An outdoor latrine will be a great complement to a village house. There are many different types of outhouses and ways to build one, but these steps are a great place to start learning how to build one! This outhouse can be used as a composting tool and isn't too difficult to make.
Part 1 of 3: Starting a Project
Step 1. Check the restrictions in your area to see if the construction of outhouses is permitted
There is no single rule governing outdoor latrines in the United States and that should be the case in the rest of the world. But the chances are small to be able to build outhouses in urban areas.
- Limits usually set the size, distance from the water source. The general rule is to make sure your outhouse is 6.1 m to 30.5 m from a water source.
Step 2. Choose a design
There are many types of outdoor outhouse designs, some of which are simpler than the other. Before building it make sure you make sure how many seats you want.
- Learn about the weather in your area. An outdoor outhouse with only a curtain in front of it would be fine in the summer, but it wouldn't do any good in winter in Alaska.
- Consider who will use the outhouse. For example, if a parent has to accompany a child, there needs to be enough space for both.
- While most outhouses are rectangular in shape, outhouses vary in terms of comfort and size. There was simply a hole in the floor of the outhouse where one could squat over it, or there could be a seat to sit on. All outdoor latrines must have some form of ventilation and something used for washing. Making a drawer in the outhouse can be a place to store toilet paper and some magazines, and hand sanitizer. This is a good opportunity to think creatively!
Part 2 of 3: Building an Outdoor Outhouse
Step 1. Dig a hole
It's important to do this up front because you won't be able to dig the hole once the outdoor outhouse structure is complete. There are no rules about the width and depth of the hole, but you can dig any wider than 0.6 m x 0.6 m. 1.2 m x 1.5 seems to be enough for two seats.
- Make sure the walls of the hole are flat, this is important for making the foundation.
- You'll need a bigger hole if you want more than one seat in this outdoor outhouse.
- Make sure you have considered where the water source is and your local regulations for outdoor latrines.
Step 2. Build the foundation of the outdoor outhouse
This frame will fit into the hole you just dug. The number of types of foundation is as much as the type of outhouse itself.
- One way is to wrap a wooden structure (like a box) in tar paper and place it in the hole. This will keep the wooden structure from getting wet. Once the wood is in, level the soil around the hole and make a foundation for the wood around the hole. This will be the structure for building your outdoor outhouse floor and structure.
- If you are using concrete, you will need to build a wooden mold into which the concrete is poured. Make it 10.2 m thick and don't forget to make a hole in the middle! Align it over the hole you dug. Do not forget to strengthen the concrete with round bolts and anchors.
- Using concrete will cost more and will require help from someone who knows how to do it.
Step 3. Build the floor
You'll first need to build a wooden frame (based on the size of the outdoor outhouse) before placing the plywood boards on top of the frame. You can build it directly on the foundation, or you can build it somewhere else and put it when you're done on the foundation.
- The frame will be made of wood. It is recommended to use pressed wood or hemlock wood, which has a natural resistance to decay. The frame can be made of 4 wood, or it can be made with more wood to strengthen the floor.
- If you use press wood remember to apply preservative to each end of the wood that is cut.
- Build wood from two (or three, depending on) planks, nailing the boards to the frame. Don't forget to cut out the rectangle for the outhouse seating!
Step 4. Build an outdoor outhouse structure
You will need to use at least 15.2 x 15.2 cm of wood for the hole frame. The amount of wood, its length and width will be determined by the size of the outhouse building.
- For stronger corners remember to put nails not only to join the outer corners, but also to nail through the corners of the outer frame to the inner frame.
- The cheapest and easiest way to build a wall is to use 5 x 20 cm of wood and cover it with boards to make a quick and easy structure.
- If you want to build a more expensive and solid outhouse, you can build thicker walls, and add diagonal trusses, which are difficult to work with, but result in a more durable outhouse. If you live in a cold area and tend to use an outdoor outhouse all year round, you can create insulation.
- Make sure you secure the position of the wall on the floor.
Step 5. Build the roof
Place the board on top and nail it. After that and can cover it with roofing sheets, shingles or metal panels on wood 5x20 cm. There are those who want a good roof by installing a gable roof, but the process of doing it is quite difficult.
- One thing to keep in mind is that your lips or stings are in front of the outhouse building so you don't get hit by direct rain when you get out of the outhouse.
Step 6. Build a chair when you want the outhouse to sit
You can also use the toilet seat and attach it to the opening you made in the floor. Or you can build a seat out of wood. For wooden chairs and can use one 5 x 20 cm wood or plank and add a toilet seat mat.
- The height of the chair depends on your needs. If you have children, build a handy child seat to help them use the outhouse.
Step 7. Create ventilation
You can cut a rectangular hole in the door and cover it with a curtain. Or you can make a smaller half-round hole in the top of the door (as you often see in cartoons). Ventilation is important for odors and for air in the outhouse.
- Make sure the outhouse is fly-proof. Flies eat the contents of the latrine and can cause disease. You have to prevent this from happening.
Part 3 of 3: Keeping Outhouses
Step 1. Make it sustainable
Put the remaining wood, sawdust, coconut fiber or peat into the toilet hole after use, this will help the decomposition or decay process because these materials contain absorbent carbon that absorbs liquid and acts as a barrier to odors.
- Make sure you and your guests don't throw non-degradable objects like pads and tampons into the hole. A great way to keep the pit clear of non-biodegradable items is to burn toilet paper instead of throwing it down the toilet.
Step 2. Clean the outhouse
This is an important job as it protects the area from contamination. If you use the wood scrap method as noted above, the dirt should look like something you put in the garden, not too difficult or too disgusting to clean.
- Someone made a space behind the outhouse, like a gate that could be opened and swept the dirt out. This can usually be done with the outhouse positioned on a hillside with the entrance at the back. After you sweep out, bury the dirt in the ground at least 9 meters from water sources and drains.
- By then the contents of your toilet will be more like compost and you can use it, if you have followed the toilet composting guidelines.
- You may have to dig dirt out of the hole. For that you need to disassemble the seat and use a manual hole drill or auger to remove the dirt. If you don't have an auger you can use a shovel, but an auger is the best tool, if you are building an outdoor outhouse it is recommended to buy an auger.
- Another option is to dig a new hole for the outhouse. You'll have to follow the instructions above, but you already have your own outhouse!
Step 3. Plant flowers outside the outhouse
Many old outdoor outhouses are usually covered with flowers to make them smell good and give them an attractive appearance, flowers don't affect the sustainability of the outhouse but make it more aesthetically pleasing.
- The old adage says "Anyone can build an outhouse, but not everyone can build a good one."
- Don't overcomplicate things if you're not experienced.