It’s a clear fact and an undeniable trend: we’re taking the well-designed comforts of our homes’ interiors and replicating them on the outside. Exhibit A: the outdoor shower. It’s what makes home not just a shelter, but a destination.
The routine shower is officially over. So let’s talk about the why’s, where’s and how’s of installing an outdoor shower.
The benefits are clear and refreshing.
Our days and nights become formulaic by sheer repetition. Simply getting outside can be a great way to reset. Add the therapeutic benefits of fresh air and natural surroundings and you have more than just another shower. You have a true escape. This getaway isn’t just for spring and summer. Much like a hot tub, you can use an outdoor shower to warm up in the chillier months.
Outdoor showers also make convenient cleaning and changing areas:
- Clean up after taking a dip to keep chlorine and pool water away from flooring and furniture. You can also rinse off before hopping in, to keep dirt and mud out of the pool.
- Wash off after an afternoon of gardening, or any outdoor project.
- Keep your kids, pets and home clean in the summer months. No more tracking messes all over the house after a long day outside.
Location is everything.
Make sure the surface you’re building on is level and holds up to frequent foot traffic—decks, patios and driveways are good candidates. Consider keeping it in an area that attracts lots of sun to avoid mold and mildew.
If you value privacy, position the shower near tree cover or surround your shower area with large stones and plants. If you’re lucky enough to have a scenic overlook on your property, consult a contractor about building your shower there.
Details are also everything.
- If you live in a colder-weather area, make sure your plumbing lines can be drained or blown out.
- Think about lighting as a safety feature if you plan on showering at night. Also, think about it as a complementary aesthetic addition that matches the rest of your home lighting scheme.
- Select slip-resistant floor surfaces such as stone, or wood that isn’t pressure treated.
Pay attention to local building codes.
Outdoor showers are not automatically allowed in every community. Consult with your Home Owners Association (HOA) or local building officials before you start construction. Some jurisdictions require a drainage system, so make sure that’s up to code. Choose soaps and other shower products that won’t clog up drains.
Do it right the first time.
Installing an outdoor shower will likely entail excavating, wall remodeling and plumbing. We recommend seeking the help of an experienced general contractor. It will ensure you’re satisfied with the result and lessen the chance of costly mistakes. Of course, if you’ve completed significant home improvements before, including installing your own plumbing, you can take this on solo. Here’s a guide to help with that.
Congratulations. You’re nearly ready to move the indoors out and change what’s now routine into an exhilarating daily event.