Bi-Fold's / Outdoor Shower

  • Advertise with us
Project by woodshaver Tony C posted 05-22-2014 01:05 PM 3065 views 4 times favorited 30 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So …..

I wanted an outdoor shower but needed to come up with a good looking way to make my newly built outdoor shower a little more private and also have it so I can get it out of the way of our little deck when not in use.

So after building the shower system I came up with this Bi-fold blind idea to hide this old body of mine.

I used some old dried pressure treated wood I had laying around the shop forever to build the solar collector frame. I sealed in the two 1/4” plate glass panels with silicon then flashed the frame to keep the water out. This solar collector got really heavy with that glass in it. But that’s something else I had laying around the shop forever so I used it!

I built the two Bi-Fold blinds using some dog eared fence boards and some cedar, (stuff I had laying around the shop again). I cut and planed the 1/2” fence boards and then tongue & grooved them into the styles and rails. Two 1/4” R aluminum rod’s stabilize the Bi-folds and some Red PVC sign board bent in a U to hold the Bi-Folds open in the wind while I shower. :)

My next door neighbor .. well she giggled and blushed a little when I told her what I was doing.

Yesterday was a nice sunny day and the temperature outside was about 90 degrees, the water temp got up to 120. The little collector is working great and the water is just the way I like it , HOT! I’ll use this every chance I get to save a little cash! It’s just my wife and I and she likes it too!

More picture and info about this on GardenTenders

Thanks for looking in .. I think! “(

Update, 7/2/2015 I rebuilt the solar panel. I made it 12” w X 72”L This panal shape and piping configuration work much better. The other panel (seen in the photo above) was half in shade mid day. I installed the panel along the edge of the roof line, now the solar panel sees total sunshine and no shade. It heats the water in the 30 gal. tank to about 128 F by 1 PM on one sunny day. See the construction here on YouTube

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

30 comments so far

View NikkiLaRue's profile


296 posts in 2293 days

#1 posted 05-22-2014 01:14 PM

This is really cool …... I want one!

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7576 posts in 4163 days

#2 posted 05-22-2014 01:19 PM

I have plenty of hot water and I love to share! ... I hope your LOL about now!! “(

Thanks Nikki!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Tim Christensen's profile

Tim Christensen

67 posts in 3268 days

#3 posted 05-22-2014 02:38 PM

Awesome!! I would love to have an outside shower, but I doubt could convince the wife into it, she tends to be a little more “shy” than me!! Opposites attract I suppose! I am actually thinking about building something like this to help warm my pool up faster in the spring, do you think it would work for that?

-- Tim C., Sgt. Bluff, Iowa.

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 3836 days

#4 posted 05-22-2014 02:39 PM

Great work, I have something more primitive (barrel painted black) to supply warm water in a setting without neighbours nearby and therefore less inhibited but I am thinking about a more civilized system for washing my old body too

-- Dreaming patterns

View HuckD's profile


312 posts in 2525 days

#5 posted 05-22-2014 02:43 PM

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7576 posts in 4163 days

#6 posted 05-22-2014 02:49 PM

Our neighbors have this huge solar panel system to heat their pool. It’s a drain down system with all kinds of controls on it. My little solar panel wouldn’t make much of a difference unless your pool was a kitty pool. This is what they have.

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View doubleDD's profile


9545 posts in 2853 days

#7 posted 05-22-2014 02:52 PM

Great idea. My folks had a cabin on a lake with one of these and we would use it on occasion. Kind of rough on the cooler days. ha ha . The closing door idea is fantastic. Brings back memories. Nice work.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View luv2learn's profile


3069 posts in 3113 days

#8 posted 05-22-2014 03:00 PM

Hey Tony, it has been awhile since you posted anything and I was beginning to worry about you. However, it looks like you have been putting your time to good use. When I saw your shower and solar collector my mind went back to Mother Earth magazines in the 60’s and 70’s…LOL!! As with all your projects, this one has all the quality craftsmanship I have come to expect from you. Great job buddy, I’m jealous of your shower…LOL.

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View a1Jim's profile


118104 posts in 4387 days

#9 posted 05-22-2014 03:01 PM

Great idea,this looks super.


