As I mentioned in an earlier post, we are building onto my grandmothers house and we will be moving in soon.
In her far backyard is an old outhouse, which was used from the time my grandparents moved there some 70 years ago, until I was 16 years old (I’m 43 now). It has not quite fallen into disrepair, but it could use a good coat of paint and some serious straightening (it’s sort of leaning, not unlike the Tower Of Pisa, into its…well… its ‘hole’).
My question is, should I let a piece of cough ‘Americana’ fall into an old shithole, or should I refurbish it a little…move it up a bit closer into the backyard and plant flowers around it?
I’d hate to see the old thing just rot away, and I’d hate to tear it down. Any suggestions?
I know nothing about where/how you live, I’m going to assume it’s rural due to the fact that there’s an outhouse at all. Where I grew up, the house was a quarter mile hike from the street. My step-dad built an outhouse like structure at the end of the drive as our bus stop. It was highly appreciated in winter. We cut little windows in the sides to peek out of & added a flower box for spring.
Yeah, little*bit, that’s how it is here. VERY rural. I’ve seen people use old toilets as flowerpots in their front yard, and I think they look pretty tacky. But, the idea of making an old outhouse the center of a flower garden appealed to my bent little mind, for reasons unknown.
I do like your idea of the windows and flowerbox thing, though!
Definitely keep it - if not you will regret it later. We wish we had kept the old shitter up at our summer place. Even if you move it and do not use it for its original purpose.
One possibility would be to fix it up and use it as a potting/storage shed. i’d recommend fixing it up only as much as needed to maintain structural integrity and forestalling further decay, rather than trying to make it “like new”.
That was my idea, Dinsdale! We wouldn’t use it as a shitter, but just as a focal point. No, I wouldn’t try to make it look new…it needs to be kept as rustic as it is now, other than a coat of paint…maybe not even that, now that I think about it!
I like it the way it is. Thanks!
twickster, thanks. I do think I’ll be keeping it for sure now!
I would save it as well most certainly. all you need to do at the moment is make it strurally sound and less likley to be damaged by rot or structural collapse. That means making sure the nails and supports are good as well as the paint or wood treatment.
Well, Shagnasty, it’s not rotting, but I suppose I could slap some wood treatment on it. It’s very sound for being as old as it is. It sits on a large, square cement base…the cement is the old kind with rocks in it…very rough, not the kind of cement you get today. The ‘shitter’ part of it is made of the same cement, and it has a wooden seat, with a wooden lid, and they are also in very good condition. The only reason it is leaning, is because the hole is washing into itself, I think. We checked it out this past weekend and we decided that we could save it if I wanted it.
lieu, I’m going to tell my husband about that smokehouse idea…He may just like that one!
Kilvert’s Pagan, we just got back from the US Nationals on Monday, so I think I’ve had enough racing for awhile!
Although, it DOES look to be quite a bit of fun! I love that sort of stuff.
KlondikeGeoff, I think the catalog they used to use around these parts was the Sears catalog, but I’m not real sure!
Naw, there’s nothing in there, other than a handmade toilet paper roller, attatched to the wall of the outhouse with some old bailing wire.
So, that means in later years, they DID have toilet paper and the catalogs were just to read!
I have some distant relatives in California with a bit of money. I’ve only been to their house once that I recall, when I was a young kid. They had the coolest house. One of the features was a backyard swimming pool, an unheard of luxury for me at the time. Behind the pool there was an outhouse, complete with a moon carved in the door for venting. If you opened up the outhouse door it hid some stairs that led to a secret, underground room with a window view into the swimming pool. In the room was a pool table and a one-armed bandit. I have no idea if my relatives still live in this house or if the secret room is still there, but what an awesome concept.