How to Build an Outdoor Shower: A Step-by-Step Guide

DIY Guide: Crafting Your Own Outdoor Shower Oasis in Simple Steps

How to Build an Outdoor Shower

Building an outdoor shower is a great way to add functionality and style to your backyard or pool area. Not only does it provide a convenient place to rinse off after swimming, but it can also enhance the overall aesthetic of your outdoor space. Whether you’re a DIY enthusiast or a professional contractor, building an outdoor shower is a relatively easy project that can be completed in just a few days.

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To start building your outdoor shower, you’ll need to decide on the design and location. Consider the size and shape of the shower, as well as the materials you want to use. Do you want a simple, minimalist design or something more elaborate? Do you want to use natural materials like wood and stone or something more modern like metal and glass? Once you’ve decided on the design, you’ll need to gather the necessary materials and tools.

Once you have all the materials and tools you need, you can start building the structure of your outdoor shower. This involves constructing the frame, installing the plumbing, and adding any finishing touches. With a little bit of patience and attention to detail, you can create a beautiful and functional outdoor shower that will last for years to come.

Key Takeaways

  • Design and location are important considerations when building an outdoor shower.
  • Gathering materials and tools is a crucial step in the process.
  • Building the structure, installing plumbing, and adding finishing touches are the main steps in constructing an outdoor shower.

Designing Your Outdoor Shower

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When designing an outdoor shower, there are several factors to consider to ensure that it meets your needs and preferences. Here are some things to keep in mind as you plan your outdoor shower.

Choosing the Location

The first step in designing your outdoor shower is to choose the location. Ideally, the shower should be located near the entrance to your home, so that you can easily rinse off before entering. Additionally, consider the privacy of the location. You may want to choose an area that is secluded or has natural barriers, such as trees or bushes, to provide privacy.

Selecting the Shower Style

When it comes to selecting the style of your outdoor shower, there are several options to choose from. The most common types of outdoor showers include:

  • Freestanding showers
  • Wall-mounted showers
  • Portable showers

Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, so consider your needs and preferences before making a decision.

Planning for Privacy

Privacy is an important consideration when designing your outdoor shower. Depending on the location of your shower, you may need to install privacy walls or curtains. Consider the height and opacity of the walls or curtains to ensure that you have the level of privacy you desire.

Considering Drainage Solutions

Proper drainage is essential for an outdoor shower. Without it, water can pool and create a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects. Consider installing a drainage system, such as a French drain, to ensure that water is properly directed away from the shower area.

If you’re looking for inspiration and ideas for your outdoor shower, be sure to check out our article on the best outdoor showers. In this comprehensive guide, we review and compare some of the top outdoor showers on the market to help you find the perfect one for your needs and preferences. From portable and freestanding showers to wall-mounted and custom-built options, we’ve got you covered

Gathering Materials

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Essential Tools

Before starting the construction of an outdoor shower, it is important to gather the necessary tools. The following tools are essential for building an outdoor shower:

  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Level
  • Measuring tape
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench
  • PVC cutter
  • Shovel
  • Wheelbarrow

Required Building Supplies

In addition to the essential tools, the following building supplies are required for constructing an outdoor shower:

  • Showerhead and faucet
  • Pipes and fittings
  • Pressure treated lumber
  • Concrete blocks
  • Gravel
  • Concrete mix
  • Waterproof membrane
  • Cement backer board
  • Ceramic tiles
  • Adhesive and grout
  • Stainless steel screws and nails
  • Silicone caulk
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It is important to note that the required building supplies may vary depending on the design and size of the outdoor shower. It is recommended to consult with a professional or refer to a detailed guide before starting the construction process.

Building the Structure

Building an outdoor shower requires careful planning and execution. Here are the steps to follow to build a sturdy and functional outdoor shower.

Constructing the Base

The base of the outdoor shower is the foundation upon which the entire structure will be built. It needs to be strong and stable enough to support the weight of the shower and its users. The base can be made of concrete, wood, or other suitable materials. It should be level and well-drained to prevent water from pooling around the shower.

Erecting Walls or Panels

Once the base is in place, the walls or panels of the shower can be erected. These can be made of wood, metal, or other materials. If using wood, it is important to choose a type that is resistant to moisture and decay, such as cedar or redwood. The walls should be tall enough to provide privacy and protection from the wind, but not so high that they block the view.

