Asked on May 25, 2015

What can I do in this outdoor space to hide utility boxes/cables/etc?

by Margie
We are in the process of completely redoing our backyard. One wall that I'm having trouble with is where all the utilities come into the house. I have seen a few ideas to hide these things, but they have to be able to read our electric meter. Any suggestions?? There will be a small section of a fence to the left - at the corner - to block off the trashcans, etc. If we move it over to hide these utilities too, it's really blocking a lot of area off, and looks strange. Some sort of decoration-like piece or something..? We're trying to keep it a tropical theme, if that helps.
This is the area that I feel needs to be hidden. =) However, they have to be able to read our meter.
This is the whole wall, so you get an idea of how much space there is to work with. There will be a small section of a fence to the left - at the corner - to block off the trash cans, etc.
This has been my solution - at least for now. I still want to paint the utility boxes, etc, but just have not been able to just yet. Thanks for all the input!!!
This is how it looks now, after painting. I still put the pretty palms in front, but they don't block the meter. It looks so much better!
  13 answers
  • Carole Carole on May 26, 2015
    The easiest, no skill required fix is to put a large pot plant in front of it to screen it off.
  • Country Design Home Country Design Home on May 26, 2015
    Hi Margie- love the brick work and pavers! Since you are already putting up a piece of fence to the left of the meters, then I would add another piece to square it off, leaving the end (by the slider with your pooch : ) open so the meter guy can get in and out. From there I would start with a large potted tropical plant to mask the opening, then start a vignette from there to the door frame. A bench, small table, some lanterns, etc can be added in tropical colors that will pop against the white brick wall.
  • 1673412 1673412 on May 26, 2015
    I would build a screen out of scrap wood, then put potted plants in front of it. I would use some vine types that could climb up the screen, or maybe even tomatoes because I really like veggies!
  • Jaxon Jaxon on May 26, 2015
    I went to the ReStore and got a few of the outdoor vinyl shutters, tied them together to make a screen. Total cost $10!
  • Heavenlygaits Heavenlygaits on May 26, 2015
    Custom make a trellis with a large pot to anchor it. Any growing vine will grow crazy fast and you'll just prune it to keep it neat
  • Loretta ellsworth Loretta ellsworth on May 26, 2015
    Matching paint will help it fade in all until you come up with a longer term idea. Tall plants and flowers will help too
    • B. Enne B. Enne on May 26, 2015
      @Loretta ellsworth Check with your municipality first. We are not allowed to paint meters, pipes or wires in our area, eventhough many people have. We were told by the electrical company that they will bill us if we do.
  • Tina RaiderTucker Tina RaiderTucker on May 27, 2015
    Have you considered hanging a curtain, or putting a folding type of screen there?
    • Linda Morabito Linda Morabito on Apr 16, 2020

      I've had something I bought from a magazine like 19 years ago, wind blew other day and I noticed but of legs are rusting wheres its gonna crumble, was made of metal with nice vinyl material between bars. wish I knew I bought, its NYSEG and something else outside on my townhouse building

  • Susan Susan on May 27, 2015
    Tall ornamental grass.
  • Susen Gail Susen Gail on May 30, 2015
    How about hanging a wooden beaded curtain (like Pier One) from the awning. This would make a nice backdrop for potted plants, suggested above. I guess weather-proofing the wooden beads would require a can of spray polyurethane. Great start!
  • 861650 861650 on May 31, 2015
    The previous idea regarding plants is a good idea making sure they are different heights and widths. Try googling, "how to hide electric meters on your house," or, "how to hide utility boxes on your house." Or, something similar. Take your time...I know you wouldn't like a do-over and spend extra money. Hope you find something you love!
  • EdiLeck EdiLeck on Jun 02, 2015
    Patios always need more seating! How about an L-shaped planter bench with a trellis back? Leaving it open on one end will give the meter-reader access but also provide useful camouflage!
  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Jun 14, 2015
    Good suggestions! My husband works for an electric company and he said it is so unfortunate when things get planted or built to disguise things that the utility needs access to. There's usually a public relations number for a utility. Tell them what you would like to do, and they will recommend measurements for access, etc. Plantings and permanent structures are usually the biggest issues, so it's better to investigate first. Legally, if you block access, the utility can remove the obstruction. Good luck with your project! P.S. Looks like your wires are underground, which means take care with digging, etc. Be sure to put in a utility call before letting anyone dig, etc.
  • Velma Velma on Jul 31, 2016
    I have the same problem and I have decided to make a hanging lattice panel to cover this same area on my house. I will also hang a few potted plants or other item on it. I can easily take the items off when I need to use the boxes. I will use the hanging hooks and chain to adjust the height. I hope this helps.