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Dreaming of a sweet little outhouse… because I am very weird

Aug 11 2017 -
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I want to build an outhouse. Ok, bare with me on this one because I swear I’m really not quite as weird as that makes me sound! Joe and I had the incredible pleasure of visiting some off the grid friends of ours last weekend to see their grounds. Oh. My. Goodness. The gardens, the flowers, the squash growing on the roof of their home (with a sauna built right in the middle of it!) the several sweet little screened in porches/guest homes/summer lounges complete with their own little wood stoves and the wood storage *SWOONS* I was in absolute Heaven! It was SO amazing and then I went to use their outhouse (they have indoor plumbing but use their outhouse most of the time to save on electricity) and I knew it was the first of a long list of things that these folks had built that I wanted!

Building an outhouse because I am incredibly frugal to keep the mess out of the house and to save on electricity and water

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It was the most lovely, pleasant and spacious outhouse I have ever entered. It had screens all along the top, just under the roof line, to keep it aired out and, because of this, it was remarkably BRIGHT. It had all the comforts of a regular bathroom, towel holders, nice padded seat, a large pitcher and bowl for washing. It was designed so beautifully on the inside that if I had taken a photo of it and said that it was in someone’s home no one would have questioned it. They went so far as having a little bucket full of wood chips and a scoop!

Building an outhouse because I am incredibly frugal to keep the mess out of the house and to save on electricity and water

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Ok, so this is my argument as to why I want one and why this doesn’t actually make me weird as hell. As you all know I am incredibly frugal and we live with our own well here and old septic tank. When we had the wedding (and over 100 people in the backyard) I didn’t hesitate but to rent a porta-potty for the day. Because we run our own well pump every drop of water costs us quite a bit more money then most folks on city water because we have to pay the electricity to pump it into our home.

Building an outhouse because I am incredibly frugal to keep the mess out of the house and to save on electricity and water

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Well pumps and pressure tanks do not last forever and I’m so frugal that I’ve literally flushed the toilet and thought, “What a waste!” But that’s just when I’m IN the house – when I’m OUTSIDE the house I have even more reasons to get us an outhouse. Joe and I get dirty like, REALLY dirty, we’re the kind of people that say often and with sad sincerity, “This is why we can’t have nice things.” Because we’re hard on stuff even though we really try very hard not to be. (I’ve secretly thought of Pig Pen from Charlie Brown in reference to myself more then once…)

Building an outhouse because I am incredibly frugal to keep the mess out of the house and to save on electricity and water

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I have literally peed in the bushes because I was not yet finished with the task at hand to justify cleaning up enough just to be able to walk through the house to use the toilet. I have completely covered our bathrooms with everything from sheet rock mud, sheet rock dust, wood chips, good old fashioned mud, sand, dirt and the OH-SO-ITCHY hay fragments after moving 120 bales of hay on a hot August day.

Building an outhouse because I am incredibly frugal to keep the mess out of the house and to save on electricity and water

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I have been so filthy that Joe wouldn’t even let me enter our home (And vice versa!) I’ve literally stripped down to my skivvies on the front porch and just left my clothes there, on the step, to put them back on in the morning because there was no justifiable reason to get a second set of clothes that dirty the next day! And I have spent WAY more time then I want to admit scrubbing caulk, paint, wood putty, stain, poly and sheet rock mud off of our beautiful 100 year old hardwood floor because I was wrong when I thought my shoes were clean… and don’t even get me started on the endless sweeping that hardwood floors require!

Building an outhouse because I am incredibly frugal to keep the mess out of the house and to save on electricity and water

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SO, when I say I want to build an outhouse maybe it doesn’t make me QUITE so weird lol. (Moms with boys would totally get me I think.) We had a birthday party/small family gathering here a couple of weekends ago and we spent a good amount of time around the fire, admiring our flowers and garden and walking about the farmyard. (Summer in Minnesota: none of us want to spend it inside!) If someone had to heed the call of nature it was all the way back to the house, up several steps, through the kitchen and through the living room and we have dark hardwood floors that show absolutely EVERYTHING and everyone is so nice to take their shoes on and off but, what a pain! So, I tell everyone to just leave their shoes on…

There are a couple of smaller points that are kinda awesome with an outhouse as well. Many people use fireplace ash to sprinkle over the “business” and, goodness knows, we have a lot of that on hand! So, it will be nice to be able to utilize that in a more productive way then just tossing it. I also have a couple of leftover windows from when we gutted the house that I can use in construction. On top of all of that, we’ve got friends who would love to bring their tents or campers to stay in our yard and then we would have a convenient place for them to use too.

The addition of an outhouse to any homestead will not only save money and offer a lot of convenience but they don’t need to stink or be unpleasant at all, in fact, they can also be quite comfortable and even pretty! Just check those out that I found on Pinterest! (click on each image to go straight to the pin)

Building an outhouse because I am incredibly frugal to keep the mess out of the house and to save on electricity and water

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  1. Cheryl
    August 12, 2017 at 4:54 am

    All great reasons for having an outhouse.
    I prefer to use our outhouse in the summer rather than go inside the house.
    Most outhouses have sliver of moon ?
    on the door. I knew an elderly woman who was raised in Germany who said that they
    called an outhouse, (German word that I can’t recall), but meant ‘A house with a heart’, because on the door was a heart. So our second outhouse has a heart on the door. I loved the image

    • August 14, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      Oh Cheryl I love that too, I think once we build ours we’ll have to put a heart on the door! Thanks so much for sharing that with me!

  2. August 12, 2017 at 10:13 pm

    This is Bruce. Thanks for the kudos. One suggestion. Do not use wood ash or lime in the outhouse. It kills the bacteria, which is why we use wood shavings or sawdust which gives the bacteria food.

    Please visit anytime. You two are special.

    • August 14, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      Bruce, thank you for that note, I read in several places online that they use wood ash I never considered it would be a bad idea, thanks!

  3. August 13, 2017 at 10:48 pm

    I get it! Couple questions- could you retrofit your bathroom with a composting toliet? There are lots on the market and you’re both hard core DIYS. Ever considered a solar powered well pump? Lots out there…

    • August 14, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      Hi Nancy! I have not looked into solar powered well pumps I’ll need to do that, great idea! I did think about a composting toilet, then we could use it for the garden etc. Thanks for coming by!

  4. August 16, 2017 at 2:00 am

    What a great collection! I love it. And I’m all for interesting and unique outbuildings so I say DO IT! In fact, I just might show this to Mr. Menace because we are always talking about need a bathroom downstairs.
    🙂 gwingal

    • August 16, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      Hi Nikki, thanks for coming by! Yup I am convinced we all deserve an outhouse – a friend of mine said how glad she was that the previous owners of her home had one before they bought it! Whenever she works in the garden or her kids spend time in the lake, that’s what they use and its so convenient!

  5. August 17, 2017 at 1:37 pm

    lol!!! We have an old falling down outhouse above the cabin at the lake. I am totally going to fix it. So cool that someone else is on the same page.

    • August 17, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      That’s awesome Winnie! I wish my grandparents’ hadn’t torn down the old one they had here years ago, I would much rather fix up then build from scratch! Good luck on your outhouse!

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Iris Nacole
Making a shoe rack and closet storage out an old ladder


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