Whether you are in the construction phase of a new home on private acreage, are hosting an event, or are just camping out, you and those who share your space are bound to spend some time on the toilet. Depending on the situation, there are things you must keep in mind when shopping for an outhouse. For one thing, when searching online, proper terminology can save you a lot of time. Look for porta-pottie or portable toilet instead of outhouse, because these are actually very different things.
In many communities, you will need to contact the local county/city building code inspector and get the specs on what will pass their criteria. Most communities will require a permit of some sort. Building inspectors take different things into consideration when issuing a permit.
There are big differences in the pre-made units. Due to size and function, it might be best to search for localized businesses specializing in port-a-potties; however, there is a company called United Services that conducts business nationwide. Companies service their own products.
There are standard units, wheelchair-accessible units and units that include wash stations. Some have urinals; others come with mirrors, hand towel dispensers, sinks and small countertops. Make sure the unit is well anchored to resist tipping over.
Nextag offers the opportunity to comparison shop for styles and prices of various online stores. For $18 you can purchase the Luggable Loo; which is basically a five-gallon bucket with a special fitted seat and lid. You can create a potty blind with a tarp strung up like a shower curtain or place it directly in a tent. For backwoods camping, there are environmentally safe toilet papers and plastic carry-out bags. Small portable toilets average $85, but these have no shelter or privacy, so you must purchase or create your own. If you choose to construct your own, search online for outhouse plans, which will give the do-it-yourself enthusiast lots of ideas.