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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

No Money DIY Air Conditioner Screen

In my last post I told you about finding a saw that I had been wanting at a garage sale for $2.00 last weekend. I can't even tell you how freeing it has been this week just to be able to cut a piece of wood!!
Really. It has been so frustrating to have projects and ideas that I could not make happen without that tool. I'm sure my kids think I'm totally nuts when I run in to the house after cutting a board just to say how giddy I am : )

Recently I showed you the beginnings of trying to reclaim (or just claim) some of our outdoor space over here. 
The patio area isn't completely finished, but I want to share an easy, useful and totally free project I did this afternoon. Hey, it's been awhile since I showed you a "no money" project : )


A couple of months ago my daughter called to ask me if I wanted some fence boards her neighbor had put out for the trash. Well, you know what my answer was. I new they would be reject boards from their fence project, but I figured I could do something with them, so she picked them up for me. 

Today, armed with my "new" saw, I set out to make those 6 trashed boards into something I really wanted for the patio area-

  
Something to camouflage this eyesore! 


 Here's what I did:



All of the boards started out the size of the tall one pictured here.
I took one of the boards down to the air conditioner and simply stood it in front of the unit and made a pencil mark across the board at the length I wanted to cut. I layed the first board on top of each of the other four and made a pencil mark across each one where I would cut it. I cut each board with the jigsaw. This project would be "rustic" by the very condition of the fence boards, and I wasn't at all concerned with perfection, but the jigsaw makes a very easy straight cut.




I took a section of board I had cut off the bottom and cut it lengthwise giving me two narrow boards for the cross pieces that would hold the five fence boards together.



I layed the 5 cut fence boards on the ground, lining them up as evenly as I could, and screwed the two narrow pieces across the boards creating sort of a gate-looking panel. Now I needed to figure out a way to make the panel free standing, in front of the A/C unit. 



I decided to make a stand using the bottom half of the last fence board (the long one in the first photo) because the top half of the board was badly split. The bottom half of the board was still good, so why not? I used some four small 2x4 chunks as braces.


I screwed the 2x4 pieces into the board "feet" from underneath, using two long screws in each. 
I offset them so the front 2x4 pieces could be offset to the opposite side, allowing me to screw through the fence boards to the block from each side.

 

Now I stood the panel up with the 2x4 brace up against the back side of the panel and screwed from the front of the boards through to the 2x4 blocks.


I repeated the same thing on the front side of the panel, screwing the 2x4 blocks into the base from the underside with two long screws. Then screwed through the backside of the panel into the front 2x4 blocks with two screws each. 
I hope all that makes sense! I know you real builders will be giggling at my method, but sometimes you just have to wing it with what's in front of you, right? It does stand firmly, and that was my main goal : )



I did one quick coat of white paint and sanded and distressed it a bit. 


I hung a primitive twig wreath on it, placed my son's rarely used wagon, some flowers and my "new" free patio chair (tell you about that soon) in front, and I'm loving it!
 


If I had had more fence boards I probably would have made two panels, either hinged together or screwed together at a right angle to wrap around the other side of the A/C unit also. But this side is our lounging area and the area behind the unit is mostly where the kids play with their water toys etc, so "looks" wasn't as much a priority on that side.
I also considered leaving the boards their original length and creating a tall panel, but it gets quite windy most every day here, and I worried that it would blow over.

 

One more look at the before and after. 

I still have a few more unsightly things to figure out how to camouflage around the patio area, like the power lines and breaker boxes. 



6 free roadside boards, screws and white paint I already had, total money spent = zero. You know how I love that : )
Thanks so much for coming over to see what I've been working on today. I'll be showing you the rest of our spruced up patio area soon!

Jeanette


I'm excited to be sharing this week over at:



 

47 comments:

  1. Love free projects...I was lucky in hiding my A/C (it's surrounded by a garden) but you had get creative due to the concrete and I think you nailed it. It looks great, good job!

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  2. Adorable! Air conditioners are such eye sores! I will have to try this cute project!

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  3. I love this idea. Your little fence is perfect and such a cute corner. Hugs, Marty

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  4. We have an AC unit to cover at our new house, and I love this idea! Too cute.

