Having a deck or patio extends outdoor spaces into pleasant living areas... unless there is an ugly beast attached to it. And that is what lives at one area of our decking. This huge gas meter is just a big, old, ugly... eyesore.
As we are re-siding the house from a pale yellow to a new "greige" (gray with brown tint) something had to be done to update or hide the utility meter.
I had exterior paint mixed to match our new siding and painted the nemesis. (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.
But the gas meter is still quite bothering. The hunk of metal and pipes can't be disguised with paint alone. Why was this ever put here? What were they thinking? It made my stomach hurt looking at it because I know I can't move it. My eyes twitched from seeing it, yet I pretended it wasn't there most times. But it was.
This monstrosity is haunting.
|The siding, as you can see, is incomplete. We are doing other sections before using leftovers for this bottom portion.|
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, 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.
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.
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.
Then tried the box unit around the fish tank stands to make sure it fit.
Finally, cleaning and painting!
I also painted the floor tile for the top of the unit.
And the ugly meter is finally hidden.
In fact, the new "cover" doubles as a side table!
The "shutter cover" or "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.
The deck monster is tamed. My stomach feels better. My eyes stopped twitching.
A one day project, with almost no cost, has brought new joy.
After other outdoor projects are finished, we can go back and build a permanent cover for this using the actual siding, but I didn't have the patience to wait. I'm a woman. That double "X" chromosome and hormones forces impatient decisions upon females.
This suffices. It's a much more pleasant looking space now.
Do have any utility meters that you have disguised? What did you do? I'd love to see or hear about the different ideas!