Imagine my surprise when I came home from work one freezing cold evening and found water flooding my basement. I ran to turn off the water and then I called the plumber. Even though it was late in the evening, the plumber immediately came to my house and fixed the busted water line. The plumber told me that I could have prevented my water line from freezing and busting if I had winterized the pipes. After researching various methods, I insulated the pipes so they won't freeze again. My name is Joel Hampton and this blog is about the different ways to winterize your plumbing pipes to keep them from freezing. Coming home to a basement filled with water is a nightmare and I hope that after reading the information in my blog, it won't happen to you.
An outdoor shower is becoming a popular addition to many backyards. What used to be a simple functional part of pool areas or beach homes is now a luxury item for homeowners everywhere. Whether you just want to keep the sand and dirt out of the house or you want to bring a little bit of nature into your routine, an outdoor shower can be a fun and unique addition to your home.
So, how do you build one?
The permits. Check with your local building department first, to determine if your outdoor shower must have certain requirements. Some localities do not permit the water to drain directly into the yard, for example, or require a roof over the shower to prevent debris from getting into the drain.
The plumbing. Work with a qualified plumber from a company like Mildren Plumbing Inc to tie the shower into your existing home plumbing lines and build a shower head. One of the simplest ways to control costs and the complexity of your project is to locate the shower on an exterior wall that already contains water pipes – such as outside a bathroom, kitchen or laundry room. Sharing a wall will also mean one less wall you will have to build to enclose the shower itself, saving additional money.
The drain. Design the drainage system for your shower. If your city permits draining water directly into the ground, your system will be fairly simple. Unless you have very sandy soil with good drainage, you may want to lay down a thick layer of sand or gravel to help water sink into the ground rather than run off. Be sure to angle this layer away from the house to ensure it doesn't drain into the foundation and cause water damage to the home. You can add a simple wooden platform or a layer of pavers or flagstones above the drain for comfort.
The enclosure. You will likely want either a 3-sided or 4-sided enclosure for the shower for privacy's sake. If you attach the shower to an exterior wall, you have one side already done. The remaining sides can be built from whatever material your budget can handle. Prefabricated enclosures are available, or you can build your own. A simple enclosure can be created by building a rectangular frame of wood posts and using decking screws to add tall fence panels to the frame. Simple aluminum siding can also provide a suitable inexpensive enclosure wall. More expensive walls can be designed from stone, vinyl or even frosted glass.
A simple outdoor shower may take as little as a weekend to put together, depending on the availability of a qualified plumber and any permit restrictions. But no matter whether it's simple or fancy, your own individualized outdoor shower will bring a new dimension of enjoyment and relaxation to your backyard for years to come.