9 Super-Chic DIY Outhouse Plans [Free List]

9 DIY outhouse plans

If your outdoor space could stand some waste disposal- we've got you covered.

We've assembled a list of the internet's 9 best DIY outhouse plans. From the rustic to the visionary, there are a variety of blueprints to fit your particular need. 

Some of our favorites include #3, a gorgeous Texan outhouse featuring stained glass and fan ventilation.

#9 is interesting because it's constructed from a recycled camper van- a good project if you happen to have a spare recreational vehicle to harvest.

Whatever the case- there are a bunch of cool designs to explore. Scroll through and click the 'View Plans' button to get the step-by-step instructions.  

9 DIY Outhouse Plans

1. The Ana White’s Simple Outhouse Project

This simple project won’t take much of your time, and is perfectly suitable for beginners. This tiny outhouse is made up of one sheet of standard roofing, thin plywood and durable materials to help the house fight against harsh weather condition in Alaska. If you live in a cold area with extreme condition, you will get useful tips on which materials to choose, and how to set up your outhouse in a way that can withhold outdoor condition.

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2. The Mother Earth News´ Traditional Outhouse Plan

You will be surprised at how simple it can be to start the first dig and then set up your outhouse later. This site focuses a bit more on the technical side of the project, so make sure you have some basic understanding of plumbing before trying. On the plus side, you will be able to precisely calculate how much wood you will need, where to scout for location, how to best set up excavation and venting system (to make the odor as odorless as possible), and how to process the waste in the most efficient manner.

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3. An East Texas Homemade Outhouse Plan

Beautifully-designed, expert-made outhouses are a sight to look at, and these East Texas homemade outhouses are no exception. The finished product is an orange-brown wood box with stained glass windows, electricity, beaded paneling, and a 12 volt PC vent fan to keep the air fresh. You will love the design, especially the planted small bushes on either sides of the house.

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4. Instructables’ Small and Handy Outhouse Plan

If you happen to live in a remote rural area with no easy access to premium plumbing, then worry not, this outhouse project is for you. With just less than $300, you can build this outdoor crapper in no time. Remember to check with the local authorities for permission if needed. The most important part of any outhouse is perhaps the foundation, and this guide tells you exactly how much to dig. Remember, you can only dig once, there is little chance to fix it once everything is done, so pay extra effort in this initial stage.

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5. The How Stuff Works ‘Way To Your Perfect Composting Outhouse’ Project

How Stuff Works dedicates a long tutorial on this subject. With regular outhouses, you have to deal with unpleasant odor and environmentally harmful waste management. However, with a composting toilet, all previous problems are solved, and you will spend less time on maintenance once everything is set up. There are a lot of different setups to choose from, each with its own pros and cons. For a composting toilet to work well, you need to pay attention to four elements: the oxygenation, moisture, temperature, and time.

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6. The Brighthub’s Way to a Perfect Outhouse Plan

Simple, with exact steps, and easy to follow are what we could say about this tutorial. They give you exact measurements as to how deep or how wide you should dig the hole. To avoid unpleasant odor, consider placing the outhouse at least 50’ away from your home, best in a shaded area. Ventilation is the most important factor in keeping your outhouse odor-free, so pay extra attention to this step. Another trend nowadays is building privies without toilets. This may sound odd, but many people are building outhouses in their backyards as storage sheds to add a lot of country charm to their property. With such purpose, there is no need to dig a hole, and no odor to worry about, except the odors of fertilizers and soil that you may store inside.

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7. Survival Mastery’s Off-the-Grid Outhouse

This project is for you if you are a nonconventional type of person who prefers a simple and natural lifestyle that does not rely on traditional comforts. The project is suitable for someone who is living in nature, where it may not be feasible to rely on running water and power to take care of your personal business. The design you choose depends on the type of climate you have. For survivalists, you can consider creating your own food source using decomposed waste from your outhouse. To be able to do this, you will need to add to your structure some form of organic material and a chimney to let enough air down there to help with the decomposition process.

