This week’s Idea comes from James & Patti Simpson in Lubbock, TX. Ever since mentioning their modern-day outhouses on the siteowner message forum, quite a few of you have expressed interest in learning more about them. Many thanks to James & Patti for sharing these photos and a brief description of how they were constructed.
The first picture below shows the two 1000-gallon concrete ceptic tanks underneath the outhouses, set side by side with 12-inch black tubing coming up. The remaining photos show the buildings, both inside and out.
The buildings are each 4 X 4 batten and board, built 8 foot tall in the
front and 7 foot in the back. If we had to do it again we would have made
them solid wood and added the strips to make it look like batten and board,
because as they have weathered there is space between the boards. The inside
wood for the seats is 2 foot deep and 4 foot wide and 20 inches high. We
cut a 12 inch circle for the hole to match up with the 12 inch tubing from the
ceptic tanks and bought wooden seat covers.
We service them just like we would a porta potty. We buy the chemical in 5 gallon jugs and place 2 1/2 gallons per outhouse and then fill 1/3 full with water. We add chemical as needed and usually have them pumped out once or twice during our season.
The cost of the ceptic tanks were about $1800 (two at $900 each) If we ever want to plumb them, all we’ll have to do is add the lateral lines. Each outhouse cost about $250 to build. The chemical we put in cost about $400 a season and having the ceptic tanks pumped out twice a season costs about $600. After the initial cost of the tanks and the buildings, the yearly cost is a lot better than renting and servicing porta potties every year.
Our customers really like them! A lot of the teenagers are hesitant at first, but are surprised when they walk in. People LOVE to take their pictures by them! And they are educational too, showing kids what bathrooms use to be like. We love them! I keep them really clean, usually cleaning them at least twice a day- sometimes more depending on how busy we are. I have found wood easier to keep looking clean than the plastic porta potties. Once a week I also spray them down on the inside with a water hose to wash off all the dust. (West Texas wind and dust that is!)