    Stephanie

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  5. I love it. I have a big transformer box in my back yard. It's hidden with screens I found in the neighbor's trash. So happy that you are enjoying your new to you, jigsaw.

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  6. what a great idea, I didn't even have a clue until you showed it later on in the post!

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  7. You amaze me!!!!!!I am sure there is a book contract in your future.

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  8. Great idea...turned out super cute. I am so jealous of those mountains you have in one of your photos. I am a Utah girl - living in Virginia. Miss those beautiful hills and dry air.

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  9. Sweet!!!! Love checks and simple up cycles! New follow. Follow me too at http://www.sewsweetvintage.com/2013/06/handkerchief-party-bunting.html

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  10. What a great job you did! Love it that you found a jigsaw for $2... I have one but it is battery powered which translates to not very powerful.

    Judith

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  11. Love this solution-VERY cute!! :)
    Susan

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  12. Great idea~ thanks for linking up at Feathered Nest Friday!

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  13. great job! I like how your ac screen turned out.

    catching you!
    gail

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  14. Love this. I have wanted to make one for our house and this had some good tips to make it easy. Yours is too cute!

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  15. What a NEAT NEAT idea!!! It will be featured at my NIFTY THRIFTY TUESDAY party on Monday. Please feel free to grab my featured button for your blog.

    Blessings,
    Linda

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  16. you did great. I truly love the screen you made. It makes me happy :)

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  17. What a great idea! It's cute even if you don't have to hide something! I can just see it decorated for Christmas, or fall. So glad you shared!

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  18. That is fabulous and it looks good, like it belongs there. I like the wagon with the flowers in it, I have an old wagon that I have wondered how to style, good idea!

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  19. Air conditioning company Tampa Bay offer senior and military discounts. Recently we have traded in our “gas guzzling” trucks and vans to small service vehicles to do our part for the environment and the struggling economy.

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  20. That's some wicked improvisation right there! Yeah, it would seem like modifications can inflict financial pressure on a household. They don't have to be too expensive, though. It's all about finding the right contacts who offer reasonable prices, and render quality service, to fix the AC's.

    Willow Renick

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    Replies
    1. Find the ac repair specialist who offer reliable service to your air conditioning unit and have years of experience in repairing and servicing the ac unit.

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  21. A very nice informational blog. Keep on making such important blog post. Your work is really being appreciated by someone.That's wonderful blog site for all users thanks for the stuff.
    Air Conditioning Kent

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  22. Good job you did here, Jeanette! The idea to camouflage your AC unit to your front porch is genius! It provided additional aesthetic appeal to your yard while also protecting your AC unit from dust and dirt. Well, a full coverage would do the job completely, so I hope you'd think about doing that soon. Keeping dust and dirt out of your AC unit is just one way to protect it from damage. Regular checkup and maintenance will ensure a longer time to enjoy the use of your AC unit.
    Bernie @ Evo Air

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  23. This is brilliant! Leaving the AC as is, is indeed an eye-sore. However, after placing the frame and the chair, it added charm to your place. However, I do hope you still check your AC once in a while. It can have small problems that can cause big expenses and inconveniences in the long run. :)

    Lashon Cheatham @ AllAboutAir.com.au

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  24. I love the way you saved money for making such DIY air conditioner. Such an inspiration.

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  25. I’m trampled for the blogs writings and also blogs.

    Honest HVAC

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  26. Air Conditioner not only cools our home.Also it purifies the Air as well which prevent us from various airborne diseases.
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  27. I had to get some repairs done to my unit and now My AC runs efficiently.
    Heating Portland

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  31. Proper and regular maintenance is very good for the efficient working of the Air Conditioner.
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  34.  AC Repair is not something that most homeowners attempt on their own.Most units are difficult to reach if they are located on a home’s roof and they can be dangerous for those who are not used to working around them.

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  35. New web site is looking good. Thanks for the great effort.

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  36. Great Job ! I was searching for Air conditioner maintenance experts and found your blog. Would love to see the rest of spruced up patio area .

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  37. I saw this on Pinterest and decided to make one to screen our gas meter. I miss your blog and I hope you are doing well. I just thought you'd like to know that you are still providing inspiration instead of just attracting spam A.C contractors. ;) Have a great week.

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