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8. Howto Specialist’s Outhouse Blueprint

This is truly a blueprint with step-by-step instructions for newbies and hobbyists. The best part? It will cost you a minimum amount of money, if you follow the plan that is. The first step is to build the frame. Cut the components with exact measurements to avoid mistakes and waste. For the floor frame, side wall, front wall, back wall, or top frame, you will need two pieces of 2×4 lumber each, for a total of 31 pieces. Of course, you will need screws, nails, jigsaw, chalk line, tape measure, drill machinery, safety gloves and a lot more. If you are more cost-conscious, consider investing in the best materials possible, such as weather-resistant lumber, so as to avoid repair costs later on. With dedication and diligence, the whole project could be completed in one day only.

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9. Instructables’ Budget Outhouse Blueprint

This 8 by 8 modern outhouse is built out of currently available materials, from a camper. If you don’t happen to have a camper lying around, you can purchase similar supplies easily at a local DIY shop, or used ones if your budget is really tight. There is a shower installed inside, as well as a 2 by 2 foot closet and a small attic. All the walls are made from shiplap boards. A 2 by 4 foot vanity is installed beautifully in one corner, with granite countertop, and wood drawers under.

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What Is Reddit Saying?

One poster submitted a gorgeous outdoor pit latrine option built in a woodsy back area of their property.

Because it is portable, the way waste is dealt with- when the hole in the ground is mostly full, it is buried and the structure is relocated.

This is a no plumbing and no toilet option with a sink that does have running water.

It is a pretty stunning option- as you can see the interior features bear wallpaper, and a magazine holster attached to a small vanity desk, coat hooks and wood panel flooring.

The builder says that they constructed this needlessly fancy option after doing a ton of research and consulting with more experienced woodworkers. They used a backhoe to dig the hole- it ended up being 11 feet deep.

Initially, they were debating between a composting toilet and pit latrine- they ended up going with a pit latrine because they thought it would be simpler to construct and more ecologically friendly regarding groundwater contamination potential.

They referenced the World Health Organization regarding the cubic meter between capacity per person per year- which is .06 cubic meters.

By their calculations, if two people were to use it for a year, only on the weekends, the hole itself should last almost 20 years. For framing the building, what they did was build a cube that contained a scooped out recessed area- even adding on a porch with a sidewall.

They wrapped the entire structure in Tyvek and used plastic capped nails initially but ended up pulling a lot of the caps off so that they could tape over the nails because it interrupted the furring strips.

It's a really gorgeous and involved architectural design- but if you like the look you can certainly attempt to replicate it referencing their very detailed Imgur writeup.

Reddit users were duly impressed saying that the interior was nicer than some of their own actual homes- with the original poster saying that indeed, it's actually nicer than their own apartment as well.

In the comments section the original poster also discussed how they constructed it so that it wouldn't shift or experience settling issues over time.

The concrete blocks, he says, are set on compacted base rock and the pad itself is specially graded so that rainwater will flow off around the concrete blocks.

Another poster complimented their beautiful latrine design saying that it resembles a professionally constructed prefabricated build that you can buy from a high-end home and garden store.

On a more lighthearted note, a user submitted an image of his father who was constructing an outhouse. As you can see, his father is peering up from below the toilet seat-everyone had a good laugh in the comments section. 

Over at legal advice subreddit one poster had a question regarding a girl that fell in and out of house on his property nearby a managed late.

They have built a rustically simple option with a pit and screwed bench boards. What ended up happening, a 12-year-old girl dropped her cell phone down the hole, clambered down after it, and ended up getting stuck there for an hour. Later on, her parents threatened a lawsuit, saying that the outhouse itself constituted an 'attractive nuisance'. 

The top responding Redditor recommended that the original poster get a lawyer but that the viability of the lawsuit is very low and that there should be no trespassing signs put up on the edge of the property nearby the outhouse itself.

If you decide to build an outdoor latrine, shoot us an email and we will feature your project in this post. If you haven't decided on one to build, scroll through the different project plans-there are PDFs and step-by-step directions available so that you can create a functional or even surprisingly gorgeous design on your property.