Installing the Shower Head and Controls

The shower head and controls are the most important components of the outdoor shower. They should be installed securely and in a location that is easy to access. The shower head can be mounted on a post or attached to the wall. The controls should be located at a comfortable height and within easy reach. A simple on/off valve is usually sufficient, but some people prefer more elaborate controls that allow them to adjust the temperature and flow of the water.

Plumbing Installation

Building an outdoor shower requires proper plumbing installation to ensure that the water supply and drainage systems function correctly. Here are some essential steps to follow:

Connecting to Water Supply

The first step is to connect the outdoor shower to the water supply. This can be done by tapping into an existing outdoor faucet or by installing a new water line. It is important to ensure that the water supply is turned off before beginning any plumbing work.

To tap into an existing outdoor faucet, connect a splitter to the faucet and run a new water line to the shower location. Alternatively, a new water line can be installed from the main water supply to the shower location.

Installing Hot Water Options

While some people prefer cold showers, others may want hot water options. Installing a hot water system can be achieved in a few ways. The simplest way is to connect a garden hose to a hot water source, such as a sink or a hot water heater, and run the hose to the shower location. Alternatively, a dedicated hot water line can be installed from the hot water heater to the shower location.

Ensuring Proper Drainage

Proper drainage is essential for any outdoor shower to prevent water from pooling and causing damage to the surrounding area. The shower should be installed on a sloped surface to allow water to flow towards the drain. The drain should be connected to a drainage system, such as a French drain or a dry well, to prevent water from accumulating in the area.

Finishing Touches

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Once the main structure of the outdoor shower is complete, it’s time to add some finishing touches to make it both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Here are a few ideas to consider:

Adding Accessories

Adding accessories to the outdoor shower can make it more convenient and enjoyable to use. Consider adding hooks or shelves to hold towels and soap, or a small bench to sit on while washing. A handheld showerhead can also be a great addition, allowing for more flexibility in directing the water flow.

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Decorating for Aesthetics

In addition to being functional, an outdoor shower can also be a beautiful addition to any backyard. Consider decorating the area with plants or flowers to create a natural, spa-like atmosphere. Adding lighting can also be a great way to create ambiance and make the shower area more inviting.

Sealing and Protecting Materials

To ensure that the outdoor shower lasts for years to come, it’s important to properly seal and protect the materials used. If the shower is made of wood, consider applying a waterproof sealant to protect it from water damage. For metal or plastic fixtures, a rust-resistant coating can help prevent corrosion.

By adding accessories, decorating for aesthetics, and sealing and protecting materials, an outdoor shower can be both functional and beautiful. With these finishing touches, the shower can be a relaxing and enjoyable addition to any backyard.

Maintenance and Upkeep

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Once the outdoor shower is installed, it is important to maintain it properly to ensure it lasts for many years. Here are some tips for maintaining and keeping the outdoor shower in good condition:

  • Clean the shower regularly: Dirt, grime, and soap scum can build up on the showerhead, walls, and floor. Regular cleaning can prevent the buildup of these substances, which can cause damage to the shower over time. Use a mild detergent and warm water to clean the shower and rinse it thoroughly with water.
  • Check for leaks: Leaks can occur in the showerhead, pipes, and valves. Regularly check for leaks and repair them promptly to prevent water damage and mold growth.
  • Protect the shower: If the shower is not used frequently, cover it with a tarp or other protective covering to prevent damage from the elements. This is especially important during the winter months when freezing temperatures can cause damage to the pipes.
  • Winterize the shower: If you live in an area with freezing temperatures, it is important to winterize the shower to prevent damage to the pipes. This involves draining the water from the pipes and disconnecting the showerhead and hoses.
  • Replace worn parts: Over time, parts of the shower may become worn or damaged. Replace these parts promptly to prevent further damage to the shower.

By following these tips, the outdoor shower can provide many years of use and enjoyment.

Building the Outdoor Shower Structure

Once you have selected the ideal location for your outdoor shower, it’s time to build the structure that will house your shower. You can choose from various options based on your preferences and budget.

