More in Outdoors
Materials and Tools:
two 80-pound bags quick-setting concrete mix
eight 18-inch no. 4 rebars
six 12- x 16-inch cinder blocks
two 12- x 16-inch solid caps
two mortar bags
two pallets of 4-inch-thick stone
16 brick ties
six bags of type s mortar
one standard us mailbox
one newspaper holder
2-foot square of plywood
grinder with masonry blade
A stone mailbox surround is great for adding curb appeal to your home.
Start by drawing a design with a computer program or graph paper.
Tip: A standard mailbox surround is 24 inches square.
Using string, square and spray paint, mark a square for the footer and clear it. The footer should be 6 inches wider than the mailbox surround.
Dig the footer 6 inches deep and level it. If you live in a cold climate, dig the footer deep enough that the base of the surround rests below the frost line.
Mix enough concrete to fill the footer and pour in half of it.
Place rebars in a crisscross pattern in the center of the footer and pour in the remaining concrete.
Tamp the concrete flat with the back of a hoe.
Using string and a framing square, mark a 24-inch square in the center of the footer. Place one cinder block along one side of the center square; then level and mud it.
Using the first block as a guide, line the square with more blocks, inserting wall ties to help support the stone veneer.
Tip: Each level will be two blocks.
Use cap blocks as bases for the newspaper holder and mailbox.
Set the cap for the newspaper holder first. Notch a cinder block to fit around the newspaper holder; then set it in place and mortar it.
Using the same procedure, set another cap for the mailbox.
Let the mortar cure overnight.
As a guide for the stone, set a 2-foot square of plywood on top of the block column and drop plumb lines at the corners.
Set the stones in mortar from bottom to top. For security, work the wall ties into the mortar.
Use a soft brush to smooth joints. Mortar the top in place, letting the edges overhang by one inch. Clean excess mortar off the stone with a wire brush.