So, you love spending time on your deck or patio solo or with friends, right? But, you don’t like staring at the ugly AC unit that’s taking away from your backyard enjoyment. Particularly, when you can’t just pick it up and move it around the corner. So, in this Backyard Life video, Today’s Homeowner co-host Chelsea Lipford shows you how to build a AC unit privacy screen that’ll help hide it.
Depending on your situation, you may need to cover one, two, or three sides of the unit. In this case, Lipford is building a two-sided privacy screen to cover the unit from both the vantage point of the deck and the yard. Regardless of how many sides you need, Lipford explains that you’ll want to leave a couple of feet between the screen and the AC unit to allow room for maintenance and ensure good airflow.
How to build an AC unit privacy screen.
To start, Lipford places a 4×4 at each corner of the AC Unit. She cuts three boards at four feet long—one foot to go in the ground and three feet above ground to support the screen. But, she cautions, be sure to look out for any wires, pipes or termite bait stations as you’re digging the hole for each post. And, even though these panels aren’t a big structural load, it’s still a good idea, she says, to anchor the post with some concrete to keep them perfectly plum.
Once the posts are in place, use lattice strips to create a checkerboard-style pattern. Start with the horizontal slats. Measure from the outside edge of one 4×4 to the outside edge of the other. Cut your strips to size after determining how big you want your pattern to be. (The smaller the pattern, the more screening provided.) After attaching the top piece, use a piece of scrap wood as a spacer block before attaching the strip.
Next, measure from the top strip to the bottom of the bottom strip. This will be the length of your vertical pieces. Flush the first one with your 4×4 and use your spacer block again to carry the vertical strips all the way across. Once your screen is complete, you can paint or stain it to help blend it in with your landscape. Or, Lipford suggests planting climbing vines like Ivy or Jasmine and letting it grow over the screen for some greenery. She also notes that the screen can be designed to a larger scale to provide even more deck or patio privacy.
And, it’s that simple. Goodbye ugly AC unit!