Monday, July 3, 2017 / by Teresa Dipeso
Pros And Cons Of An Outdoor Shower
The idea of soaping up under the stars can seem romantic—luxurious, even. Whether spartan or opulent, an outdoor shower on a sunny day or a warm evening can be a pampering, even life-affirming, experience. But there's another side, too. To some, an outdoor shower is little more than a mucky, bug-infested, impractical eyesore. So who's right?
It turns out both sides are! People are sharply divided on the pros and cons of this summer-friendly amenity. If you're thinking of installing one in your home, consider the following arguments for and against.
Pro: It's a small vacation
Feel like you're in a spa commercial? You might, if you decide to install your own outdoor shower.
"You can be transported to another place, somewhere carefree or luxurious," notes Bea Pila of B. Pila Design, in Miami. And it's quite refreshing on a muggy day to stand outdoors under a blast of cool water.
Con: It's sort of messy
All sorts of creepy-crawlies are drawn to this perennially damp outdoor space. Leaves, acorns, and tree needles will fill the drain and pile up in corners. And dogs and birds might just wander in to do their business when you're not around. Yup, you really need to clean this thing.
Pro: There's more space
Ahh—room to stretch! Most outdoor showers are bigger than the ones you have inside the house. And even if they aren't, they sure feel bigger.
Con: It's chilly
Sure, you'll use your alfresco shower on those perfect-weather days. But it's considerably less awesome during those days when you find yourself all wet when the clouds suddenly roll in and the wind kicks up. And do you really think you're going to be using the place during a deep freeze or even a serious autumn chill?
Pro: It's great for guests
"We have too many showers in this house," said no one, ever. Summer holidays like the Fourth of July and Labor Day might leave you begging for an outdoor shower where guests can clean off. There's no more waiting in line when you can send the kids or overflow guests outside to this handy spigot.
Con: They're not cheap
"Freestanding showers can be really expensive because the materials have to be high-quality—especially if you live near saltwater, where fixtures can corrode," says Pila.
No matter where your shower is situated, you'll still need a durable stainless-steel or brass shower head and frost-proof fixtures to withstand colder temps, according to Craig Jenkins-Sutton, president of Topiarius, a gardening and landscaping firm in Chicago. And if you try to save money upfront, you'll probably wind up shelling more out later.
"Poorly made shower kits and improper installation can lead to drainage problems, cracking, buckling, and leaks," says Jenkins-Sutton.
Pro: You can rinse off with ease
Got sand from the beach or muddy feet from the garden? An outdoor shower is the solution. You can also rinse off your deck furniture and even scrub an outdoor rug in this stall.
"And it's great for washing items like paddleboards, coolers, or the grill rack," adds Jenkins-Sutton.
Con: There's all that exposure
You're free! You're naked! You're exposed. In the off chance your child opens the door unexpectedly or a delivery person needs you to sign for something, being in your outdoor shower is less than ideal. To be safe, you'll have to take alfresco showers when another person is at home to deal with the doorbell and deliveries.
Pro: It's perfect for your most important household member
He digs all day and loves to roll in the dirt, so you know it's much easier to wash him off here. But enough about your husband—let's talk about your dog! Cleaning him off in the outdoor shower sure beats chasing the pooch with the hose or trying to get him into the kiddie pool.
Con: The water bill can rise
Do you like banging down the bathroom door to get your teen to cease her half-hour shower? Probably not. And you won't want to march across the lawn to deliver the same message, either. Another shower, whether inside or out, generally means more water down the drain and a higher monthly bill.
courtesy of realtor.com