By Guest Blogger Marissa Joyce, Gwyn Services
The Ultimate Parenting Hack. Every parent dreams of it- an idea that makes life with kids simpler, without sacrificing fun. When we get a magical idea like that we share it far and wide. Then we cross our fingers that it works well for other families too.
My own hack’s inspiration was sparked in 2019 while on a beach vacation. My kids LOVED showering at the glorified spigot by the backyard pool. Fast forward a few months to March of 2020… school was closed, and I was quickly running out of ideas to pretend like I was teaching them. Instead, we played outside all day in the woods by our house. We enjoyed creek stomping, peeking under rocks, and coming home covered head-to-toe in dirt. Every day tracking that dirt through the house on the way upstairs to change and bathe. It soon became apparent that something needed to change. Chasing my kids around the yard with a garden hose wasn’t making anyone happy. One night, while vacuuming (again), I remembered the outdoor shower at the beach. I consulted my best friend Google to see what I needed to know to make it happen.
Later that spring, with the help of a plumber from Gwyn Services, we installed an outdoor shower. We installed it in the backyard of our house- and life has been so much easier! Muddy children, dirty shoes, smelly dogs, a quick shower after an afternoon at the pool- our outdoor shower became a quick and easy solution for it all. The installation was much less expensive than we had anticipated- most water heaters are in basements or garages, adjacent to exterior walls, which make for a relatively straightforward job.
I’ve had many questions from friends about installation and setup requirements. At the most basic level, all you need for a shower is a wall. Your plumber can lay pipe to install a shower head and knobs call it a day. Other things to consider in the planning stage are drainage and privacy. Obviously, as with most home repairs, there are a variety of options at multiple different price levels.
Since I wasn’t trying to create a permanent, luxury setup, but rather a rough and tumble kids spot, I went the economy route. Our yard has a gradual slope away from the house, so I wasn’t too concerned about pooling water. I put a layer of sand over the area, tested that water would flow away from my foundation, placed a small wooden pallet on the ground, and covered it with teakwood tiles I snagged on Amazon. I created a quick and easy privacy fence with a few 4x4s, pallet wood, a shower rod and curtain. In total we spent less than $700.
In researching the process, I learned that, in general, the closer an outdoor shower is located to your house, the cheaper the project will be. Grading your shower area, installing a drain, or laying a concrete pad are all options to consider. Privacy enclosures can be DIY like mine, portable walls purchased from a kit, garden hedges that create a natural privacy, or professionally designed and custom built. It is also important to consider where the nearest interior door to the house is, so that you don’t have those clean feet tracking through mud once again after the shower.
As the technicians at Gwyn can attest, creative and fun home upgrades such as this have spiked in popularity in the past two years, as more people invest in their homes- the place they are spending the most time these days! They have enjoyed working with customers on projects like outdoor kitchens, installing USB Outlets, gourmet kitchen upgrades, motion sensor lights for stairways and pantries, luxe laundry rooms, home theaters, and more! Market research shows that upgrades like this can increase your home’s resale value dramatically, and make your family enjoy their own space more every day.
What is YOUR “someday idea” that you have been dreaming about in your home? Do you have any parenting hacks you want to share?
- Today’s blog is sponsored by Gwyn Services