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Out of Sight, Out of Mind: 15 Landscaping Ideas To Hide Utility Boxes

Let’s brainstorm the best landscaping ideas to hide utility boxes – because utility boxes are an essential part of modern life. But let’s face it. They aren’t the most attractive features in our yards. While they serve a vital purpose, they can be tremendously ugly and take away from the overall aesthetics of our outdoor spaces.

But does this mean you’re stuck with an eyesore in your yard, or is there something you can do to hide that hideous utility box?

Luckily, with some creative landscaping, you can transform these necessary but unsightly transformer boxes into an attractive part of your yard’s design! Let’s examine the best way to hide utility boxes. And we’ll discover some of the best landscaping ideas to turn them into a seamless part of your outdoor decor.

Sound fun?

Then let’s roll.

Is It Okay To Cover a Utility Box?

When it comes to hiding utility boxes with landscaping, one of the first questions that may come to mind is whether it’s safe and permissible. That box on your front lawn might be unsightly, but by covering it up, you could break local building codes or even create a dangerous hazard!

The short answer to whether you can hide a utility box is that it depends on the type of box and the regulations in your area.

Utility boxes such as those for gas, water, and cable are generally safe to cover, but it’s vital to ensure they remain accessible for maintenance purposes.

On the other hand, electrical boxes typically require a certain amount of clearance and should not be entirely buried or obstructed.

It is vital to check with your local utility company or building code department to ensure you follow the appropriate guidelines when landscaping around utility boxes. As long as you have permission – you can easily hide unsightly utility boxes without compromising safety or access. All you need is careful planning and consideration.

Here’s how to start.

electric utility box art for hiding unsightly utility boxes
Utility boxes or electrical boxes are vital components for many modern homes. The problem is that they look so unappealing. And they clutter up the lawn! And while we love utility box artwork – not all of us have such artistic talent. That’s why we’re sharing 15 ways to cover up utility boxes. We tried to find diverse and unique methods for various homesteads, yards, and utility box styles. We hope they help you!

15 Landscaping Ideas To Hide Utility Boxes

If you’re tired of looking at unsightly utility boxes in your yard, there are plenty of creative ways to hide them with landscaping. From using plants and shrubs to constructing custom covers, several options can effectively camouflage utility boxes and make them a seamless part of your outdoor design.

Let’s look at our favorite imaginative landscaping ideas to hide utility boxes and give your yard a more polished and attractive makeover!

We searched rustic homesteads and landscape experts far and near for the following ideas.

We hope you enjoy them!

1. Hiding Utility Boxes With Plants by This Old House

This Old House shares its favorite landscaping ideas to hide utility boxes using various shrubs, plants, and trees. We love their insights! We would also advise choosing native shrubs and trees when possible. Even better is if your trees and shrubs have various bloom times. (That way, you attract more honeybees, butterflies, and pollinators for longer.)

If you’re considering planting shrubs around your utility box, figuring out where to start is daunting! This video features many great tips, including managing potential hazards such as underground cables and ideas for creating an attractive landscaping style.

You could also plant tall grass in addition to native shrubs. Filling a simple garden bed with tall grasses will hide the box from view but ensure adequate space around the access door for utility workers.

2. Using Fake Rocks To Hide a Utility Unit by Creekside Outdoor Living

Here’s an easy-peasy way to maximize curb appeal without spending much effort on landscape design. Cover them with some artificial boulders! CreeksideOutdoorLiving shows how. (This is a nifty method if you don’t want to worry about tree or shrub roots interfering with your utility control box. Always plant your shrubs and trees a safe distance away!)

This idea is oh so simple, but I love it! Smaller household utility units are often in the most inconvenient places, but many can get safely disguised by covering them with faux rocks. We love this as a great backyard landscaping option that requires minimal effort, a definite win-win situation!

3. Cute Picket Fence and Utility Post Disguise by Favorite Hobby Gardener

Here’s one of the easiest and fastest ways to hide utility boxes without needing a container garden, shrub transplant, or garden hose. And all you need is a corner fence panel. Favorite Hobby Gardener shows us how to get it done – without working all afternoon – or spending too much cash. (This is also an excellent method if you don’t want to worry about tree or shrub roots interfering with your utility control panel.)

Planting larger shrubs around utility boxes is not always a safe option, as the roots can cause problems with underground wiring systems. A great alternative is to establish a simple picket fence in front of the box, which can get easily removed should any maintenance be required. 

4. Great Utility Box Plant Combination by Backyard Neophyte Landscaping

custom diy utility box cover with lovely pink flowers
We were searching everywhere for landscaping ideas to hide utility boxes that used plenty of flowers and colorful blooms. And then we found these lovely flowers from Backyard Neophyte Landscaping Blog. The flowers you see are echinacea purpurea – or coneflowers. We can’t imagine a more colorful way to conceal utility boxes with blossoms. And we love the way it looks!

