How do I hide this ugly box?

17 dicembre 2012
Other than just bushes, and with respect to the electric company any suggestions? I am thinking of a big planter box or Perugia?

Commenti (85)

  • PRO
    Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel
    You need to check with your local utility. I doubt if they will allow you to build a structure above it and i am sure there needs to be clearance around the perimeter for technicians. You may be able to build a low fence or wall around the box as long as proper clearance is maintained.
  • Jonathan Graham
    Whatever you do, be prepared for the power company to rip it out or charge you to repaint it. They own it and have a legal easement. Sorry to be a party pooper, but power companies in general hate people messing around their electrical boxes.
  • P B
    The city of Minneapolis and the power company here allowed mural wraps to make them interesting in some neighborhoods.
  • PRO
    Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel
    Yes, utility companies are very possessive of their power boxes. Look at the bright side, it's better than overhead power lines and transformers.
  • Ramona
    tall grass as far away as need be. mine stands upright all winter. i wish i had thought to put it in front of some the weird boxes i have. they were totally misplaced in my yard in two places instead of one. i am frustrated but dealing with lots of other issues so getting them camoflauged doesn't get high priority.
  • PRO
    Kate Markham-Zantvoort
    Nine times out of ten when a person tries to hide something like a transformer or a power pole they just end up drawing attention to it. Try creating a planting bed that will instead draw attention to your front door; and if you really feel that you need to hide the transformer and post box stand then create a large planting that will anchor the whole corner of your property. Go for a mix of evergreen shrubs and perennials - please not just a screen and a hedge. Good luck.
  • PRO
    Mackin Drafting & Design
    I would have to agree with KMZ Landscape Design. Whatever you do should not be in connection to the electrical box alone but as part of a broader plan that incorporates the rest of the property. It would be a good idea to contact the utility company. I am sure they will tell you right up front what you can and cannot do. Good luck!
  • dbruna
    I planted Mountain Laurel bushes and variegated lirope grass around an identical box. The power company needs access to the front of the box from the street. My bushes are strategically placed in a way the power company agreed to. It softens the appearance of the box. My overall landscaping draws attention to the front door.
  • designideas4me
    snow... more snow....
  • designideas4me
    I personally have been searching through many contemporary panel and fence ideas to put in front of a palm tree these people who just moved in behind me put on thier side of my fence. Its right in the middle of my kitchen window maybe 12 feet away just past my pool. I am pissed. They have 12000 sq ft lot and I have half of that and yet they wont move it. So anyway I may build a trellis and I have these huge rose vines that I can attach to the trellis. Your lucky cuz unlike this palm tree, your box wont grow taller every day.
  • milfw4kids
    Funny!!! I painted the one in my front yard. A greenish color then planted tall grasses around it. I did not call the company. It's easier to ask for forgiveness than permission sometimes.
  • astraea
    @milfw4kids - I hope nothing ever happens with that box, or power in your neighborhood, because if they have trouble finding your camouflaged electrical box, you may be facing a fine rather than forgiveness .. and your neighbors won't be happy either.
  • silverscreenstar
    I think the local hydro company knows where they installed THEIR boxes so it's not something I would worry about. I would be concerned that the utility company would just remove benches, shelves, boxes, etc put there by the homeowner in an attempt to obscure the box(es) from view, and have the cost of the removal added to the homeowner's property tax account. That's the way it's done here (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada). From their perspective, it makes sense because they work 9-5, like everyone else, unless it's an emergency. So, that is when they do their drive-bys, to make sure THEIR equipment is in good repair. That is when most of us work too, so knocking on our doors and having a polite (or otherwise) conversation is usually neither possible nor practical.
  • milfw4kids
    They gave been out to do some work. I went out and talked to them. They laughed. Thank goodness. They said you would not believe what some people do. The paint and grass was perfect!
  • silverscreenstar
    You are fortunate. That scenario would be highly improbable here. Weather is either too hot or too cold for both sides to hold their tempers (joke).
  • Noah Modie
    Have you tried tall beverages? Their accompanying fog can obscure annoyances of all scales.
  • never2muchbex
    I have one like that. I found a very large planter, put it on top and planted trailing annuals in it. In the winter you could try the faux pine pieces and do a makeshift bush around it. Granted the company who owns it doesnt fine you.
  • silverscreenstar
    Sorry, but I really don't like the appearance of this plastic, fake, "rock" anymore than I like the look of the unencumbered utility box. I also believe that it"s the wrong shape to help in the present situation where the utility box has a much larger base, and is flatter, rather than narrower and higher.
  • Roxanne Lilly
    I used ornamental grass in front And behind mine....don't even notice the box and electric company doesn't seem to mind.
  • lilhoffy99
    Well, I plan on the risk that they can do what they want to the plants or structure and I did call they said no perminate structure. We could easily design something removable and idf they ruin it, we can replace it. I am not too concerned about that. But turn it into a garden area maybe?
  • jagood
    We have a BIG one next to our driveway gate (rural area) but that's the price we pay for not having overhead lines and poles, which I think are much uglier and more easily damaged in storms. So I guess one way of looking at it is to be thankful we have some ugly green boxes in our yards......
    However, to answer the question posted - the overall plan of the landscaping can be done in such a way that the focus of attention goes elsewhere and then one hardly notices those boxes. I would take a drive through neighborhoods where these are located (and while these isn't snow on the ground) and note the ones that stand out vs the ones that are barely noticed, and try to figure out why.
  • MAlps
    This is part of having electric ;) notin todo bout it
  • cyn222
    Check with utility company regarding use of easement area for planting, structures before doing anything else. I would just install a fence in front of it and landscape around it. Use some plants that won't require pruning and enjoy.
  • lilhoffy99
    It was very much considered in the purchase of our home, and I did not think that it was a big issue, in the Corner of the yard with a huge evergreen in front of it. We removed the tree, I thought that was more of an eyesore and blocked the house. Now step two.
  • silverscreenstar
    Which is...
  • lilhoffy99
    Don't know yet.
  • Architectrunnerguy
    It's been three weeks. Any direction on your end from all the great feedback?
  • lilhoffy99
    I think I may make a garden around, a tree in front several feet, with the screen that doubles as a faux planter box and just set a potted plants on top. The screen I will do so they are hinged like gate doors. I will use those cement post blocks so i do not even have to put it in the ground. Thats within the regs(no permanent structure) and should be cheap enough that i can replace if there is an issue. A bench facing the house like it was planned. I have till spring to secede
  • lilhoffy99
    When I bought the house there was a giant evergreen probably 20 years old that the city never touched so its worth the risk
  • silverscreenstar
    I think KMZ Landscape Design (above) said it better that I can, but basically, the more stuff you do to try and hide the box, the more the eye will be drawn to it. I think it would be better to ignore the box and create a diversion away from it by making an eye catching statement elsewhere on your property, a good distance away from the box.
  • andoy12
    Install just one freestanding fence panel that stands away from it, but covers the sight of the box ... the fence can be a design feature in itself.
  • Tim Shelton
    I planted grasses with room to work if needed. The guys said they really didn't care because if they needed they would cut them down.
  • Lisa Roush

