Posted on: 9 January 2017
Many older houses in Australia have a "dunny block" in the back corner of the block. This was the cubicle of the old outside toilet and will often need to be demolished before a house can be extended or the block subdivided. Here are some steps to make the process as easy as possible.
Check the historical value of your loo
It's a good idea to check whether there is any historical listing around your toilet. While this may seem a little silly, even if nothing historical has happened in your toilet, some toilets are covered by historical listings, as the overall streetscape and appearance of the street is covered by historical listings. This can affect the legality of your demolishing your toilet. The local council can advise you on whether there are any historical ordinances covering the toilet before you call the demolition company.
Check what is below the ground
Some old toilets have a simple collection system of a bucket that was picked up a few times a week by the dunny man. After a while, as the dunny-man collection become less regular, some householders dug deeper sewage pits. These pits were often capped when the toilets moved indoors but can have captured both a powerful biological load and some heavy gases, including methane. Understanding what is beneath the surface can help the demolition company to safely demolish the toilet with the correct equipment and not create any dangerous situations in and around your home.
This can also include planning what fill materials you might need, particularly if there is a deep sewer pit to fill.
Reuse building materials
While you might not want to use the actual toilet again, many toilet blocks have some old bricks in the walls or other feature you may want around the yards. If nothing is in usable condition you may still like to take photos as a historical record of how the site was used. Referencing the history of your home in the development, even by using bricks as a paving edge detail, can be a nice way to acknowledge the way that your site has been used over time.
If you are planning to develop your block or extend your property and have an old outside toilet block, you should talk to a demolition company to investigate whether would be possible to demolish the block as planned or if you need to tweak your plans.Share