Why bring the outside dirt and grime inside to your nice clean bathroom, when you can keep it all outside where it belongs? Or maybe you would just rather shower with nature listening to the birds chirp or give the dog a bath without all the hair in the tub. Well then, you should consider an outdoor shower for whatever pleasures you wish. An outdoor shower can be inexpensive or as expensive as you would want to go, but here are a few things to consider as you embark on your project.
Site Selection: Where you want your outdoor shower will determine how you are going to use it. Will you use it to wash off sand from the beach before walking into the house, wash off after a dip in the pool, wash off the dirt from working in the garden, or will your outdoor shower be used just to connect with nature? Plumbing and existing pipes will also dictate the site and whether or not your outdoor shower will have just cold water or both hot and cold.
Privacy: Depending on the type of outdoor shower you choose and for what purpose, will decide on what kind of privacy you may want. Of course if you live out in the boonies, privacy isn’t an issue, but when you have neighboring eyes you may want to opt for some kind of privacy. Whether it is a simple screen or wood wall, it will prevent wandering eyes in your direction or account for the feelings of guests or neighbors.
Plumbing: Plumbing is the primary function of your outdoor shower, and where you live will determine your challenges. You will need to ask yourself if you want hot and cold water or just cold. In this case a pressure-balance valve would need to be installed to prevent the water from getting too hot. In four season climates the concern is draining the pipes when the temperature drops which can cause water in the pipes to freeze and break. Another thing to consider is drainage. In most cases the water for outdoor showers drain into the ground, but some localities require a more complicated underground system routing into the sewer system.
Materials: When choosing your materials for your outdoor shower, weather resistant materials should be used to prevent mildewing or deterioration. Pressure treated woods should be used for enclosed showers such as cedar and teak and can be used for floors and walls. Stone floors and walls require less maintenance. Outdoor fixtures should be made of copper, brass, or stainless. Each of these materials require specific cleaning methods to keep them looking good for years to come.