We recently installed the new propane range in the kitchen, so it was time to make something permanent to house the propane bottles. But first I'd like to comment on two things.
#1- Our choice for a range was either electric or propane. Hawaii doesn't have natural gas, at least not yet. Electric was totally out of the question because we are on solar. Electric ranges are big energy hogs, so there was no way we'd even consider it.
#2- Going with delivered propane is expensive. The cost per gallon is higher than if you pick it up yourself. Plus there's the installation fee and monthly tank rental. Having your own portable bottles filled is easy here. I pass two filling stations 5 days a week, so it's convenient.
When we first moved here, we purchased fairly large portable bottles, about 20 gallons. But here we sit 10 years later and find those large tanks to be too heavy for us when filled. So we've replaced them with small 5 gallon bottles. Over the years we've scaled back our use of propane, so dealing with small bottles is just fine. They are light enough for us to handle easily and they last for several months of use.
|Finished box, just needs paint on the lattice in order to blend in.|
We wanted to store the propane bottles outside, keep them dry, plus have easy access to them. Hubby suggested that we build a box for them, so we started scheming. What we settled on is overkill for the need, but we're both happy with it. We built a small concrete slab, imbedding lava rocks into the surface for a pleasing effect. Left over lumber made the frame, which ended up looking like a table. We covered that with plastic lattice so that the bottles were out of view but the box was very well ventilated.
|Close up view of the top.|
Next, the box needed a rainproof lid. Hubby would have been happy with plywood I suspect, but we ended up agreeing to a bench top. It's made out of some redwood and cedar that we had. I think it turned out really nice.
|Bottom of the lid showing the metal roofing to keep the rain out.|
Of course, an open work bench top is hardly rainproof! So a piece of metal roofing was cut to size and screwed onto the underside of the bench top. The lid fits nicely to the top of the box. It's heavy enough not to blow off. We opted not to attach it with hinges, so that it would be easier to access the bottles. The two wood slats on the bottom of the lid slid into the lip of the box, keeping the lid from sliding around.
|Looking down into the box.|
The box holds two propane bottles comfortably. There's enough room to easily work with the bottles, disconnecting and connecting.
|The propane switching valve.|
One more step to do and the box is complete. I need to get some paint that adheres to plastic and paint the lattice. Then I can paint over it with another color, so that the box blends in with the rest of the house.