Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Outdoor TV Cabinet

Super simple outdoor tv cabinet made for 50" TV out of pressure treated lumber and some barn style hardware.

The box frame was made out of two 2x8x8 pressure treated boards and the doors were made out of pressure treated decking and cost about $150.


We used two 2x8x8 pressure treated lumber and cut 40" off each board to be used as the sides. The remaining length of each board was about 56" (slightly less due to blade width from initial cut off of each board. We placed the 56" boards between the side boards for an overall width outside to outside of approximately 59".

We used a 2x4x10 and cut two lengths slightly less than 56" to be at the top and bottom of the inside dimensions which were lag bolted into the wall.  The box frame was then attached to the cleats using decking screws and L brackets.

We used regular pressure treated decking for the doors (approx 6" wide) . We used five - 8 foot boards for the vertical doors and cut 10 verticals at 36 1/2" each.  We ripped the remaining two decking boards at 3" on the table saw for each "Z".  Each door is 27 1/2" wide when finished.

From each 3" ripped board, we cut two lengths of 27 1/2" and had enough left over from each board for the diagonals which we cut and fit in place last.  We placed two of the 27 1/2" cut boards on the ground and started attaching the verticals from what would be the inside of the door.  We made sure everything was squared up and the spacing of the five verticals was even across the top and bottom of the "Z".  Last we cut and fit the diagonals in place and attached them to the inside.  We made the second door following these same steps.

Our doors fit inside the box frame and the outside "Z" boards are flush with the front of the box. We attached the barn style hardware on the inside of the box frame because the style we chose had a slightly wider hinge than our 1 1/2" sides of the box frame and would have stuck out on each side.  We did have to notch out a section on our inside of the box frame to accommodate the hinges being attached on the inside.  Because we had the box frame built before we added this hardware, we could not attach the hinge screw from the inside where we sandwiched the hinge between the sides and top/bottom.  Before we attached these hinges, we put the hinge on the outside to use as a guide and made a mark with the pencil where the screw should line up, then we screwed decking screws from the outside of the frame in these holes.  We attached the decorative piece to the front of each "Z" and added a latch to the front as well as some latches on the inside top and bottom of the left door.  To keep the doors from touching the TV and staying flush with the outside box, we added some 2x4 blocks to the inside of the box on the top and bottom.  Next, we added a steel bolt to the inside top and bottom of the left door.  The latch that we bought did not keep the doors closed because both doors could open.

We purchased a fairly cheap TV because it's outside and also didn't want to spend a ton in case it was ever stolen.  Depending on how deep your TV is, or the wall mounting brackets you purchase, you may need to use 2x10x8 boards for the box frame.






Materials List:

2 - 2 in. x 8 in. x 8 ft. Pressure Treated Lumber - $8 each (used for box)
1 - 2 in. x 4 in. x10 ft. Pressure Treated Lumber - $5 (used for cleats)
7 - 5/4" x 6 in. x 8 ft. Pressure Treated Decking - $6.50 each (used for doors)
4 - 8" Heavy Duty Black T Hinge - $8 each (bought from Lowes - Stanley-National Brand)
1 - Hardware Slide Bolt Latch - $5 (bought from Lowes - Stanley-National Brand)
2 - 4-in. Steel Bolt - $4 each (to be used to lock one door into box frame, other door will have Slide Bolt latch)
Decking Screws (various sizes, longer screws used to build box frame, shorter screws to build doors)
8 Lag Screws - $3-$4 each (used to attach cleats to house, buy at least 6" exterior use lag screws)
4 - 4 in.Flat Brace (L Brackets) - $3 each (to be used to attach box to cleats)

43 comments:

  1. This is a really nice, simple design for an outdoor tv cabinet. I feel like even my not-so-handy husband could handle this one, and it would look so good in my backyard. We love to be outside, and this would really help step up the entertainment factor of our yard. Thanks for sharing!

    Jeanmarie @ RVM

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    1. Thank you Jeanmarie! It was one of the easiest projects we ever tackled. Had we had a kreg jig at the time it would have been even easier.

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  2. Hello. Can you please provide the dimensions of the box and also the wood boards you used? Looks awesome!!

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    1. Hi TJ. I've added some more detail in the description of this project. The overall outside dimensions are 40" high by approx 59" wide. Each door is 27 1/2" wide by 36 1/2" high. Everything was made out of pressure treated boards.

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  3. Cant wait to build this myself! I'm just not sure how to find the studs behind my siding. Could you explain in more detail how you attached it to the wall?

