- What's the Point of an Outdoor Shower?
- How to Build an Outdoor Shower?
- 4 Maintenance Tips on Your New Outdoor Shower
As summer advances, many homeowners are looking to make practical and satisfying enhancements to their homes. An outdoor shower is an excellent upgrade that not only provides a refreshing retreat during the warmer months but also offers convenience for cleaning after using the pool or visiting the beach.
This detailed home improvement guide will walk you through the benefits of an outdoor shower and the process of creating an outdoor shower that is both functional and aesthetically pleasing. With careful planning and appropriate materials, you can achieve a valuable addition to your home.
What's the Point of an Outdoor Shower?
Here are some benefits of having an outdoor shower in your home improvement:
- Convenience - An outdoor shower provides an easy access point to rinse off after yard work, gardening, swimming, or other outdoor activities. You don't have to tromp through the house to use the indoor shower.
- Refreshing experience - Stepping into an outdoor shower, especially on a warm day, can be revitalizing. The sound and feel of the water and breeze can be relaxing and rejuvenating.
- Value - An outdoor shower can increase the enjoyment and functionality of your outdoor space. This can make your property more attractive to potential buyers if you decide to sell.
- Less mold and mildew - Since an outdoor shower is exposed to fresh air and sunlight, it tends to dry out quickly and is less prone to mold and mildew buildup like indoor showers. This makes for easier cleaning and maintenance.
- No need to heat water - Since outdoor showers are only used occasionally, there is no need for the expense of heating water. You can just use cold water, which is more environmentally friendly.
- Privacy - If you install walls or plant landscaping for privacy, an outdoor shower can provide a secluded space for peaceful moments alone outdoors. Even just a curtain provides some privacy.
- Easy to access for pets - An outdoor shower can make it easier to bathe your dogs or other outdoor pets since they are already outside. The runoff water also drains outside.
How to Build an Outdoor Shower?
Step 1: Select Your Location and Design
The initial step in creating an outdoor shower is selecting a location that provides privacy and easy access to water supply and drainage. Consider the following criteria for optimal placement:
- Proximity to your home's water supply and drainage system
- Distance from the pool or other water features
- Accessibility for users
- Space available for the proposed shower design
- Nearby landscaping or structures for privacy
After identifying a suitable location, decide on a design that fits your needs and harmonizes with your home's aesthetic. Your design could be as simple as a basic showerhead and enclosure or as elaborate as a luxury shower with multiple spray options and a built-in bench. Some popular design choices include:
- Freestanding shower columns
- Wall-mounted showers with privacy screens
- Enclosed showers with doors or curtains
- Solar-heated showers for energy efficiency
Step 2: Assemble Materials and Tools
With your location and design in hand, gather the necessary materials and tools for the project. Some commonly required items include:
- Showerhead and valve (consider a water-saving model)
- Pipes and fittings (such as galvanized or PVC)
- Pressure-treated lumber, cedar, or teak for enclosure and/or floor
- Concrete mix or paver stones for a solid base
- Gravel, sand, and landscape fabric for drainage
- Privacy screen material (such as wood, vinyl, or bamboo)
- Outdoor-rated fasteners, screws, and hinges
- Sealant or wood stain (as per your chosen materials)
In addition to the materials, you'll need some basic tools such as a tape measure, level, saw, power drill, screwdriver, pipe wrench, pipe cutter, shovel, wheelbarrow, garden rake, and possibly a hammer and chisel.
Step 3: Prepare the Site and Install Drainage
Before construction begins, it's crucial to prepare the site and install an appropriate drainage system. Here's how to proceed:
- Level the site: Clear any vegetation and use a garden rake to create a level surface. If necessary, add or remove soil to stabilize the base for your shower.
- Install drainage: Dig a slope-tilted trench (about 12 inches deep and 6 inches wide) leading away from the shower area. Line the trench with landscape fabric and fill it with gravel or crushed stone for water redirection. Get more tips from here: How Much Does Landscaping Cost?
- Construct a shower base: Depending on your design, create a stable and level base for your shower using a concrete slab or paver stones. Ensure the base slopes slightly away from your home for proper drainage.
Step 4: Set Up Plumbing and Showerhead
The next step is to set up the plumbing and install the showerhead. Follow these general steps, adjusting for your design and materials:
- Connect to the water supply: Tap into your home's water supply using a splitter valve on an outdoor spigot or connecting directly to your water lines.
- Assemble the pipes and fittings: Lay out and assemble your pipes and fittings as per your design using outdoor-rated materials and securing all connections.
- Install the showerhead and valve: Fasten the showerhead and valve to the corresponding pipes and fittings, ensuring watertight connections.
- Test the plumbing: Turn on the water supply to identify and correct any leaks or issues with water flow.
Step 5: Construct the Enclosure and Privacy Screen
With the plumbing in place, you can build the enclosure and privacy screen. This will protect your plumbing, provide privacy, and enhance aesthetics. Follow these steps:
- Measure and cut the lumber: Use your design as a guide to measure and cut the lumber for the enclosure walls and/or floor.
- Build the frame: Construct the frame by connecting the lumber pieces using outdoor-rated fasteners and screws. Ensure the frame is square and plumb.
- Install the privacy screen: Secure your chosen privacy screen material to the frame ensuring adequate coverage.
- Add finishing touches: Consider adding features such as a built-in bench, hooks for towels, or a soap dispenser using outdoor-rated materials and hardware.
- Protect the wood: Apply a sealant or stain to wood used in your enclosure or privacy screen to protect against the elements.
Step 6: Connect Plumbing to the Enclosure
Now, connect the plumbing to the showerhead and valve following these steps:
- Drill holes for the pipes: Measure and drill holes in the enclosure walls or floor to accommodate the pipes and fittings.
- Fit the pipes through the holes: Feed the pipes and fittings through the drilled holes, aligning them with the showerhead and valve openings.
- Secure the plumbing: Attach the pipes and fittings to the enclosure using pipe brackets or straps.
- Connect the showerhead and valve: Secure the showerhead and valve to the exposed ends of the pipes and fittings, ensuring watertight connections.
Step 7: Test Your Outdoor Shower
With everything installed, it's time to test your outdoor shower:
- Leak Inspection: Activate the water supply, methodically checking for potential leaks. If any are detected, investigate and repair the source of the issue promptly.
- Showerhead and Valve Evaluation: Verify the showerhead's water flow and the temperature control valve's functionality. Make required adjustments to enhance user comfort and operational efficiency.
- Drainage Assessment: Ascertain that water is effectively being diverted from the shower area, without accumulation or potential damage to adjacent structures.
4 Maintenance Tips on Your New Outdoor Shower
To ensure your outdoor shower remains in peak condition, adhere to these maintenance guidelines:
To preserve the operational efficacy and aesthetic appeal of your outdoor shower, follow these detailed maintenance practices:
- Showerhead Maintenance: Soak the showerhead in a solution of equal parts vinegar and water, removing mineral deposits and ensuring smooth water flow.
- Plumbing Inspection: Conduct regular examinations of the plumbing infrastructure to identify and rectify any potential leaks or damage.
- Enclosure Care: Maintain the enclosure and privacy screen using a mild soap solution, and periodically reapply sealant or stain as required to preserve the material and enhance its lifespan.
- Winterizing the Plumbing: Drain the water and disconnect the water supply ahead of freezing temperatures to avert potential freeze-induced damage.
By meticulously adhering to these steps and maintenance practices, your outdoor shower will provide lasting functionality, augment your outdoor living experience, and contribute to the overall value of your property. If you have a swimming pool and are considering pool deck layouts and designs, check out our blog here.