convert old building

Tina HazzardAugust 7, 2012

I have a old chicken house on my property that I need to convert into a apartment efficientcy for a family member.It has electric.It is divided into 3 rooms, I was planning on using one room which has drywall already into an open living area.My question concerns the plumbing situation.There is a cistern in the adjoining room, and I was wondering if I could create a small room along adjoining wall for a bathroom type with a sink and shower. My plan is to purchase a camping toilet also.Any ideas?

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Are you using a camping toilet in an attempt to avoid running a sewer line or septic to the building? And are you thinking the cistern will meet the water needs, so you don't have to run water to the building? I haven't ever attempted such a thing, but I'd definitely check with your city/county to make sure you know what is required at a minimum. I know some rural areas allow gray water from sinks to run to the ground, and maybe showers. But definitely get a pro involved in the planning stages.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2012 at 3:45PM
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Sophie Wheeler

I'm sorry, but this sounds like something that will violate several health and safety codes and be uncomfortable---and certainly illegal-- to actually live in. If you cannot create a legal septic tank to receive the bacteria laden waste water generated by the occupant, you'd be better off buying a small camper and visiting the local dump station for it a couple of times a week. That too is probably an illegal residence, but at least it wouldn't contaminate the soil and well water of you and your neighbors.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 2:12AM
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Coward that I am, I didn't want to be the first (and only) to shoot down your idea, but I have to agree with the above posters. If the house has been used as a chicken house, I don't think it would ever be habitable for humans again. The wood would be saturated with excretement I would think.

You'd be much better off buying a camping trailer. Look on CL for those targeted to hunter's and their leases. They are usually pretty cheap. You could park it beside the chicken house and use the electricity, and it would be much cheaper and sanitary than trying to fix up the chicken house.

Best of luck. I've got a family member living with us that I'd like further away too. ;)

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 10:46AM
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Marti sent you email forgot to sign it. It is me Chris

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 1:56PM
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Here is an interesting factoid, our OP joined on the day this question was posted. Now, tinamarie66, you would not be trying to get some controversy going on our peaceful Smaller Homes forum, would you?

Just in case you are not just "funnin" with us, I will agree with my friends above. Not a good place to live, not a good source of water. Is cistern water considered potable where you live?

I have never heard of a three-room chicken coop. Chickens are not picky, they flock together. And who drywalls a hen-house?

I am betting you had spam with your eggs this morning.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2012 at 10:14PM
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LOL Read this to my husband and he said instead of chicken house call it a bird house. I think he was funnin with me on naming our place Canary Cottage.

I think us small house folks have a pretty good sense of humor. We have to to live so closely with our families.You have to admit small house living can bring on some interesting situations. Like taking three days to be able to move one piece of furniture from one end of the house to the other because everything has to be moved out of the way for it and no where to go with that everything. Believe me it happened to me. Laughter is good for everyone even if we poke fun at ourselves.

His main comment is better posted to the other thread on What do you consider big.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2012 at 12:46PM
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