Few things I’ve experienced in life are as enjoyable as the idyllic, relaxing and invigorating experience of showering in the spring or summer sunshine, secluded in the private sanctuary of an outdoor shower. Showering outdoors is an unexpectedly luxurious connection with nature. This private, open-air, tranquil refuge, blending water, air and light rejuvenates your spirit. Lingering and unwinding engages the senses. Watching the afternoon’s changing cloud patterns, listening to the soothing melody of spilled water and birds chirping harmonize with gentle breeze blowing through the pines. DIY / Outdoor Shower Design and build your own outdoor shower and experience a spa-like, vacation retreat.
Designing an outdoor shower involves considerations about where to build. You need to consider drainage. Building codes should be referenced to make sure your project meets local requirements. Plumbing considerations involve access to hot and cold water: We tied into our guest house bathroom through the crawl space using heavy duty garden hose. There is also the option of using a solar heated tank for your water supply. We live in a cold Montana climate so we installed an easily accessible shut off valve near the base to prevent burst pipes in the winter
Privacy: Look for sight lines from second story windows or neighbor’s houses. Natural screening like vines growing onto a pergola would still afford the experience and privacy. We built ours with room for changing.
The building process: This is a job you can do yourselves.
Dig a dry well (this is essentially a big hole filled with gravel) allowing shower water to percolate into the ground. My husband rented an excavator for the afternoon and I hauled myriad wheel barrow loads of gravel to fill. In some locations connection to an existing sewage line may be required (check local codes). The next step is digging holes for the upright posts and setting the posts in with concrete.
Use marine grade materials (we used redwood and cedar) for the enclosure siding and slated decking. Allow for air flow with a gap at foot level.
Using architectural salvage and found materials, adding a stained glass window , a barn wood bench, old irrigation valves and garden ornaments helped meld our new outdoor shower with the rustic, vintage flavor of our guest cottage and its forest site. Our one splurge was a high end stainless rain shower head, worth every penny. For more ideas see:
For inspiration on how to design an outdoor shower please visit our Pinterest Board often: