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How to Build an Outdoor Air Conditioner Cover

Air conditioning is nice to have, but the look of the clunky unit outdoors can be unsightly. Watch as Jenn Largesse, DIY Expert and House One Editor, creates a wooden cover for her air conditioner unit.

This project is a simple 3-sided box to shield an air conditioning unit from sight and act as a bit of a safety guard for children. This outdoor air conditioner cover design includes widely spaced slats to allow proper airflow, but you should always check with your specific manufacturer for best practices. Follow the steps below to build this AC cover yourself.

Steps for Building an Outdoor AC Cover

Build a wooden cover for an outdoor Air Conditioner Jenn Largesse

1. Cut the Pieces

Using my cut list, cut the pieces to size. Because the slats are all the same size, it helps to set up a stop block.

2. Build a Side Panel

  • Lay two uprights parallel on the table, and then lay a 1x4 board across them flush with their top edge.
  • Use the board to space the uprights, and then measure across the bottom of the gap to make sure the uprights aren’t angled.
  • Position and screw through the uprights and into the backside of the board to secure it in place.

3. Space the Slats

  • To create even spacing, use the edge of a cutoff to position the second board, and then screw the board into place.
  • Repeat this process until eight boards are attached to the uprights.

4. Build a Second Side Panel

Using the two remaining uprights, repeat this process to create the second side panel.

5. Attach the Front Slats

Now it’s time to join the two side panels with the boards that run across the front. To do this, position a board across the front of the upright, covering the exposed edge of the adjoining board. Screw the board into place. Now stand the other side upright. Glue and screw the board to the remaining upright. Repeat this process until all the boards are installed.

6. Cut and Install the Cap Pieces

  • To finish the top edge, I’ll create a cap with additional 1x4 boards laid flat. To do this, first cut the center cap to size to create a ¾-inch overhang over the front and sides of the assembly.
  • Position and screw the cap pieces in place.

7. Install the Assembly

  • Position the assembly in the desired location.
  • Mark the placement of the legs.
  • Remove the assembly. Dig 7-inch-deep holes at the location of each leg.
  • Position a leg in each hole, level the assembly with a 4-feel level from front-to-back and side-to-side.
  • Fill in the holes around the legs.

What You’ll Need


Cut List

  • 2 x 2 Corners – 4 @ 48 inches
  • 1 x 4 Slats – 24 @ 48 inches
  • 1 x 4 Front Cap – 1 @ 48 inches (miter ends at opposing 45-degree angles)
  • 1 x 4 Side Caps – 2 @ 48 inches (miter one end at 45-degrees)