Can You Build A Deck Over An AC Unit? – Step By Step Guide

Building a deck is only a pleasant experience if you do it right. But, if you ignore the intricate details of building a deck, you might end up wasting a handsome amount. If you are also someone who has an AC unit on the lawn, you might be thinking, can you build a deck over an AC unit?

If the ground beneath the AC unit is firm, building a deck over an AC unit is possible. However. It is advised against. Building a deck over the AC unit might prevent the unit from flushing out the heat properly, resulting in burning the unit. Moreover, constructing a deck over an AC unit is not allowed in some areas.

If you want to learn more about whether or not it is safe to build a deck/floating deck over an AC unit, essential considerations, and the total cost to move the AC unit for building the deck, check this article out.

Is It Possible To Build A Deck Over An AC Unit?

Most people have an AC unit placed on the lawn where they want to construct a deck. If you’re going to build a deck over an AC unit, you can do it with careful planning. However, building a deck over the AC unit might not be worth all the time and effort you put into it.

Is it Possible to Build a Deck Over an AC Unit

The primary reason behind avoiding building a deck this way is that it is against the building code to construct anything this close to the AC compressor in some areas.

Also Read: Deck VS Pavers: Differences, Costs, Pros and Cons

While building a deck, you must leave a fixed clearance space between the unit and the deck. Constructing something very close to the unit might cause the AC unit to burn out.

Another reason why you should avoid this plan is that the deck might stay heated most of the time due to the hot air expelled from the AC unit. So, the deck might stay exceptionally hot in summer.

You should also remember that AC units can be pretty loud. So, if you build a deck right over the AC unit, the excessive noise might make the deck a noisy and uncomfortable place to be at.

Is It Possible To Build A Floating Deck Over An AC Unit?

Building a floating deck over an AC unit should be avoided. If you don’t have any other place to make the deck, it would be better to relocate the AC unit. However, if you can’t afford to relocate the AC unit, staying away from building a floating deck on top will be best.

A floating deck is usually no more than three feet above the ground.

If you want to build a deck atop the AC unit, the minimum clearance space between the unit and deck from all sides should be as instructed by the manufacturer. Or else the heat from the compressor might accumulate under the deck and damage the compressor coils.

Damaged compressor coils will require the AC unit to work harder for optimum functioning. It will also lower the life expectancy of the unit.

Moreover, an AC unit entrapped in wooden framings will make it harder for the maintenance workers to work on the unit. If the space left between the deck and the unit is very little, the service guys might have to tear apart the deck to access the unit.

Also Read: Can Deck Screws Be Used For Framing?

What To Consider Before Building A Deck Over An AC Unit?

You need to stay mindful of various factors when building a deck over an AC. The most important factors are:

What To Consider Before Building a Deck Over an AC Unit?

Sufficient Clearance Space

Most manufacturers recommend leaving 60″ (5 feet) clearance space from all sides. So, if you plan to build a deck on top of the AC unit, you should always check with the manufacturer and make sure you are fulfilling the requirements. Otherwise, you may end up ruining your AC before time.

It is also essential to go through the local area building code and see if what you are planning is legal or not. If you take these building codes for granted, you might have to uninstall the deck and pay a massive fine.

The AC Unit Should Be Easily-Accessible

Next, you also have to make sure you are building the deck in a way that doesn’t hinder one’s ability to reach the compressor. Because if you ignore the deck’s functionality, you might have to break the deck whenever it’s time for a routine maintenance check.

Bear in mind that every time you have to remove the deck for the maintenance guys to examine the AC unit, you’ll have to spend a lot of money on rebuilding the deck.

Also Read: What to Put Under the Deck for Moisture? 6 Different Options

Take The Initiative To Keep Pests Away

You can often locate a lot of insects, mice, and other pests taking shelter under the deck. It is essential to take measures to keep these pesky creatures away from the AC unit under the deck.

These pests might nibble the wooden deck if you don’t take precautionary measures. If the mice/insects make their way to the inside of the AC unit, they might nibble the wires. So, it’s crucial to use effective pesticides to keep these pests away from the deck and the AC unit.

How Much Does It Cost To Move The AC Unit?

It’s hard to evaluate the total amount you’ll have to pay to get the AC unit moved. However, an estimated price to move the AC will be somewhere around $1000. However, the price may be lower/higher according to the amount of work involved.

How Much Does it Cost to Move the AC Unit

If you are moving your AC unit to a somewhat distant place or getting it mounted on a wall, you might have to pay more than the estimated cost. Moreover, if the compressor needs to be moved far, you’ll also need more pipes which will also add to the total cost.


It will be best to drop the idea of building a deck over the AC unit due to the safety risks and building code restrictions. But if it is the last option available, you can build a deck over the AC unit. However, in that case, before proceeding with the project, you must consider factors such as relocating the AC unit, checking the local building code, etc. To ensure your budget isn’t disturbed, you should also calculate the total expenses.

Also Read: Deck VS Curb Mounted Skylight: Differences, Costs, Pros and Cons

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