed removal was free. Most folks can very easily pull up their weeds (free!) but choose to use herbicide sprays ($), which are detrimental to the environment. If anyone needs to spray, (back or knee trouble, large areas of weeds), it’s always better to spray white vinegar which does not impact the environment and does kill weeds just as well. Weeds in your grass? Try mowing more often but setting the mower to cut the grass as long a length as possible– gives the grass the best chance to take over the yard and the weeds the worst chance.

  10. Amanda says:

    Don’t worry guys, I’ve always had a red flag on the side of our mailbox as well. Like you, we would put it up if there’s something for him to pick up, but he would also put it up if he left something in there! I’m with you on the $16 mailbox, I’ve always thought they’d be $50-$60 as well! Love cheap curb appeal.

  11. Jess says:

    Whaaaat, I’ve never seen a mailbox in the middle of a sidewalk! Here, they are either in yards or on the house.

  12. Maria says:

    We just power washed our front stoop and walkway. Amazing what a difference it makes!

  13. Kristine says:

    We recently added a small section of pavers next to the back of our driveway so our large green garbage can doesn’t have to sit in front of our house. (We don’t have a garage to hide it in.) It is SO MUCH BETTER! My husband is going to build a planter box for that spot in the front of the house which will look a million times better than a giant green garbage can. It took an afternoon and less than $100. I link the post where I talk about it and show a picture below.

  14. Jessica - Pretentiousefringe.com says:

    You’ve answered the sidewalk question but I am also curious about the red flag. Does your postie put this up? So fun!

    I currently live in the UK so the post comes through my front door. In Australia you hear the postie on his motorbike and know by the sound of the engine lull if he stopped and put post in your letterbox or you just check everyday!

  15. Cathy Hough says:

    Love this makeover♥️

  16. Annie Richardson says:

    YES! Just spray painted our house mailbox black and added a gold letter.. HUGE difference.

  17. Sayward says:

    I love you guys so much. Most of your posts are exactly in sync with what I want to work on next at our house. I’ve been giving our sad, dingy mailbox the side eye for the entire year and a half we’ve lived here. I’ve pinned lots of mailboxes, but you just motivated me to get it done. Looks great!

  18. Somehow I thought mailboxes were so much more expensive…great update with immediate payoff!

  19. Mara Smith says:

    We had a plastic mailbox and post just like yours, with 19 years of fade and dirt on it. I power washed it and gave it 3 thin layers of black spray paint. I also had my friend make me a personalized monogram and street address exterior vinyl with her cricut. You can find nice ones on Etsy for cheap!

    NOW .. how do I get the birds to stop pooping all over it??

  20. Megan says:

    Nice!
    Last weekend I painted my garage door. I painted the siding and trim about a year ago and put off painting the garage door. I don’t know why! It took about two hours and now the exterior paint it done!

  21. SS says:

    Your mailbox is in the middle of the sidewalk? Is that normal there?!

    • Julia says:

      Unfortunately, yes. I guess I never realized how weird it it’s because every house is like this. A single stroller does fit around, but not much more. Fortunately, we have really wide roads and there’s no parking allowed on the roads (in most areas.)

      • Liz says:

        It’s set back so that the edge of the mailbox opening is even with the curb. The letter carrier uses a truck to drive up and put in the mail. In many neighborhoods where I live (Oklahoma), the builders use the same brick as the house to enclose the mailbox. Some are fancy with lights and flower boxes.

        BTW, if someone parks in front of the mailbox, the carrier does not have to leave the truck to deliver the mail. But, most of them are nice and will they do that for you.

      • Liz says:

        A recent USPS new service is that you can sign up for an email that shows what’s in your mail. Apparently, they have automated machines that scans the letters. Hmm, seems invasive, but it is nice to know what’s there.

      • Jenn says:

        I think it’s to combat theft. So you know if anything is missing. We live in a more rural part of San Diego and there is a lot of theft from mailboxes. A friend had a card delivered and stolen recently and they were able to spend $14,200 in a few days!

    • Lori! says:

      I was thinking the same thing!

    • Kendra says:

      That was my first thought too!

    • JUSTYNN says:

      Hah! This was my first thought too. I was shocked to find it in the middle of the sidewalk. Here it’s most common for the sidewalks to sit a foot or three back from the road to accommodate the mailboxes/ trees/ light posts. Most people remove the grass from that area (because who wants to mow or whip such a small area?) and replace it with flowers or bushes.

    • Angie RS says:

      This looked really odd to me, too, but interesting that it’s regional. We have a strip of grass in between the sidewalk and the street where our mailbox lives. Their sidewalk is butted right up against the road, so there really isn’t another option for mailbox placement. Wonder why there’s a difference.

  22. Lissy says:

    So your mailboxes are in the middle of the sidewalk…interesting. ;) How can you push a stroller around it?

  23. Fiona says:

    Update looks great but is it not blocking the sidewalk for strollers, wheelchairs etc.? I don’t think this would be allowed in Canada. I realize it was in place when you purchased the home but just curious on the differences between our neighbourhoods.

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