Option 1: Portable Shower Enclosure

If you prefer flexibility and easy installation, a portable shower enclosure is a great choice. These enclosures come in various designs and materials such as PVC or metal frames with fabric or plastic curtains. They can be set up and taken down whenever needed, making them perfect for renters or temporary installations.

Option 2: Custom Built Shower Structure

For a more permanent and visually appealing outdoor shower, consider building a custom structure. This option allows for more creativity and personalization. You can use materials like wood, stone, or even repurpose existing structures such as garden sheds. Custom structures provide an opportunity to match your outdoor shower with the overall aesthetic of your outdoor space.

Whichever option you choose, make sure to follow any local building codes and regulations to ensure the safety and compliance of your outdoor shower structure.

When to Build Your Outdoor Shower:

Timing is important when building an outdoor shower. It is advisable to wait for warmer months to work on the outdoor aspects of the project for comfort. However, plumbing-related work can be done at any time of the year, allowing you to get a head start during colder months and be prepared for the construction phase in spring or summer.

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By following the instructions, considering safety precautions, and adhering to local codes and regulations, you can successfully build an outdoor shower that provides a luxurious and practical addition to your home.


Conclusion Building an outdoor shower using a garden hose is a simple and cost-effective way to enhance your outdoor living space. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can create a functional and stylish outdoor shower that provides convenience and a refreshing experience. Remember to choose the right location, gather the necessary tools and materials, and perform regular maintenance to keep your outdoor shower in top condition. Enjoy the benefits of showering outdoors and elevate your outdoor space with this fantastic addition.


Here are 10 questions and answers related to building an outdoor shower:

Can I use hot water for my outdoor shower?

Yes, you can use hot water by connecting the garden hose to a hot water source or using a portable water heater.

Do I need a permit to build an outdoor shower?

It depends on your local building codes and regulations. Check with your local authorities before starting your project.

Can I build an outdoor shower on a deck or patio?

Yes, you can build an outdoor shower on a deck or patio as long as it has proper drainage and can support the weight of the structure.

How do I ensure privacy for my outdoor shower?

You can ensure privacy by choosing a secluded location, using a shower enclosure or structure, or installing privacy screens or plants.

How do I prevent water from pooling around my outdoor shower?

You can prevent water from pooling by choosing a location with natural drainage, incorporating a drainage system during installation, or using a shower pan or base.

Can I use soap and shampoo in my outdoor shower?

Yes, you can use soap and shampoo in your outdoor shower. However, make sure to use biodegradable products to minimize the environmental impact.

How do I winterize my outdoor shower?

To winterize your outdoor shower, turn off the water supply, drain the garden hose and showerhead, and store them in a dry place to prevent damage from freezing temperatures.

Can I add lighting to my outdoor shower?

Yes, you can add lighting to your outdoor shower to enhance its ambiance and usability at night. Make sure to use waterproof and outdoor-rated fixtures.

How do I clean my outdoor shower?

You can clean your outdoor shower by regularly rinsing it with water and using mild soap and a soft brush to remove dirt and grime. Avoid using harsh chemicals that can damage the materials.

Can I customize my outdoor shower

Yes, you can customize your outdoor shower by choosing the materials, design, and features that suit your preferences and match the overall aesthetic of your outdoor space

What are the materials and tools required for building an outdoor shower?

Materials: Drainage rock, four-by-fours, quick-set concrete, cedar fence boards, construction screws, joist hangers, PEX pipe, shower faucet, silicone-based caulk.
Tools: Speed square, circular saw, cordless drill, step ladder, tape measure, jab saw, stud finder, post hole digger, bubble level, miter saw or circular saw.

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Amritanshu Roy is an expert in the field of outdoor gear and accessories with over 5 years of experience in the industry. As the founder of Outdoor Kitchen Picks, he is dedicated to helping outdoor enthusiasts find the perfect equipment for their adventures. With a strong passion for charcoal grills and smokers, outdoor accessories, outdoor cooking, and outdoor kitchens, Amritanshu is widely recognized as an authoritative voice in the outdoor community. He is committed to providing high-quality, trustworthy recommendations based on his extensive experience and expertise. Through his website, he shares his knowledge and experience to help others find the best gear for their outdoor activities. You can reach him at for any queries or questions regarding outdoor gear and accessories.

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