One thing almost every homeowner must face in the quest for that perfectly landscaped yard is how to hide unattractive utilities.
Water wells, septic risers, electrical and cable TV boxes, telephone pedestals, irrigation valves, pumps, and other utilities can be common in residential yards. Especially in suburban and rural settings where city and municipal utilities are not offered.
These utilities all share one thing in common: They are ugly!
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And in most cases, they are permanent fixtures that are not easy to move to other less visible parts of the yard without costly and time-consuming work.
But don’t go giving up and throw in the towel just yet!
There are several options for hiding utilities in your yard and keeping your curb appeal intact. We’ve tried everything from simple, fast, easy solutions to more extensive projects.
Here are a few proven ideas you can try:
In this article:
1) Put your Green Thumb to work
You can plant shrubs, flowers, or other plants around the utilities to help them blend in with the rest of your yard.
Some fast-growing shrubs that can be used in landscaping to hide utilities include:
Willow hybrids (Salix spp.) – These shrubs can grow up to 10 feet per year and can be trained to form a hedge or used as a standalone specimen plant.
Privet (Ligustrum spp.) – Privet is a popular choice for hedges and can grow up to 3 feet per year.
Leucothoe (Leucothoe spp.) – These shrubs are evergreen and can grow up to 2 feet per year.
Lilac (Syringa spp.) – Lilacs are flowering shrubs that can grow up to 2-3 feet per year.
Viburnum (Viburnum spp.) – Viburnum shrubs are available in a range of sizes and can grow up to 3 feet per year.
It’s important to keep in mind that the actual growth rate of a shrub will depend on a number of factors, including the specific species, the climate and soil conditions in your yard, and the care it receives.
2) Install a fence around the utilities
This can help keep them out of sight and protect utilities against tampering or damage from kids or nosey neighbors.
Several types of fences are relatively easy to install yourself. Here are a few options:
Vinyl fencing: Vinyl fencing is a popular choice because it requires minimal maintenance and is easy to install. The panels are lightweight and can be cut to size using a handsaw or circular saw.
Wood fencing: Wood fencing can be installed using pre-assembled panels or by building the fence from scratch. The process is relatively simple and is accomplished with a few basic tools.
Woven wire fencing: Woven wire fencing, also known as field fencing, is easy to install and can be done with a few essential tools. The fence is held in place with metal T-posts, which can be driven into the ground with a post driver or sledge hammer.
Chain-link fencing: Chain-link fencing is also relatively easy to install, and the process can be done with just a few tools. The fence is held in place with metal posts that are anchored into the ground with concrete.
Regardless of the type of fence you choose, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and local building codes when installing it. It may also be helpful to enlist the help of a friend or professional to ensure the fence is installed properly.
3) Fake Rock Covers
The fastest and easiest method a home-owner can embrace is using fake rock covers to hide utilities in yard and garden areas.
Unlike planting shrubs or constructing fences, sheds and trellises, using hollow mock rocks usually requires little digging, preparation or construction to get the job done.
Faux stone manufacturers offer various fake rocks in different sizes and colors to hide backflow valves, irrigation systems, wellheads, electrical boxes, septic risers, and more.
DekoRRa brand Mock Rocks are the industry standard regarding realism, weather, and UV resistance against sun fade.
DekoRRa offers a wide selection of fake rocks specifically designed to cover and hide different types of typical lawn and garden utilities that homeowners need to contend with.
The DekoRRa brand also feature unique flanges molded into the base of each fake rock cover through which included stakes to secure it to the ground and protect it from the wind.
4) Build a utility shed or enclosure
There are many different garden shed designs to choose from. Here are a few things to consider when planning a garden shed:
Size: Consider the size of the shed in relation to the size of your yard and the available space. You should also consider the size of the items stored in the shed and ensure there is enough space for them.
Style: Choose a style that is in keeping with the aesthetic of your home and yard. There are many different styles to choose from, including traditional, modern, and rustic.
Functionality: Consider the specific functions you want the shed to serve. Will you be using it for storage, as a workshop, or for another purpose? This will help determine the layout and features you need.
Materials: Choose materials that are durable and appropriate for the climate in which you live. Common options include wood, metal, and plastic.
Budget: Determine how much you are willing to spend on the shed and choose a design that fits your budget.
Once you have a clear idea of what you want, you can start looking for garden shed plans that meet your needs. You can find plans online, at a local home improvement store, or through a contractor or carpenter.
5) Trellises & Garden Arbors
These can be attractive structures that not only help to hide the utilities but also add some visual interest to your yard.
Here are a few different types of trellis to consider:
Wall-mounted trellis – This type of trellis is attached to a wall or fence and is a good option if you don’t have a lot of space in your yard.
Freestanding trellis – A freestanding trellis can be placed anywhere in your yard and is a good option if you want to add visual interest or create a privacy screen in front of utilities near the middle of the yard.
Arch trellis – An arch trellis is a decorative option that can create an entrance or focal point in your yard.
Fan trellis – A fan trellis is a decorative option shaped like a fan and often used to support flowering vines.
When choosing a trellis, consider the size of your yard, the type of plants you want to grow, and the overall aesthetic you want to create. You should also consider the materials the trellis is made of, as some materials may be more durable or weather-resistant than others.
Last But Not Least
It’s vital always to call your electric and gas company to have any conduit, wires, or gas lines marked and flagged before doing any digging.
Remember to follow local regulations or guidelines when hiding utilities in your yard, and keep them easily accessible for maintenance or repairs.
The last thing you want to do is hide your well or septic so well that a plumber or contractor can’t find it or access it should it require maintenance or repairs.
Regardless of your choice, there are many options for hiding ugly utilities and amping up the curb appeal and landscaping around your home!