Upgrading Your Pool Shower

A lot of people think that there are only a few things they can do with their pool shower. A quick shower before swimming and rinsing after swimming in the pool is actually just a few of the basic functions of outdoor showers. With all the accessories Upgrading Your Pool Shower, people can turn their simple shower by the pool into a multi functional shower.

Upgrading Your Pool Shower

Most people see their outdoor showers even those built for showering by the pool, similar to their garden hoses or outdoor faucets. Yes outdoor showers can be used for washing garden tools after using them, or rinsing soiled and muddy clothes, but people should also consider the stylish, comfortable and luxurious side of outdoor showers.

Why do people go to the spa just to get to shower in an atmosphere that is as serene as nature itself, when they can enjoy this right on their backyards? With the right facilities, people can have a getaway spa by converting their pool shower and giving it more function and purpose.

There are a lot of accessories that can be added to turn the regular outdoor shower into a steam shower. Now people can have a lot more to look forward to other than just rinsing and cleaning up. By adding these accessories people can experience so much more just within their homes.


The outdoor showers are usually open. The open design makes the outdoor shower limited in function. The structure and the function are basic because the shower itself is bare. The accessories added become more useful on enclosed outdoor showers. People need to have enclosures for their outdoor shower if they want to be able to add more accessories and function.

For the steam outdoor poolside shower, people will need a complete enclosure. Using glass enclosure would be best so people will not feel like they are being trapped or suffocated in a cubicle. The glass enclosure allows people to see the backyard. The landscapes with the flowers and the trees, and the pool itself will be therapeutic scenery that helps people to relax while people are in their steam shower.

Another part of the outdoor shower that people can upgrade is the shower head. Nowadays people do not have to settle with the traditional shower head. There are shower heads that change the flow of water to make it appear more interesting and to change the showering experience as well.

Since people are already bathing outdoors in their outdoor shower, they should go for something that is different from the shower they have indoors. A shower head that creates a mini waterfall would be more exciting to bathe in outdoors than the traditional one. The rain shower head is also another interesting shower head that people can use on their outdoor shower.

Although spas are always wonderful and people would like to reward themselves by going to one at the end of a tiring week, not all people have the time to get out during weekends and go to these luxurious establishments. Having a pool shower that doubles as a mini spa is practically a good idea for these people.

Fire Pit

A fire pit is probably the oldest, cheapest and most basic way of adding a heated area to your garden. That said, it can be a very stylish way of creating a permanent and highly effective garden heater that looks good and usually includes some “bench style” masonry seating.

Fire Pit

What is a fire pit

In its simplest form, a temporary fire pit is nothing more than a whole that is dug in the ground and filled with a combustible material. The material in the pit is then set alight and it generates warmth and even a cooking zone.

Not surprisingly, modern fire pits are more sophisticated, more permanent, more attractive and more multi-purpose and, importantly, you can buy fire pit kits that are easy to construct.

A typical fire pit has a base that is dug out and set several inches below the surrounding ground level. A masonry structure, which may be of brick or stone, is then built around this pit to create what is usually a circular fire pit in which fossil fuels can be burnt.

In all but the most primitive of fire pit kits, an area around or to the side of the fire pit is paved (hard landscaped) and some masonry benching added. This seating structure need take the form of nothing more than a solid plinth, but it may also be curved to match the pit and the more elaborate benches can have back rests.

Obviously the options for design, in terms of simplicity or grandeur, are limitless and a fire pit can be designed as an important visual garden feature, or simply as a functional basic heater.

fire pit kits

Heater options

There are a number of manufacturers who retail fire pit kits and most sell over the internet.

These kits start cheap, but can run into hundreds of dollars (pound Stirling) and may have the basic structure finished with stone veneers (slips), marble or stucco surfaces. Any seating can also be treated to compliment the pit and this can result in a great outdoor social area that can double up for barbeque use.

These pits can be of a traditional rustic appearance, or look like modernist pieces of artwork. The price of a fire pit will reflect the materials used and the scale of the construction.

outdoor fire pits

Cast iron and terra cotta and stone fire pits

In addition to a real fire pit, you can also buy cast iron fire pits that stand on a patio or any other level surface.

These kits can be made of metal or stone and can be highly decorative and even include a fire guard (mesh) and sometimes a lid.

The big advantage of these stand alone fire pits is that they have a minimal space requirement and a lack of any assembly or construction skills.

Choosing a Garden Heater

Deciding which kind of patio heater is best for your vegetable garden (or hospitality area) is never simple as there are many options and many price categories from which to choose.

Here are some brief summaries that match garden heater types with heating objectives.

Garden Heater

Simple and Versatile Garden Heaters

If your heater requirements specify, an easy to use garden heater that is portable, has a warming ambience, plus a good heat discharge and a natural flame, then a gas tower heater will be a good choice.

Gas heaters vary in size from small table mounted units to towers over 2 metres high. All use a gas bottle that can be moved around separately and the heaters take up a comparatively small amount of storage space.

These are not the cheapest of patio heaters to run, but if they are used for 50 or 60 firings a year they are still good value.

They are attractive to look at and will last well if stored when not in use. They are currently the most popular garden and patio heaters for domestic outdoor situations, i.e. with home owners.


Economic to Run Patio Heaters

If economy and low running costs are a major concern in patio heater selection, then an infrared heat lamp option may be a good solution.

