Whilst plenty of us will never install a letterbox in our lives, it is a very useful skill to have! Most of the front doors on the market today will have a letterbox in them, ready to go. However, if for some reason you have a door without one, you don’t want to be left stuck or having to call someone else in to help out.
First things first, what you need:
- A letterbox (This may seem a little obvious)
- Tape measure
- Drill and drill bits
- Jigsaw blade
- Spirit level
- Safety glasses
- Choose your letterbox. This is the best part in terms of creativity. You can select the style, colour and shape that you like for your letter box, but make sure that it comes with all of the necessary attachments.
- Prep your door. This is actually very straight forward as you’ll mainly be working outside you probably won’t need a dust sheet. You can remove the door if you prefer, but this isn’t necessary.
- Decide where your letterbox will go. There is no rule when it comes to letterbox positioning. If your door is panelled in a symmetrical way, the centre of the door, just beneath the handle is probably a safe bet.
- Assuming you choose a central placement, measure the door to make sure the letterbox is properly centred. Mark the height you’ve chosen in pencil. Next, measure the width of the door and place a mark at the centre point at your chosen height.
- Use your ruler to draw a straight line through the point you’ve marked and use the spirit level to make sure it’s as flat and level as possible.
- Measure the width of the letterbox and mark the centre point. By the letterbox’s top edge, line it up with the door using the line you drew in the last step as a guide. Make sure the centre points on the door and letterbox are aligned and draw around the letterbox.
- Measure the opening on the inside of the letterbox, make a note of these measurements and then transfer them to the door. Be sure to make the hole at least a couple of millimetres larger than the specified measurements to allow a little ‘wiggle room’. ALWAYS use the spirit level to check your accuracy.
- Pop on your safety glasses and draw out the inner rectangle on the door and drill 4 holes in each corner of the inner rectangle. The holes should be large enough for the jigsaw blade to pass through. A 16mm drill bit should be ideal for this. Remember to stop drilling once the drill bit reaches to the other side of the door or the wood will split. Drill from the other side to finish the holes.
- Using the jigsaw blade, cut out the inner rectangle. Take care here, it’s important not to rush this bit.
- Sand down the edges of the opening you’ve just made.
- Take the letterbox and use it as a guide to mark where you’ll need to attach bolts and screws and then drill these holes using the same method as earlier. If lug-holes are used with your letterbox, don’t drill all the way through to the other side, only drill through as deep as the lug-holes.
- Attach the letterbox. Fasten all the screws, bolts, nuts and lug-holes tightly.
- Step back and admire your handy work.