Can I put a toilet in my shed in the UK? (3 alternatives)

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Can I put a toilet in my shed in the UK? We will discuss planning permissions and three viable options for installing a toilet in your garden shed. 

Can I put a toilet in my shed in the UK?

Yes, in the UK you can put a toilet in the shed, as long as you have planning permission. Installing a toilet (and a sink and bathtub) means that you must comply with the required building regulations. 

Here’s when you won’t need building regulations for a shed in the UK:

  • When the interior of the shed is less than 15m2 and it is not a sleeping accommodation;
  • When the interior of the shed is more than 15m2 but less than 30m2 and not within one metre of the boundary, and it is not a sleeping accommodation.

And here’s when you will need building regulations for a shed in the UK:

  • When you want to install a toilet, shower, sink and connect them to the main sewer;
  • When you convert the shed to a living accommodation;
  • When the shed is 30m2 or over.

Please note: If the shed has already a bathroom or kitchen installed and you want to redecorate, you don’t need planning permission as long as you are not adding/removing any walls, doors or windows. 

Do I need a permit to establish a water connection for the garden shed?

You should ask this question to your local building authority – the answer also depends on where you live. It is necessary to inquire with the local authorities to know the steps to follow, as well as the papers to be filled.

Our advice: it is best to take the technical data of your garden shed with you to the office when you request authorization for the water connection. This also applies if you only plan to buy a garden shed, for example in our online store and possibly ask the office for the building permit application documents.

If you want a water connection for the garden house, you should also pay the question of the wastewater disposal costs in advance. Because if you consume water in the garden shed and then throw it into the sewer system and it needs to be cleaned later in a sewage treatment plant, there is a sewerage charge.

Our advice: Install a dry toilet in your shed 

You probably didn’t know this, but dry toilets can also be installed … indoors, without requiring a planning permit! More and more individuals and professionals are taking the plunge and opting for this little ecological corner (and they are quite right).

There are several reasons for installing a dry toilet:

  • because it is the best solution for your interior: isolated site, no connection to the network …
  • for the sake of ecology: there is no point in using drinking water for toilets (moreover, when periods of drought are more and more frequent)
  • and again to save water (a hunt consumes between 3 and 6 litres of water) and preserve this resource.

These dry toilets are the best known. It is usually a wooden seat, in which the effluent receptacle is integrated. All the user needs to do is add a “litter” (usually wood chips) after it has passed. If you have the DIY spirit, you can build this type of dry toilet on your own.

A specialized craftsman can also offer you a tailor-made project, adapted to your aesthetic wishes and sized according to your use. You will also be supported for the future management of effluents.

How dry toilets work

These indoor dry toilets work without sawdust, on the principle of separating liquids (urine) and solids (faeces and toilet paper). The separation makes it possible to reduce the volume of waste, and therefore the frequency of emptying.

The toilet seat is separated into two spaces (one at the front for liquids, the other at the back for solids) and should be used in a seated position only (you get used to, you have tested).

  •  Urine is directed through a pipe to a reservoir or goes to the greywater sanitation network.
  • The faeces are collected in another tank placed in or under the seat.

Once full, the tank is to be emptied into an external composter (after 18 to 24 months, the compost is mature and can be used as an amendment for green spaces).

Simple as that!

Alternative option: install a toilet without a drain

There are two fundamental elements to dispense with the location of the downspouts when installing the toilet if we are going to place a disposer for the evacuation of sewage:

  • A water outlet.
  • A plug.

Although there is another aspect that we cannot forget and that is necessary for any bathroom, wherever it is placed:

Ventilation. In case we have a window in the place where it is placed, that will be enough. Otherwise, it will be necessary to install an extractor for humidity and odours.

On the other hand, these types of assemblies usually also adapt to certain requirements that usually do not pose any problem when installing. Although they should be borne in mind:

  • The toilet must be close to the shower so that the water outlet pipe reaches a 3% slope, for this reason, the showers are also usually placed elevated. In the case of the sink, when it is located higher, there is usually no problem.
  • The pumps usually have a maximum evacuation limitation in height of about 5 meters, about two meters high.
  • We must check the pumping power of the disposer so that it is able to correctly bridge the distance to the downspout.

In addition, thanks to the decomposition of solid waste in these bathrooms, it is not common to have to call a plumber for a clearing service if the system is working properly.

Install a toilet with an electric disposer in the shed

We tell you how to install the complete bathroom in a few simple steps with a waste disposal pump.

  1. First, you must fix the disposer to the floor and connect it through the front socket to the toilet and from the top to the sink.
  2. Attach the sink to the floor and wall, connect it to the water tap, and connect the drain to the shredder with an elbow.
  3. Fix the toilet and seal the joint with the disposer so there are no leaks. Connect the hose of the cistern with the water connection.
  4. Do the same with the shower.
  5. Connect the disposer to the general downspout with a PVC pipe fitting.

The bottom line

It may sound like science fiction, but toilets without a drain are totally doable today. You can dream of the perfect distribution of your floor and change the toilet without having to look where the downspouts go. Plus, it is the perfect solution to put a toilet in your shed without requesting planning permission!

If you have any comments or questions about the content, please let us know.

FAQ on Can I put a toilet in my shed UK?

Can I put a toilet in my summerhouse?

Yes, you can put a toilet in your summerhouse, but you will need to request planning permission for that. Depending on the size and the location of the summerhouse, your plan may get approved or rejected! 

How to make a bathroom where there is no drain?

To make a bathroom where there is no drain, follow these steps:

  1. Fix the toilet and seal the joint with the disposer so there are no leaks.
  2.  Connect the hose of the cistern with the water connection. 
  3. Do the same with the shower. 
  4. Connect the disposer to the general downspout with a PVC pipe installation

How does a dry toilet work?

A dry toilet is a type that does not use running water. Instead, it uses the capabilities of composting (aerobic fermentation) and dissection to break down faeces or faecal matter.

How do composting toilets work?

In its most developed form, the dry composting toilet has a fermentation chamber underneath it, that is capable of containing faeces for long periods of time, and it has a ventilation system to allow drying and fermentation of organic matter.


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