How to Build an Outdoor Shower from Recycled Materials
An outdoor shower can be useful if your kids keep getting dirty outside in the summer, or if you do much work outside of doors yourself. In summer it can feel wonderfully refreshing. Building an outdoor shower isn’t complicated; the hardest part is constructing the frame. It’s a job that can be easily completed in a single day.
Step 1 - The Ground
You need to select a piece of ground that’s as flat as possible and reasonably accessible to an outside faucet. Level the ground and place 4 concrete stands in a square. Each side of the square should be 30 inches. The stands should be able to accommodate a 4 x 4 inch piece of timber. The stands act as a base for installing the actual shower unit and frame into place and provides a platform for the project.
Step 2 - Frame
The next step is constructing a frame for the outdoor shower. Use 4 pieces of 4 x 4 inch treated lumber (recycled if possible), each 70 inches long, as the upright. On 3 sides these should be connected with 30 inch pieces of 4 x 4 inch wood. The lowest connecting piece should be 22 inches off the ground, the second at 44 inches and the top piece at 72 inches. On the remaining side connect the uprights at 12 inches from the ground and 74 inches from the ground. This is the side that won’t be enclosed and will be used for entry and exit from the shower. Put the frame on the concrete footers and test to ensure everything is firm and level. Concrete footers are concrete block with metal angles on top to hold lumber. The wood is nailed in. They can be used where it's not feasible to put the wood into the ground.
Step 3 - Boards
Nail the recycled wood boards to the uprights and connecting pieces. Push them together so they form a solid wall on 3 of the 4 sides of the outdoor shower. This wall might not be perfect, but that simply adds to the rustic charm. After fixing them in place, paint with a good water sealer, both inside and out. This will offer extra protection, both from the shower and from the elements.
Step 4 - Hose
Fix the shower head in place at the top of the side opposite the entry to the outdoor shower. You will need to add connectors so that the hose can attach to it. Depending on the type of shower head, you might need to drill a hole in the wall of the shower large enough to accommodate the hose.
Run garden hose from the outdoor faucet to the shower. It's fine to use two old hosepipes connected together. You’ll achieve the best results if the hose it long enough to coil several times on the ground between faucet and shower, and if the hose is black. Both these things will help heat the water before it comes out of the shower, like a kind of very primitive solar water heater.
Connect the hose to the faucet and to the shower head. Place the granite block in the middle of the shower area. That way you can stand on it as you shower.