As with all projects on the homestead, our workcations are shorter than the time it takes to do a large building project. So we chip away at them little by little until we get them done. Well, that’s the goal anyway. As I think about that statement, all of our big projects have lingering aspects to finish, BUT we’ll get there! The bathhouse is one of those projects on the must finish list!
We have several BIG projects on the to-do list in the near future. The guest cabin, the root cellar, and our house are the major ones. That doesn’t count pole barns, animal enclosures, and shelters! The bathhouse will allow us to have the necessary facilities to have more guests, otherwise known as volunteer laborers, visit the homestead. I must say that I am most excited to have a bathroom where I don’t have to take my boots off to enter!
Settling on the Bathhouse Layout
The bathhouse is 12’x12′ square. It’s a salvaged shed that Philip got from a tree job. Check out the initial move to Kowalski Mountain here. The previous post shows the finishing of the exterior walls and roof. The goal for the bathhouse is threefold: an extra bathroom and shower, a laundry room, and additional storage. Since we are slowly moving our belongings to Kentucky, any enclosed space will become storage. Even now, unfinished, the bathhouse has items stored to keep them out of the weather.
The basic concept is to use half the room for the bathroom and laundry, the other half for storage, and have access to a loft that will also have additional space for storage above the bathroom. It’s further complicated by the fact that we will have a wood stove that heats the bathhouse. The woodstove will require adequate space around it for safety. After a few different options, we have settled on this layout.
When entering the bathhouse, guests will enter into the storage area of the room. A sliding barn door will give privacy to anyone using the bathroom facilities. The sink will be to the right when entering the bathroom. We’re wanting something with some personality like a whisky barrel to house the sink. The toilet will be straight ahead. Hopefully, the close access to the door and sink will mean that most of the muddy boot traffic will be limited to this area of the bathhouse.
In the center, under the window, a wood stove will be used to heat the room. In the photos, we have a small woodstove that we are intending to use, but are toying around with a barrel-type wood stove that would have a smaller footprint.
The shower room will be separated from the main bathroom with a sliding barn door. Tin siding has been used in the bathhouse to hopefully radiate heat throughout the space. The washer and stackable dryer will be placed in the storage part of the room. The doors and faces of the machines will be accessible in the shower area. Access to the back will be from the storage room. While the wall dividing the space will be floor to ceiling, it will be a partial wall, allowing the washer and dryer to set between the rooms.
As you can see in the images below, the actual space is not near as roomy as my sketch!
Getting Started on the Interior Walls
This trip we began putting in the floor and interior walls. We built the wall separating the shower area and the main part of the bathroom. We also put in the framework for the walls dividing the two spaces. Since we already have building materials stored in the bathhouse we have to work around them. As always, Roxie is supervising our progress.
The Shower Design
The shower has a nice size shower pan and is lined with a tin wall shower stall. While we want the bathhouse to have a rustic feel. We also hope the tin siding helps radiate the heat from the woodstove. The shower will have a separate private space for changing. The area near the top of the wall will be open for the plumbing fixtures to pass through and also to allow heat from the woodstove to warm the room. Philip had a few chilly showering experiences in the RV and has vowed that the bathhouse shower room will be warm!
Installing the tin siding was quite the job to make the curves around the corners without cutting the tin. It took both of us to manhandle the tin in and get it secured. I am a little worried about how well that tin will clean from soap scum, but I guess we will find out soon.
I reassure you that even though I lack the technical skills to be of any big help to the building crew, I am always present doing what I can to get the job done.
This trip to Kentucky was focused on hunting, so while I would have loved to have made more progress on the bathhouse, I was thrilled that Philip actually took time to enjoy himself on the homestead and go hunting. Be watching for future updates as we continue to take baby steps in completing the bathhouse.
About the Author: Barbra-Sue Kowalski grew up on a small hobby farm. She was always drawn to farm life, however, she was stuck in an urban life far from her roots. Barbra-Sue was a single mom for 13 years, raising her 3 children on her own. She met Philip in 2018 and they married in 2021. Between the two of them, they have 5 grown children and 4 grandchildren. These empty nesters are following their dreams! As they both turn 50, they are building their off-grid homestead to live the life that they dream about. Learn more about Philip and Barbra-Sue here. Contact them here. To leave a comment on this post, please scroll down.