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I need ideas/pictures for bucket composting toilets that might please someone used to flush toilets

 
Posts: 7967
Location: Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep clay/loam with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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I need ideas (and pictures if you have them) of nice looking indoor bucket systems that might be acceptable to prospective buyers for our place. We are happy with our system as it stands but when we have a 'looker' I realize that we are far from normal in our views
For awhile I thought we were going to have to break down and buy a cheap flush toilet and plumb it to the woods, just so folks would have the security of their flush...but then we thought what better opportunity to make a statement and fix up a really pretty and functional system. We still won't put it in the BATH room, but right outside the door in it's own cubby hole.
 
pollinator
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Well, there's the default option of 'build a really nice wood bench', something like: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/387520742910604181/

I'd be rather particular about sealing it well, though.

Other than that... I suppose you could do something similar in most any material if you have the gear/skills and want to spent the money... stainless welded toilet bench? Chilly. Granite? Marble? Certainly be a statement piece!

If you're interested in something premade, you could pick up a C-head in mahogany-laminate... $700ish. http://www.c-head.com/images/Mahog_deluxe.bmp
 
Judith Browning
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Dillon Nichols wrote:Well, there's the default option of 'build a really nice wood bench', something like: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/387520742910604181/

I'd be rather particular about sealing it well, though.

Other than that... I suppose you could do something similar in most any material if you have the gear/skills and want to spent the money... stainless welded toilet bench? Chilly. Granite? Marble? Certainly be a statement piece!

If you're interested in something premade, you could pick up a C-head in mahogany-laminate... $700ish. http://www.c-head.com/images/Mahog_deluxe.bmp



Thanks, Dillon........The first one you linked to is kind of what I have had in mind. Just a nice tight wood box with a vent. and a nice sawdust receptacle.
I have some tile but not sure I want to try to incorporate that into something we are leaving behind.......
I suppose someone is still going to be put off by having to handle the bucket, but I think we are destined to sell to hunters as a retreat from what it is looking like now
I just wanted to work on a good first introduction to a sawdust toilet. Our house has so many issues to deal with this was the one we thought we could make better fairly easily.
Money is an issue so we won't be trying out the mahogany but that was fun to see
 
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Judith you don't need a vent. a properly maintained sawdust toilet produces no odour other than at the time of use. Maintenance consists of the correct selection and use of cover material. Just enough to contain any odour in the bucket, not too much or else you are wasting material which equates mostly to time in hauling in sawdust and hauling out compostables.

If you are looking for a cheap bench you could consider a piece of kitchen countertop since the length needed for a sawdust toilet should be scroungable. The area does not need to be sealed it should just be a fairly snug fit. Pictures and plans can be found here. http://humanurehandbook.com/ Good luck with your project and ask away if you have any more questions. Always glad to help and gab.
 
D Nikolls
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A recycled kitchen or even bathroom counter sounds like an excellent fit!

When I said sealed well, I was thinking of the exposed surfaces of the wood bench, for easy wipedown after someone splattered something all over it...

I like the idea of the c-head for mobile applications, but would have a hard time justifying the pricetag where that's not a consideration...
 
Judith Browning
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Wyatt Barnes wrote:Judith you don't need a vent. a properly maintained sawdust toilet produces no odour other than at the time of use. Maintenance consists of the correct selection and use of cover material. Just enough to contain any odour in the bucket, not too much or else you are wasting material which equates mostly to time in hauling in sawdust and hauling out compostables.

If you are looking for a cheap bench you could consider a piece of kitchen countertop since the length needed for a sawdust toilet should be scroungable. The area does not need to be sealed it should just be a fairly snug fit. Pictures and plans can be found here. http://humanurehandbook.com/ Good luck with your project and ask away if you have any more questions. Always glad to help and gab.



thanks, wyatt. I agree about the vent. For our own use we have an unvented bucket and have been happy with that for fifteen years...one is in the utility room corner, with a framed in box to hold the toliet seat a distance above the bucket so that an extender (a 12 inch planting pot with the bottom cut out works perfectly) can be used in order to fill the bucket almost to the top and the other is in the outhouse with just a seat balanced on top. Both are fine without venting for just us.

For this sale though, I am wanting to make a sealed platform and add a vent....possibly even a small fan. This is a compromise from refitting the bathroom with a flush toilet so we are wanting to try for 'pretty spiffy' as opposed to making do, which is our normal route It is the odor 'at time of use' that the vent would help, I think.

