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How To Build An Outhouse
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Before the revolution of inside toilets in the home, everyone had to build an outhouse. These were buildings usually located on the property close to the house and were not designed with any kind of style or decoration to them. They were strictly for functionality. With the outhouse long gone from necessity use, they have slowly found their way back as a decoration or backyard conversation piece.

When deciding to build an outhouse, the location is by far the most important step. You will want to build an outhouse as far from the main house as possible and preferably down wind as well. An outhouse should also not be built in a low-lying area of the yard where rain and water will collect or there is already soggy ground. Another location choice to watch for is that it is at least 300 feet from any water supply lines or running water either lakes, rivers or streams.

The next step when you build an outhouse is the hole, so how big of hole is required? Ideally you will want the hole to be between 3 and 5 feet deep and around 12 inches wide, not too big or you will have trouble building a stable floor if there isn't much earth to use for stability. The floor is the next step after you have the hole dug. When building an outhouse many designs will call for a concrete floor as the stability is greater and likely to last much longer than a wood floor. The first 2/3 of the floor should at least be concrete with the last 1/3 of the floor wood which is over the hole.

The walls of an outhouse build do not need to be too complicated. It is easiest to build 3 walls and make the entire fourth wall the door. Walls can be built with the standard 2x4 construction using nails for fastening them. The roofing stage is quite simple as well when you build an outhouse. As the roof is so small, it does not need very much support as it does not need to support much weight itself.

For the door, it is best to keep it as lightweight as possible to prevent it from sagging on the hinges. A "Z-frame" is best used for the door and then covered with some lightweight wood paneling or siding on the outside then fastened to the outhouse with hinges and a locking handle of some sort.

Many people will build an outhouse that will be quite modern with lighting and heating installed so it doesn't feel too rustic or like you are camping. They will paint them bright colors and hang flowers off them as they truly are backyard decorations. Some outhouse designs will incorporate the same exterior design plans as the main house, with matching trim, siding and roof colors. The outhouse can also be built large enough to be used as a changing room with extra seating and lighting or even with girls and boys separate sides.

With you as the owner and builder, the possibilities are endless when it comes to designing and building an outhouse how you want it.


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