Eco-Shower: Rustic Outdoor Shower Made From Salvaged Antique Barn Stall Walls

Eco-Shower with driftwood wreath

An Eco-Shower (in my opinion) is any outdoor shower that is made with mostly salvaged materials and uses solar power to heat the water.

I love my outdoor shower. You can see where horses chewed on the wood and I like the little worm holes in the wood. This eco-shower is perfect for us in Southern Maryland because this area is historically known for its barns/ farms (especially tobacco barns) and the Chesapeake Bay.

Outdoor showers are great for several reasons: they keep your inside shower cleaner- especially good when returning from the beach all sandy… or muddy from a kayak trip. Also using it instead of your inside shower will keep the extra humidity out of your bathroom –especially good for people who have bathrooms where mold is a problem. In addition, it will reduce your electricity usage because you don’t have to use your water heater to heat your shower water. Best of all, it’s nice to shower outdoors!

A driftwood wreath fits in nicely. Don’t you think?

eco-Shower Side View

How to:

Good friends of mine were renovating the inside of their antique Maryland barn. That is how I was lucky enough to get my hands on some barn stall walls. I recruited my husband to help me build a frame out of treated four by fours. I used the pieces of the stall walls for the walls of the shower. There was some reconstructing (rearranging) involved.

Paint on a coat of water sealer to help preserve the wood.

To add the lettering on the side, I printed out a font that I liked in a large font size. I cut out the letters, traced the letters on the wood, and then pained the letters with acrylic paint.

Set up a garden hose extending to your shower. The longer the hose is the better (within reason). I connected two long hoses and coiled them neatly in a sunny location. The sun will heat the water while you are getting hot and sweaty mowing your lawn or working in your garden.

I located the shower far enough away from the house to avoid water problems and the land slopes away from the shower into the woods. You might want to install a drywell, which is basically just a hole filled with rocks. We currently stand on a slab of granite while showering but someday I think I’ll add a gravel walkway to the shower and a gravel floor in the shower.

Admittedly, we only use the shower seasonally. I don’t like a cold shower. But in the summer it’s fantastic.

Eco-Shower Back View

Don’t forget to add hooks to hang up cloths or towels. I used cleats (found at any hardware store) because they gave it a boat house feel. Even better would be to find some old cleats and reuse them in this project.

Eco-Shower Back

For privacy, I ripped a few barn boards into strips and filled some of the gaps between the boards.

Home-made Soap On Rock Soap Dish

Here is some home-made soap that I made. It is on a rock soap dish.

13 thoughts on “Eco-Shower: Rustic Outdoor Shower Made From Salvaged Antique Barn Stall Walls

  1. Glittermummy

    Hi

    Love this. Sadly wouldn’t recommend it in Scotland, midges AND cold. I really liked your homemade soap and rock dish :D Nice touch.

    What would be really good, and bear with me… would be to see a pic of some one using it… AH, see, I knew you’d think that… Nooooo… perfectly adorned in swimsuit, wetsuit, whatever, but just to give an idea of it how it works.

    Thanks for sharing it. Eco is good :D

  2. tango

    So charming and the wreath especially is a lovely touch! We live on Chesapeake Bay with two little ones, so this is almost the perfect shower solution for us. Do you have ideas on regulating the water temp? By the time you ran the scalding water out of our hose, you’d have about 30 seconds before the icy well water froze you out of the shower. Thanks.

  3. jane Post author

    Tango,
    Try moving your garden hose to a less sunny spot. On a very hot day, the water in the hose might be just right (without extra heat from all day sun. Or, consider changing the time of day you use it.Say, late in the day for hot days and mid-day for cooler days. It works for us.
    Best of luck.
    Hester Jane

  4. Naomi Simon

    This is perfect! we hold a charity concert on a family farm in somerset, united kingdom. its grown in the past few years where people camp. we have no showering facilities and have been scowering the internet in search of a rustic eco friendly shower, this framework is perfect!

    Just need to figure out how to get enough water to heat showers for more people! maybe a cold shower is better than no shower!

    thanks Naomi

  5. Pingback: Rustic Outdoor Shower Ideas - Everything homemade using natural or recycled items - Rustic Crafts Online Magazine

  6. Sara

    i was just wondering how you got the posts to stand what is that brick? i need to not dig into my ground so how do i make this free standing?????

  7. jane Post author

    We made the shower with concrete blocks (at ground level) found at building supply stores. These “bricks” hold 4 x 4 posts on end.
    Hope this info helps.

  8. lee Salmon

    Hi, i like this thread and feel the comments are all very practicle. as such id like to test opinion?
    do you think a small wood fired stove with back boiler connected to an old copper tank would work as an alternative to solar. I live in north england and can appreciate the benefits of the solar option but think realistically it wouldnt be suitable.
    I was thinking of building a larger but similar type unit with an area that could be an outdoor/indoor sauna, heated by the same stove, which with back boiler, pipeing the water to the exterior shower area to heat a water tank connected to mains ball cock, with simple gravity fed shower head? What do you think?

  9. jane Post author

    Lee,
    I don’t have any experience with a wood fired stove used in this way but maybe someone else reading about this shower could advise you. Best of luck.
    It sounds good to me.
    -Hester Jane

  10. Mic

    All you need is a solar shower! You can buy one anywhere that sells camping equipment. You just lay it in the sun until warm and then hang it up! And in this case if your outdoor shower is by your house you can fill it up with warm tap water.I live by a river and when we have a camping party everyone brings their own solar shower.

  11. Lavonna

    We are looking at building the outdoor shower, and this is EXACTLY what I want! But when it comes to heating water, I will just use coiled black plastic piping, laid on the roof of the house. (Garden hoses connected together will work just as well) This will generate HOT water, as we live in a southern state & sun power is plentiful. I will just have to figure a way to have some cold water to regulate the temp. Will probably have to get this from main water supply to house.

    But Thank You so much for posting the pics! While I can picture in my mind’s eye exactly what I want, my hubby is not so fortunate & needs the visuals. This is very helpful.

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