Sunday, May 12, 2013

Fence Picket A/C Unit Cover

We have a very nice sized patio in our back yard and we love hanging out there in the warmer months.  We decided to spruce up that area this year and one thing we deemed a must, to cover up the ugly air conditioning unit that's really close to the patio.
My honey's boss recently tore down his old wooden picket fence and was going to throw away the remains.  My honey knows me well and called and asked if we "needed" the wooden pickets. "Oh yes we do", I said.  Who doesn't need free wood?  Right?
This is how the unit looked when we started.  Not very appealing and especially when its so close to the patio area we love to hang out in.  Oh by the way? My herb garden is going in just to the right of the a/c unit!
Here's our big ole pile of free wooden fence pickets along with some 2 x 4s and a few garden pavers.  I'm sure we'll find some way to use those too!  I picked out 22 of the best pickets for our project.
We purchased a few 2 x 4s but the wood screws, landscaping material and rocks we already had on hand.  The 4 x 4 up there wasn't used after all but it still got in the picture! LOL!
My honey took a couple of fence pickets and ripped them down the middle and used these pieces as a frame for our rock barrier.  He used a few nails to hold it all together. Sorry I didn't get a shot of that step.
After we measured out our area, my honey used the shovel to make a little trench for the rock barrier frame to sit in.  He also loosened up the dirt so we could remove most of the grass before laying down the landscaping material.
Next we laid down the landscaping material and then placed the rock barrier frame on top of it to hold it in place.
Next step is to fill your area with rocks.  We used river rocks that we purchased at WalMart back when we built our raised bed gardens.  It took 2 bags to fill in the area.
Ok, on to the actual surround cover.  My honey took all 22 of my perfectly picked pickets (sorry I couldn't resist that) and cut the non-decorative end off so that each of them measured 4' tall.  He used our chop saw for this to make quick work of it.
Our surround is 3 sided.  The 2 x 4s for the two sides are 46" long and the front panel 2 x 4s are 45" long.  For all 3 panels he spaced the 2 x 4s out 26" apart.  He cut a few scrap pieces of wood at 26" so we could be sure they stayed at the right measurement apart while he screwed the pickets on.  He also made 2 spacers out of scrap wood (one for the top and one for the bottom) that measured the exact amount of space that needed to be be in between each picket which was 1 1/4.  Before he screwed each picket down he made sure they were level along the bottom using his speed square.
This is what each panel looked like when it was finished.  NOTE: The front panel pickets were spaced 1 1/8" apart since it was slightly shorter than the side panels.  This allowed it to fit in between the side panels and fit together snugly. 
This is the front view after it was all complete.  The wood looks dark due to being wet.  I rinsed everything off when we were done and decided to snap a few pictures.  I love the variations in color of each picket!
You can see how the total package looks here.  I love the little border of rocks all around the edges.
This is the top view.  See there in the back the 2 x 4 going from side to side?  That is for sturdiness since our cover is free standing and removable in case there is ever need for a/c repairs.
This is the back side.  Plenty of breathing room for the a/c unit.  NOTE:  If you decide to build your own a/c cover, be sure to leave lots of breathing room for your a/c unit!  It's a must or you could cost yourself thousands of dollars to replace your unit by not letting it breath!
Since we already had almost everything we needed to build our cover it only cost us about $10 for the three 2 x 4's we needed for the frame.  Now to add the herb garden for more beauty!

GREAT NEWS!  I now have an Amazon Storefront!  If you ever want to purchase anything I'm showing you here, you can pop over to my shop and see what I've picked out for you! Click right here to visit.

If you loved this idea and want to save it for later, be sure to pin it to your favorite Pinterest board.  I have a Pinterest board all set up just for Farmhouse Ideas ideas and I'm pinning something new every day.

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch
The Dedicated House  - (I was featured)
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  1. I was checking Lowes website this past week for the place lattice one they offer but was think, it would look out of place with my existing picket and bamboo fence. This would be Great! I see discarded fences in alley's all the time (I've thrown a few out myself .. Uggh!) Thanks for the tutorial, we'll have to try these.

  2. Excellent idea! They aren't much to look at and you came up with a great way to disguise it! Very nice job!

  3. This is really a great idea. GH shook his head when I show this. He is worries when I go my blog round coz he knew that I will save the great and fab ideas in my Inspiration Book.

    Thank you for sharing.

    Greetings from D´BoX,
    /CC girl

  4. Super cute and clever idea! Thanks so much for linking up at Give Me The Goods Monday! Can't wait to see what you bring next week! Jenna @ Rain on a Tin Roof

  5. I love how this turned out. It completely changed the look and I know ya'll are going to enjoy your area so much more now. hugs, Cherry

  6. I just popped over from Fishtail Cottage and I'm so happy I did! I have a much smaller unit and live in an old converted barn, you can imagine how out of place that A/C unit looks! I now have your inspiration and instructions on how to fix that! Thanks so much for sharing this idea...
    Beth P

  7. That really is a great idea. Those AC units are eye sores - I'm surprised there isn't a company that makes "super cute" versions. They are necessary, though, and you've done a great job with the fence and the little bird feeder (?? - it's in the 3rd to last picture)!

  8. What a good idea! I love projects where you can recycle material!

    Thanks for linking up to The Creative HomeAcre Blog Hop. We hope to see you again this Sunday!

  9. Perfectly picked pickets indeed. :)

    Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop this week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  10. Such a cleaver idea~~ Thank you so much for coming to share at Super Saturday Show & Tell! I'd love to have you come and share again today Have a great weekend! xoxo~ Ruthie

  11. This is very interesting. This is definitely one way of securing our A/Cs. I just wonder if it has a cover on top? In case the rainy season comes in, you're still assured that your unit will not be damaged by water.

    --->Levi Eslinger @

  12. Where is the cover. I do not see it in the pictures

    1. Hi there! There is no top cover if that's what you're referring to. That would not be good for the unit, it needs to breath. :)


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