Though still under construction, a new improvement to the bunkhouse is rapidly shaping up! Life in a small house (197 square feet of occasional awkwardness) can definitely have its challenges. After living in the bunkhouse for a few years, we both felt the need for a bigger bathroom; the present micro-facility (while functional) had lost its previous charm.
However, the character of the bunkhouse itself had not lost its charm and we wanted to keep its snug, and original, form intact. So, how does one add on to a house without actually adding on to it? We came up with an unusual solution which most people would find ridiculous and highly impractical but which we think is a lot of fun: a freestanding “outhouse”! We collaborated on its design, guided by both the availability of salvaged materials we had on hand and the physical attributes of the site. While near the bunkhouse, the addition is not physically attached to it.
While we each compromised design-wise in some areas, we both agreed that the exterior should be a combination of Queen Anne and Italianate details similar to those used when we restyled the bunkhouse. Unlike the bunkhouse, however, the “outhouse” is clad in vertical board and batten siding salvaged from demolished area farm buildings. Only the brackets of the cornice were newly-made. The flat roof and vertical siding were deliberate choices made to visually contrast with the bunkhouse and avoid being too matchy-matchy.
Jim is a master of accomplishing a lot in small bits of time found here and there between other projects and obligations. He completely built the new addition himself over the course of three years harnessing weekends and evenings as time allowed. My role in the construction phase was purely supportive; I assisted with sourcing needed materials and helped when an extra hand was needed to move or position material. The following photos will show the structure as it evolved.
While not quite finished, the new bathroom is far enough along to illustrate. The shower remains to be grouted and plumbing and electrical connections are not yet complete. The room is still very much a work site. Hopefully it will all be operational by summer. Until then, let’s take a quick tour of Jim’s brand-new, still-in-progress, 1880’s-inspired, outhouse-bathroom!