How to Build an Outhouse

Knowing how to build an outhouse will give you insights as to how people manage without a toilet. Under certain situations, it might even come in handy.

Required Tools and Materials

Hammer
Concrete or wood
Nails
Screws
Shovel
Tape measure
Saw
Marker
Hinges and locks (for door; optional)

Where to Make the Outhouse

First of all the outhouse needs to be in a private spot. The site must also be at least 100 yards (300 feet) away from any water source. The 100 yard rule is also applicable for rivers, lakes and other running water. When you find the site, remove any grass, debris etc.

Create the Pit

To build an outhouse, start by digging a hole. Use the tape measure to mark the entire area. The hole should be at least 5 ft deep. The width should be at least at least 4 inches. The sides should be uniform.

Make the Flooring

You can use either wood or concrete (here wood will be used). The hole in the wood should be as large or a little bigger than the hole you dug up. Draw lines around the area you are going to cut. Create the hole with the saw. Put the wood over the hole. The same process can be used for the concrete.

Create a Cover for the Outhouse

Those who build an outhouse often make a cover as well. To do this, get the wood boards. The wood board should be big enough to cover the hole. After using the outhouse, the cover should be put on. This will reduce the smell. Alternatively, roll roofing can be used instead. If you don’t want to build a cover, you should cover the hole with dirt.

Making Walls and a Roof

For additional privacy, walls can be constructed. Slice four wood boards and put them around the pit. A single large wood board can be used for the roof. Nail the walls and roof together.

You can also make a door from the lumber. Make sure you have locks, hinges and screws so the door can be installed. If you are going to build an outhouse on a raised surface, steps will be necessary. Bricks or leveled cement blocks can be used for this purpose.

Tips and Warnings

You can paint the outhouse after construction is finished. Do not use the structure until the paint has dried. If you aren’t going to make any walls or roof, you need to use the wood cover in case it rains.

You should only dig pits in your property. Not only should the outhouse be far from water sources; it should also be at least a 100 yards from publicly accessible areas. Make sure dogs and other animals don’t get near the site. Otherwise, they will dig the hole and make a mess.

It’s very easy to build an outhouse. At its most basic, you can just dig a hole in the ground. But as you can see, you can make it more accommodating and comfortable to use.

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