Introduction: Outhouse

Who needs indoor plumbing when for less than $300 you can have a perfectly good outdoor crapper. Check your local laws.

Step 1: The Foundation

A good foundation is the key to a good outhouse. Dig a hole about 4' deep, 3.5x3.5ft square. Make it a good hole with even sides because you'll have to line it.
One point about soil. If you have hard clay soil, make sure that the drainage around the outhouse is good to avoid too much water getting in, because it won't want to leave (this could cause splashback).
You've got your hole. Drop a wooden box with tarpaper wrapped around it in the hole to keep moisture out. Level and even out the ground around the hole and place a foundation made of treated 4x4s around it. The foundation will for this one was 4'x3.5' (this allowed a 4x8 sheet of plywood to be cut at 3.5ft, one piece for the floor and the other for the roof with an over hang. 4'wide on the floor and 4' deep for the roof).

Step 2: The Frame

This pretty well shows the frame of the outhouse (nevermind the braces still on). It should be stable, but not too heavy since you may have to move it some day. I left the studs off the side walls.
Note the hole cut in the floor for the "business". I recommend coating the inside of the seat section with plastic to keep "it" from getting all over the wood after a curry night.
I sheeted it with 1/4 plywood and used 1/2ply for the floor, roof, and seat. I put my seat at 1'5" high, as you can see in the photo.

Step 3: Roof, Finishing, and Notes on Use

I shingled my roof in the standard manner. Note the vent pipe made of 4" PVC. An oversized cap is on top to keep water out. Holes were drilled in the end of the pipe to allow extra ventalation. Screen was wrapped around the pipe to keep the bugs out.
I would suggest that you paint the inside with a mold resistant paint like Kils. Additional windows can help with ventelation, just remember to put screen over them to minimize the number of bugs hanging out in there.
Also, one thing to consider if you think you may have a water flooding problem, place a cinder block upright in the pit right below the shitter. That way if it does flood, no splashback. Enjoy. Sorry for the poor spelling I'm in a hurry.



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    Excellent simple instruct-able. I've been checking a couple of other sites too for a privy and saw some other interesting ideas. The vent stack methinks should be venting from as high as possible in the chamber since hot air rises. Also, suggest using black pipe and running the vent stack outside up the side of the privvy on the sunny side so that the sun-heated black pipe will draw the air by convection. This avoids having to put a hole in the roof as well. Also I intend to put the privy on a couple of 4'x4' skids for relocation. I can then tow it with an ATV or by hand on the snow in winter. Since it is only for periodic use at a tent site I don't intend to dig a hole deeper than a foot or two and plant a tree on the old spot when done. I'm sure it will grow strong. This will meet the bylaws for this area too btw.

    So is it 4 foot wide or 4 foot from front to back?

    Great instructable. Thanks.

    Awesome! working on mine this week as well! love the step by step with pics!

    Awesome instructable. I'll be building mine this week. Thanks!

    Don't forget a fat 'Yellow Pages' book, just in case. And reading material...

    I think this is a good idea for a back country cabin. Or a campsite that you own and use often. But I know that these things get cold. So I suggest insulating the building. Even if all you do is put up extra card board.

    does the vent stack go all the way to the bottom of the pit? do you need to drill holes in the pipe under the seat box? thanks.

    It goes a few inches below ground level, no where near the bottom.

    Nice basic Instructable!

    Years ago, my great-grandmother used garden lime to sprinkle over the waste in the outhouse... worked good.