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Ugly placement of electrical panel

Teri Ziegler
February 11, 2019
I can't believe this is the best place they thought of for the electrical panel, right next to my entry door. Ugh!
I'm trying to find DIY ideas for hiding this whole setup. I'm looking on Pinterest but you guys always have great ideas so any ideas are welcome!

Comments (37)

  • Teri Ziegler

    Here's the photo of what I'm taking about.

  • PRO
    PPF.

    Why was the power not run underground?

    Why was someone allowed to place it there?

    If it bothers you, have it moved.

    You need to talk to the power company to see what rules they have. Often these cannot be covered up or enclosed.

  • Christopher C Nc

    Attach a sliding closet door type of cover with the same siding as the house. You cant permanently block the meter. It need to be accessible.

  • Teri Ziegler
    PPF, I'm sure it had to do with money. everything that costs more money my husband tries to cut corners. That's not something you guys can help with, unfortunately.
  • Teri Ziegler
    *you guys can't help with
  • PRO
    PPF.

    This board should not be against the siding, but out maybe 2". This lets dirt and water pass through instead of getting trapped. It also helps prevent splitting of the treads when they are screwed down.




  • PRO
    PPF.

    The concrete pad that's under the steps doesn't need to be under the steps. It should be under the bottom most step and extend out in front several feet.


    I'm sure you will want a mat there for people to clean that red Georgia clay off their feet.

  • Teri Ziegler
    PPF, thank you! The steps are not attached yet, we had just set them there to see what they would look like, but I will definitely mention these things to my husband.
  • Teri Ziegler
    PPF, the concrete pad is already poured so how would we arrange the steps on it to accommodate what you are saying? The steps are not put together yet.
  • PRO
    PPF.

    This shows 2 sets of steps, yours are on the left, my suggestion is on the right.


    Note how they differ at the top where they connect to the deck. Your steps have an extra tread at the top that is not needed, mine have one less tread. This makes the steps shorter (shown in the 2nd picture).






  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    Presuming the elec. meter will not be moved, a good starting point for making it better is to paint all of it (boxes conduit, wires) the exact same color as the house siding. Later, some plantings may help conceal or distract from it. (We can't see enough of the surroundings to know how plantings might be arranged.)


  • curlycook
    https://www.houzz.com/photos/sunroom-deck-tropical-exterior-phvw-vp~461521

    This was the closest photo I could find to explain the concrete situation. You will require a landing/walkway to approach the stairs and make the turn to climb them, along with railings on the stairs and around the deck. This should all be preplanned. The stairs should be equal heights, to avoid a tripping hazard.
  • curlycook
    Since I have no confidence they will move the electrical meter at this point, use landscaping to soften it’s look. Most are read electronically these days, anyway. Worry about the entrance while you can still have options!!
  • Teri Ziegler
    curlycook, I was thinking of putting some huge stone pavers as a walkway to the cement pad and steps.
  • Teri Ziegler
    curly cook, I will look at options for a walkway like the picture you sent.
  • curlycook
    Teri, what material will comprise the base of your carport? It doesn’t appear as if the concrete extends over to that area.
  • Teri Ziegler
    curly cook, we will be pouring a pad of cement where I will drive my car onto next to the pad that is already poured. Under the deck my husband wants to just put gravel. so the left side will have the cement pad that is already poured with the stairs and the right side will be where I pull my car into the carport onto the other cement pad (which we still have to pour).
  • Teri Ziegler
    I'm sorry to sound so naive and unknowledgeable, but I am. That's why I'm on here almost every day talking about something because I'm just trying to make it to the finish line with my head above water.
  • curlycook
    I learned SO MUCH while we were building, but know I am only commenting from a homeowner’s vantage, not at all a professional. As I’ve said before, you have your hands full! Many of your dilemmas have been the result of last minute changes. My build went almost exactly as the plans stated, only figuring out things like the hearth and built-ins on the fly. We hammered out all of the changes before we broke ground, so I’ve empathized with your saga of constant unknowns.
  • Teri Ziegler
    PPF, the Builder says he can't do your idea for the shorter stairs because he would need to put extra support under the carport. Do you know what he means? He would need to put more beams to hold up the carport? I like your idea because it gave me room at the bottom of the stairs for a mat like you said.
  • kynsmama

    Teri, your builder sounds like a mess. Im so sorry. Why would you need more support on the carport, with the shorter stairs. Hmm.

  • PRO
    PPF.

    the Builder says he can't do your idea for the shorter stairs because he would need to put extra support under the carport


    Of course it can be done, he just doesn't want to. He maybe needs a bit more structure where the steps attach to the deck, nothing else -- nothing that holds up the carport.


  • Teri Ziegler
    Yardvaark, here are some photos of the surroundings around the electrical panel on the house. This is the yard in that area and around it for landscaping ideas around the electrical box. Georgia power does not allow us to have anything within 3 feet of the electrical box in front, and 18 in on each side.
  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    No additional photos showing up on this end.

  • Teri Ziegler

    oops, here are the photos moving around my yard from left to right.

