Whenever you move into a new house, there are bound to be a few funny little challenges to work though. You have to figure out what that mysterious light switch goes to, investigate the source of every late night noise, and figure out the eccentricities of every new-to-you appliance. Although I wouldn’t say that I was exactly prepared for figuring out all of these little details post-move, they were all pretty easy to work through in the end with a little trial and error. One thing that did surprise me though was the issue with our address.
It’s a long, sordid tale, but it turns out that we are the only house on the block that doesn’t sport an 1800 number (as in the house next to us is an 1800 number and the one on the other side is, too), so delivery men and visitors almost always have trouble finding our home. It’s gotten so bad that we’ve had UPS drivers call for directions while sitting right outside our driveway, not realizing that they were in the right spot.
The problem really stems from the convoluted numbering system and the fact that our house is the odd man out, but the previous home owners also happened to hang pretty miniscule house numbers and an oddly placed mailbox, which perpetuated our issues.
So over the weekend, we hung brand new chunky numbers right on the side of the house, and I also took things one step further with an updated—and properly installed—wall-mounted mailbox with giant vinyl house numbers for easy identification.
First, we had to pry the retrofitted metal post mailbox off the wall where it had been bolted into the brick. Because the box wasn’t technically made to be mounted to the wall, it was a bit of a hassle to open the door—instead of opening smoothly, it sort of scratched against the side of the house. So we battled the mailbox out until it was finally on the floor of the carport, and then I got to work cleaning up the vintage brass box that I bought off of eBay for less than $40.
A little bit of Brasso was all it needed to clean the mailbox right up and, although I didn’t get it perfectly un-patinaed, the majorly dingy sections look almost as good as new. To finish, I buffed the cleaned surface with a towel, and then John and I turned our attention to hanging the mailbox.
It turns out that we got majorly lucky here because the holes just happened to line right up with the bolts that were used in the previous mailbox. We simply loosened the screws, slipped our freshly cleaned brass mailbox right on top, and tightened the screws once more. A masonry bit attached to our electric drill would have done the trick though in case you’re looking to hang your own wall-mounted mailbox to brick. The only thing missing at this point was personalized identification.
For this final phase of the makeover, I put a piece of black peel-and-stick vinyl onto a 12×12 StandardGrip Adhesive Cutting Mat that I had on hand to go with my Cricut Explore Air cutting machine. Next, I uploaded a quick house numbers design into the Cricut Design Center, and cut the vinyl out in all of 10 minutes. To finish, I peeled the numbers back one by one using a Weeder Tool, and carefully stuck them on the mailbox in the lower righthand corner.
With that, we were done! It was a simple update, but one that looks a lot better and helps make mail deliveries a little less of a headache. Stay tuned later on for a follow-up blog post, which details one final DIY project that we’ve tackled to combat our house number woes. Do you have any house number horror stories to tell? Got a clever house numbers DIY project to share? Do tell in the comments below.