Why your backyard needs an outdoor shower

Outdoor showers might seem like an expensive — and perhaps unnecessary — luxury, something that only beach lovers would have in their homes and be lucky enough to own. But even someone who runs, gardens, or simply loves nature can enjoy an outdoor shower at home.

Thankfully, outdoor showers do not need to be a huge expense. They can be as complex or simple as you want them to be. Proper outdoor showers that are enclosed with wood walls and have both hot and cold water can run up to $8,000. However, simple outdoor showers — perhaps one that simply connects to a house — can be had for much less. Let’s show you how.

Outdoor shower in nature
noppawan09/Shutterstock

Five reasons to install an outdoor shower

OK, so you’re still not convinced that an outdoor shower is something you need. Well, let’s go over a few reasons why having an outdoor shower can be extremely useful.

  • You live near  the beach. Almost everyone loves the beach, but the worst thing about a long day by the ocean is the sand. It gets everywhere! While outdoor showers might exist near the beach, it is even better to have one in your own backyard after a day in the sun. Having an outdoor shower deck is essential for rinsing sand off, especially for children. Do you want sand and dirt to be tracked into your clean home? We didn’t think so.
  • You own a pool. You may not live near a beach, but you might have a pool in your backyard. If so, an outdoor shower can be instrumental in not only rinsing off the chlorine but also having a private space to change clothes. Because who wants a bunch of little, wet munchkins tromping through their house?
  • Pets can get messy. Do you have dogs? Maybe an outdoor cat or two? Then you know the pain of your muddy pets coming inside your clean home, possibly getting your rugs, carpet, and/or couches dirty. With you an outdoor shower, you can stop the mess from coming inside and not have to deal with wrangling your best friend into the indoor bath.
  • Natural experience. Showering inside is great, especially during the winter months. However, showering outside can provide a more tranquil experience depending on where you live. Imagine taking a relaxing shower with the birds chirping, the sun shining on your face, a gentle breeze blowing in the trees. Now doesn’t that sound peaceful?
  • Inexpensive. While outdoor showers can get costly, many companies provide reasonably priced kits, making them affordable for the average consumer. You can even build your shower in stages, starting with the shower itself and then adding the enclosure later.
Outdoor shower in backyard
Papin Lab/Shutterstock

How to install an outdoor shower

With some pre-planning, you can create a DIY outside shower by considering these four things:

Location

Location is the first thing to think about. For example, if you have a pool, choose a spot nearby where it’s easy to rinse off before and after you swim. Also, unless you are choosing a shower that connects to a garden hose, you will need to pick a spot close to existing plumbing. Finally, choose a sunny spot. Not only will the sun feel great while you shower, but it will help keep mold and mildew away.

Privacy

Unless you intend to only shower in your bathing suit, privacy is extremely important. Keep in mind that you want the shower to be private but you also want it to look natural. A simple choice is a folding screen, which works particularly well on decks and patios. Of course, you can go for full luxury by building and installing wooden walls surrounding the shower.

Plumbing

The least expensive option, and the one that most people choose, is a shower that connects to a garden hose. It is only meant to be used in the summer because only cold water comes out, but it will feel great in the heat. Beyond this, we recommend calling a plumber. Unless you have strong DIY skills, you should get a professional to install a hot-and-cold hose option.

The most elaborate choice, also requiring a professional, is a fully plumbed-in outdoor shower. This option is useful if you plan on taking outdoor showers four to five times a week. One note of caution: If you live in an area with harsh winters, we do not recommend this option because the plumbing could burst if you do not drain and insulate the pipes.

Drainage

The final consideration is where the water will drain during and after your shower. The easiest option that costs practically nothing is to let the water drain into your yard. If your yard is not very porous or your outdoor shower is close to your house, consider attaching the shower’s plumbing to your home’s drainage pipes.

With these tips, anyone can install an outdoor shower for an added luxury to their daily routine. Pick a location that suits your needs while also keeping in mind privacy. There are a few ways to install an outdoor shower — with the easiest way connecting the shower to a hose. Whatever you choose, an outdoor shower will make your life easier and more luxurious.

Editors' Recommendations