An outdoor shower can save a lot of messiness for families that plays hard. If you live near the beach, an outdoor shower enclosure is a convenient way to clean off sand before going inside. Simple outdoor showers are easy to install. Is one right for you?
Deciding Your Needs
Your first step is to look at your needs. An outdoor shower can be as simple, or as elaborate, as you want to make it. Look at the space where you want to put it—how much privacy do you have? Are you planning this to be a place to simply hose off salt and chlorine while wearing bathing trunks, or take a full-fledged shower? Will you want a roof, a door, or just a privacy screen? Is cold water sufficient, or do you want the ability to also have warm water?
Installing an Outdoor Shower
Once you’ve decided on your needs, you can install your shower. The simplest outdoor showers come premade with a shower head and handles mounted on a wooden platform. You simply hook up a garden hose to a fixture, and voila—instant outdoor shower. This will only have cold water, of course.
If you don’t use a kit, you can make piping from PVC or metal piping, making sure to run it high enough for tall bathers. The piping is sealed with caulk and plumber’s tape. Put a shower head on the top, and a hose connector on the bottom. Use brackets to fasten the tubing to something stable, such as a post, tree, or pillar. Put a large, flat rock down or wooden welcome mat to stand on. Attach the hose, and you’re ready with a simple shower without the need for outdoor shower plumbing.
For a more permanent shower with warm water, you will need to tap into your home’s water line. This will require making connections to the hot water line and running pipes from inside your home to your shower. This will not be portable. If you are not comfortable with this, hire a contractor.
Building an Enclosure
The enclosure is not a challenge for anyone with basic carpentry skills. It is basically making a square fence. You can make an enclosure from any rot-resistant wood (bamboo is an attractive option). Use precast concrete footings for the corners, and 4x4 posts for the corners and the doorway. Frame it out with 2x4s, then cover with 1x2s. You can add a roof, if you wish, but make sure that light comes into the shower. Also, make sure there is an air flow to prevent mold and mildew. If you want to skip making a door, use a tension rod and a heavy shower curtain to mask the shower.
If you skip the enclosure, you can make a privacy screen from 2x4s and lattice to screen the shower from the road, neighbors, or the house.