#1 Decide on function
The first thing you need to do is decide whether your outdoor shower is going to be an outdoor bathroom experience, or simply a place to wash off dirt and sand. The type of function your outdoor shower will perform will influence the type of structure you need to build, the drainage requires, and the location of your shower in your yard.
#2 Check with your council
Before installing an outdoor shower with both hot and cold water, be sure to check the regulations around such outdoor structures with your local council. Some councils require that an outdoor shower meet certain requirements, while other councils have very little rules at all.
#3 Consult with a plumber
Once you have the appropriate guidelines from your council, now is the time to consult with a plumber if you require specific draining measures to be installed. If it’s just a cold water shower for post-beach wash-offs, then it might be okay for the water to run off into the garden. But if it’s a fully-functioning hot water outdoor bathroom, you may need to connect your drainage to the sewer system.
#4 Choose your materials wisely
An outdoor shower is an investment, so be sure to use durable materials that can withstand not only the harsh Australian elements, but being doused in water often. Stainless steel is a natural durable choice, copper wont rust, timber such as merbau, spotted gum or class one hardwoods can be suitable to wet areas when treated correctly with a high-quality sealant. Other options include concrete or outdoor poolside pavers.
#5 Pick your position wisely
For those who just need a sand-removing cold wash, positioning your outdoor shower in a sunny part of the backyard is best, and privacy probably isn’t a big issue. However, if you plan to have a hot water shower system, it’s important that you pick a location on your property that gets plenty of afternoon sun, but that is shielded from the prying eyes of your neighbours and the street. Consider planting ferns, palms, bamboo or other natural screening species to create seclusion.
#6 Add the luxuries
For those creating an outdoor bathroom, ensure there is enough privacy to shower without being watched, a ledge for placing shampoo, soap and conditioner, and a hook to hang your towel. Plus, a seat or ledge for placing dry clothes is a must. If it’s just a place to wash off after a surf, all you need is a hook to hold your towel out of the water.