Hide Your Water Heater With a DIY Storage Cabinet

Need more storage space in your garage but don’t know where to get it? Here’s the solution you’ve been looking for.

We're sorry, there seems to be an issue playing this video. Please refresh the page or try again in a moment. If you continue to have issues, please contact us here.

DIY Double-Duty Storage Unit
Loading Video...

Related To:

There may be nothing as frustrating as unusable space, especially in your garage where you seem to need it most. Turns out, you can DIY the solution you’ve been looking for. Creating a screen for your water heater will not only hide the unsightly appliance but also provide a usable “wall” that can be outfitted with ample storage opportunities. You’ll be one step closer to an orderly garage.

Materials Needed

  • (14) 2x4 x 8’ pine boards
  • (3) 4x8 sheets of 1/4” plywood
  • (10) 1x4 x 8’ pine boards
  • (2) 1x4 x 6’ pine boards
  • 3” wood screws
  • (2) white multi-tool hangers
  • (10) white cup hooks
  • (4) 3” rigid casters
  • 1” lag bolts
  • drill + bits
  • 2” pocket hole screws
  • nylon safety strap
  • pocket hole jig
  • (5) large clothespins
  • 1-gallon interior paint in desired color
  • 1-quart white interior paint
  • paint brush
  • painter’s putty
  • 120-grit sanding block
  • (2) 10” stainless steel cabinet pulls

Build Frame Base

Screw two 77-inch-long 2x4’s together to make a corner. Repeat once more. Attach a 36-inch 2x6 board to the end of each corner piece and lay on the floor with the 2x6 pointing up into the air. Using a pocket hole jig, attach 38-inch 2x4’s to the base of each corner. In the same fashion, fasten another 38-inch 2x4 to the top. This connects the corners and becomes the front of the cabinet. Add casters to the bottom of the 2x6 pieces using lag bolts. Rotate the entire base to now stand upright on the casters. Attach two more 38-inch pocket hole 2x4’s down the front of the cabinet evenly spaced. There should be 21 inches between each 2x4.

Pro Tip: Check the codes for your area. We needed 12 inches of clearance on all sides of the water heater to adhere to the local codes.

Complete the Sides

Add another 77-inch 2x4 to the back of the cabinet on each side. Using the pocket hole jig, connect this wood at the bottom of the front corner with a 29-inch 2x4. The sides will also connect to the 2x6 underneath. Secure the top in the exact same way. Reinforce with 34-1/4-inch 2x4s on both sides of the top and bottom. Now that the sides are built, add one more 2x6 cut to 44-3/4 inches to the top of the front to reinforce. This will make things extra sturdy when rolling.

Add the Outer Plywood Layer

Cover the 1/4-inch plywood sheets with two coats of your choice of paint. The front piece will measure 50 inches by 79 inches and the side pieces will measure 36 inches by 79 inches. Place the front piece on first, attaching with nail gun every three inches. Attach the side pieces in the same way.

Attach Trim

Paint the 1x4’s with two coats of white. Attach 81-inch vertical pieces at each corner, one on each side of the front and sides. Add a 43-inch 1x4 across the top of the front and allow the trim to peek above the plywood by 1/4” and fasten in place using the nail gun. Attach three more 43-inch 1x4 pieces evenly spaced down the front with the last piece flush at the bottom. Next, add a 29-inch 1x4 horizontally on the top and bottom of each side. Finish off with two more 29-inch pieces spaced evenly in the middle on the right side only. Attach oversized clothespins to this side for extra hanging storage.

Attach Extras

Use painter’s putty to patch all nail holes, sand and paint. Mount multi tool hangers to the front of the cabinet on one 1x4 and cup hooks on another using wood screws. Using a socket, secure the safety strap to back of cabinet with lag bolts. Roll the cabinet back and attach the other end of the safety strap to the wall. Lastly, add some 10-inch cabinet pulls to the front using the provided hardware. Voila! Just like that you have safe and effective storage that doubles as a cover for an unsightly water heater.

Photo by: Shain Rievley

Shain Rievley

Next Up

How to Build Oversized Garage Storage Cabinets

Say goodbye to clutter for good with the addition of extra-large garage cabinets. Inexpensive and easy to assemble, this DIY storage solution is a perfect weekend project.

How to Build Rolling Garage Storage Shelves

Custom garage storage can cost a pretty penny. Luckily, we’ve got the perfect DIY garage shelves project for you.

DIY Two-Tiered Garage Storage Stand With Ramp

Double your garage or shed storage space with this two-tiered stand ideal for wheelbarrows and utility carts.

Tips and Tricks to Help You Clean and Reorganize Your Garage

Get motivated! It's time to take control of garage clutter by cleaning up dirt and oil spots and adding organizational systems to fit all your gear and tools.

Garage Organization: Hook and Hanger Ideas

Maximize your space with the right storage essentials for creating a clutter-free garage.

Our Best Space-Saving Garage Storage Solutions

Put every inch of your garage to work with these clever buys that max out your storage potential.

12 Garage Bike Storage Ideas

Store your bikes safely and create more available space in your garage with these bike storage solutions.

DIY Fabric-Wrapped Storage Bins

Kick boring to the curb with these fabric-wrapped storage bins that will satisfy both the pretty and the practical in your life.

11 Shelving Ideas That'll Put Your Garage in Order

Functional and practical, these storage solutions will transform your garage from messy to organized.

Designer Tips for Hanging Storage

This type of mudroom storage gives you quick retrieval of coats and bags as you head out the door.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.


Flip or Flop

6:30am | 5:30c

Flip or Flop

7:30am | 6:30c

Flip or Flop

8:30am | 7:30c

Flip or Flop

9:30am | 8:30c

Flip or Flop

10am | 9c

Flip or Flop

10:30am | 9:30c

Flip or Flop

11am | 10c

Flip or Flop

11:30am | 10:30c

Flip or Flop

12pm | 11c

Flip or Flop

12:30pm | 11:30c

Flip or Flop

1pm | 12c

Flip or Flop

1:30pm | 12:30c

Flip or Flop

2:30pm | 1:30c

Flip or Flop

3:30pm | 2:30c

Flip or Flop

4:30pm | 3:30c

Flip or Flop

5:30pm | 4:30c

Flip or Flop

6:30pm | 5:30c

Flip or Flop

7:30pm | 6:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

Flip or Flop

8pm | 7c

House Hunters

10pm | 9c

House Hunters

11pm | 10c

Flip or Flop

12am | 11c

Luxe for Less

1am | 12c

House Hunters

4:30am | 3:30c

House Hunters

5:30am | 4:30c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.