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Outdoor Bathroom Shed – Installation Guide

Installing an outdoor bathroom shed adds value and convenience to your backyard workspace. The easiest and cheapest way to install an outdoor bathroom to an existing shed is in these 4 steps. Before you start, find out if you need a permit.

Do You Need Planning Permission For An Outside Bathroom Shed?

If your outdoor shed does not have plumbing most counties require a building permit. A licensed plumber may be required by the county to plumb the bathroom, however the owner may still be permitted to install the toilet. Installing a natural composting toilet does not require a permit.

This article explains how to get an outdoor bathroom shed set up and not get you in trouble with the city.

Reasons to Add an Outdoor Bathroom Shed

There are a lot of reasons to install a toilet in your shed apart from the relief you get from using them.

  • Adding it will increases property value
  • Reduces distractions when you enter your house during the work day
  • Saves time by not having to use the bathroom in your house
  • Can be used as a guest house or vacation rental for extra income

How To Install An Outdoor Bathroom Shed

We have put together 4 steps you need to construct a toilet in your garden office legally. They include:

1. Ventilation

If you are serious about installing a toilet in your shed, it is important to think about ventilation.

There needs to be at least an opening window to allow whatever fumes or smells in there to dissipate out of your garden office. It will also prevent molds from growing inside. You can also install an extractor fan with a run-on timer which is very effective in case the wind isn’t on your side. Make sure to place them in the most ideal location possible for them to have the best effect.

2. Get A Building Permit

It takes time to process a permit and get a plumber out to your property, so factor that in. Check with your county to learn if you need a permit or not, but, in the United States, you most likely do.

Composting Toilet

If you don’t want to deal with this part, or spend the extra money it takes to apply for a permit and hire a plumber, consider a composting toilet instead. They don’t require a permit and get the job done, so to speak.

Nature's Head Self Contained Composting Toilet with Close Quarters Spider Handle Design
  • No one - and I mean no one - will beat my customer service and individual support
  • Easy to install by any reasonably handy person.
  • Absolutely No Odor. No Maintenance. 5 Year Warranty.
  • Huge Capacity. 2 people using full time will empty every 4-6 weeks. Easy empty in 5 minutes.
  • A vast improvement over older composting toilet designs. This one works!

This Nature’s Head Composting toilet is nicer than most, but good for a shed because it NEVER smells and is easy to install.

Since you can’t just pack it into a backpack, like most composting toilets, it gives a more permanent impression than camping or other composting toilets. Plus, you can use the waste as compost for your garden.

3. Water Supply

You need to run pipes for water to get into your shed for flushing. This is typically done by a licensed plumber. The water pipes need to be insulated and buried below the frost line to prevent them from getting damaged during winter. They need to be a minimum distance from electrical wires.

4. Sewer Pipes

For the waste, you can consider these options, listed below. However, you should note that they all vary in cost depending on where your garden office is located.

Connecting your existing sewer system to your shed

This will probably be the most tasking option to consider. You will need to make sure the sewer system isn’t running uphill, if it is, you will need a pumping station (containing a tank and water pump with a macerator) to pump the waste against gravity. 

Another advantage of using the pump is that small bore pipes are needed instead of using large bore drainage pipes.  Factor in the electrical installation in case you need the pumping system. You also have to be sure whether the trench you want to dig won’t destroy your flower beds. You will most likely need Building Regulation approval for this step.

Septic tank

If the sewer system is too far, you can install a septic tank near your garden office. Make sure you have enough space for it.

How Much Is It To Install A Bathroom In A Shed?

If you don’t have plumbing in your shed, getting outdoor plumbing installed can be quite expensive versus having a shed with plumbing. These are estimated rates and it varies by plumber and by location.

A plumber can charge as much as $300 per hour to install a bathroom in a shed if it does not have plumbing. If the shed does have plumbing, the hourly rate may be up to $100 per hour to install a toilet.

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