It’s a challenge most homeowners face. How do you disguise trash bins, air conditioning units, and other unsightly items to make your property more attractive? Here are a few suggestions and tips:
Utilize Space Below the Deck: If your deck is elevated, add an under deck storage area under the structure and enclose it with wood siding and shed-style doors. You can even incorporate a bench seat that you can open to drop garbage or recycling directly into the concealed bins below.
Fence Them In: The most common solution is to fence off your side yard. Before you decide on fence size, complete an inventory of what you plan to hide. Also, be sure to make the length of fence to the gate long enough to conceal your “unsightlies” when the gate is open. You can make your structure more than functional by adding a design quality like lattice painted the same color as your home.
Attractive Gates Banish the Ugly: A gate can be truly beautiful but make sure it is wide enough so you can easily move your bins to the curb. Don’t forget to have the gate open away from the bins and think about creating a smooth service floor for easy rolling.
Make that Utility Post Disappear: There are many creative ways to hide utility posts in your front yard. A permanent structure over the post is not a solution, but you can build decorative covers that can be placed over top (like the elongated cupola version, below). Other solutions to consider include lattice screens, corner fencing, or bushes and flowers.
Tips on A/C Units: An air conditioning condenser contains a compressor, cooling fins, and a fan. When in use, it generates a tremendous amount of heat. Avoid blocking the air flow because that will help retain the heat and make the units work harder than necessary and increase your utility bills. If you have a choice, position your condenser in an area that receives shade. While covering them up with a vinyl cover may seem like a viable option, it is not a good idea. Covers limit ventilation, so every time you turn on the unit, you’ll have to remove the cover. Need we say more? If you choose to add a fence, make sure you leave 2-3 ft of surrounding space to ensure adequate ventilation. Finally, make the unit accessible to technicians who perform spring cleaning or repairs.
Word to the Wise: Keep garbage bins and A/C units in separate areas. The heat generated from the units in close proximity to your bin will make for some unpleasant odors—especially during hot Atlanta summers.