Removing and replacing antennas for a living, our TV technicians hate to see these useful bits of kit go off to landfills, scrap yards or recycling centres. They might be no good for your TV reception, but old antennas are built to last and there’s a fair chance they could have a whole new life somewhere else. So, what can be done with a rusty pile of metal formerly attached to a roof?
First, check with Freecycle, likely local charities and any amateur radio enthusiasts or clubs nearby. They might well want your old antenna just as it is to reuse or slightly modify for ham radio. Failing that, it’s time to get creative and find an interesting use for your old TV aerial.
Capable of withstanding the elements, sturdily built yet easy to dismantle and reconfigure… for keen gardeners, antennas can be endlessly versatile. Use them as trellises or plant supports for vigorous climbers, or fix the metal rods to your potting bench or shed to hang up tools, waterproof boots or even plant pots.
If you’re working on hard-landscaping projects, old tower-style antennas can make a great, solid support for simple construction projects. You could try using them as the base for a small footbridge or raised walkway.
If you have a sun trap that needs shade, use them to support a length of UV-resistant fabric to create a rigid sunshade. Antennas can even be reused as outdoor laundry airers, either concreted into the ground or attached to a wall.
If you’re artistically inclined, you could be inspired by the pile of metal in front of you. Clean it up, sand off any rust patches and consider spray painting it to improve the appearance. Then, stick it into the ground and hang lanterns, fairy lights, streamers or even bird feeders from it. The latter option is especially gratifying if you’ve had to replace your antenna due to bird damage!
Alternatively, get your soldering iron, welding mask and blow torch out and twist that heap of metal into whatever you want. Make a virtue of the battered rods and spokes and create a rustic and weatherproof sculpture for your home.
Strong metal rods could be the starting point for various DIY projects. You could repurpose the poles to make dispensers and roll holders for paper towel, foil, cling wrap or toilet tissue. They could also be used as café-style curtain rods or even be made into a lamp.
The metal struts come in useful to make simple industrial-chic shelving, with plumbing connections utilised for the corners and joins. Create a hanging rail in the kitchen and use S-hooks to suspend utensils, pots and pans. For serious cooks, use the metal poles, S-hooks and some metal chain to create a ceiling-suspended herb dryer.
Defunct satellite dishes can also have a new lease on life once freed from your rooftop. Try turning them into a wide, shallow plant pot or a bird bath, or use them to boost your WiFi signal.
Reusing the antenna is the easy part; removing it from your rooftop is a job for the professionals. So if you’re calling us out to work on a new antenna installation, why not ask us to take down your old TV aerial structure at the same time and find a cool way to reuse it?