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Old 02-28-2015, 07:03 AM
 
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Hello

I am hoping someone here has experience building an outhouse.

I want to make a simple and least costly outhouse.
Although, I don't just want a pit toilet.

It would be light use.
Mostly get used in spring, summer, and fall.

I have never done this.
I have no clue on even where to start.
From location, materials, how to dig hole, so it doesn't collapse, etc.

Any advice and acknowledge would be greatly appreciated
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Old 02-28-2015, 07:44 AM
 
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Plenty of online step by step instruction.
https://www.google.ca/search?q=cudgi...e+step+by+step

You can buy some nice kits that merely need assembling.Eg;
http://westpeakwood.com/outhouse_01.html

You might want to check with your municipalities zoning laws on building such a structure as some places dont allow them while others have strict building code requirements especially if you live by a lake .
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Old 02-28-2015, 08:17 AM
 
5,659 posts, read 2,698,715 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jambo101 View Post
Plenty of online step by step instruction.
https://www.google.ca/search?q=cudgi...e+step+by+step

You can buy some nice kits that merely need assembling.Eg;
West Peak Wood Products - The Outhouse

You might want to check with your municipalities zoning laws on building such a structure as some places dont allow them while others have strict building code requirements especially if you live by a lake .
Thanks!
Didn't even know there were kits.

And thanks for bringing up on zoning laws.
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Old 02-28-2015, 02:52 PM
 
Location: McKinleyville, California
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When I first moved here to Humboldt county in 1992, I lived way back in the woods on acreage in an old cabin that had a pit privy. It has to be deep to last any time, like 12 feet and preferably a bucket for old ashes to sprinkle on the pit to keep odors and insects down. Typically they are between 3 and 4 feet wide when hand dug. I helped in digging a few and got to about 6 feet when it became too cramped for me and a smaller guy took over and he got to about 10 feet and stopped, it was his privy. It lasted them about 4 years, but they used it steady. We hired a local with a bachoe to dig us a pit privy, he hit rock in 3 feet and tried to get deeper and broke a tooth on his shovel. We were limited to an expensive pressure mound system that in 1996 was going to be more then $25,000, about half the value of the land we were on . I was reading a Popular Science and I read everything, including the ads and in the back saw an ad for a toilette called Incinolet that is powered off of electricity that runs an incinerator in its base. Four people generate about 8 cups of ashes in a week. We built a 4 foot by 8 foot house that had a generator in a 3 foot closet and a 4 x 5 room for the incinolet. And the incinolet and house cost less then $2,500. We were the first in Humboldt county to use the electric toilette and it has since been approved for situtions that we were in. It is real easy to build a small toilette house on a trailer that houses the incinolet and a small generator to supply the electricity, like an outhouse on wheels. Just a suggestion instead of digging a pit, which is not fun, but is an experience if you are young and strong. Makes you wonder how we survived before the flush toilette . Good luck if you dig the pit privy, it is exhausting work and dirty and best done with 2 people, three is better since someone has to pull the bucket of soild up and another dump it, the deeper you go, the longer it takes to go each foot.
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Old 02-28-2015, 03:01 PM
 
Location: mid wyoming
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A trick I saw once was when you get done with digging the hole, on the front that would be towards the door. Angle a 3 or so inch around log from the front top side to the opposite bottom. This will maybe allow curious critters to get out on their own.
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Old 02-28-2015, 03:01 PM
 
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Wow dragonslayer.
That sounds like alot.

I figured it would be hard to do, but crap , that's sounds hard.

If there was electricity I would of gone with the incinerator toilet.
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Old 02-28-2015, 03:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowwalker View Post
A trick I saw once was when you get done with digging the hole, on the front that would be towards the door. Angle a 3 or so inch around log from the front top side to the opposite bottom. This will maybe allow curious critters to get out on their own.
Great tip. And simple to do.
Thanks!
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Old 02-28-2015, 03:16 PM
 
Location: McKinleyville, California
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atalanta View Post
Wow dragonslayer.
That sounds like alot.

I figured it would be hard to do, but crap , that's sounds hard.

If there was electricity I would of gone with the incinerator toilet.
We lived 7 miles back on a dirt road, no phone service, no electricity, that was why we got the generator, to run the incinolet. We called it the incinolet house, instead of outhouse. Had windows and a set of folding doors for the outhouse part and the generator part. It was based on a sheet of plywood on a 2 x 4 floor frame and 2 x 4 walls framed and sheathed. It had high windows for privacy and ventilation. All it needed was to be put on a small utility trailer to make it mobile. I had to send copies of all the information on the toilette to the county extension before they approved its use. I still know the man that approved the incinolet for us and he is now the county director of public works. We got to meet in person a few years ago while petitioning for stop signs and he said he remembered me and that the incinolet was in use in several parts of the county. It is safe, no dangerous waste or bad smells and in one hour incinerates the waste from two people. Nothing but ashes to dispose of. I do not know why they are not installed in RV's instead of having a nasty tank to empty at waste dump spots. Gross, I think I would convert an RV to have an incinolet and only have ashes to dump.
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Old 02-28-2015, 03:26 PM
 
Location: McKinleyville, California
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Oh, you also need to worry about the water table where you dig. The best pit privies are usually on a hillside away from draining water, that way the soil you dig out can be distributed in a fan downhill from the pit. One place we stayed shortly at when we first got here had a pit about 40 feet from the cabin on a slope going away from the yard uphill from it. The pit was about 4 feet across and maybe 20 feet deep with more then 20 years of use in the spring and summer. If you do not know you are claustrophobic, you will find out when the hole gets higher then your head. It is real spooky, sounds are muffled and the earth is cool, about 55 when you get below 5 feet. I have done a lot of digging, dug the graves for seven or our dogs and got to about 6 feet for each, but they were 4 feet by 3 feet wide. Oh, dig in a stair step fashion from one side to the other, it gives you a ledge to stand on while digging the opposite side. My record is a 6 feet in 2.5 hours, but rocks and roots may slow it down. Might be good to wear a back support brace too.
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Old 02-28-2015, 03:46 PM
 
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I love all your tips, dragonslayer!

Thanks so much
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