How to Attach a Mailbox to an Existing Pole

The precursors to mailboxes are letterboxes and mail slots, first used in France other parts of Europe in the 1700's and 1800's.

Wooden Mailbox

If a pole is already there, installing a mailbox is a breeze.If a pole is already there, installing a mailbox is a breeze.
By 1863, the United States Postal Service implemented a system where the mail-carrier had to knock on a person's door, and wait before delivering the mail. Because the system was slow and didn't always work, due to people not being home when mail arrived, mailboxes were installed as a place for the mail-person to drop off correspondence.

Measure the depth of the bottom piece of the mailbox with the tape measure. This length tells you how deep the screws will need to be to fit through both the bottom piece of wood and the pole to which you are attaching the mailbox.

Position the mailbox as desired over the pole. The more centered the mailbox is, the easier it will be for you to install it.

Turn the battery-powered drill on and reach inside the mailbox. Drill the screws of appropriate length through the mailbox's bottom piece and into the pole to attach the two together.

Add a red metal flag by drilling it into either side of the box with another screw.

Lift the flag up if you are sending out mail, and set it down to let the mail deliverers know you are ready to receive your mail.

Steel Mailbox

Position the mailbox over the pole. The closer it is to the center, the easier it will be for you to install it.

Set any included mounting brackets where they need to go, according to the mailbox's instructions. For example, if the bracket meant to attach the mailbox to the pole needs to be directly below the bottom front edge, then set it there.

Turn the drill on and drill the included screws through the bracket holes, into the pole and into the mailbox to attach the two together.

Lift the red flag up if you are sending mail out, and push it down if you are receiving mail.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Battery-powered drill
  • Screws
  • Red metal flag


  • Re-position the pole, if desired. If there are at least three feet between it and the road, it's easier for the mail deliverers to deliver your mail, and if it's at least three feet off the ground, mail deliverers may not have to get out to drop the mail into the box.

About the Author

Joseph Mars has been writing professionally since 2007. He writes for the Sports Xchange website and reported for the "Eureka Reporter" newspaper. Mars earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Humboldt State University.