As the summer heatwaves roll in, more and more of you are seeking ways to keep cool. An outdoor shower can be a refreshing and fun addition to your backyard. Not only does it offer a unique, open-air bathing experience, but it can also be a functional tool for rinsing off after a swim or a day in the garden. But, how can you enjoy these benefits while maintaining your privacy? This is where natural privacy screens come into play. Today, we’ll guide you through the process of setting up an outdoor shower complete with natural privacy screens.
Before you start constructing your outdoor shower, the first step is to find an ideal location in your backyard. It should be a spot that provides a good balance between sunlight for warmth and shade for comfort. You’ll also need access to plumbing, whether that’s through connection to your home’s existing system or a standalone, portable setup.
The location should also allow for a secure and attractive natural privacy screen. Plant-based screens are a fantastic option because they blend seamlessly with the outdoor environment, offering privacy without feeling like a fortress. Consider the type of plants that will thrive in the spot you’ve chosen. Dense, evergreen species are often the best choice, as they provide year-round coverage.
Once you’ve found the perfect spot, it’s time to figure out what kind of shower setup you want. There are several options to choose from, each with their own benefits and drawbacks.
You could go for a simple garden hose shower, which is straightforward to set up and budget-friendly. Alternatively, you could opt for a solar-heated shower, allowing you to enjoy warm water heated by the sun. This is a more sustainable option as it reduces energy use.
A more permanent and sophisticated option would be a plumbed-in shower. This involves routing water from your home’s existing plumbing system to your outdoor shower. It’s a more complex setup, but it allows you more control over the water temperature and pressure.
Building an outdoor shower essentially involves creating a structure that holds a shower head and a faucet or valve to control the water flow. Depending on your chosen setup, this could range from a simple wooden stand for a garden hose shower to a more complex structure for a plumbed-in shower.
Start by installing the shower base. This could be a wooden platform, a concrete slab, or even a bed of pebbles. Then, construct the vertical structure that will hold the shower head and valve. This could be a wooden post, a metal pole, or a section of wall. Attach the shower head at a suitable height and install the valve within easy reach.
For the plumbing, you can use standard PVC pipes. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, it’s advisable to hire a professional plumber.
When it comes to choosing plants for your privacy screen, the main factors to consider are their growth rate, their height and width at maturity, and their adaptability to your local climate and soil conditions.
Evergreen shrubs and trees, such as bamboo, holly, or cypress are popular choices because they provide thick, year-round coverage. Climbing plants, like ivy or wisteria, can also work well if you have a trellis or fence to support them.
When planting, arrange the plants in a way that maximizes privacy, taking into account the direction from which people are most likely to view the shower. Also, ensure that the plants are spaced appropriately to allow for their growth over time.
An outdoor shower with a natural privacy screen can be a low-maintenance feature if set up correctly. Regularly check the plumbing for leaks and the shower structure for any signs of damage. In winter, you might need to winterize the plumbing to prevent freezing.
The natural privacy screen will need regular pruning to maintain its shape and density, and to stimulate growth. Ensure the plants are well-watered, especially in dry weather, and consider adding mulch around the base to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
An outdoor shower with a natural privacy screen can be a wonderful addition to your home. Not only does it provide a refreshing retreat on hot summer days, but it also enhances the overall aesthetic appeal of your backyard. So why not give it a try? With careful planning and the right approach, it’s a project well within the reach of the average DIY enthusiast.
Before you begin to construct your outdoor shower, it is essential to become familiar with the local codes and regulations related to outdoor showers and water usage. In some areas, there may be restrictions or guidelines on where an outdoor shower can be located, how it can be constructed, and how the water should be disposed of.
Zoning laws can dictate where your shower can be positioned relative to property lines or structures. Plumbing codes may require certain types of valves or drains to be used, and they may also specify how the water from your shower should be directed away from your property. Some areas may require that greywater – the used water from your shower – is processed through a septic or sewer system, while others may allow it to be used for irrigation purposes.
It’s also essential to consider the impact of your outdoor shower on the environment. Choose eco-friendly soaps and shampoos that won’t harm your plants or the local ecosystem. Consider incorporating a greywater system into your shower design to recycle the water for use in your garden.
It is always wise to consult with a professional or your local council before beginning construction. This ensures you are compliant with all local laws and regulations and can prevent potential issues down the line.
While an outdoor shower is a fantastic addition to your outdoor space during the hot summer months, you might want to consider how you can adapt it for use during other seasons. With a few modifications, you can continue to enjoy your outdoor shower year-round.
In the cooler months, you may need a heating system. If you opted for a solar-heated shower, you might want to supplement this with a tankless water heater to ensure warm water on cloudy days or in cooler weather. Another option is to install an outdoor sauna or hot tub nearby to warm up before and after your shower.
For the privacy screen, choose evergreen plants that will maintain their coverage throughout the year. Alternatively, you could add a temporary screen, like a weather-resistant curtain or folding screen, for additional privacy in winter when deciduous plants lose their leaves.
Consider the elements when designing your shower. A roof or canopy can provide shelter from rain and snow, allowing you to use your shower even in inclement weather. If your shower area is exposed to cold winds, a windbreak or additional screening can make your shower more comfortable.
Setting up an outdoor shower with a natural privacy screen involves careful consideration and planning, but the result can be a refreshing and invigorating addition to your outdoor lifestyle. From choosing the perfect location, selecting the right shower setup, constructing your outdoor shower, choosing and planting your privacy screens, maintaining your setup, considering the relevant rules and regulations, and adapting your shower for different seasons, each step is crucial to creating an enjoyable and functional outdoor bathing experience.
Remember, it’s your personal retreat: a place to cool off in the summer heat, rinse off after a swim, or simply enjoy a unique outdoor experience. With the right approach, your outdoor shower can provide a combination of functionality, privacy, and natural beauty that enhances your backyard for years to come. So why wait? Get started on your outdoor shower project today!