When my husband left for a three week trip for the Marine Corps I got busy working on a very special project. Even though Justin’s 30th birthday isn’t until September this was the only time I would have to pull of such a surprise. You can’t really be working on the house and say, “honey don’t come around the corner,” for weeks on end because he’s bound to turn the corner to see what I’m up to. If there’s one thing my husband loves more than anything at his parents house it would have to be their outdoor shower. It used to be the hot tub but then we got our own so now it has to be the outdoor shower. So I couldn’t imagine a better surprise than for him to come home to his very own outdoor shower. I scoured pinterest and the web for examples of outdoor showers that I liked. I had to do this when Justin was home but not paying attention so that I was prepared to start on it as soon as he left. Since, he is the super handy one and the reason we were able to take on our other DIY projects I relied on the help of his dad and uncle to make my vision become a reality. In the end I couldn’t be happier with the result. There were a few things I learned through this process and so I wanted to share what you need to know about building your own outdoor shower. There are some questions I think you should ask yourself as well as what you should be considering prior to deciding if this is something you want to DIY or call in the professionals.
1. Placement makes a difference.
Where you place your shower will greatly effect the timeline and cost of the project. If you have it attached to the house compared to freestanding makes a huge difference, whether the plumbing is existing or you have to start from scratch, that makes it much more complicated and harder to do on your own unless you know a thing or two about plumbing…and I sure don’t. Luckily for me, we already had plumbing to the outside of the house so tying into it was pretty easy. But don’t be fooled I definitely didn’t do the plumbing!
2. Vertical or Horizontal?
What look are you going for? Placing the redwood boards vertically or horizontally will dramatically effect the look. Is your style more traditional or contemporary? Does your house already have siding which is one way or the other? While our house is more like a beach bungalow than a modern marvel my taste is much more minimal. I wanted to give Justin a sleek minimal shower and one we could enjoy for a long time.
3. What do you want to do with the water?
Since we’re in a drought it is super important to not be wasteful when it comes to water consumption. There are ways to capture and reuse grey water. This was something I really had to consider because it was going to add significant cost depending on what I wanted to do. Any easy but not so aesthetically pleasing option is to put a basin on the ground to capture water from each shower use and then either sump pump it out to water the garden or take the bin out and walk it around the property. The other option which of course is more expensive would be to break up the concrete and inset a basin and then put drainable decking so that the water can run into the basin below. To save on time an budget I decided to not do anything and wait till Justin got home to make a decision.
4. Make sure you have a clear understanding of budget before starting the project.
I went into this thinking it would cost one amount and it ended up doubling. I thought I could have a simple outdoor shower made of redwood with the walls resembling something like fencing. Turns out to protect the side of the house you have to create three walls of which all have a layer of waterproof membrane applied to the outside to prevent moisture from the shower to ruin the siding of our home. This drastically increased the overall budget that I wasn’t prepared for. But once you commit to it, you can’t stop, well you can but I’m not a quitter!
Want to tackle your own Outdoor Shower project? Feel free to ask me any questions in the comment section below.