A countertop sounds like a good idea esp. if I could find something like Dillon mentions in stone ...I'll have to check out the local recycling center. Otherwise we'll probably go with a solid wood box, with a compartment for sawdust to one side.



 
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Ooh, stone sounds cold in winter!
 
Judith Browning
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Rebecca Norman wrote:Ooh, stone sounds cold in winter!



Yeah, this is an unheated room so maybe not good idea We were talking this again this morning and considered just removing our sawdust toilets from the house and the outhouse when we have lookers and just pointing them to the outhouse. We have the 'hole' still for when we have a group of folks here. I think more folks are familiar with that.
I just don't feel like having to defend my lifestyle to a prospective buyer.
 
Wyatt Barnes
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Judith I think you are underrating the appeal of any indoor facilities compared to an outhouse. Plus many people are adaptable and it really only has to be one of a group that convinces the others that your system will be fine. Do you have a realtor because the point person for this sale should be reassuring potential buyers that what you have works, is very ethical and becoming popular in North America and if they find they don't like it after trying it there are viable alternatives.

We have considered the whole bench approach but so far have a basic Jenkins first generation style commode with a large crock beside it for sawdust storage. My wife made a wooden lid for the crock from the scrap plywood from the commode hole. Waste not. We like the portability of the smaller unit and have moved it to temporary locations three times so far, twice for renovations and once for sickness.
 
D Nikolls
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Perhaps have pictures of more manufactured alternatives available, so the uninformed can see that there are a variety of commercial options available, and it would be fairly cheap to put a 'normal-looking' composting toilet in?

Downside, might be a leverage point where a potential buyer looks to knock the cost off your asking price...
 
Rebecca Norman
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If you keep the indoors one in place, maybe you could strategically place a copy of The Humanure Handook for prospective buyers, and even leave a copy behind for the purchasers...
 
Wyatt Barnes
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If it is a private sale with walk ins then you should have a sheet made up with the main talking points of the property. Acreage, dimensions, taxes etc just like the pros do. If it is with an agent then no one should be coming to your property without knowing you have an alternative system.

This is not something you blindside someone with. Like anything with the proper prep it can be a non issue for many people but the people who would not consider an alternative system should get weeded out ahead of time. I think the explanation sheets from the Humanure handbook are printable which would help and having an estimate, even a rough one, of how much a commercial rig or a full septic system would cost could also be a helpful selling point.

Full disclosure up front will help keep prospective buyers from thinking that this is a financial bargaining point.
 
Judith Browning
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Wyatt Barnes wrote:If it is a private sale with walk ins then you should have a sheet made up with the main talking points of the property. Acreage, dimensions, taxes etc just like the pros do. If it is with an agent then no one should be coming to your property without knowing you have an alternative system.

This is not something you blindside someone with. Like anything with the proper prep it can be a non issue for many people but the people who would not consider an alternative system should get weeded out ahead of time. I think the explanation sheets from the Humanure handbook are printable which would help and having an estimate, even a rough one, of how much a commercial rig or a full septic system would cost could also be a helpful selling point.

Full disclosure up front will help keep prospective buyers from thinking that this is a financial bargaining point.



Thanks, Wyatt.....We have resorted to an agent and are going over all of those points with her. It is a large list of 'not normal' but I think you are correct in that it will weed out some of the lookers, I hope. She, the agent, I think will be good at explaining us to potential buyers and hopefully the lack of flush toilet won't make or break a sale. For us the house is almost inconsequential compared to the potential of the whole wooded forty acres. But when we moved to the ozarks 40 years ago we began in a tent...and then a less than 300 square foot cabin with an outhouse....and then an old uninsulated ozarks house with an outhouse. This house is a palace size wise in comparison...but built in the eighties by others with too many standard building materials that did not stand the test of time
 
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Density and type of wood used can make a difference as well, don't use a ring porous hardwood if possible, like oak, ash, or the like. These have very porous young wood rings. Diffuse porous hardwoods like maple, cherry, and to some extent walnut have much less porous young wood rings. This will result in a better "seal" with standard finishes, also sanding sealer before coating with finish will seal up even more porosity. This way you have some redundancy in your seal. And even in a finish failure the wood itself is less porous in nature.

Boring tips from a dorky master carpenter!
 
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