Screenhouse rental with outside walk to shared bathroom in our house

We have a 12’ x 16’ lakefront screenhouse on our property. It has a daybed with trundle that can be 2 twins or a king, a fold down couch, a dining/card table with 2 chairs and 2 additional comfy chairs and tv. Guest will have to walk outside to come in the house to use our first floor shared bathroom. The use of the shower will be theirs exclusively during their stay and there is also an outdoor shower. Do you think that the bathroom situation will deter folks from staying with us? We are “going live” next week for possible bookings. We also have kayaks, a pedal boat, stand up board and swimming for their use. Thank you for your input.

People who like that kind of thing will book. It sounds like staying at a KOA with a tent where you have to walk to the bathroom in the main building. People do it all the time.

What consideration have you given to the liability issues?


We have covered that with our insurer.

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Go for it. And consider building just a small bathroom, toilet and sink, for guests, right by the screenhouse if not right now, then in the future. People aren’t going to be booking a screen house in cold weather anyway, so the little bathroom doesn’t have to be winterized. It could be pretty rustic as long as it’s easily cleanable. I’d build it of plastered cement block and tile floor, so you could basically just hose it down.

What you describe sounds like a solid roof and four walls of screen. If there are no solid walls for privacy, I personally would not rent your “screen house”.


Ken I’ve attached a picture. We call it a screenhouse but it is a building with windows.


There are a lot of people that will book, but I would be very careful about instant book as I can see the bathroom situation being a cause of confusion, discomfort, and poor reviews.


It’s super cute. But you should plan on building a bathroom at some point, even if it’s only an outhouse.


Thank you for pointing that out.

I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t stay somewhere with a walk to a shared bathroom. But in my younger happy-to-camp days I would. Although I’d expect it to be very cheap.

I hope that you’ve made accurate evaluations of your costs when determining your nightly fee. As you said, you have liability insurance within your regular STR coverage and that must be pretty expensive annually.

Does the liability coverage have any provisos regarding maintenance? Years ago when I considered having bikes for our guests, our attorney and insurance company stressed that we would have to maintain them to the highest standard at all times, plus the increase in costs would be large.

Does the place have running water? Is there room for a composting loo inside the rental? I think I’m probably overly concerned about the loo situation! But if a nighttime bathroom visit was required it could be awkward. :roll_eyes:

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I think that guests who will be okay with walking to a shared bathroom, will just go pee outside on the grass if they have to go during the night. I know I would and have done in situations like that.

That’s true…

Blokes certainly would. :slight_smile:

I’m a little confused, how is the bathroom shared but the (indoor) shower exclusive? (I’m imagining some kind of outside-door-to-the-shower arrangement?)

Can you install an outdoor sink as part of the outdoor shower plumbing? Also upvoting the outhouse or composting toilet idea. Then you’ll get lake lovers who don’t mind roughing it a bit but they’ll have privacy.

If not, is the path to the bathroom well lighted at night? Let us know how it goes!

Well, I’m female and I would :slight_smile: Not in broad daylight, but certainly I have no qualms about it at night.

I actually use a pee pail at night when I have guests. The upstairs consists of my room, the guest room and a bathroom between them which has doors on either side into each bedroom. When I have guests, the door into my room is locked and that bathroom is exclusively for the guests.

I use the downstairs bathroom and have always kept all my bathroom gear there, even before I ever started hosting. I only used the upstairs one to pee right before sleep, during the night, or early morning, and occasionally to shower before bed.

But I don’t like having to get up at night to go downstairs, hence the pee pail. It just requires making sure the guest isn’t around when I carry it downstairs to empty and wash out :laughing:

So am I and so would I. In daylight too but I suspect that many American females wouldn’t. (Am I going to get a barrage of denials?)

A problem with blokes peeing outside is that they seem to have to point it at something. I’ve never understood why but if they are in an open field with a tree 50 yards away they’ll walk over to the tree to aim at that.

If that was my rental, I’d worry that I’d have to constantly hose things down - the sides of the building, the trees. As it is now, I have to hose down the hedges at the entrances to our building because passing dogs cock their legs at them. (Bearing in mind that in a South Florida climate un-hosed pee can get really stinky).

Years ago I used to have a very tiny and very old caravan that we used for weekends away. We used a toilet tent and a chemical toilet. Emptying it was a dreadful job but now composting loos seem to be easy to deal with, I think.


Okay, I’ll amend that, I would in broad daylight, just not in full view of anyone except friends or family.

Funny story- some friends of mine had a job on a private island in Canada, attending to the German family who owned it, who were some sort of German royalty.

One friend was the please everyone type, the other was a no-holds-barred, say whatever you think, do whatever type. She would tell the entitled teens of this family to make their own damn bed, and things like that.

The house was an L-shape, the kitchen on one leg, the dining room on the other. You could see out the dining room window into the kitchen window.

One day the outspoken woman had some tiff with one of the family members while lunch was being served. So she went back to the kitchen, climbed up on the counter, dropped her pants, and peed in the kitchen sink, in full view of the family eating their lunch.


We have a bathroom on both floors. The first floor shower will be for guests with us sharing the “facilities” during the day. We will shower in our upstairs bathroom. We also have an enclosed outdoor shower near the lake for their use too. I’d like to add that the walk to the bathroom is 20’.

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Got it. What if I want to take a shower and you’re using the toilet? I wouldn’t sell that as exclusive, maybe just say “shared” so as to avoid any misunderstanding.

Not sure what perceived value it adds for the guest that we’re not taking turns sharing a shower enclosure but we’re sharing a toilet.

Could you forgo the downstairs bath during guest visits and say the bathroom is accessed by entry into the main house but is for the exclusive use of guests during their stay? If there’s a medical or mobility reason you must have access to the downstairs bath, say no more, understood.

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Thank you for your insightful response.

I rented a yurt and had to walk with a flashlight to a storage container that had been converted in to a bath/shower. I had to open it with a very noisy garage door, but it was huge and well appointed. We knew by the listing that the bathroom required a walk and we were perfectly happy. As another host mentioned, it’s similar to renting pitching at a campground or renting a rustic cabin.