Contractor Talk - Professional Construction and Remodeling Forum banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Infill Redevelopment Pro
Joined
·
99 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Brethren,
My mom lives in a small town in Central Texas that fancies itself the most very special of towns in the land. From dictating which plants shall and shall not be allowed to determining that the unsightliness of a clothesline far outweighs the energy savings of drying clothes outside, there is an ordinance to cover every aspect of life in Lakeway save for the manner in which one wipes. :) Anyhow, enough of my opining the grrrrrr-ness of Lakeway. You probably know of a similar place in your neck of the woods.

The reason I'm posting is that the builder who constructed the home did exactly as the city required and built a solid masonry wall completely enclosing both compressors on 3 sides. According to ordinance, the masonry wall should completely obscure the entire compressor assembly and exceed the height of the assembly by 1 foot. I never paid particularly close attention to the situation until I was asked to check out the issue with the house not cooling down. I then took notice of the Bin-laden-like compound walls that encased the compressors. They are less than 8" from the sides of the compressors and thus would appear to be affecting the efficiency of (and one would think load on) the HVAC system. In an area where we regularly see 110+ degree temps for 4-6 hours a day, the last thing the HVAC system needs is more to work against while cooling the home.

Now the rub. I have little in the way of creativity when it comes to artistic design. I am going to knock out a couple bricks on the bottom row of the wall to help the airflow in the near term, but I need a longer term solution. One that will not only meet city ordinances, but ideally, that will not create another issue with the HVAC system and might look better than a 15' long 6' high solid masonry wall.

Does anyone with more creativity or experience in this type of ordinance have any ideas or thoughts? I've come up with a few by just browsing around and they are linked below, but I wanted to see if anyone had other ideas.

In addition to the ordinance the screen must pass HOA approval. I don't have their guidelines around, but I would imagine if they liked it we could get something approved more easily by the HOA than the city.

The actual city ordinance relating to the screen reads thus:

(g) Equipment screening fences.

(1) Air-conditioning compressors, heat pumps, pool, spa, and hot tub equipment, fuel storage tanks, trash receptacles, and other similar equipment shall be screened with wood or masonry fencing that is one (1) foot higher than the top of the equipment that is being screened. Screening shall not be located within any building setback or utility easement. Lattice panels do not qualify as an approved screening material.

(2) Equipment screening shall leave an opening just large enough to facilitate maintenance. The maintenance access shall be gated with material matching or complementary to that of the screening material, so that the equipment is fully enclosed and screened from view.
Thanks!
Joe


a) Like the design of the boards. Would need to do in wood and match the house, but overall looks ok and isn't a concrete curtain.


b) Plain Jane, but the louvered slats would seem to allow good air flow. Also, looks pretty easy to knock out one weekend.


c) Isn't fully masonry or wood, but not only screens, but has some pizzaz.


d) Really like this because it can be covered with an evergreen vine. Not sure that would fly though. Maybe if I put wood slats hanging behind the screen?


e) whatcha got?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
I don't have a picture to send you but you could use a shadow box fence, 1x6 pickets, using 6x6 cedar posts, and cap the top of the fence with a 2x8 or 2x10 cedar board to hold post and things women hang outside.

Now a question for you. Can I upload a PDF slide show of a design.
I believe you gave me some feed back on an outdoor kitchen I was wanting to design. I designed it finely and fortunately he wants me to build it. I just wanted to share the design and thank those who gave me their time and two cents!

Bob
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
Well I chunked them in there but where they are, who knows?

I do a lot of shadow box fences around equipment. It allows the air flow to circulate through the fence and women always seem to like the ability to put flower pots on top. I normally build them 5 foot high for that purpose.

Bob
 

·
Registered
Remodel
Joined
·
29,619 Posts
Saw this late:sad:

What' happening is the walls are setting up a doughnut shaped air flow pattern, where the air coming out the top of the AC is being drawn back down into the AC unit sides. Make the bottom with as wide of slats as you can to maximize airflow, and make the top solid if you can. You can also add some hinged boards on the inside that fold down to block off the sides just below the top of the AC unit - this will help keep hot air from being drawn down into the coils. This is more important of the top part winds up being slatted as well.
 

·
Registered
Remodel
Joined
·
29,619 Posts
Most of these codes in that general area get interpreted as you can't see any part of it - not through a lattice, not through a staggered board double sided fence. Only the OP will know for sure, but from the way it is written, I' say that's how it's interpreted there.

As an aside, Lakeway has a lot of lawyers....
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top