Bike shelter upcycled from an outside toilet!

James Grigg
4 min readJul 5, 2022

I’ve spent the last few days building myself a little bike shelter, made mostly out of parts that used to be an outside toilet in the backyard of my Victorian-era terraced house! Ta-da:

Photo by the author, obviously (so are all the others here!).

It also functions as a rainwater collection surface to fill my water butts, ready to water plants, and as a platform to put plants on, meaning I can fit more plants in my tiny garden, and they are lifted up into a sunnier height — Which being enclosed on all sides by either tall fences, or even taller buildings, is something they rather need, as most of my garden only gets a few short hours of direct sunlight even in summer!

I reused mostly materials reclaimed from what was the outside toilet — Which I have never used because, well, I have a much nicer inside toilet that isn’t full of spiders! I knocked that down last summer, to make my little backyard a little more spacious. Here’s what the toilet block used to look like:

The roof of the new shelter is one of the old doors, with the slate tiles on top of course, and I was able to reuse most of the old guttering too (trimmed down a little).

As you can see, I used to have a water butt connected to the toilet block to supply water for my plants; but that actually broke a little before I knocked the toilet down. The bottom caved in, so I chopped it in half and turned into two huge pots for a couple of my potted trees! So I’ve been without a rainwater supply for about a year now, much to the detriment of my plants with my reluctant and stingy use of tap water to keep them going! So I got myself two water butts to feed off the new roof surface now, as my old one always used to run out in drier periods. I’ll see how well that works, there’s space enough to add a third if really needed!

I already had the cycle-stand, which I relocated. So all that was new apart from the water butts is a little bit of new wood in the supporting structure (supplemented with odd bits I had spare from…



James Grigg

Artist, environmentalist, vegan, feminist, atheist, nudist, cyclist, chocoholic, trekkie. Interested in issues of sustainability and equality —