Yes I have a ton of unfinished projects around my house (family room, office, hallway, bedrooms) but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t start building an outdoor shower, right? It’s actually been on the to-do list pretty much since we moved in 5 years ago. But, wouldn’t you know, it hasn’t happened. It almost happened a few years back… I marked out the spot, built a little step to get up to it, had hubby dig a giant hole, and buy a drywell. Lars (hubby) even set the concrete forms in an effort to move things along (my man likes himself a nice outdoor shower), but the forms were not laid out properly and last summer I gave up and had him fill in the giant hole. Ooops. I did make a little patio out of that area a few weeks ago, so it’s all good. And we reused the drywell for another project too. The real reason we gave up on that shower was because I changed my mind about the location. It was uphill from our house and pretty exposed to the street. Don’t ask why I thought it was a good spot to begin with, just go with it.
Anyway, I decided to make hubby his long-awaited outdoor shower for his birthday/Father’s Day. So I’m a little bit late, but it’s hard to find a hot second to work on it. Lars has been traveling a lot and for whatever reason he never leaves me with his pickup truck. It’s not a big truck by any means, but it sure is a lot easier to load lumber into. Whatever, I now know that I can fit 12′ 4x4s in my Honda Pilot. I bought 4 and had to make two trips home with them, but lucky for me Lowe’s is only 1 mile from my house. Crazy, right? I’ve walked there before with Smart Jr.
The materials sat in my yard for about a week (except the Quikrete, that was safe in my garage) and then on Tuesday night I finally got to work. I still haven’t solidified a design in my head, but I do know how I want the decking to run, so I decided to just go for it and figure the rest out as I go along. For the sake of full disclosure, let me admit that I dug that first hole 3 times. Yeah, I kept changing my mind about where the showers should be located. So I dug, filled in, dug, filled in and finally dug the hole in the right spot. Yay! I also had to borrow a post hole digger from my DIY neighborhood friends because I left mine at my mom’s house. I had planned to use those cardboard concrete forms with metal attachments to connect the 4x4s, but I ended up going old school and just stuck the 4×4 right in the ground. Lars had set metal fittings in the concrete the last time and nothing lined up properly, so I’ll be returning what I bought.The hole is 36″ and I managed to lift the 12′ 4×4 in there by myself. I did call Smart Jr to hold it in place as I poured the Quikrete in the hole. I always buy the 50 lb bags if I’m working alone. Those 80 lb bags are just a little too heavy for me to lift and pour from. It took two 50 lb bags to fill the hole. It looked like we were cooking up a potion when I poured the dry concrete mix in the hole.Then I added water from a watering can and mixed the concrete in the hole with a leftover metal rod from one of my kids’ cribs. Yeah, that’s how this chick rolls.I only dug the second hole once, lol. Then Smart Jr guided the post into the hole for me. I screwed a scrap 2×3 to the first post to help me line up the second post. After I checked to make sure the post was plum, I added the two bags of Quikrete. To clarify, I added gravel to the bottom of the hole before putting in the 4×4 and I water the hole between the two bags of concrete.
I dug the hole for the 3rd post while my kids had a friend over. They were swimming in our new Intex Easy Set pool, but don’t worry, their playmate had his babysitter with him, so she watched all 3 kids while I set a post. Hey, you have to grab the time any way you can. That back posts is the same length (12 ft) as the other two, and it is also in a 3 ft hole, the ground is just so much lower in the back. Don’t worry, the posts will all be the same height when I’m finished. FYI – that Quikrete form wasn’t trimmed at all, it’s a full 4′, 3′ in the ground and 1′ above.I made a last-minute trip to Lowe’s to get more concrete and lumber, and of course Lars still wasn’t home, so I loaded it all in my Pilot, again.Then it got so dark, I couldn’t see the bottom of the hole, so I called it a night and set the last post the next day. But leaving the concrete in the wheelbarrow overnight wasn’t so smart. It rained a little and I killed one of the bags. Boo. Back to Lowe’s.Here’s the bag of solid concrete. I guess I can add it to the drainage rock under the shower. Lol
I also couldn’t dig down the full 3 feet, so I decided to extend the concrete form above ground even further. Well, don’t ask, but I had to take the post in and out to get it in exactly the right spot, and it was so much easier to move it without the concrete form. So I just poured the concrete in the hole like I did with the first two posts. Then I tried to jerryrig a form around the post. It worked so-so.This time I trimmed the form with my Ryobi multi-tool. And here’s where I’m at now. I’m still trying to decide if I want to put up a partition between the shower area and the changing area, or just leave it open. What do you think? The shower measures 8’x6′.I can’t wait until it’s finished!!
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