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  • Phyllis H. Moore

8 Reasons to Add a Shower Porch

I admit I have had some remodeling ideas that may not have been practical. They were visually appealing, in my opinion, but maybe weren't efficient. For example leaving the beams exposed in the living and dining area of a little house we moved and remodeled. There was no way to insulate and add supporting beams. After arguing with my husband and a couple of workers, I gave up and we have a sheetrock ceiling -- boring.

Looking at the stacks of old doors we had after demolition, I proposed we get the kitchen island built from the five paneled wood. We had plenty of them because we removed several walls and doorways. Again, I was met with male opposition. The cabinet guy took my doors and five months later, (yeah, I thought that was long enough time to build a house), returned with an island, sanded and stained, built from long-leaf pine. I wanted a shabby chic paint treatment -- shoot.

So, when it came time to complete the bathroom, I had an idea; my husband is now allergic to ideas. We had traveled to San Antonio and purchased a claw-foot bathtub from Star -- her real name -- on Craig's List. It took two trips and calling a plumber away from a Final Four basketball game, but we eventually secured the tub. These tubs don't make ideal showers, but I had another idea. This idea occurred in the middle of football season because, by this time, I was winging it with contracting to get this little cabin completed. The bathroom had two outside walls and we were on eighty acres, away from neighbors, so why not put a garden door in the bathroom and put the shower outside on a porch with a fence around it. Okay, why not? Turns out I was the only one who thought this was a good idea. The arguments were the weather, the plumbing requirement, yada, yada, yada . . . I didn't release it. None of the arguments sounded insurmountable.

For almost five years, I have taken a shower outside, looking at the oak trees and sky, every day. The fixtures and pipes are just now showing wear and will need to be replaced, but it has been so worth it. I have no negatives to report, but several positives:

1. I only have to clean twice a year. My husband blows the deck when he mows. Otherwise, I rinse it with the hand wand while I shower. There is no glass to clean or soap scum to worry about.

2. I can water the plants while I shower. The plants on my shower porch are the best looking I have ever had. They love it out there. I suppose we should pay attention to what plants respond to -- must be healthy.

3. Weather is not a problem. It feels great when it is hot, but it is really nice when it is cold. The hot water running outside, makes a thick steam. It's invigorating.

4. When it is raining, I rush out and wash my hair. Rainwater is fabulous for hair. Don't knock it, 'til you've tried it. Trust me, that alone is worth an outside place to shower. I stand under the eaves of the roof -- heaven.

5. I love looking out the garden doors in the bathroom to see the shower porch.

6. It's great on a sunny day, but it's equally perfect at night in the moonlight.

7. My lemon trees are planted around the shower deck. The aroma of the blossoms are a great touch and the bees could care less about anyone using the shower.

8. I got to use one idea that made the place unique.

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