I love a gardening expert who tells me exactly what combination of plants to use, as it takes the guesswork out of planning a planting scheme! This yard landscaping design combines ornamental grass with decorative plants to help produce beautiful blooms all summer. As a bonus, these plants are also great for pollinators, helping to boost biodiversity in your backyard garden.

5. Hiding Utility Boxes by Using Vinyl Utility Box Vinyl Wraps

Check out this excellent idea to hide utility boxes from Debra Lee Baldwin and Lee Sie. Watch as they reveal how they use laminated vinyl to camouflage unsightly utility boxes without fuss. (We love the colorful succulent-themed designs!)

Utility boxes were getting vandalized in Lee’s neighborhood. After research, Lee decided that decorating the utility boxes with succulent photography might help to deter graffiti artists. It seemed to work!

Lee’s covers are beautiful and vibrant and feature geometric succulent designs. Lee’s utility box designs have also caught on – big time! Lee has experience covering over 100 utility boxes with elegant and sleek artwork. 

Each new utility box cover design looks more brilliant than the last. Check out Lee’s utility box artwork gallery for tons more examples.

6. Tips for Landscaping Around Utility Boxes by Miss Mustard Seed

landscaping and gardening around a utility box
We love Miss Mustard Seed’s article about gardening around the electrical box. Her insights are valuable to any homesteader who thinks gardening is easy. It isn’t. It requires lots of hard work – and surprises can pop up where you least expect them. Her article shares a few little-known hurdles you might encounter when gardening around your utility control box. Check it out!

I love a gardening blog that doesn’t make it all look super simple and easy but shows us the real-life problems of a landscaping project. This post contains some great tips about where to start when landscaping around utility boxes. And also common pitfalls and things to avoid along the way.

Faux Oak Stump Cover for Yard, Landscape, and Garden | Aquascape
$103.98

Want to hide an ugly utility box in your yard or garden without needing fancy tools? Then you might love this 18.5-inch high faux log cover. Its realistic oak appearance blends beautifully in your flower or rock garden. It's perfect for hiding utility boxes, power cords, electrical outlets, fixtures, valves, transformers, or well pumps. Plus - it only weighs around 18 pounds, so it's easy to move when necessary.

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09/21/2023 08:15 pm GMT

7. Utility Box Trellis Privacy Screen by My Perpetual Project

beautiful utility box cover using white lattice and vines
Here’s a borderline-genius landscaping idea showing how to hide the utility boxes from My Perpetual Project. Their beautiful design uses white vinyl lattice and climbing clementine vines. The result looks lovely. And it makes the utility boxes disappear in a pleasant, organic way.

Electrical transformer boxes can be tricky to hide, as most utility companies will not permit permanent garden constructions around them. Erecting a temporary wooden trellis is an excellent solution to this problem, as it can be shifted out of the way whenever access is required. I love the clever way this trellis is fixed in place using buckets, but for an optional upgrade, consider switching them to planters filled with gorgeous climbing plants!

8. Using Ornamental Grasses To Hide Utility Boxes by This Better Home

Here’s another clever landscaping idea to hide utility boxes without needing fancy tools or scrap wood. We’re planting some switchgrass! Switchgrass grows tall and can help conceal your utility box as it matures. This Better Home shows how – plus gives some design and safety tips.

Finding taller plants to grow around utility boxes can be a problem, as many will not survive being trampled by maintenance teams. Tall ornamental grasses are the ideal solution to this problem, as they can get cut down if necessary and will regrow even if squashed by heavy-footed workers.

9. DIY Cover For Utility Boxes by Jesse and Company

Check out one of our favorite landscaping ideas to hide utility boxes from Jesse And Company. Jesses shows how to build an elegant utility box cover from scratch. No mega-fancy tools are required – they use a circular saw, a screw gun, glue, and two-by-fours. This method also requires plenty of elbow grease and some effort. But the results are fantastic.

Here is a great DIY tutorial for a temporary wooden cover for transformer boxes, turning your utility unit into a more appealing garden feature. The wood lattice screen design can be adapted to fit all types of transformer boxes, and you could incorporate decorative elements by painting colorful blooms or adding some twinkling fairy lights.

10. DIY Utility Box Covers by Francesco Pollaccia

Francesco Pollaccia had a client who wanted to hide their unsightly utility boxes. So – they devised a beautiful-looking utility box cover using one-by-four cedar with a red mahogany stain finish. The work looks beautiful. They also share tips for setting one up for yourself.

Shrubs may seem like the ideal solution to screen an unsightly green transformer box, but get it wrong, and you’ll find your efforts have gotten wasted! For example, shrubs that obstruct access to the utility box can legitimately get removed by utility companies, even if they flourish on your land. So we want to share another utility box cover you can make. This DIY utility box is easy to remove – and won’t annoy the utility crew workers if they decide they need access.

Read More!

