In Search of the Perfect Outhouse


Cree Vicar Dave ~ SASS Life #49907


Your club may be one that has all the bells and whistles or better yet all the light switches and commode handles, but many I’ve run across don’t have electric lights and runnin’ water.  Our club, Sucker Creek Saddle & Gun Club, is a quarter mile off the beaten path in the middle of a woods.  So it stands to reason something has to substitute for indoor plumbing.

In our travels last fall, winter and spring the Vicar’s Wife and I visited thirteen different Cowboy Action Shooting™ clubs of which only four had flush toilets.  The rest had a variety of outhouses and porta-jons.  While visiting the Texican Rangers club south of Fredericksburg, Texas I spotted what I perceived as, “the Perfect Outhouse”.   We decided to make one similar to it.  It says in Proverbs 24:27, “Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.”  We have been using Porta-jons for the past eight years at our club.  We have most of our outdoor work in order so we decided to build an outhouse.  It is 12’ wide and 8’ deep.  It is 10’ high in the front where the doors are and 8’ high in the back.  There is a wall dividing it into two, 6’x8’ rooms for cowgirls & cowboys.  It has a porta-jon tank in each side with a 4” vent pipe.  The vent pipe is vented out through the top of the back wall to avoid leaks in the roof.  The front and back eave has a 2’ wide screened in area on each side to allow air flow while keeping out undesirable critters.  The vent pipes also are screened.  (You probably could get away with a 10’ by 6’ floor and an 8’ high front wall down to a 7’ back wall.  If and when we build another this would be a target size.)


We started with a 2” x 6” treated wood frame, and then placed 3/4” treated plywood over it.  Next vinyl linoleum was laid over the plywood.  (It’s the kind that does not need to be glued down.)  We let it expand in the sun while we built the wall frames, then it was cut to size.  The walls were placed on the deck even with the outside.  Next T-111 was used for siding.  It hangs down over the 3/4” plywood.  Steel barn siding would be okay also.  The cost is about the same, only you don’t have ta paint the steel.  The doors are 32” wood framed steel exterior used doors and were donated to the club.  (32” or 36” doors will work fine.)  The roof is covered with pole barn steel.  (OSB and shingles might be a better choice when it comes to sealing the joints.)  The tanks we bought used from a porta-jon supplier.  They were in good to excellent condition and only cost $125.00 for the both of them.  I was told by a person in the know that the newer tanks slope towards the front and vent the fumes out better than the old style flat ones.  We used 7/16” OSB to line the inside of the building and painted the walls white.  The roof has a clear panel on each side to let in light.  You almost need sunglasses when using the facility while the sun is shining.  The outside walls are painted green and the vent pipes that are exposed to the outside were painted black to accelerate the venting.  Toilet paper holders and mirrors were installed.  We plan on installing some shelves in the future. 

We put 5 gallons of water in each tank along with 3 little packs of dry deodorant.  Four weeks after our first match there was still no amount of odor inside the building.  A little spray of Lysol on the seat/tank then wiped off and another little bag of blue stuff in the tank and it was good to go.  The porta-jon guy said that a little shot of bleach after everyone leaves the match each month would go a long way.

The cost was a little more than expected but it is a fine addition to our club.  You could save a little by checking to see if anyone has siding, roofing, 2”x4”s, doors, etc. that could be donated.  Also, to cut costs, if there is an Amish (or other) saw mill nearby you can use rough sawn 2” dimensioned lumber where treated material is not needed.  If you stick the boards and air dry pine it takes around 3 months before it’s dry enough to use.  Where thickness is not a factor it doesn’t need to be planed only sized. 

Check out our Web Site, , for photos of the building project.  From our Home Page click on Pictures, then General, then Construction Projects Index, then the New Restrooms, May, 2011.

Hope ta see ya on the trail

God Bless


Photos by Wolverine Wrangler SASS #22963 & Cree Vicar Dave