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How to Cover Electrical Boxes on Your Front Lawn

Bridget Kelly

Electric transformer boxes, while unattractive, typically replace overhead wires, which are equally unattractive. This is probably of little solace to the homeowner with a box on his front lawn. Many creative methods exist to hide the electric box but some may be against power company regulations.

Plant a vine to cover the latticework.

Some companies do not allow the construction of a permanent structure over or around the electric box; others allow this but only if enough room exists for workers to gain access and move around within. To be safe, use either latticework-type structures that allow air to circulate or landscape ornamentals to hide the box.

Warning

Be prepared to lose some of your plants, if the power company needs to drive its trucks onto the easement.

Don’t do any digging until you determine the location of any power lines running from the transformer. The power company can give you this information.

  1. Call the power company to learn how much clearance you need to provide around the electric box. Utility companies have what are known as easements across your property that you are not allowed to impede.

  2. Get plants that will grow taller than the box, while remaining dense at the bottom. Shrubs and ornamental grasses are both good choices. Shrubs to consider include oleander, boxwood or redwood photinia for sunny areas and azalea and crape myrtle for shady spots. Ornamental grasses to consider include switch grass or maiden grass.

  3. Place latticework, fencing or plants at least 3 feet away from the sides and back of the electric box. This allows for air circulation around the box, the contents of which may generate heat.

  4. Place your structure or plants at least 10 feet away from the front of the box, unless the utility company states that closer planting is appropriate. Many electric company workers use long poles to reach inside the high-voltage boxes and require room to work safely.

  5. Install latticework or fencing, using the same distance requirements for plants. Ensure that a gate or opening exists for utility workers to gain access to the front of the box.