A How-To Guide From Bondall in collaboration with Natasha Dickins, DIY Specialist, professional renovator and furniture maker.
Use Australian hardwood and an easy-to-use waterproofing system to create a resort-style retreat in your backyard with DIY specialist Natasha Dickins of Little Red Industries.
The ultimate Aussie backyard isn’t complete without an outdoor shower, and hooking it up for hot water takes alfresco living to the next level. Waterproofing the wall, building the timber splashback and laying the pavers are straight-forward DIY projects, although you need a plumber to hook the shower up to hot water.
I checked the requirements with the plumber when he stopped by to give a quote and, in this instance, it’s enough to have pavers that wash off onto the surrounding pebbles. Make sure you choose a spot against the house that has good drainage and where pooling water won’t cause moisture damage.
Get the timing right
Get the timing right by installing the splashback first, then be prepared to remove some of the boards for plumbing access. Lay and seal the pavers once the shower is finished to ensure they’re positioned correctly and avoid damage if tools are dropped.
The wall before
Behind my new shower is the laundry, which I’m also renovating.
Knocking out a window
Knocking out the window and waterproofing the entire wall leaves the perfect spot to build a timber screen for the shower.
The empty window cavity was sealed with FC sheet cut to fit then both sides sealed using Gripset Betta Bitumen Rubber, which is an easy-to-use paint-on waterproofing system.
There are many schools of thought about choosing outdoor tapware, but my research resulted in deciding to go with a regular shower rose, arm and mixer. They will eventually lose their shine but will continue to function efficiently.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
This project cost about $1400, including $400 for the plumber, $250 for the shower rose, gooseneck arm and mixer, about $250 for the hardwood, $100 for paving and the rest in hardware and timber such as treated pine and stainless steel screws.
You’ll also need:
- 70 x 35mm treated pine 2.4m x 2
- 15 lengths of 135mm-wide blackbutt boards cut to 1350mm long
- Gripset Betta Weatherseal
- Drop saw
- A drill and impact driver, countersinking bit
- 50mm Buildex stainless steel decking screws
- 75mm batten screws
- Random orbital sander with 120- and 180-grit sanding pads
- Bondall In-Ground Timber Protector
- Bondall Monocel Gold Clear Varnish in Satin
- Tape measure and spirit level
- Paint to match the house and paint equipment including brushes • shower head, arm and mixer
BUILDING THE SPLASHBACK
The splashback is anchored to two treated-pine posts set into the ground. Once they’re attached to the wall, a set of decking boards – cut to size – are secured onto these posts using stainless steel decking screws.
- Measure Up
Use a drop saw to cut two posts from treated pine to fit against your wall. Mine were about 2.2m tall. Add an extra 100mm for setting them into the ground. Locate the studs on your wall and position the posts over the wall studs.
- Cut the Boards
Measure the distance between the outside edges of the posts so the decking boards sit flush then cut the boards to length with the drop saw.
- Waterproof the Wall
Remove the posts and, on the wall, apply two coats of Gripset Betta Weatherseal using a roller, leaving to dry between coats then apply two coats of house paint.
- Seal the posts
Seal the bottom 100mm of the treated pine posts with Bondall In-Ground Timber Protector, leaving to dry between coats then paint all over with house paint.
- Attach the rails
Using an impact driver, secure the posts to the wall studs with 75mm batten screws and apply a second coat of house paint.
Tip: Using an impact driver instead of a regular drill means the screws go straight in, rather than having to drill pilot holes first.
- Prepare the boards
On the ends of the hardwood boards, measure and mark 50mm and 30mm from the top and bottom edges to countersink two holes using a 10mm countersinking bit.
- Sand the boards
Sand the boards with 120-grit abrasive paper, rounding over the ends and corners, finishing with 180-grit over the front and sides.
- Seal the boards
To make the splashback weatherproof, apply Monocel Gold Clear Varnish in Satin, leave to dry and sand lightly with 180-grit abrasive paper then repeat for a second and third coat of varnish.
Tip: Set out the boards so you can coat one face and one edge, leave to dry then turn them to complete the remaining surfaces.
Install the splashback
Attach the boards to the posts using an impact driver and 50mm stainless steel decking screws through the countersunk holes. Begin with the lowest board about 150mm from the ground, using a spirit level to check that it’s straight. Install the remainder of the boards, working upwards and using spacers as you go.
- Fit the tapware
Remove some of the boards to allow the plumber access to fit the shower, mixer and copper pipes. Use a spade bit to drill holes for the pipe through the side of the posts, making sure the pipes will sit level from the tap. The plumber can drill holes in the centre of two boards for the shower and mixer while they install the fittings.
Tip: Building the splashback first means the tapware can be centred and pipes hidden behind the boards.
There you have it – a beautiful functional outdoor shower! Creating an outdoor sanctuary doesn’t have to cost you an arm and leg. To complete the outdoor shower – check out Little Red Industries video on paving.