Baby, it sure is cold outside...and we’ve definitely moved out of the fun holiday season and into the dreary, cold, slushy winter that most of us dread all year long. Unless you’re one of the few that loves winter, most of us are thinking ahead to long summer days and warm weather; why not get started planning your first summer project now? Outdoor shower will be the must-have this summer, and even if you’re just dreaming (for now), the inspiration will help keep your mind off the dismal winter weather. We’ve got the easiest DIY outdoor shower guide we could design, and while this outdoor shower is a fairly simple, unenclosed shower, it can serve as the base for endless possibilities. Don’t be afraid to dream big; after all, if you start planning now you can have this project completed by the first heat wave of the season!
Step One: Choose a Location
While this is of course based on what type of outdoor shower you’re building, there are some considerations to take into account. Do you want your shower to be by the pool? Will you need complete privacy? How close are the neighbors, and do you need to take second story windows into account? Are you thinking a fully enclosed shower, or one without walls? Once you have the answers to some of these, you can get started actually planning the construction.
Again, the steps listed here are for showers that are not enclosed, but you can always add on to the base with whatever types of options you choose. DIY outdoor showers are endlessly customizable, and don’t be afraid to get your landscaper or a designer’s opinion about style and location.
Step Two: Choose Materials
The first choice you need to make when buying materials is what type of wood you plan to use, and this choice is an important one (for more reasons than just shower style). Different types of wood do better and worse in different types of conditions, so look for options like pressure-treated lumber that can stand up to the elements, or tropical hardwoods if you dream of something a little fancier. Also, take some time now to choose a shower head, so you know what to expect as you’re putting the project together.
Step 3: Build the Base
The base should really be a fairly simple square or rectangle, built to fit the size of your shower. By constructing the frame out of 2x4s and then adding the platform you’ll eventually stand on, the entire shower is actually non-permanent (and thus mobile). Use 2x4s for the platform; you’ll want to place them evenly with enough space for water to filter through down below (even if the wood swells) but not too much space that it’s uncomfortable to stand on. Once you’ve got the base, you can add 2x6s around the perimeter for a nicer look, or really any other options you think of to customize the space for your style and needs.
Step 4: Build the Shower Component
An outdoor shower is not quite the same if you have to hold the showerhead, so we’d advise building the shower column next. Again, this can be fairly simple; one homeowner simply attached two 2x4s to either side of a 2x6 to create the column and leave a space for the plumbing on the backside. Make sure the column is flush at the bottom and stands upright without leaning, and decide on placement for the shower head now too (make sure it’s tall enough for your tallest guests!).
Step 5: Add the Plumbing
After the shower itself is constructed, add the piping to the back of the shower column, and make sure to keep the valve handle within arm’s reach for easy shower shut-on and -off. If you’re only expecting to use the shower on hot summer days you can keep it simple, but fancier options include adding hot water along with cold. Definitely talk to a plumber if you’re interested in ‘extras’ but not sure how to build or install them - trust us, there’s nothing fun about a shower without flowing water. Once the pipes are all set and you get the shower into location, attach it to the water source and enjoy washing off the hard work of your DIY outdoor shower project!