How can I hide a 100 gallon Propane Tank - PICS?

mwalasctNovember 22, 2009

We have to get an above ground propane tank (100 gallons) installed at our house. It's only purpose is to feed a gas fireplace. It will be in the back of the house (and not be visible from street) but it will be right off of our sliding glass door, nearly on top of our paver patio.

We'd like to build a small house-like structure around it with a roof, and siding to match our house - possibly some plantings too.

Has anyone built a structure around their propane tank to hide it? Or does anyone have a creative idea to help mask this eyesore? Please post pics of your solution here...

Thank you!

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Don't know much about propane and the tanks it comes in, but surfing around sites and corresponding images...

...The size of the fireplace and hours of usage notwithstanding, if you utilize one 100-gallon tank, you should get 300 to 400 hours of operational time from it, on average. No big insight there.

What shape tank? Upright or horizontal lozenze shape? If you build a solid, roofed structure around it, take into coinsideration the ease of reflling. Little shed with a hinged roof - creative potting bench design? Is that the only place it can be located?

Sometimes things are, unfortunately, what they are. An oil drum painted to look like a Holstein cow, well...

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 1:02PM
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I have done a similar thing to mask our AC units. You can buy sections of 4' tall fencing from Lowes or HD for less than you can make it. Sink PT posts in the ground and paint it to match your siding. Incorporate planting beds around it so it is part of the landscape. Be mindful of maintenance/refilling when you place the fence sections.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2009 at 9:12AM
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queerbychoice(USDA 9a/Sunset 8 (CA))

If you're planning to build a structure around it anyway, is it the right height that the structure could be a bench to sit on? The location sounds very appropriate for a bench.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2009 at 2:49AM
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holleygarden Zone 8, East Texas

I can envision for you a small structure like you mentioned, with window boxes on the structure's sides. It could be very cottage-feeling, if that is your style. Like a gingerbread play house look. You may want to do an add-on (keep it separate) to house tools, so it will have some purpose.

The main thing is to make sure the propane people have adequate access. You may want to ask them before you build anything about codes or access issues you need to address. The last thing you want to do is build something then have to tear it down. And, they won't care how much effort you put into something. They want EASY access.

You will probably need some kind of 'chimney' or 'windows' (open, not glassed) in your structure, and several vents placed at the bottom. All propane tanks leak a little, eventually, and you don't want it to build up. It needs adequate ventilation. Talk to your propane company about that, also. (If they say their tanks don't leak, don't believe them!)

Good luck with your project. I understand your need to disguise the tank as close to your patio as it is. But don't rush into it - I would hate for you to build something that doesn't have the adequate requirements that this may need.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2009 at 11:19AM
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I would first ask the propane company if it can be located away from this location and run a line. If not, build an L-shaped screen about 2 x 2 x 5' high using the same material as the house siding and paint to match. I would go with a solid screen vs. a trellis and plantings because that approach tends to call more attention to what you are trying to screen.

An extension of the side of the house completely masks it and so nonone will know what is behind it and just see the screen structure. If room, place a tall narrow planter in front to soften it with some spiky accent perenials planted within.

Material depends on the house stucco, wood siding, brick?

The design challenge is how to make a screen not look like a screen that is hiding something objectionable?

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 9:02AM
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pippi21(Z7 Silver Spring, Md.)

The ideas submitted are very good but there is one thing that somebody is missing. That propane gas tank will need to be refilled when it starts running low, so the propane co. needs a way to be able to get to the tank to fill it. You'll need probably to build a gate somewhere for that purpose. Grew up in the country, know about those ugly tanks. I think the idea of a fenced in area with flowers planted around it would look nice and nobody won't notice that big montrosity.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 5:02AM
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lois(PA Zone 6)

We have a propane tank, too, right in our side yard and visible from the street. I built a fence around two sides of it to hide it from the street but still give the propane truck access, and then grew clematis over it. Here is a picture with some of the clematis pulled off.

This summer, the poor propane guy had to come knocking on our door because he couldn't find the tank.

I am sure someone else could do a better/tidier job at hiding a tank, but I would agree that a fence on 2 sides and something else planted there is probably the cheapest way to go.

Lois in PA

    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 1:15PM
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