Monday, June 23, 2014

Outdoor Shower

When I posted a picture of our new outdoor shower on Facebook yesterday, lots of people commented that they have always wanted an outdoor shower.

So have I.  When I mentioned it to Doug awhile ago, he researched the options and found a solar shower that he thought could work. Most people who buy this model use it on a pool deck with no enclosure so that people can rinse off before they swim. But we decided it would be perfect for outside at our beach house, where we get a fair amount of sun.

So Doug designed an enclosure and bought the lumber, and we were ready to build it this weekend. The ramp on our shed was the work table. Here is Doug just getting started.

He started by constructing a small deck:

Then he set up the shower itself, which is basically a black tube that holds four gallons of water, which comes in from a hose. A mixer enables you to get warm water by mixing the cold water in the hose with the water in the tube that has been heated by the sun:

Our trusty assistant was available to get in the way, including lying on the compressor hose:

Doug designed the walls with a shadow-box effect--alternating inner and outer planks with spaces between them:

There was just one problem.

When we did what Nicole Curtis calls the "naked test," we failed.

Doug went inside and asked me to check from outside.

Um, I saw a lot of blue shorts.

What we didn't realize is that the spaces have to be about half a board's width, not a full board, or you will be able to see in.

We definitely didn't want to rip off all the boards we had so carefully nailed up, so Doug decided that since this was already a rustic structure, we would just wing it.  He "ripped" several boards (a technical term for cutting them lengthwise), and nailed them up to cover some of the space.

A second naked test revealed no blue shorts, so we were in business.

But now we had another problem.  We were going to run out of lumber if we continued with Doug's original design, which was to make a shadow box door and have a partial wall in the front.

I suggested we just build a gate-type door that spanned the entire front.

OK, fine, but what are we going to build it from?

Um, about that piece of T-111 that the previous owners left?

Doug was a little skeptical, but he wanted the job done, and the material was free.

Here's the piece--all dirty from lying in the yard for years. We chose the cleanest part to cut:

By this time, our assistant was exhausted, so she decided to take a much-needed nap:

The door turned out perfect, and it faces the shed behind our house, so it's very private, with just the marsh beyond the shed:

And because this is a beach post, it wouldn't be complete without a beach pic or two.

This was the sunrise on Sunday morning:

And I found this great sign out on the beach in the afternoon:

Maybe I should have brought it home and propped it up by our fabulous new shower.

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