Hide-all Lattice Screens for Your Landscaped Yard

Electrical boxes are an unsightly addition to many back yards. It wasn’t until we moved into our first home, which donned one of these hideous green objects, that I realized how much heat radiates from them. In a quest to cover this unattractive permanent addition to our landscape, I have found the perfect solution to hide any embarrassing yard “ornaments”.

Upon moving into our home, the backyard had to be completely re-landscaped as it was trashed by the previous owners and their dog. In the corner with the electrical box was a large blue metal swing set, another ugly fixture decorating the yard, surrounded by gravel and a nearly dead bush. We immediately removed the swing set and started moving the gravel from the area. Realizing the job of improving the quarter acre yard was more than we could handle, we hired professional help.

Within days the crew had removed all of the rocks, weeds, and dead shrubbery from the yard. They cut the grass into an appealing shape and edged around what we were keeping. They finished by installing commercial grade Mylar over all areas that would be mulched. We took upon the task of planting new trees and laying mulch throughout the yard. Over the next couple of years we have added flower beds, skirted the deck, and completed other essential tasks to beautify the yard.

The large electrical box, however, was still an unpleasant addition that constantly drew your eye in its direction. Not only was it ugly, but it was injuring the blue spruce that we had planted in front of it. While the front of our new blue spruce looked great and was growing steadily, the back was dry, withered, and burned almost to the trunk. Without further intervention, we would have lost the tree.

As a temporary patch for our problem, we pounded three metal stakes around the box and draped Mylar over them to shield the tree and hopefully cut back the amount of heat affecting our spruce. Over the next summer, the tree improved and started to regenerate some of the branches and needles in the back. The Mylar screen was not an improvement to the charming yard we had worked so hard to create; I started to research attractive ways to hide the electrical box and shield the tree from the heat of the box.

While pulling weeds from a mulched area in the yard, I noticed some lattice that we had stored behind our shed that I had forgotten about. I started envisioning a lattice screen with an area to access the electrical box. I immediately started to create this hide-all screen.

I called the utilities companies for a Locate to ensure I would not damage any underground wires or equipment in my construction. The next step was to dig three post holes to brace the screen. Ensuring that a strong gust of wind would not come up and knock over the screen, I poured concrete into my holes prior to placing the posts in them. I made sure each post was level and allowed the concrete to set completely.

As the post holes were setting and drying, I create the frames for my lattice. I needed two frames as one would be placed between two of the posts and the other would be placed between one of the first posts and the other one, adjoining them at a 45 degree angle. The fence would block the electrical box on the back and left side, while my screen would block the box from the front and the right side with an access way between the right side of the screen and the fence. The frames needed to be 4 feet wide by 5 feet tall to properly shield the electrical box and look nice with the height of the fence. I used 2 x 4’s and cut 4-4 Ã?½ foot pieces and 4-5 foot pieces. I laid the pieces out on a level surface making two 4 x 5 foot squares and attached the pieces together to make my frames.

While the lattice would make a good screen, I was afraid too much heat would be able to radiate through the hole of the lattice, so I decided to attach the Mylar to the back of the lattice. I cut the Mylar to size and stapled it to the lattice. Next, I attached the lattice to the front of the frames. At this point, the posts were set and my frames with lattice were ready to be installed. I attached the frames to the posts creating my screen that not only looked great, but adequately shielded the heat from the electrical box from my blue spruce.

For some extra flair, I decided to plant a flowering vine in front of the lattice screen. The lattice allowed the vine to climb and spread over the lattice. This not only is an attractive addition to the yard, but further blocks any heat that may affect my spruce. The vine I choose to plant is a heat and drought tolerant creeping bittersweet, but there are many other plant choices depending on your application.

This lattice clad screen was a perfect addition to my yard and covers the ugly sight of the electrical box while still allowing access. This solution could be used for any unsightly objects in your yard whether it is a permanent electrical box, the trash can storage area, or a hot tub needing additional privacy. A little creativity will allow your screen to flow with your yard and add that extra ump you may be looking for. Add vines, plants, flowers or attach flower boxes for an elegant look and beauty for your yard.

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