Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Making of an Outhouse

Since we don't have indoor plumbing just now - an outhouse is a quite necessary building. It was also our first building to get up here on our property because of how important it is.

Here is a photographic record of the process that we went through...

You would think that we might begin with the digging of the hole - but no. In our county and I think especially since our land is on the river we needed to get a building permit for the outhouse and the plan needed to be approved by a septic inspector. So the septic guy had to come out and check out our planned spot. The place that we had picked he decided had to much clay but thankfully he found another spot that he said would work fine without the need to put a tank in. Ken found it a little interesting dealing with the septic guy as he couldn't figure out why in the world we would want to have any outhouse- Ken didn't really think that was any of his business but whatever.

After those steps we did get to dig the hole. The kids and I did that one day when Ken was busy with some other project. Going down in the hole was thought to be a lot of fun.
Then we put down some framing for the floor.

 The floor goes on. It is even more fun to go in the hole now - with a roof overhead. :-)
 I decided I needed a picture of Mara in the hole to go along with some photos I have of her as a toddler when she decided to get into the toilet in our house. Thank-fully as a general rule she doesn't do that sort of thing anymore. :-)
 The wall frames go up!
Ken built the seat. My dad told us to make it with this design as he thinks it is the nicest. It does work pretty nicely. The pipe that is behind is for the venting of smells.
 This picture shows the roof on and the pipe in place. We painted it black on top as dad says that would help the pipe heat up which would draw the smell up and out.
 I had fun making a rustic toilet paper holder from some birch branches. I also have another branch with a "Y" hanging up higher which a little lantern hangs on.

 The outhouse is on the trail between our garage and garden.
 All finished except for the siding.

  Now that we are living here we do also have a little table outside with soap, water (in old laundry soap containers that my mom got that have spigots on them) and a towel. I also put up a shelf inside to hold toilet paper and anything else that might be used in there.

 Not only is the outhouse very needed for life right now but in the future I will be glad to have one on hand. It would be very handy if we had a power outage, it also could come in handy if we have a lot of guests or when people are up working in the garden and don't want to go all the way inside.

   Would you ever put an outhouse on your property? I would love to hear your outhouse memories (keeping it clean of course!).


Sheila said...

As I read this, I kept thinking don't you live in a cold state? Won't you have snow fairly soon? I am such a cold-natured person that I think that would be the very biggest trial for me if I were living your current adventure. I love all the details you have included of this process! I hope you love your new home!

Lea said...

My uncle had an outhouse at his cabin on Lake Vermillion and it was what everyone thinks of when they think "outhouse" - dirty, dark and filled with bugs, insects and spiders with their webs! It was also quite a hike from the cabin since the cabin was on bedrock and that wouldn't work for an outhouse.

I also remember all us grandchildren would fight over who would help Grandma up the steps from the cabin to the land where the outhouse was, and hold her things for her outside the outhouse door. Grandma grew up with an outhouse and had such funny stories to tell on the way there and back - with her it was probably a 15 minute walk each way!

I can tell you, if my Uncle's outhouse looked like yours, I wouldn't have minded using it at all! Great job!


Anonymous said...

seeing the picture of your daugther in the hole it tells me that you will only have about 4 years to use the outhouse then you will need to move it and dig a new hole. You need 1 foot per year, we always dig ours at least 10 feet deep.


Anonymous said...

My husband & I have discussed installing an outhouse or composting toilet if the Lord allows us to own some land one day. Although not a fan of outhouses, they are a wonderful way to have facilities available should the power or water go out.

I have many memories from over the years of outhouse adventures. From cleaning duty while on Girl Scout camping trips to creepy stops along Interstate 80 in Nevada where you are grateful for any bathroom you can find.

~ Erin

Abbi said...

We do live in a cold state - and though last week was beautiful (one day was nearly 80) the weather has been turning chilly. The snow shouldn't truly arrive (to stay) though until, Lord willing, we are into our house.
I to am a cold blooded sort of person and that has been the most challenging part of this adventure. The outhouse hasn't been a problem but just living with it always being chilly has been interesting. I am learning how to make it work though - more layers of clothes helps a lot as does warm drinks and sealing up cracks. It is working out.

Abbi said...

Thanks to all of your for sharing your memories and advice!


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