Black & Grey Water Treatment

Initially I was thinking I’d make the tiny free house more like a ‘park model’ house with a flush toilet and RV hookups. But the more I learn about sawdust toilets and soil box gray water systems the more I think that these two solutions are really a better way of dealing with the waste water and sewage.

In addition to being free, these methods are far more sustainable, provide usable compost, and don’t require massive quantities of water. The sawdust toilet does require a special compost pile for the turds to cook. I’m also pretty sure few government agencies officially condone these little methods or handling human waste so before trying this yourself be sure to check your local laws.

To learn more about sawdust toilets and gray water soil boxes get the Humanure Handbook. You can also read The Humanure Handbook online free but this is one book you might want a hard copy of in your library. It makes great toilet reading too… (pun intended). Photo credit to Jenkins Publishing.


Just waiting for some clear skies

Just a quick update. I’m hoping to get back up to the house one of these next few weekends and finish the walls and possibly get the roof framing started. We’ve just been having lots of needed rain here in northern California and it’s made the possibility of a weekend trip up to work on the house a bit difficult. Here’s a link to the most recent 3D drawing of how I think the house will look. Here’s a little map from Weather Underground of our current wet weather. The tiny free house is under the yellow somewhere.


Alternate Roof Design in 3D

Tonight I played with Google SketchUp, the free 3D software from Google. I’m still not very good at drawing with it but I think this wire frame drawing, and video below, really help to explain a recent idea I’ve had about the roof line. There are several reasons I like this design.

  1. It looks really cute without too much extra effort.
  2. I should be stronger since the left wall stays short (about 4 feet).
  3. Not much usable headroom is lost since a bench/bed will be along the short wall.
  4. The loft will be a bit narrower but still 6 feet in depth.


My plan is to mock it up for real on my next work weekend to the farm. The weekends have still been a bit wet and I’ve not found time, but I suspect I’ll get a couple days in a row to get up there and get a start on this. If it seems like it’s not going to work I’ll go back to a more conventional pitched roof. Let me know what you think. Here’s the video: