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All the Comforts of Home

Although they are one of the most important features on a golf course—at times quite critical—restroom facilities are often one of the least discussed.

Golfers and club guests have expectations that their course will provide necessary amenities, while OSHA and the ADA require adherence to certain mandatory guidelines. But as all course superintendents know, with an increase in play or the hosting of a tournament or other special activity, the need for additional restrooms can escalate quickly.

When golf course decision makers consider adding extra bathrooms, either for short or long-term use, they may explore several possibilities. Of their options, the construction of permanent restrooms is frequently the most expensive route, not only in terms of the cost of building the structure, but also the need to address permitting issues, to run water and sewer lines (sometimes to remote areas of the property), perhaps to install septic tanks, and possibly to disrupt play during or after the construction phase due to turf damage, repair and grow-in time.

In contrast to building a permanent structure that is functional and in harmony with the golf course’s overall design aesthetic is the decision to install a low-budget portable toilet. Some portable toilets are little more than plastic outhouses. This type of restroom is seldom popular with golfers and club members and can result in safety, odor and sanitation concerns.

Whether at a private club or a municipal course, many superintendents and managers have found that the best choice for their course is neither construction of new facilities nor the dreaded plastic outhouse. Instead, they opt to use custom-built trailers that can be a temporary, semi-permanent or even permanent installation.

Portable bathroom trailers can be designed to complement the style of other structures at a golf course and can be remarkably elegant and well-equipped. One of the companies providing this type of portable bathroom customization is the appropriately named Comforts of Home, Inc.

Headquartered in Montgomery, Illinois, Comforts of Home builds restrooms, showers, laundry facilities, decontamination stations, emergency showers, locker rooms and custom facilities, all designed to be as permanent or as portable as the owner chooses. The company’s projects have included massive decontamination trailers for the U.S. military, forty-foot custom restroom trailers for Cirque du Soleil and hundreds of portable bathrooms from basic to luxurious, built for parks, golf courses and event use throughout North America.

Getting Started in the Business of Portable Luxury Bathrooms

For company founder and president, mechanical engineer Brad Martin, Comforts of Home, Inc., started in 2003 with one portable bathroom that he built in his driveway. Brad purchased a trailer, with the intention of retrofitting it as a portable restroom and renting it for use at weddings and other special events.

By the time he had built eight portable bathrooms, with six of them selling profitably even before he had a chance to put them to work as rentals, Brad realized that the endeavor he started as a side business was quickly evolving into an opportunity with big potential. Not only was the market receptive to the rental of portable trailers for various kinds of short-term use, there also there was a steady demand for custom-built trailers that companies and organizations of all types could put to work in semi-permanent or permanent installations.

Initially, Brad ran his company while concurrently working his day job as an engineer for a company that provides residential, commercial and industrial water treatment, but the juggling act soon proved too much as Comforts of Home flourished and grew. Brad, who had grown up helping at his uncle’s portable toilet rental service, also had three years of construction experience. His firsthand insights about the needs and nuances of renting portable bathrooms, along with his engineering degree and construction know-how, created the ideal foundation for the 2005 launch of his company. Within two years, Brad was no longer buying trailers to retrofit; Comforts of Home was building its own trailers and increasing its capability to customize products and meet client needs.

Today, Comforts of Home averages more than one-hundred high-end custom designed and built trailers each year. The company continues to grow and reach new markets as more clients come to understand that luxury, custom and cost savings can all be delivered in one portable bathroom facility.

Portable Bathrooms Built To Order

Recognizing that quality products begin with quality design, Comforts of Home employs mechanical engineers to develop computer aided design (CAD) renderings for each customized order. This step ensures that every piece is a precision fit and permits the team and the client to preview how the finished product will come together.
Typical Steps in Production and Quality Control at Comforts of Home

1. The structural skeleton (cage), including wall and
roof beams, are built with a solid steel frame, unlike
the wood framing used by some companies.
2. The frame is painted with high-quality, corrosion
resistant paint.
3. The undercarriage has a durable vapor barrier,
topped by green treated three-quarter-inch plywood
and coated on the bottom with rubberized paint.
4. Waste tanks are made of high-grade plastic, unlike
frequently used steel tanks that corrode in the
presence of waste and cleaning chemicals.
5. PEX water lines provide strength, flexibility and
temperature resistance.
6. Trailers have an outside gauge to make it easy for
users to monitor pumping needs.
7. Trailers have an all-aluminum exterior and
seamless aluminum roof.

Portable Bathrooms as Rentals

Comforts of Home offers a free rental referral program to help its suppliers connect with leads in their area. Portable Services, Inc., of Augusta, Georgia, is a client of Comforts of Home, and one of the many success stories in the business of portable toilet rental. Jeff Bentley, the company’s VP and operations manager, thought he was retired until his wife Jan bought out her boss at Portable Services, nudging Jeff back to work.

Their company serves many types of portable bathroom rental needs, including clients in the golf industry. Jeff explained, ‘At Portable Services, we provide units at area courses during tournaments. Jones Creek, for example, hosts a large junior golf tournament for which we supply several units for the players’ use and one of our VIP trailers near the club house.

‘We also have placed units and trailers at Woodside Plantation in nearby Aiken, South Carolina. Our signature color is green so we blend well with the surroundings. We even have some units with a golf graphic on the door.’

Comforts of Home Checklist for Golf Courses Interested in Renting a Portal Bathroom

• Have a garden hose with a minimum of 40 psi water
pressure and a flow rate of 5 gallons per minute that
reaches each rental unit.
• Provide for each unit at least two independent and
dedicated 20 amp power circuits.
• Ensure that each power cord is properly sized (gauge)
for the distance it will run and the 20 amps it will draw.
A generator can alternately be used (rentals available)
if dedicated power supply requirements cannot be met
otherwise.
• Provide a dry and level location for trailer placement
that is also accessible by truck for servicing.

To learn more about purchasing a customized portable bathroom for your golf course or renting a unit for use at a tournament or other event visit www.cohsi.com.

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