View stefang's profile


17039 posts in 4145 days

#10 posted 05-22-2014 04:45 PM

You are a master at building beautiful and useful outdoors stuff for your home Toni and this project is no exception. I can well appreciate how valuable this would be in Florida, but here in Norway we get showers all summer direct from the sky, but not heated! Glad to see you posting again!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View SCOTSMAN's profile


5849 posts in 4396 days

#11 posted 05-22-2014 08:21 PM

Why outdoors? I just know the answer is obvious ,but I have to confess to not knowing it present or in other words, as we speak, er I mean write.Is it because I am too shy that I ask not being able to exhibit my wrinklly bits in open view ? or are you so well built, and muscular, and also very handsome, and dedicated to showing the world just how lovely you and your wife are LOL?Alistair ps or just put me out of my misery as the suspense is killing me SO WHY?

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Tooch's profile


2013 posts in 2686 days

#12 posted 05-22-2014 09:45 PM

looks great! I love the idea of painting the PVC black to use heat from the sun.

Great work!

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7576 posts in 4163 days

#13 posted 05-22-2014 11:11 PM


So you want to know why shower outdoors. Well it’s were it all began “outdoors” and it was free. But we are spoiled, we want hot water and it’s very expensive to heat water with electric. Well it’s expensive around here, I’m not sure if it is where you live in the UK. Anyway, I could of hooked up solar to our existing 64 gallon tank but that is also expensive to do. So for the “in the house” hot water I set up a transfer relay that gets activated by a countdown timer on the wall in our utility room. When we want to shower in the house I turn the timer on for about 10 to 20 minutes depending on how many are taking a shower. It’s only my wife and I so if it’s just one person 10 minutes is plenty of time to heat enough water for a nice hot shower. Then the power is off until we want another. I can also set the timer on until I turn it off if we have company.

About the outside shower! Here in Florida “The Sunshine State” We have plenty of sun to heat our water so if your at all handy then why not take advantage of that nice free heat and build a solar collector and shower outdoor if you have a place to be private.

Our shower is in a little nook where no one can see you. And if there are people around then I just where my sports shorts or bathing suit. But it’s best if you shower naked… the ladies love it!

Our electric bill has dropped quit a bit and the water we shower with outside don’t have the sewerage tax added in to the bill, more savings!! So you see, the sun heats the water and because it’s convection that moves the water through the solar collector and into the tank there is NO pump so we get nice really cheap hot water for showers and that is a good thing don’t you think? In some conditions we may need to use our indoor shower but if it’s nice outside you will know where I’ll be if I need a shower. My wife and I both used it today, it’s a good feeling to be clean and more good feeling when it’s almost free!

Thanks for asking!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3614 days

#14 posted 05-23-2014 01:17 AM

Please tell my you don’t get naked when you shower out there… LOL….............nice job buddy

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7576 posts in 4163 days

#15 posted 05-23-2014 01:49 AM

Gee! I didn’t expect a badge for this but I’ll take it!

Thanks again Nikki, I’ll leave the porch light on for you! :)

And thank’s to;

I hope you got that pic I posted of our neighbors roof panel. It’s huge but it work to heat that pool of theirs.

I know that painted tank will suck up the sun’s heat in a hurry for a nice warm shower. Hope to see your new system if you built it.

You said “Nice” and your right on! Nothing like building something that works and saves you some dough :)

Glad I could bring back a few good memories for you. It’s a good feeling having our star warm your water.

Lee (luv2learn),
I never left I just took some time to get my garden ready for planting. Then I sat on my butt and gave lots of thought to making this project. It took me a while to find a tank, gather all the fittings and then figure my plan of attack. I admit I had to give up some computer time for Lj’s and use it to find things I needed on line. but I did come back! I have lot’s to catch up on. Funny you mentioned Mother Earth, I remember them well. That’s another story I have about heating water with a wood stove, but another time.
Little by little I will find things I missed. Thank you for your generous praise buddy. Oh…and don’t be jealous I know you can do this too Lee!:) LOL!

Thank you Jim it’s an idea I have been thinking about for a long time now.

A master, I do try hard and put a lot of thinking into my projects but Master, Wow! That’s a title I’m not sure I can live up to. But you do make me feel really good when I read your comment’s. I value every word of praise and the comments mean more to me than the Daily Top 3 badge’s we get for our work. The comments about our projects are what we all look for and that’s what I love the most. Thank you!

I hope you got my long explanation about you question “why”?. I gave you all I had to explain the “Why” .sorry it was so long but I just had to do it. I know all you wanted to know is why outdoors and naked. I was easier and cheaper to do, and no .. no one sees my wrinkly body! LOL!!

Tooch ,
Thanks for the nice comment’s. That black paint was Gas Grill flat black. I had some sitting around in the shop so I used it. I try to use what I already have available but I ran out and had to buy more anyway. :(

I hope you don’t think I’m showering naked out there. Ok, I lied.. I am! Thanks buddy!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

showing 1 through 15 of 30 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics