Last week I wrote about our visit to Judy’s old homestead and how we moved her outhouse to our farm. This past weekend, we got busy setting up the outhouse.
It wasn’t too hard, about half a day worth of work, but this is because we have a tractor with a backhoe attachment so the hardest part of digging the hole was done by the machine.
We chose a spot about 100 feet from everything else, measured the dimensions, and started digging. In the beginning, it was very easy, but once we got about 4 feet deep, we hit rock and because the hole was small, it was hard for the backhoe to dig any deeper.
Everywhere I read, said you should have your hole dug 4 to 6 feet deep. We tried to use a shovel to deepen it a bit, but it was really hard. So finally we decided to add a bit of soil on the bottom of the hole so it’s not an exposed rock down there, and set the outhouse on it.
Next, we rolled and lifted the outhouse on the slab. We used a PVC pipe (you can see it in the picture to the side of the outhouse), my husband lifted one side of the house and I put the pipe under the house. Then we pushed, and it rolled on the pipe. When we got closer to the slab, we made two ramps from 2×6 planks and kept rolling the house with the pipe under it until it was on the slab.
We will add ash from the fire to the hole once in a while to help things decompose, and we also have to make sure not to use any chemicals to clean the potty. Chemicals will kill the bacteria that is working to break things down in the hole.
Now to the dilemma.
David thinks that we should leave the outhouse as it is right now and not paint it. He says it is rustic and beautiful, and this is the whole point of having an outhouse. It needs to look old. I am not so sure. He has a good argument, but as you can see one of the sides and the back are not painted at all. Also, I think maybe some paint will protect the wood better from the rain and sun.
So, what do you think? To paint or not to paint?
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Lady Lee is a single mother of four, she was born in Israel and raised in an agricultural commune called a Kibbutz. From a very young age, she was very interested in agriculture and farming.
She is a former IDF fitness trainer and is passionate about simple, natural living. She now lives in NC with her four kids, dog, cat, goats, ducks, and chickens.