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How to Disguise Your Oil Tank Safely

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There are many homes in the UK that rely on the use of oil for heating the property. If you are one of these, you will have your own oil tank where the oil is stored, ready for it to be used as and when it is needed. Although here at Tanks For Everything we love all things tank-related, even we admit that they aren’t the most beautiful things to look at.

Most heating oil tanks are located in the garden of a property. Perhaps you have a carefully sculptured garden, a calm oasis, or a rustic, traditional back garden. It is not always the case that your plastic bunded oil tank will fit in with the look that you have always wanted. Of course, you need your oil tank, so the best solution is to disguise it so that it fits in well with the design of your garden.

Although this might seem like the obvious choice, there are some aspects to disguising your oil tank that you need to consider when you are planning it.

  • You need to be always able to get access to the tank. This is important for maintenance and refilling, as well as any repairs that need to be done.
  • If you have a single skin heating oil tank, this must be put on a base that is fire resistant and flat such as paving slabs. The base must also be 30mm wider than the widest part of the tank.
  • Your oil tank must be at least 1.8m from a window or door unless there is a 30-minute fire barrier between them.
  • You should install a single skin steel oil tank on piers, which should also extend further than the edge of the tank.

With these guidelines in mind, there is plenty that you can do to adequately disguise the oil tank. You could try:


Growing plants on or near your tank can help to blend it into your garden. Do your research into the best plants to use that are not likely to damage the tank. Remember that they may take a few years to grow fully and you should leave a space of around 60mm between the plant and the tank. By using brambles, holly, or roses, you can also leave an extra level of protection of your tank and tall plants such as pampas grass are a great way to disguise it.

You could also consider trellis fencing around the tank, allowing the plants to grow around the trellis, effectively creating a natural screen and disguising the tank.


Another option is to create a barrier – natural or not – between your garden and the tank. You could think about planting hedging for a natural look – and giving an important habitat to local wildlife. This will also help you to hide your tank, protecting it from potential oil thieves. A hedge does take a little work but can be a very effective disguise.

For less work, you could consider putting up a fence. It can make a space that is tidy and functional, without impeding on the rest of your garden. It is also a great way to help to protect your tank. You can choose fencing to fit in with the style of your garden – be in the traditional tongue and groove style, a wicker screen, or bamboo fence, for example. This is a quick and simple way of disguising your oil heating tank.

Build Around It

You could also consider building a shed that fits in with the look of your garden around the tank. You could go for a rustic garden shed look or a more modern, minimalist-looking shed according to the design of your garden.

If you are thinking about housing your oil tank in a shed, you should try to avoid a wooden shed as this could be a fire risk. You should also make sure that there is adequate ventilation around the tank and ensure that you have doors that are big enough to get a tank in and out in case it needs to be replaced.

Making a Feature of It

The alternative option to disguising your heating oil tank is to make a feature of it. If you cannot make it disappear, then make people look at it! For the artistic amongst you, you could consider painting the tank. You could think about painting it a colour that matches your garden, that makes it stand out, or in more of a novelty manner according to your taste!

Monday 8th August 2022
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