11. Wall Mounted Utility Box Cover by Kaleidoscope Living

beautiful utility box cover with chic design and hanging plants
Kaleidoscope Living developed one of the sleekest ways to craft a DIY utility box cover that opens easily. It’s one of our favorite utility box coverup ideas if it’s against the wall of your home. Their website also shares helpful tips, step-by-step instructions, and DIY insights if you want to build something similar.

Utility boxes aren’t always in the middle of our yards and can look just as unsightly when located on a house wall! This simple wooden barrier is an excellent option for hiding wall-mounted units. It could likely work for a variety of utility box styles. But remember that air conditioning units need adequate airflow around them to function effectively.

12. Hiding A Utility Box Eyesore by Home Made by Carmona

custom made utility box cover with lovely outdoor design
Home Made by Carmona published the following stunning guide showing how to landscape around utility boxes. Carmona includes many outdoor goodies to help make the once-unsightly utility box disappear. We love the immaculate attention to detail – and the finished design looks divine.

This project contains so many delightful and exquisite details that I don’t know where to start! From the rustic wooden screen to the bell jars and colorful flowers, the entire creation hides a wall-mounted unit and turns it into a beautiful garden feature too! This utility-hiding idea looks like the perfect place to relax with friends, and no one will suspect it only exists to hide the unsightly unit behind it.

13. DIY Outdoor Shelf To Disguise Ugly Utility Boxes by Young House Love

elegant hanging plants covering a utility box
We knew that hanging plants could play a role in helping us hide our ugly utility boxes. But we weren’t sure how. That’s when we found this epic guide by Young House Love teaching about their DIY outdoor shelf to hide utility boxes. The transformation is breathtaking – and we love how they used natural organic methods to hide the untidy utility control box. (Nature always looks better!)

This outdoor shelf is another great option for wall-mounted utility units, and it could also get adapted for boxes near a tall fence. A simple outdoor shelf design provides a location for potted plants that trail downwards, providing an effective camouflage and a beautiful garden feature.

14. Top 5 Shrubs To Grow In Pots Around Utility Boxes by PlantDo Home And Garden

Here’s an excellent place to start if you want to plant potted shrubs around your utility boxes. We love the idea for several reasons. First – it’s an ideal way to hide your utility boxes without digging. And – it also allows your utility workers to access the utility boxes without uprooting your plants. Check out the video from PlantDo Home Garden for more insights and their top shrub picks.

If you are worried about the hazards of underground wires, a simple but highly effective solution is to grow shrubs in large pots as a screen for that hideous green transformer box. Then, if maintenance workers require access, it’s no big deal. All you need to do is lift the pots out of the way!

15. The Perfect Plant To Hide Cable Boxes by Treppendahl Landscape

Let’s face it. There are countless rules and potential hazards around hiding an ugly utility box. Sometimes it seems easier to do nothing at all! But if planting shrubs or building a screen is out of the question, there is a surprisingly simple solution.

Plant a range of elegant ornamental grasses to hide that green metal box! Filling a simple garden bed with tall grasses will hide the box from view but ensure adequate space around the access door for utility workers.

16. How to Hide Outdoor Eye Sores by Shara Woodshop Diaries

We saved one of the best landscaping ideas to hide utility boxes for last from Shara Woodshop Diaries. It’s a beautiful DIY faux fence kit that can cover nearly any outdoor eyesore – including AC units, propane tanks, or, in this case, a well-house. (We think it could also work perfectly to cover a utility box. However – we advise skipping the weed barrier because the utility folks may need to dig around your utility box eventually. But the housing is perfect.)

If a full-scale homestead fencing project is too ambitious for your DIY skills, and if you want to avoid digging, try this super-effective wellhead cover box screen instead! Shara used it to cover a massive wellhead – but we think it could also work for utility boxes. These relatively light and open-design boxes make it easy to set up. And they also help allow air to circulate freely, helping to prevent overheating in the transformer box.

Conclusion

Thanks for reading our guide about landscaping ideas to hide utility boxes.

We tried sharing various clever methods to help conceal your unsightly utility box once and for all!

Let us know which utility-box-disappearing act you like the most.

Or maybe you have a clever utility box concealment method we haven’t thought of yet.

We’d love to hear from you in any event.

Thanks again for reading.

And have a beautiful day!

Author

  • Kate Chalmers

    Kate moved to Portugal in 2020 and lives with her husband on a half-hectare ‘quinta’ – traditional terraced land with olive trees, grapevines, and a house that seems to be taking forever to renovate! The current menagerie of animals includes an ancient cat, George, and an assortment of chickens of all shapes and sizes. Kate has over 15 years of experience in the UK veterinary industry and is also a passionate gardener. Together, Kate and her husband have turned a barren olive grove into an abundant food forest and vegetable garden that is a haven for wildlife. Future plans include more animals, particularly sheep and goats for milk production to make cheese, butter, and yogurt!