    Two weeks ago the power company installed the transformer box or single phase sleeve box on my property in front yard while I was not home. It is only 15 feet to my house. I came home and was shocked. I worry about that...too close and direct to my room. Is it bomb or electricity wave spread? Any children don't allow to play with the box (I invested several children got hurt when they hid or play with it) I am afraid about my grandchildren will play with it because I am profoundly deaf and can't hear them. One of grandchildren has hyperactive, knows the rules but don't care and play very wild without think rules. I informed the power company about it. They don't care my concerns. I am stuck with it. Also the power company promised me to install the branches around the box but they never did. Also they installed dead grass. I am frustrated.
  • Lisa Roush
    PS the box is 4 feet height and stands right next to sidewalk. If child plays with it, lose balance and fall. I worry about that.
  • veggiesoup
    here in Phoenix, AZ we plant several shrubs around them, but far enough away in case the electric company needs to service the boxes. Here, if shrubs are too close or overgrown, the city is allowed to trim the bushes as far down as they want. This is for their safety& job ability too. Never know if there are bees in there. So, choose something that does not overgrow too much & not planted too close or make sure you up keep and trim them away from the box regularly. My neighbor did not keep up with trimming hers (next door), but I did & the city cut her shrubs in half. She was not happy, but oh well. ---if you plant shrubs on one side of your yard, maybe you could plant shrubs on the other side of your yard/driveway to BALANCE it. Sounds like a FUN project.
  • sunnydrew
    You can see how big/wide the easement is for it and then plant some grasses/shrubs between that "line" and your home. That is all you can do.
  • Sean Lundgren
    I am a utility worker, and I will tell you this from experience. That transformer, cable pedestal, phone pedestal may be an eyesore to you, but imagine YOU the customer without service. Your angry throwing every bad word in the book about that company because it is taking so long to restore your service or everyone's on your block because of what you or your neighbor planted or placed around those items in the utility easement such as fences. I agree with the other comment, be happy you have underground utilities compared to aerial plant. I guarantee you they will have to do periodic maintenance on those from time to time and it really bugs us we have to have thorn bushes and the like preventing us from working on our equipment. We all pay franchise fees which we pass onto you for accessing those utility easements and you are just making it take longer and longer to restore service in the future if anything goes terribly wrong. And then WE are the blame for ripping all that stuff out that you planted! You can't have neatness and reliable service at the same time. Not to mention you are playing with fire planting things around those. Utilities can't always bury those lines deep due to rocks or other reasons such as city regulations if they have lines of their own below they want adequate room from other utilities. All you have to do is put a nick in a line and since it's buried it will corrode and eventually go bad causing issues for someone or an entire neighborhood, and if eventually causes a surprise outage especially for 911 service on that specific line, that utility company especially cable is not going to be happy since everyone likes to talk down on them. But it's a fact they get hit the most and have to deal with these issues the most out of any utility. Just keep those thoughts in the back of your mind. Make it as easy on the utility workers as you can or it may backfire on you!
  • qam999
    I've seen many cases where people plant bushes around these and IME, all that does is draw attention straight to the eyesore....especially when those bushes are the only feature in an otherwise plain lawn. Randomly-placed bushes are a dead giveaway, and to get thm to actually hide the box in a meaningful way, you would have to grow a large, dense thicket that would make the box hard to access (especially in snow or other rough weather). It's like trying to disguise your acne by wearing a fake mustache and clown glasses! Makes things worse!

