I was looking to install a TV in my small patio of my condo unit. After doing some looking I found out that the weatherproof TV enclosures like the Storm Shell start at $350. My goal was to get a TV on my patio for around $100 - and that included the TV! After scouring local listings for a cheap TV, I found a 2006 28" Samsung a listing on Nextdoor.com for $30 and I kicked off my project.
Here's how it went...
I had quite a few of the supplies already in my garage/shop which helped my cost quite a bit. I know the odds and ends can really add up but I still think you can get this done for right around $100 if you didn't have any of the parts lying around.
Here is what you need to gather:
- A 32" TV (or smaller)
- Large mortar mixing tub (Home Depot ~$12)
- Low profile TV wall mount (I found mine new in a box at Goodwill for ~$5 but you can get one from Amazon for ~$10)
- Articulating TV mount (Amazon ~$22)
- Rust-Oleum Leak Seal (Home Depot ~$10)
- Foam Window Seal (Lowes ~$8)
- PG9 Cable Gland (I already had some, but if you don't I might suggest this pack from Amazon since it has a wide variety of sizes for use in future projects ~$10)
- 15' Black Outdoor Extension Cord (or any color for that matter) and any necessary plug adapters to meet your needs (Home Depot ~$10 and Home Depot ~$2)
- 4 - 3/8" x 2" Bolts, 8 Fender Washers, 4 - 3/8" Nuts (~$3)
- 2' x 4' - 3/4" Plywood (Lowes ~$14)
- 4' x 4' - 1/2" Plywood (Lowes~$12)
- 2 Pack, Rubber adjustable bungee cords (Lowes ~$8)
- 2 Pack Nylon spacers (Lowes ~$2)
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Step 1: Build Cover Frame
Build a frame with the 1" x 3" material with the outside dimension of 37 7/8" x 25 5/8". I mitered my corners at 45 degrees and glued and nailed them together. You don't need to get that fancy - you can just join the square edges so long as the inside of the frame fits around the lip of the plastic tub.
Step 2: Skin Cover Frame
Cut a piece for 1/2" plywood to the same dimensions as the outside dimension of your frame (37 7/8" x 25 5/8") and glue and nail it to the frame.
Step 3: Install Cover Hanger Ledge
Rip a piece of 1" x 3" down to 1 1/2" in width and cut it to fit inside the entire width of the frame. Place the piece inside the frame flush to the back side. Glue and nail it in place (see photo)
Step 4: Paint Assembled Cover
I had a few cans of flat black spray paint lying around, so I did a base coat of black, but then I sprayed all the exterior surfaces with the leak seal rubberized coating to really make it weather tight.
Step 5: Install Rubber Weather Strip Inside Cover
Cut and fit pieces of the rubber strip inside the cover in the front surface. Yes - it does have peel and stick glue, but I used a few staples to hold in in place.
Step 6: Cut and Drill Backer Boards
Cut two pieces of 3/4" plywood down to 20" x 16". Sandwich the two pieces together and drill your 3/8" holes in each corner 1 1/2" in from each edge.
Step 7: Paint / Seal Backer Boards
With these, I gave a heavy coat of Leak Seal spray and made sure that I got the edges covered completely to avoid any water getting into to the end grain of the board.
Step 8: Install Backer Boards in Enclosure Tub
I placed one of the boards on the backside of the tub in the very center and used the drill holes as a guide to drill the 4 holes through the tub. I then sandwiched the tub with the other board on the inside and bolted them together nice and tight. I had some clear silicone sealant in the garage, so I put a bead around each piece of wood to keep water from getting behind the board.
Step 9: Install Slim TV Wall Mount Hardware
I then installed the slim TV mount hardware to the backside of the enclosure with the some 1 1/2" lag screws.
Step 10: Install Power Cord
I then tapped a hole in the bottom of the enclosure to accommodate the cable glans. I cut the female end of the black extension cord and then fed the cord through the glans and tightened it all down. I then attached the female plug back to the cord.
Step 11: Install Articulating Mount / Secure Power Cords / Test Fit
I installed the articulating mount on the inside backer board. For this particular mount with my particular TV, the center line was spot on, but I needed to elevate the mount a bit to accommodate the VESA mounting hole height. Your mileage may vary, but I would attach the mount to the TV first and then take measurements to transpose on the backer board. Test fit everything just to make sure.
Step 12: Install Rubber Cover Latches
Take the two 1 1/2" screws and install the two nylon spacers on the center line of of the bottom cover about 14" from each edge. Then take the two adjustable rubber bungee cords and loop them through each of the nylon spacers and pull them comfortably tight to the backer board. Use 2 - 1 1/2" screws and 2 fender washers to secure each bungee to the backer board.
Step 13: Install Enclosure on Slim TV Mount
Mount the slim TV mounting bracket to the surface you wish to mount the TV.
Step 14: Install TV Inside Enclosure and Adjust
Now, Install the TV, hook up the power cords and make your final adjustments on the articulating mount.
Step 15: Test Fit Cover
Test fit the cover by hanging the top over the lip of the enclosure and pull the bungee cords tight to test.
Step 16: Paint / Decorate Cover As Needed
If all works well, then paint the rubberized coating to match your decor and accessorize as needed.
Step 17: Enjoy!
Enjoy your new outdoor TV!