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    1. Thanks Marco! We actually found the studs from the inside of the house between the windows using a stud finder and then measured the same distance between the windows on the outside of the house to locate the studs. I added some additional close up pictures of the inside view as well as some side views. Let me know if you have anymore questions!

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  4. This is a great DIY project and thank you very much for the detailed instructions. Can't wait to replicate it!

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    1. Best of luck to you! Please feel free to email pictures of the finished product and I'll add them to the "toot that horn" page.

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  5. Thanks, will do! Quick question - what are 4" flat braces? I don't see that in the photo and am trying to figure out where those 4 braces go and what they look like. Thanks again!

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    1. They are the L brackets we used to attach the box to the cleats. Lowes calls them flat braces. If you look at the closeup picture of the inside of the box you can see them. We only used them at the top and screwed the bottom part of the box to the lower cleat from the underside of the box. You can't see those screws. I'm sure you could use the L brackets in both places.
      Stanley-National Hardware 0.875-in x 4-in Flat Brace
      http://www.lowes.com/pd_19165-1277-SP115BC_?productId=3169359

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  6. Ah, got it, thanks. Sorry for all the questions but I also noticed that the top of the black hinge on the inside appears to be sandwiched in between the upper board and side board making the box. how were you able to screw in the top of the hinge (did that require you to unscrew the top/side of the box to attach the hinge and then reassemble the box)? Lastly, what are the 2 4" steel bolts for? i don't quite understand how those are used for locking one of the doors into the frame?

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    1. I added a few more pictures showing a close up of the outside view of the hinge as well as the steel bolts. We had built the box frame before we added the hinge hardware and could not attach the hinge screw from the inside where we notched out the top and bottom box frame to fit the hinges. Before we attached these hinges, we put the hinge on the outside to use as a guide and made a mark with the pencil where the screw should line up, then we screwed decking screws from the outside of the frame in these holes. The latch that we bought did not keep the doors closed because both doors could open, hence the reason for the steel bolts attached to the inside top and bottom of the left door. Hope that helps!

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  7. Just finished mine! I can send a pic if you'd like

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    1. Thanks Marco! I've added your finished project pictures to the "toot that horn" page.

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  8. great post, have built several TV cabinets with the front door that swings up, like your front door design. Plan to use your design, going to use rough cedar 2x12 and cedar decking for the front door. Have one question? on your bottom 2x4 cleat that is bolted to the house, how did you connect that to the frame of the box? The one pic looks like its behind the 2x8? Great post thanks for the ideas

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    1. Hi Mike. Thanks for the comment. Our siding is not the standard size siding. Ours is 5" double siding, so when we decided to try to make the box frame out of two 2x8 boards, the cleats didn't line up perfectly with where the overhang was on the siding while trying to keep them as flush to the wall as possible. Our top 2x8 is right under the siding overhang and our 2x4 top cleat is right below that. We would have needed to rip the bottom cleat to a 2x2 maybe 2x3 in order to have that above the bottom 2x8. Instead, we ripped the bottom 2x8 (similar to a 2x6) so we could use a full 2x4 cleat for the bottom. Then we attached the bottom part of the box from the underside with screws on an angle. I'm sure we could have also used L brackets inside, but they would have been small. Hope that helps! Please send pics if you complete this project :)

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  9. Hi! Where did you keep your cable box, was it stored in the cabinet too?

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    1. Hi Christine! We don't use a cable box outside. I'm sure you could though. We had the house pre-wired for a TV under the patio which you can see in the picture with the closeup of the inside of the box without the TV. The white outlet cover on the right is where the cable connects and the white outlet box on the left is where the electrical plugs are. Most of the new flat screen TVs have a digital cable converter built into the TV so you can still view most of the standard cable channels which is still around 75 channels including HGTV, ESPN, etc. We just can't watch the upgraded or HD channels you get with a cable box.

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  10. Hello! Awesome work-I'm planning to build one myself
    how do you attach the wood, box frame to the vinyl?

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    1. Hello Bruny! We actually found the studs from the inside of the house between the windows using a stud finder and then measured the same distance between the windows on the outside of the house to locate the studs. There are some close up pictures of the inside view where you can see the lag bolts as well as some side views. Let me know if you have anymore questions!

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  11. Michelle KirsteinJune 20, 2016 at 1:44 PM

    This looks not only simple, but beautiful. Unfortunately I don't have the protection of an overhang. Do you have any suggestions for waterproofing this cabinet?