    Rather than disguise, I'd suggest distraction. Give yourself and your visitors something else, much prettier and more striking, to look flowering tree(s), rose arbor, planting bed, rock garden, stone wall, rose bushes on fence, or just great landscaping with all detail placed AWAY from the utility box. And then make sure the paint on the box in in great repair and matches your lawn closely. And then just start ignoring it....
  • qam999
    Whoops, my point was already made previously. Sorry for the unintentional repetition.
  • silverscreenstar

    Thank you.

  • berniekaras

    I know of a great website where you can buy outdoor furniture,ornaments,lights,water features, & tools for all your yard & gardening. All orders over $35.00 is free shipping,go to, Make your space as beautiful as can be!

  • Christine R
    I made a butterfly garden between my box and my house. It could be 10 feet away but it will draw your attention away from the box. I don't even notice it anymore. I have tons of butterflies to look at instead
  • Roberta Smith
    I hid mine with two speria bushes. One on back left corner and one on front right corner. Drapes over nicely like forsythia but has a pretty white flower in the spring.
  • Marissa Wilkes

    Has anyone ever hit one a green plastic transformer box

  • Nigel (northern Va; 7A)

    I get that utility workers need to access the boxes. But honestly what is wrong with making them look nice, instead of a huge eye sore in one's yard... What Tracey P posted above, looks pretty sweet. It makes an otherwise UGLY utility box and blends it and makes it easy on the eyes.

    We have one in our front yard to the side and I'm half tempted to painted it a lighter shade of green so it blends in with the grass... it's currently painted an ugly dark green that just stands out compared to anything else in the yard.


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