Who Else Wants an Outdoor Shower? Here Are Some Easy Tips To Build Yours

Close up view of spa-like outdoor shower

Gorgeous, eco-friendly outdoor shower with lush, potted plants

Outdoor showers may be a beach house must, but sand and salt aren’t the only reasons to rinse off outside. Practical for washing off messy kids and dusty dogs, an outdoor shower can also make an everyday routine feel like a luxurious adventure for anyone in the family.

Pine Lake resident Brandy Hall built her outdoor shower as a pandemic project. “My husband and daughter go swimming at a public beach near our house, so functionally we needed a place for them to rinse off,” she said. They had a hot tub in the backyard, but it was difficult to maintain, so they decided to put in a shower instead. A garden arbor was repurposed as the shower entrance and bamboo creates privacy around the exterior. They used reclaimed brick pavers and blue stone for the mosaic floor and installed a waterproof light.

The Halls initially considered using water from rain collection (Hall is the founder of Shades of Green Permaculture, so thinking environmentally forward is always her instinct), but they wanted hot water so they tied it into their home supply. The shower is low maintenance thanks to recycled hardscape materials and plants inside the shower and only needs attention when the family goes out of town and they need to open and drain the lines and shut off the water. Perhaps her biggest advice, Hall said making it easy to drain lines in the winter is really helpful, so before you build think about access to the pipes and adding valves to drain them.

Lush tropical plants like illicium, witch hazel and native hydrangea also surround the shower and give it a resort vibe. “I feel like I’m in a tropical retreat when I shower in it,” said Hall. “Showering outside is now a part of our daily routine.

Pro Tip: Build a Good Base
A pervious base will allow the water to sink in. Hall used about 12 inches of recycled concrete gravel as the base for reclaimed stone.

Shower Like A Pro

• If you need a light to make the shower more practical, hire an electrician to make sure it is an exterior-grade outlet that won’t be affected by direct contact with water.
• Run hot water to the shower! You’ll thank yourself come cooler temps of late fall or early spring when you still want to enjoy the outdoor experience.
• Add potted plants to your landscape that will benefit from water, like you’re simulating the rainy season in the tropics. We love cut-leaf philodendrons, monstera, rubber tree and fiddle leaf fig—just be sure to move them inside in the colder months.
• Go vertical with your plants to make your shower feel more lush–think hanging vines, like pothos.

Brandy Hall, Shades of Green Permaculture, founderBrandy Hall https://atlantahomeimprovement.com/brandy-hall/is the founder of Shades of Green Permaculture, a full-service regenerative landscape design and education firm that encourages a mindset that protects and builds biodiversity. See more of her work at www.shadesofgreenpermaculture.com

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