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    1. Hi Michelle. Unfortunately I'm not sure how you would be able to protect it from the elements. I've seen you can buy a plastic zipper bag (similar to a men's suit bag) to fit around the entire TV while not in use. Maybe you could try that.

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    2. I'm going to coat mine with the rubber sealant spray paint and use a large plastic bag also.

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  12. That's a nice idea for an affordable outdoor TV area. Your instructions and pictures are really clear, I think I might give it a go. I like the rustic barn-style doors but I think I might add a bit of white wash on the wood to go with some outdoor pots I have.

    Jeanmarie @ RVM Australia

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    1. I would love to see a finished product if you complete this project Jeanmarie! Good luck!

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  13. Thanks for the post, followed your directions with couple alterations, I used all cedar, 2x12 for the frame to have more depth, cable box and bluetooth sound bar, added a 2 gang electrical box inside the TV cabinet for tv,sound bar, and tv plug ins. Your directions and pictures very helpful, built one for myself and have built 2 more for my buddies.


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    1. That sounds great! I would love to see some pics of your finished projects if you have any. You can send them to erikalynndrs@gmail.com and I can add them to the "toot that horn" page.

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    2. To Mike Dutson: this sounds exactly like the modification I will be making to this idea. Any pictures of your finished product for inspiration?

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  14. Your cabinet looks good. I'be been planning something similar, but I've been reading that an indoor tv won't last outside, even if it's out of the weather. Temperature fluctuations and condensation will ruin it. Have you looked into this at all? I'm curious how it will hold up. We have a covered porch, so it's out of and direct weather and sunlight.

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    1. Ive heard mixed reviews on it. My neighbor has had his cheap 32" lcd outside four 4 years in a cabinet and its still working. Another friend said he brought his in during the hot summer months and cold winter months and has had it for a year with no issues.

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  15. Hi, now that its been a while I was wondering how the tv is holding up from being outside and being exposed to heat and cold?

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    1. We haven't had any issues with the tv yet. We usually bring it inside before winter, but last year we left it outside the entire winter and it gets very cold up here in PA and it held up fine.

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  16. The sides appear to be exposed with the ridges in the siding? Do you just not get much moisture in there as I assume it's under the eaves?

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    1. Correct, it is not 100% flush with the wall. We went against the siding so there is a slight gap along both sides. We haven't had any issues with moisture yet.

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  17. Hello! I just finished this cabinet and installed it within the past week, really looks incredible and thank you for so much for all of the help and guidance on how to build it. Originally I was planning on notching out the sides so that they were flush with the siding, but instead I decided to go ahead and use exterior clear caulk. Once the wood is fully dry, we plan to paint it the same color as our siding and trim of the house. This will work nice as it will paint over the caulk and therefore will show no gap or allow moisture behind the TV. Is there a way to post photos on this page? I’d be happy to take a few and publish them for all to see.

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    1. Thanks TJ, you can email erikalynndrs@gmail.com any pics & description and I'll add it to the toot that horn page.

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  18. Also, I highly recommend using the Kreg jig, it works incredible especially on the doors as it makes a super tight fit. It also allowed me to not have to use the Z on the front which left additional depth inside the cabinet to allow for the bracket and TV to fit and still have enough clearance for the doors to close.

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    1. yes, I agree on the Kreg Jig. That would have made the project much easier, but we still would have added the "Z" because that was the look I was going for :)

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    2. Yes. The Z has a great look to it, more rustic for sure. I decided to not do the Z which allowed me to not have to notch out a gap where the box is attached and also freed up about an extra inch of depth inside the cabinet for the TV and mount to fit while allowing the doors to safely close and not hit the TV. We bought a ln extendable mount that pivots side to side and also extends out 20 inches from the box. Having that extra inch of gap helped ensure the mount would still work when fully collapsed inside the box.

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    3. The reference to the notch was referring to the hinges for the doors.

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  19. Hey! How did you attach the cleats for the actual tv mount. In the picture it looks like screws but I'm uncertain. It looks like 8 6" lag bolts are used to attach the cabinet cleats but does not mention cleats used for TV mount. Can you please clarify. Thanks!

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  20. Hello. We bought a TV mount from Amazon (so much cheaper online than at Best Buy or Walmart stores!) and the mount came with lag bolts. We attached the mount directly to the siding where the studs are. Our mount was a vertical style so the mount covers several rows of siding which causes a gap similar to how the box had gaps as it sits against the siding, but the 4 mount lag bolts are super tight attached to the studs.

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