Hiding An Ugly Utility Meter

6 Materials
1 Day

As we are re-siding our house from a pale yellow vinyl siding to a new "greige" (gray with brown tint) something had to be done to update or hide the utility meter.

Repurposing old vinyl shutters, the eyesore actually became a deck focal point.

All I had to buy was paint and hardware!

hiding an ugly utility meter

I had exterior paint mixed to match our new siding and painted the meter and pipelines. (Today's technology is amazing. I took a small piece of the siding to the paint department and had them match it.) It's perfect.

hiding an ugly utility meter

So I considered building a "box" around it by framing it and attaching the new siding to it. Along with that idea, it became more complicated, such as hinges and doors, like a cabinet. The more I thought about it, the heavier the build became. It was not my intention to take two people to move it when needed to do so.

That's when I decided to go "light" with something that can just be pulled away. Like these plastic or vinyl shutters. They were trash, on the side of the road, that I originally intended to paint and use on my garden shed. Being weather resistant, this idea should be a perfect solution.

hiding an ugly utility meter

The shutters alone would be too flimsy so it needed to start with a frame. Two iron fish tank stands, cut away to fit with the pipelines and welded together was the perfect width and height for the framework. Strong enough to withstand snowfalls and heavy enough to not get blown way with high winds.

And they were cheap. One was free and the other a $5 yard sale find. 

hiding an ugly utility meter

Then, all I had to do, was measure the height, cut the shutters, and attach them together to box in the deck monster. Testing the look after cutting the shutters, it was looking good so far.

hiding an ugly utility meter

I drilled holes through the sides of the shutters to attach them together with nuts and bolts. Finally, cleaning and painting! 

hiding an ugly utility meter

For the top of the unit, I chose to use ceramic floor tiles attached to cement board. It too, will stand up to weather conditions. 

They were leftovers from another project. I also painted the floor tile for the top of the unit. 

hiding an ugly utility meter

The ugly meter is finally hidden. In fact, the new "cover" doubles as a side table! The "meter disguise" can just be pulled away and the tile top can be lifted off anytime with ease. It can rain and snow all Mother Nature wants. The materials can take a beating.

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Robin @ Redo It Yourself Inspirations

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 28 questions
  • Sandra White Hupperich
    on Nov 9, 2018

    Our meters have to be exposed so that the meter reader can pull up and point his reader from afar without any interference from bushes,flowers or other obstacles.

    What else do you suggest.

  • Jack
    on Apr 1, 2019

    What does the gas co say about not being able to read the meter?

  • Jesse
    2 days ago

    Did you consult your gas provider there are stipulations on how you may disguise your setting

Join the conversation

2 of 237 comments
  • Sally

    Duh, make the shutters to open and close. There should be enough venting through the shutters for gas overflow. They are not sealed in any way. This is actually a great idea. Just make sure nothing keeps the shutter from being accessed or unable to open.

  • Eric
    3 hours ago

    As a firefighter we hate to see this. 0200 in the morning structure fire and we are told to shut off the gas. We would look right over this and talking with insurance companies the homeowner could be liable for unnecessary damages. In a ideal world great. But I would hate to build this and have a firefighter inside a house die because the crews outside didn't see the gas meter.

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