Previously known as bathing huts, beach huts date back to the 1800s when beach vacations became popular. They are usually designed for day visits but can be altered to accommodate more extended stays. Alterations may need to cover issues ranging from space to weather-proofing.
Most beach huts are not equipped for full-time residency. Many do not have cooking facilities, toilets, electricity, or water. The ability to live in a beach hut depends on if one comes equipped with such facilities, and if not, the beach hut must have the capacity for you to add the facilities.
When considering living in a beach hut, the following is vital to keep in mind: the process and cost of purchasing or renting one, how much space it has, if it is equipped with plumbing and electricity, and how to access food and water, and lastly, security. Each of these considerations is explored below.
Is It Possible To Live In A Beach Hut?
In short, yes, but only with the proper facilities. It is possible to buy or rent a beach hut, but the price and process vary between countries and areas. Space needs to be used wisely to live in one, and it must be wind and water-proofed. While many don’t have toilets or showers, residents can use public or shared ablutions nearby.
Beach huts can also be connected to local electricity grids or equipped with solar power, and cooking can be done on electric or gas stovetops and barbecues. With strong locks and a safe area, in addition, it is possible to live in a beach hut.
How Difficult Is It To Buy Or Rent A Beach Hut?
Individuals can purchase beach huts as private property, but not always, and it usually depends on the country and area. It can be challenging because where beach houses are already built, they are often owned and managed by local councils or companies that rent them out for the day. Very often, they are not for sale to the public.
Renting a beach hut is often more straightforward and more affordable. It is also common to rent one for a vacation stay as long as three months in the summer. These may come at a higher price than private ownership but may include more facilities.
The size of beach huts varies. They typically cover a space of 6×6 to 12×12 square feet over one floor. However, in some rare cases, beach huts can have as many as two stories and accommodate 5 to 6 people.
Nonetheless, beach huts are usually cramped to some extent. Utilizing space wisely is an essential part of successfully living in one. Building shelves and cupboards that reach the ceiling and creating storage underneath furniture like beds and tables are examples of maximizing space.
Living in a beach hut is challenging for more than one or even two people because of these constraints, especially regarding facilities like water, electricity, showers, and toilets, as will be explained next.
Beach huts can be equipped with running water, usually by a tank. This, however, comes with challenges, mainly that this limits the amount of water available. Frugal use of water is important for living in a beach hut.
Beach huts usually do not have toilets and showers. Living in one often requires proximity to shared ablutions or public showers and toilets. While this is possible for many beach hut residents, it can be inconvenient, for example, when needing to use the shower or bathrooms in the dark or during bad weather such as heavy rain or wind. This is an important consideration because beach huts are often in coastal regions with such weather conditions.
Beach huts usually do not have electricity but sometimes are connected to local power grids. If it is not connected to local power grids and does not have outlets and lighting, these can be installed alongside solar panels with batteries.
The challenge of living with solar power is the weather. In a cold climate with limited sunshine or high rainfall, there will be limited access to electricity even with batteries installed. If the beach hut is not in a sunny location, a connection to local power grids is ideal. Solar power also requires appliances with limited voltage or designed specifically for connection to solar systems (like solar refrigerators).
Climate also determines if a beach hut is habitable in bad weather conditions such as rain or cold. Beach huts designed for day visits will not have the insulation necessary to live through cold winter nights. It is dangerous to light fires inside huts, and they often burn down.
Additional risks include high rainfall, tropical storms, or unusually high tides. Waterproofing and wind-proofing of the roof, windows, and door are essential if you want to live in a beach hut for an extended period.
Cooking is surprisingly easy if it has a gas stovetop connected to a gas bottle or uses a barbecue. Utilizing both is ideal, as gas can run out, and stormy weather can prevent barbequing outdoors.
A small, high-efficiency refrigerator designed to connect to solar systems is necessary if the beach hut runs on solar panels. A combination fridge freezer would be ideal for long-term stays. Alternatively, some refrigerator/freezers have their solar components.
The location of a beach hut in relation to grocery stores hugely impacts if it is possible to live in it permanently. Many people in beach huts eat crabs caught in crab pots and the fish they catch. However, even with gathering seafood from the landscape, most people need to supplement this with store-bought foods (such as vegetables, grains, or cooking aids like oil).
Beach huts are common targets of vandalism and petty theft. A strong padlock with a bolt and lock is used on the door for beach hut owners who do not live in their cabins. However, criminal activities still take place, making local security an important consideration.
When living permanently in a beach hut, a lock mechanism from both inside and outside the structure is essential. It is also recommended that silicone lubricant or graphite is sprayed on locking mechanisms to delay rusting. Curtains closed windows, and keeping valuable items on site (for example, not leaving them on the porch) are helpful steps to detract from petty crime.
Ultimately the safety of living in a beach hut is much the same as living in any home: it depends on the overall safety of the area. Investigating this is needed before purchasing or renting a beach hut long-term.
If you can find one to purchase or rent for an affordable price, you can overcome the main obstacles to living in one, depending on its location. Location will influence price, climate, access to things like local power grids, sunlight for solar power, food, water, and ablutions in or near the hut.
Keeping the above in mind, living in a beach hut is possible under certain conditions. With the suitable facilities, it can offer proximity to nature and the sea, making it worth the sacrifice of some comfort.