Urban Outhouse is the New Loo
Image from the Guardian
Some TreeHuggers, mainly men, love to write about toilets and composting and poo. They should move to Britain: an estimated 40,000 houses in the UK still have outdoor toilets in their backyards. And the owners love them.
Image from property i.e.
It's no joke; it is estimated that one out of every thousand houses in the UK has an outdoor lavatory (loo). It used to be only for the poor and definitely not a status symbol. Although it was a big step up from a chamberpot, it was still a source of embarrassment for the upwardly mobile family. Even in 1952, "a quarter of British homes had inadequate sanitary arrangements, outdoor lavatories, and bathrooms shared with neighbours."
But times have changed and instead of knocking down the old fashioned privy, new owners are keeping them. Why not; it's an extra bathroom. And it's private, natural, airy and a chance to get away from the family.
Real estate agents call it a "heritage" aspect now and it can add some value to the sale.
The lovely house pictured above from a village in Ireland is up for US $400,000 and the description says "Semi-detached Georgian residence located in Kilbeggan town centre. Large back area with outdoor toilet immediately outside back door."
The rustic charm of an outhouse can be undeniable:
Photo by apple_lipsis via Flickr Creative Commons
Although in rough weather, perhaps problematic:
Photo by Qole Pejorian via Flickr Creative Commons
More on Outhouses
On Building a Cabin in the Woods: The Hot Poop on Toilets
Composting Toilets on the Rise: Are They Coming to a City Near You?
From Bauhaus To Outhouse: A View For Two Improves The Design