  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    In spite of the GP restrictions about planting in front of, or at the side of the meter, you're going to end up with something planted below it, which will probably be ignored by everyone who is "supposed" to care, as they probably won't ... especially since meters are read remotely. An objection would probably come only if you allow something to grow in front of the meter, covering it. If you paint the hardware same color as siding in order to camouflage it, and plant something below, it will probably shrink the problem enough that you'll eventually get used to it and not think about it much.

    Insofar as planting goes, you've got to work out the hardscape first. And it's a mystery to me, how the existing slab is going to work with the steps. In the first picture of the thread, it's not working with the steps that are mocked up. I like wide steps, but making them span the full length of the deck end, since it also demands a landing at the base of the steps, kills any possibility of foundation planting at the house. I actually don't understand your deck occupying half of the house overhang. Maybe you could explain what that's about ...?

  • Teri Ziegler
    Yardvaark, this is why I wish I had a builder that knew what he was doing because I have been winging it the whole time and no one has mentioned what you just said. I did not know there would be a problem having the deck / carport this wide. what are the problems you see?
  • Teri Ziegler
    yardvaark, now I see what you mean about foundation plantings.There is no room to do that. I wish someone would have mentioned that before. The saga continues....
    If we would have just hired the other Builder we interviewed, who is a professional in town, he would have led us through all of these things in making decisions and planning better. thank you for your continued input and help.
  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    It is not the build quality of the house that I am (constructively) criticizing. It is the design. Is the builder designing it at he goes along? My question about the deck is that it seemingly occupies less than half the spaced covered by the roof extension. So what is the other (ground level) portion of the covered space for? It looks like it's made for a car to drive through -- like a porte cochere (sp?) But then it almost doesn't look quite wide enough for a car to be there and its doors having room to open. How will the roof-covered ground level space be used? Is there a plan showing where drives, walk and any landscape walls will be placed? If not, I would get on that ASAP. If such a plan exists, you could post it here if you would like to get constructive feedback on it.

  • curlycook
    Yardvarrk, this is the original plan, however, the builder has made multiple changes as he went along. Teri hasn’t posted any plans showing the changes that I’ve seen. The carport is a drive through, as you surmised. The location of the deck and steps have been revised from the plan, creating entries not under the roof, I believe.
  • tiggerlgh

    Yardvark the other issue is Terry’s husband is trying to GC the job. I don’t think it’s all on the contractor. Cut too many corners this is what you get.

  • Teri Ziegler
    Yes, that's the truth. It's been one of the worst experiences of my life. Every time I think I've made a right decision, it turns into another mess.
    Only God could pull off a miracle with all this mess and me end up with a good attitude at the end. He's good at the impossible so I'm hoping.
  • Teri Ziegler
    I'm not good at drawing any of the plans but I'll try to draw it the way it currently is set up to work and post it.
    We drove the car into the carport and it seemed to fit fine.
  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    It's not unexpected or odd that redesigning on the fly might happen. But it needs to be thought through to the conclusion in order to make sure that it's an improvement. The steps work in the plan (though the landing at their base is too tight for my taste.) Placed outside of the deck causes a couple of new problems: insufficient space for normal planting, and steps exposed to precipitation. This well illustrates how design decisions are trade-offs rather than the product of consequence-free decision making.

    Teri, it would be useful to you to bring future changes to the forum while they're being contemplated, as opposed to after they are completed.

  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    It would be good to show how the proposed steps will be worked out. And you must have a driveway coming ...? And maybe some walks ...? It would good to get those in plan form and run them by the forum before discovering they are mistakes made in concrete.

  • Teri Ziegler

    Yardvaark, there is no written plan for any of this. It's just my husband and I telling the Builder what we want and he figures it out as it goes. I mean, we are kind of following the original blueprint except for some changes.
    I did not realize how half-brained this was until we were halfway into building. I was naively trusting the Builder and my husband to take our blueprints and build a house. As we began, there was a new idea here and a new idea there and right now this is the plan for the carport. I do not know how to draw but I have done my best here to show you what the plan is. Feel free to ask me questions and I'll answer the best I can. I do value the input here and actually need it, as you can see. My husband isn't willing to spend much money on making changes at this point, so I'm trying to make the most of what we have and is still coming.

  • PRO
    Yardvaark

    "... there is no written plan for any of this. It's just my husband and I telling the Builder what we want and he figures it out as it goes. I mean, we are kind of following the original blueprint ..." The original blueprint IS the written plan. Herein lies the problem: The architect is the designer who produced the original written plan. He is probably not available at this point to work out design issues. The builder is not a designer. But he is designing on the fly whenever changes are deemed necessary. Designing on the fly is risky because, depending on the circumstances, it's not always possible to satisfactorily solve problems that show up late and unannounced. Changes from the written plans and last minute revisions usually end up costing more time and money to fix. Whenever there are changes, in order to have a satisfactory outcome, someone must be thinking ahead of time how to resolve the changed features. If that's not happening, there are sure to be changes that don't work out as one would hope. Sorry, but that's just the way it is.

    When it comes to site work, if it is going to be done without a plan, I predict that there will be undesirable features built into the work. It would be best if someone could begin working on a plan and get these things thought through in advance of their being built. Terri, from what you've posted, it seems that you can draw. But in order for your drawing to be useful for building purposes, it must accurately reflect actual measurements. Then it would be readily apparent when there is not really room to build something the way it is shown, or if there is going to be a problem with the way something works.

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