September 15, 2014 at 2:06 pm #24837
Do you have or have plans for building an outhouse? Here’s a subject we haven’t talked about.
I have an outhouse down by the barn for people to use when out on the place working or playing or fishing. Comes in handy. It also is not too terribly far from the house (in nice weather anyway) if it is needed for some other reason.
Today I have to paint it (it was painted the wrong color by a well meaning friend) and clean it out, knockdown wasp nests etc., install solar lights and prep it for winter use (put up pre-cut foil insulation I put grommets in so it can be taken up and down).
Here is what I found useful when building it:
-Leaving space between the upright pressure treated boards keeps air circulation up and odor non-existent in warmer weather. If you don’t want to freeze in winter use removable insulation.
-A bucket filled with play sand mixed with 4/5 scoops of lime to add after use when needed insures in will NEVER have an odor
-Raise it with a solid wood floor or you will risk having company like critters and snakes (this was the second one I built – what can I say you learn stuff)
– Over the hole(s) build a box of the proper height. On the inside of the box, line it with galvanized sheeting and make the sheeting longer than the box so that it goes down into the whole at least 18″. Then attach a top board with a cutout and affix a toilet seat with a lid. Nothing like lifting a lid and seeing shiny eyes of some mole or other creature or snake down there.
-Keep a flashlight or solar powered light inside
-Keep toilet paper and any paper towels in a well sealed container inside so wasps and other critters don’t make nests in it and it stays clean
-Hand sanitizer bottle
-Cover, step on trash can helps lots
-A latch hook on inside works! of course
HTH – anyone else have ideas/have one?
Attachments:You must be logged in to view attached files.September 15, 2014 at 2:42 pm #24841
Interesting how you handled each topic with helpful suggestions. One suggestion I have is to remove the little knobs on the underside of the lid that hold it off the toilet seat. Learned that one summer helping a friend at a Boy Scout camp. 3,000 Scouts can be taxing!
RobinSeptember 15, 2014 at 7:24 pm #24852
I’ve never built one and honestly wouldn’t have known where to start. Thanks Tweva.
But is the boys side the moon, or the star?September 15, 2014 at 7:24 pm #24853
Pegs for coat, gunbelt, etc.
Shelf for coffee can, keeps mice out of tp.
Battery powered led lights inside.
Screening over openings, keep out flies, skeeters, etc.
A pass thru box between the two holers with doors provides a handy place for lysol, sanitizer, extra tp, etc., with access to both sides.September 15, 2014 at 8:32 pm #24869
Broadside, moon is women. Here is the reasoning from Answers: ‘Probably the most recognizable symbol associated symbol with the traditional outhouse building is the familiar crescent moon carved into the privy door. Actually, the symbol is an ancient one, and was a sign for womanhood in colonial days and on the frontier. It’s male counterpart, Sol, was either a star or a sun burst design also on the door. Since most male outhouses fell into disrepair rather quickly they seldom survived; while the female ones were better maintained, and were eventually used by both sexes. Although you can find outhouses still standing with the crescent moon, the original meaning for gender identification was lost by the later nineteenth century in most areas of the country.
Carved crescent moons and stars on outhouse doors was introduced in early 19th century America. Typically, the moon and the star together represented a unisex outhouse, while the moon alone represented a women’s outhouse. A star alone represented a men’s outhouse.’
Whirli – TThanks! Hadn’t thought about a peg (have never needed one myself but who knows -may tomorrow) I don’t use any screening myself and don’t have flies, skeeters – only wasps which I can deal with they don’t bother me. I’ll take a pic of the inside when I have a chance.September 15, 2014 at 9:34 pm #24879
No outhouse here or plans for one. We’re on septic and I can keep the toilets working just fine by filling the reservoirs with water from the pond. I know that’ll be a lot of work hauling water, especially in winter, but indoor toilets will be one of those few luxuries we’d be able to maintain post-SHTF. On the winter hauling water issue, the inflow to the pond is sufficiently strong that that area never freezes, even at 20 below.September 15, 2014 at 9:40 pm #24883
MBiker it’s useful now – and I too am on septic – but I like having many different alternatives – plan a.b.c.d.e as I can manage. if something happens to make the house uninhabitable, I see it as an additional plus.
Why not get a solar or simple ram pump to pump the water from the pond – or at least right up to it? Hauling water any time of year sucks.September 15, 2014 at 10:00 pm #24888
tweva, given the climate here, it would be a backhoe level project to put the lines deep enough to stay below the frost line in the winter, and the lines would need to terminate in the house for the same freezing reason. I’d as well have to have the line going deep enough in the pond to stay below the ice level. The part that doesn’t freeze is on the far side of the pond relative to the house. I do have a hand pump on my well for drinking water and that’s a shorter walk to the house than the pond but I figured it would be less effort to grab bucketfuls from the pond for the toilets. I’d find out real fast if that’s true or not.September 16, 2014 at 1:38 am #24894
When I lived in Maine it was a common practice during winter to bring the seat inside to keep it warm.September 16, 2014 at 2:54 am #24897
Tweva, have you ever used human waste for composting? Your post got me thinking, and I stumbled across this book. Curious to know if you have any experience with this.September 16, 2014 at 3:38 am #24902
Chris.Alaska – No I have never used composted human waste because I have no need I suppose. Septic tank and indoor toilets. When I eventually have to move the outhouse we’ll just dig new holes I expect. Why? Easier. Plus between the horses, the cows chickens and rabbits I have enough ‘compost’/fertilizer.
Some big farms around here do use human biosolids they are paid to take from large towns and closer cities. They have to post notices before it is applied however, and make for bad neighbors, because it smells to high heaven. I have never taken the time to see how they process that – normally in composting the end product doesn’t smell.
In China, in very rural areas, they still compost humanure and use it and have for centuries. Heaven knows if you have ever traveled and seen the shanty towns in India, Rio and many parts of Africa with decades of dried and current non-dried human waste mounded, stacked and even leveled and built on it certainly would be a better use for it. Some of these shanty towns, when it rains, the places are flooded with water and human waste. Dysentery and other diseases of course then just get worse.
I read in Boing Boing that Bill Gates Foundation was funding the research/engineering of using human waste to produce fuel or something like that. It was interesting.
We in the west I think get freaky about bodily function and forget human waste is a huge problem for much of the world. See this latest development, the ‘Poo Bag’ – I choked on my breakfast when I read about it because it is so true – streets there in many areas full of bags of yes, ‘****’.September 16, 2014 at 4:05 am #24903
Yup, effluence digesters.
Call em what you like, free fuel if you can tolerate the process
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