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!

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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

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. 

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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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 47 questions
  • PGC
    on May 28, 2019

    What type and brand of paint did you use on the shutters? Can you post a pic if the tiled top piece?

  • Jim
    on Jun 6, 2019

    Are meters are read by an employee with binoculars from a distance for convenience and personal safety from pet attacks. Wouldn't this violate municipal laws ? Pop

    • Debbie Kuhar
      Debbie Kuhar
      on Sep 28, 2019

      From Pennsylvania here. We pick our own providers for electric. Interested in your question?!

  • Window
    on Jun 9, 2019

    Did you have to get permission to paint the gas lines and box? And was it a special paint? Generally the are meant to stand out so they can easily be seen in an emergency like a house fire or gas leak. Especially at night.

    • Gail Teel
      Gail Teel
      on Sep 27, 2019

      Really nice but we wouldn't be allowed to do this either. Homeowner's rules.

Join the conversation

2 of 330 comments
  • Trudi
    on Sep 28, 2020

    That would get us in trouble with meter readers. Why not put the front shutters on hinges so you can open them. Would also make it easier to get to the hose you hid. It looks nice and neat, but I think you created more work for yourself to take all that off to use what is behind.

  • Dasana101
    on Sep 28, 2020

    Great job!

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