Introduction: Easy Outdoor Shower
This is a fun project that took about a weekend. Outdoor shower /surround. These can be customized easily. Used materials I had on hand for the surround so the main expense was the heater itself.
This list does not include tools
Portable/outdoor water heater- sold online
Corrugated panels- used fiberglass because some used panels. Often used for greenhouses, shed roofs
Exterior wood screws- used deck screws
sheet metal screws -1 inch length
For my project a masonry bit and some masonry screws to fasten some boards to concrete block wall
For shower door I used an old aluminum storm door
Wood for framing-I used 2x4s
Propane tank (if using propane heater)
Plumbing parts: according to your needs and desires. Most portable heaters come with a handheld Shower that works. I had a salvaged shower assembly. At a minimum you will need pipe,hose,fittings for connection from your water source to the water heater. A salvage store is a good source.
Water source- I used outdoor faucet
A good place to have an outdoor shower for both privacy and drainage.
Step 1: Frame
The basic concept make a wood frame, does not have to be too substantial, and use the corrugated panels as the shower walls. I had some old wood that mostly matched my deck so I used that. These panels are light, flexible, and easy to work with after cut to size.
Placed shower enclosure under house deck as it is on a concrete slab that drains away from house (important as you don’t want water running into foundation). This was also a private place near a outdoor water faucet. Used deck posts for most of the uprights.
Plan your door. Think about where you can enter and exit for privacy and frame accordingly. I had an old aluminum storm door and it was easy to use existing deck post for the hinge side and then only have to build one upright/frame in for the latch side. It would be possible to use a curtain and rod if you want to keep it simple.
My panels were six feet long so made frame to match. Screwed braces on deck posts then placed the bottom cross pieces about a foot off the ground and the top cross pieces six feet above that. This to let plenty of outside in, let water run out, and maintain privacy.
Had to drill into block wall and screw in a few braces along the exterior wall of house in order to attach panels flush with concrete wall.
I did put a couple of screws in the bottom of some vertical supports where they touch the ground to prevent rotting. This would not work for heavy loads but worked nicely as the screws were adjustable to fit just right.
Step 2: Install Panels
The corrugated fiberglass I had was 12 foot long so I cut it into 6 foot lengths. Dirty so I pressure washed. This would work with metal or fiberglass panels. Important that the length matches frame. There is a smoother side to these panels, it faces out. To cut the panels to length I stacked them all together and then used power saw with a trim blade. Heavy scissors or sheers can be used to cut small sections out to fit. A utility knife worked to score and cut lengthwise, though that is time consuming. Make sure to allow for vertical overlap of several inches where the panels meet. The panels are somewhat flexible and that can help to fit any uneven areas.
Attach the panels to wood frame with one inch screws
Step 3: Install Heater/plumbing
This project used an outdoor water heater that heats with propane. Your individual project may require different parts but all basically need a way to connect the water and propane. Plan for where you want any additional shower plumbing. Here water source is the outdoor faucet and a propane tank with regulator and hose connects straight to heater. I will get a longer hose so I can place the tank by the door for easy access to turn on and off with each use. Used a splitter valve on the faucet so I could still use it for a garden hose and connected to the heater with an old washer hose.
Hung the heater by a chain from a sturdy hook. It is against the concrete to keep away from anything flammable.
Outdoor water heaters usually come with hand held units that work but it is nice to customize. Had an old shower assembly from a bathroom renovation so I hung a board to attach it so and used it. Attached a short hose where the bath faucet had been and that works well for rinsing feet, washing dog etc.
I have a valve at the bottom of the shower so I can drain in cool weather. Depending on where you live you may need to winterize and/or drain the hoses and bring the heater inside for the winter.
Caution- propane/heat can be dangerous, follow all the heater instructions and plan for safety. Turn the propane off when not in use.
Step 4: Shower and Enjoy!
Shower, customize, enjoy!
I will add some extras like pegs for towels/clothes and a place to hold soap and shampoo. Use yuor imagination and create and decorate your ideal outdoor shower.
Participated in the