Outdoor Showers: They’re Not Just for Luxury Homes Anymore

Since we live and play on this sand spit called Cape Cod, sand often gets just about everywhere – in your car, on your clothes, on your kids and most definitely on your shoes.

Having an outdoor shower is a great way to help remove the sand before tracking it in all over the house. It’s convenient if you’re just coming back from the beach, and it’s a luxurious addition to any home on a warm, summer evening, when you just want to cool off.

Outdoor showers have become wildly popular in more recent years. It makes a mundane ritual much more appealing, allowing you to enjoy fresh air, sky, sounds of nature and maybe even a view while you bathe. It’s especially handy for rinsing off before or after a dip in the pool, a trip to the beach or a grubby day of gardening. Many homeowners use them for bathing their dogs.

Installing an outdoor shower can be simple (there are kits you can but to install it yourself) or it can really be something special and elaborate. A basic shower with hot and cold running water can run around $1,000. If you want something more elaborate, say, with a nice enclosure, maybe a changing room, or a place to sit … these can run anywhere from $4,000 up to $8,000 depending on what you want.

The most important thing to consider when planning an outdoor shower is the location. You want it to be somewhere that gets direct sun, not only because it makes the act of showering more pleasant, but because it’ll keep the shower walls and floor drier — and that’s critical to preventing rot. For that same reason, don’t place the shower under a roof overhang or a tree. This could cause debris to accumulate on the shower floor.

The other big consideration is privacy. You’ll want the shower away from prying eyes. You can add an enclosure that assures privacy. If your house is two stories or is flanked by windows that could look down onto the shower, consider a louvered roof that prevents views in but still allows views out. It will also need to be located somewhere where it can easily drain, whether that’s on a piece of yard where it could drain away from the house, or by having proper drainage installed.

If the outdoor shower you envision is not of the simple variety, it could require excavation, slab work, plumbing and alterations to the existing walls of the home, so don’t just hire a plumber — go with a general contractor who has experience building outdoor showers. It could take anywhere from two to six weeks, depending on the details. Whether you’ll need a building permit depends on the design, cost and complexity of the project and the rules in your municipality.

If you’re considering having an outdoor shower installed in your home, begin by thinking about your budget, and then talk to a professional contractor.   

About Ann Luongo

Ann Luongo is the Marketing Writer and Lifestyle Reporter for CapeCod.com, and has been writing for Cape Cod and South Shore publications for over 15 years.



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