How Much Does It Cost To Build An Outdoor Shower?

outdoor shower in front of a wooden fence in backyard

If you have thought about an outdoor shower in your backyard you probably have some questions.  The concept of showering outdoors is one of those experiences that’s hard to explain. Once you’ve showered in a well constructed outdoor shower it make some sense.  There is some magic to showering while the birds chirp around you. As you experience one of the refined luxuries of our modern era you can experience nature all around you at the same time.  But let’s get back to earth for a second.  How much does it cost to build an outdoor shower anyway?

How Much Does It Cost To Build An Outdoor Shower?

Overall, outdoor shower projects can range widely. For a simple and affordable approach, you can build an outdoor shower for under $1,000. However, the more complex your design and more features you add, we’ve seen outdoor showers cost up to $25,000.

The primary cost driver for outdoor showers is twofold.  First, there’s the plumbing costs.  If you are willing to put up with a cold outdoor shower, that’ll save you some money.  Likewise if you live in Southern California or south Florida, you’ll not have to worry about winterization of your outdoor shower and that’ll save you some money over time.  

Second, beyond the plumbing costs are the construction materials.  You can build an outdoor shower that consists of nothing but a garden hose connected to a pipe with a gate valve shooting water out onto your head, or you can build a granite snail shape with a heated marble floor.  The options are endless, it’s more a matter of preference.

simple wooden setup showing how much does it cost to build an outdoor shower as only a few hundred dollars worth of wood and a shower head

How To Build An Affordable Outdoor Shower

First things first, let’s start with the guts of the shower. We’ve covered other aspects such as how to build an outdoor shower floor in other articles. However, today we’ll discuss the bare essentials and your options.

Outdoor Shower Kits

The outdoor shower kit by SEI gives you almost everything you need. The exceptions are the water and a mixing valve if you want hot and cold.  It comes with a eucalyptus wood shower base, stand, and all you need to do is set it in place an connect a garden hose.  However, if you want warm water for a comfortable shower, you’ll need to either add a mixing valve, or buy a different system.  

There are more options for more money for people who want the mixing valve and the hot / cold experience.  The Gotonovo valve doesn’t come with a stand and shower surface like the SEI, but it does have the built in mixing valve, rainfall shower head, and hand held sprayer.  This is a nice beginning to your outdoor shower.  

Outdoor Shower Enclosures

Next, you’ll need to decide if you want an enclosure.  Will you be showering naked for all the world to see? Perhaps you’re planning on just having swimmers rinse off before getting into the pool.  Whatever the case, this is where you can spend some money.  Fence companies are usually the go to contractors for the shower enclosure, but carpenters or masons can help you here as well.  

The most expensive method for building an enclosure is probably masonry / tile / stone.  But you can spend a pretty penny with fence panels and gates as well.  Expect to spend at least $1,000 or so on a simple wood fence paneled shower surround. Alternatively, you may spend $5,000 – $10,000 for a nicely appointed custom built shower enclosure out of teak or mahogany.  

Outdoor Shower Base

Next when considering how much does it cost to build an outdoor shower is the base.  This can be as simple as shower base panel, or as complicated as a piped shower drain with tile or stone over the top.  Check your local regulations whenever you are installing any plumbing at your home, as you may need to comply with regulations related to outdoor showers.

Connecting the plumbing to the shower can be complicated. This will depend on where your water is located and where it needs to go.  Additionally, you’ll want to make sure you take into consideration winterization if you live in a place where pipes can freeze. Unless you are running your outdoor shower off of a garden hose, you’ll need to hire a licensed plumber to make all the piping connections for this project.

You may need to hire another contractor to dig the trenches for the piping, and still another to build the enclosure.  If you’re lucky you can hire a landscape construction company who can handle the whole thing.

How Much Does It Cost To Build An Outdoor Shower Summary

In the end how much does it cost to build an outdoor shower depends highly on the features and fixtures you include.  You can do an outdoor shower project for less than $1,000 in many cases. However, if select high end contractors and material, you can spend $25,000 or more.  It’s really up to you and your budget. Some homeowners want a professional aesthetic while others just care about the functionality.