With summer's high temps rapidly approaching, it's time to start thinking about backyard extras. Those who live lakeside, own a pool or have little tykes who love to get dirty, may want to consider installing an outdoor shower. It's classier than hosing down and more convenient than running through the house. You can trick it out with all the extras (heated towel bar anyone?) or construct one with just the basics.
Before You Build
While an outdoor shower is by no means the undertaking adding an extra indoor commode is, there are still several factors you need to consider before you "break ground". Look into building codes, check to see how your water bill will be affected and consider possible drainage
options. Letting soapy water runoff into the yard is an environmental no-no. A great outdoor shower is hooked up to the proper septic system.
You'll also want to decide on the best location. Outdoor showers can be free-standing or installed on the exterior of your house or the interior of the backyard fence or wall.
The Perfect Amount of Privacy
Every outdoor shower needs a modicum of privacy -- you don't want the neighbors catching you in your birthday suit. A fabric shower curtain is the simplest choice. Opt for one that's made to weather the outdoor elements and is mildew resistant. Hang it on rings from a rust-resistant shower bar, like you would with your indoor unit. Don't be shy about pattern and color, go for something bright and cheerful like this striped curtain.
If you're yearning for something more architectural, surround your shower with slate walls, corrugated metal panels, stained glass, bamboo or rustic-looking wooden slats.
Choose a material that vibes with the color and style of your home -- you don't want your outdoor shower to stick out like a sore thumb.
A Fabulous Floor
Dirt, grass and gravel are not ideal flooring for your outdoor shower. Instead pick a water resistant material that's easy to keep clean. Treated wood, stone, and slate are all great choices. Looking for something a little more zen? This stone floor may be just the thing to fit the bill.
If your shower is in an area that gets a lot of sun, throw down a bath mat to keep the bottom of your feet from getting burned.
A Sleek Shower Head
Think selecting an outdoor shower head is going to be a simple process? Think again. There are an abundant number of styles to choose from. Before you start the hunt, figure out what kind of shower experience you're looking for. A large, rain shower head is going to give you the most natural experience.
A consummate style junkie? Pick a fixture that screams unique like this slick, horizontal fixture.
Or opt for a wow-worthy star shaped shower head, like this modern metal piece.
All the Right Extras
A bare bones outdoor shower will get you clean, but adding the right extras will make it a luxury experience. Consider these add-ons:
· Towel hooks
· Soap dish
· Wall caddy or built-in cabinet for bath products
· Shelf for flip flops and sandals
· Wooden or stone bench
· Towel warmer
By Megan Mostyn-Brown
Published: 06/07/2012 in Home Landscaping