Cedar Outhouse built by Grampa near Leavenworth, Washington
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Cedar Outhouse built near Leavenworth, Washington
Cedar Outhouse built near Leavenworth, Washington
Photo from Tom M.
Used by permission

    The Cedar Outhouse was built by Tom's father-in-law, Ross (the Grampa). Sadly, Ross has since passed away. This was his first outhouse and it turned out to be his last too. He built the outhouse after studying our website for hours! They sent a couple emails that said "Thanks!". It's far out in the forest, north of Leavenworth, Washington.
    This outhouse is genuine "Grampa-built". It's 32 inches wide and 36 inches deep (outside dimensions), and the wall studs are oriented in the 1 1/2" thickness direction. He used no plywood - only solid wood.
    It's made of 2X4 cedar boards, with 3/4 x 8" cedar siding. The roof shingles are hand-split cedar. Any materials not available 100 years ago were completely 'hidden', (for example modern drywall type screws, none visible). The foundation is two 4 X 6 x 8foot pressure-treated beams, which are cased in Cedar fence boards thus not visible either. The 8 foot foundation beams straddle the hole well, with 2 feet behind and 3 feet in front for a 'porch'. At the four ends of each two 8' beams is potted in about 3 gallons of concrete. The 'hole' is 4 feet deep.
    Inside the hole, they put enameled metal flashing, front and back for a blast fence. It has an oval hole to sit on. There is no "white toilet seat", just a flat hinged cedar board lid. They've tested it and can report back that cedar at 0 degrees F is quite comfortable. Being 'new', the only history that it has is that it literally beats the crap outta the white grunt-bucket that we used all summer. And its been in use for 2 months now, and still smells like opening a cedar chest. Sweet!
    Now this is one fine looking outhouse. If you are going to build an outhouse, we recommend building it without the hole in the ground. We now recommend the Loveable Loo and have a link to videos on our Outhouses of America Tour home page. We began using this system in 2011 and use sawdust to compost the solid and liquid waste. There is no odor, no contamination of the water table, streams or water and it is environment friendly. You compost the remains in a composting area using sawdust and a covering of hay, straw or natural organic material. There is no odor and no flies if you do as instructed!!! Read the book The Humanure Handbook to find out all about it. The book is included if you buy a Loveable Loo or you can build one yourself.

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This Page was created on October 30, 2011