Privacy Screen for the Patio

4 Materials
3 Hours

I have this ugly gas meter attached to the house. It's a patio eyesore so I came up with this Privacy Screen idea to cover it up and add an Urban-Suburban feel to our otherwise beautiful patio.

*check with your local regulations regarding covering up your meter. I made this privacy screen removable so the meter is serviceable, which is acceptable by our local regulations.

Ugly Gas Meter in the middle of the Patio

This is what I get to stare at while drinking my coffee in the back yard.

So here's where we're starting. As you can see I cant move this thing, and the meter reader still needs to be able to access it. My only option is to build something to cover it up, that's easy to move out of the way, if required.

Assembling the Privacy Screen Frame

Building the frame

The frame for this privacy screen is constructed out of 2x3" framing lumber. Nothing fancy, as it's getting stained anyway.

This screen is a "C" shape so I made 3 panels with 2x3" lumber then connected them together.

To provide support for the privacy screen portion I used 2X2" lumber between the top and bottom of the frame. This also gave me something to attach the privacy screen lumber to.

The screen portion is made from 1x2" strapping lumber. I purchased it in bundles of 10 to keep the cost down.

Lumber spacing and drip ledge

Attaching the strapping to the frame

Once the 3 panels were framed and the 2x2 supports were in place, I laid the strapping lumber to get an idea how much space I needed in between each piece.

Funny enough, the size of a lego piece was perfect so my little guy whipped me up some lego spacers.

At the bottom I placed the last piece flat to act like a drip ledge so water won't sit on the frame. It meant that I had to cheat with the spacing for the last few boards.

I tested out my leftover stain to get an idea how amazing this will be.

Paint and Placement

After all the strapping was nailed in place, and the frame panels attached, I gave it a coat of black stain I had left over from an old project.

Since this screen is freestanding, I anchored it to the wall with chain so it doesn't fall. The chain clips to rings mounted on the wall, so it's easy to disconnect and move Should we even need to service the meter.

As a *BONUS* the meter is basically hidden but its still super easy to read right through the screen.

Here is the finished product.

Our black privacy screen looks fantastic. Easily covers the gas meter, and provides a beautiful dramatic feel to the patio now.

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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 4 questions
  • Liz
    on Nov 15, 2020

    Great idea, why so big of a cover?

    • Flipturn
      on Nov 25, 2020

      The cover was made larger than just the meter to also cover up the obtrusive dryer vent, and the unattractive bottom portion of the concrete wall that is not covered with brick.

  • George
    on Nov 15, 2020

    Door? Removable panel? How do you access the gas meter if you have to shut off the gas to your living space??????

    • Flipturn
      on Nov 25, 2020

      Yes, the meter is visible enough to be read, but the question asks about the accessibility to physically reach the shut off valve.

  • Rhonda
    on Nov 22, 2020

    Would something like this work for an air conditioning unit as well ? The next door neighbor has large pine trees & the sap & debris from them keeps reeking havoc on my ac unit. I need some kinda protection for it. Thank you for any suggestions.

    • August December Home
      August December Home
      on Nov 22, 2020

      It could depending on how your AC unit is setup. This one is opened at the top, so not much protection there. If you're trying to keep sap off the front and sides it will do the trick. If you need to mount it on the lawn (thats where our AC unit is) you can use fence post spikes and 4x4's to make posts, and build a small fence around it.

Join the conversation

3 of 27 comments
  • Debbie McCarty Mick
    Debbie McCarty Mick
    on Nov 22, 2020

    Well done! As a former utility worker I appreciate your attention to ease of reading the meter and removal of the frame. It is very modern and fresh looking and still very accessible.!

  • Tammy Racine
    Tammy Racine
    on Nov 26, 2020

    Nice try but where I'm from in my small city they just come and read them. Embridge gas is the company that deals with Eastern Ontario and trust me they don't let you know.

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