These heaters are very cheap to run, but they do have some limitations and it may be necessary to have several lamps (which “kinda” defeats the object of the economy exercise). Even so, they can be hard wired, offer immediate (radiated) heat and work well in enclosed areas like bear gardens.

Wall mounted infrared heaters should be hard wired by a qualified electrician.

Electric Patio Heaters

A Complete Garden Heater Environment

If space and cost are no object, then a permanent fire pit can be built or (if factory made) installed in a hard landscaped area with matching seating and fire pit wall.

This approach sees a real fossil fuel (or gas) fire as the center point of a social area that can be used for warmth and even the preparation of food.

A large chimenea can also be used as an alternative to the fire pit with the option of doubling as a barbeque or food heating stove. If you are interested to purchase a stove, this article might be a good read for you – best wood stove reviews.

Fire pits and cast iron chimeneas have the advantage of being (generally) weather proof. This means that they can be left in situ without the need for storage.

Fire pits and chimeneas do have an extended start up time as the fossil fuel needs to burn and pass its heat through to the structure of the chimenea or fire pit unit. They are however the best “permanent” garden heater option.

Caravan and Camping Heaters

Caravan and Camping Heaters

The types of heaters used by campers and caravaners are usually small, portable and efficient and this means that some of them can double up as garden heaters.

Camping style heaters can run off electricity, gas, or oil and since versatility and ease of transport are their main features, some of them can work very well if you want localised heat around a patio table or small gathering.

Most of these camper heaters are small and compact, have very low running costs and weigh very little. They can also be cheap to buy.

On the down side, camper style heaters are built for practicality and therefore they offer little in the way of rustic charm. However, if you want a small heater that is easy to set up, easy to use and easy to store away, they are ideal.

Many of these heaters a very basic to look at and compose nothing more than the gas bottle, burner, protector and reflector.

Caravan and Camping Heaters

Examples of Camper Heaters

At the cheapest end of the scale there are small portable gas powered parabolic heaters. These heaters can often be carried in one hand and have an adjustable burner, a protective cage or mesh, and a directional heat reflective surface to maximise efficiency.

These heaters literally cost peanuts and a small one can generate up to 1 KW of heat. The real cost of using this kind of heater is in the cost of the gas bottle refills used for power.

Larger butane gas heaters cost more (although they are still very cheap) and they may resemble something closer to an old style mini stove. They are still very portable, but have a higher heat output.

At the top end of the size scale there are cabinet heaters that look and perform like regular domestic cabinet heaters.


Check First

You should always check out the details of any camping or caravan heater that you consider buying for outdoor use.

Although camping heaters are used in an outdoor environment, they do have the benefit of the waterproof tent for protective cover and this will not be present if the use is modified to that of a patio or garden heater.

Choosing the Smart Watches for Running

Whether you are hiking, running, or just out for a walk, you can have all the features you need in one handy light weight watch. Featured here are some of the most wanted waterproof one with touchscreen capabilities. Consider this your shopping guide to the best GPS watches for men and women who are always on the run. Also, don’t forget about the best smart watches for kids who like running.

gps tracking

Choosing Your Sports Watch

How can GPS help you when you’re out jogging or bicycling around town? Easy one. While they haven’t yet gotten to the point where they’ll help you get back home if you get lost in an unfamiliar area, a lot of the truly good sports watches use GPS to help you keep track of how far and how fast you’ve gone. That’s helpful for people who want to show off their progress. Some watches also come with software that works like a spreadsheet so you can track weekly, monthly and yearly stats. If you pick exactly the right one, you can quit worrying about your progress as long as you stick with your exercise regime. Things to consider when choosing a sports watch with GPS include:

1. Keep in mind where you’re going to use it

I’ve seriously seen negative customer reviews on Amazon because a diving watch couldn’t pick up a satellite signal at a depth of 100 meters, so there will be cases where the addition of GPS capability is just an obvious marketing gimmick. So, when choosing a GPS device, keep in mind that any device will lose its connection to satellites or may think you’re in Arizona when you’re really in Illinois in some situations. That’s not the fault of the device and it will usually return to normal when you move to a new location.

2. Look for accuracy

The timekeeping accuracy of the watch itself can affect how the GPS functions. If you can find one that also syncs up with an atomic clock, jump on it. Failing that, check out what Consumer Reports and independent reviews on Amazon has to say about it.

gps tracking device

3. Choose the features you really need

Even if you can’t afford the one that connects to Google Earth, your watch doesn’t have to be so simplistic that you might as well just buy a regular wristwatch. Helpful features might also include a stopwatch that can be used to time that boiled egg as easily as timing a sprint and the ability to automatically upload data when you get within range of a Wi-Fi router or plug it into the USB slot of your PC.

4. Watch out for phonies

With any product, especially the expensive ones, you might come across cheap made-in-China knockoffs. Your best bet is usually to go straight to the manufacturer’s website to find a list of authorized dealers. Also, keep in mind that Amazon has a lot of third-party sellers, some of which have been known to scam customers.

5. Pick your best bargain

Your best bargain isn’t necessarily the cheapest one. Look for a good balance between features, quality and price and shop around for the best deal once you’ve decided on a watch.

6. Don’t be afraid to walk away from the hard-sale tactics

A lot of salesmen will exaggerate the features of the sports watches they’re selling. If they do that, they’re probably making a commission and would rather make any sale than none. That’s one of the reasons I enjoy shopping online. It cuts out the high-pressure salesman in most cases and most reputable online retailers know that I can just check out another website if I don’t like the looks of something.