How to Determine Which Sized Dumpster You Need

How to Determine Which Sized Dumpster You Need

Doing a home improvement project means you’re going to have trash and lots of it, too much for your regular curbside service to handle.  Not only that there are going to be left over pieces of drywall, wood, and other big items that are never going to fit into a bin bag.  You are going to have to rent a dumpster to handle all of it.  Renting the dumpster is the easy part, choosing the right size dumpster is harder. Let’s go over the differences and how to determine which sized dumpster you need.

Why You Need a Dumpster

Trash from a home renovation just cannot be put in the regular trash, and if you try leaving an old bathtub at the curb for the garbage man to pick up you will find they leave it behind.  Even if you live close to a residential dump you will find yourself making multiple trips, wasting that you could be using to complete your renovation.  On the other hand, renting a dumpster saves you time, gives you a place to put your trash while you work and when you’re done it is hauled away for you.

Picking the Right Size

Dumpsters aren’t like t-shirts there is no “one size fits all” a big project needs a bigger dumpster. The bigger the dumpster the more money you are going to pay for it.  So you want the right sized dumpster so you don’t overpay or have to have it hauled and dumped multiple times.  Here are  the different sizes you can get.

  • 10 Yard Dumpster: This is typically used for small cleanouts of a residential house or flat, or a small residential renovation. If you own rental property and your tenants move in the middle of the night leaving their stuff behind, this is usually enough to haul their stuff away.
  • 15 Yard Dumpster: Slightly bigger, this size is ideal for when you renovate your kitchen or bathroom, replacing your roof or some other HVAC projects.  It will hold up to 3 tons of trash and this is the size you will see in residential driveways.
  • 20 Yard Dumpster: This is one of the more common choices for a dumpster rental and it is what you use when you are renovating your whole home. If you are planning to gut your whole home down to the studs then you will need this dumpster.
  • 30 Yard Dumpster: This is the largest and you will typically find it at commercial construction jobs. It can work for large home renovation projects as well.

Those are the different dumpster sizes along with when they are most commonly used.

Getting the Best Deal on Your Dumpster

Getting the Best Deal on Your Dumpster

Home renovations and construction projects generate lots of waste and to dispose of it you’re going to have to rent a dumpster. You can’t put construction waste into conventional trash bins, so there is no way around having to rent one.  That being said you should still look for the best price possible.  Getting the best deal on your dumpster starts with being prepared, so here’s how you can do that.

Figuring Out the Size

Dumpsters come in a bunch of different sizes and figuring what you need can be difficult.  Contractors are pretty good at this, they rent dumpsters all the time but for the average homeowner taking on a DIY renovation they may have no clue.  Remember the bigger the dumpster the more that is going to cost.  For a home renovation project or addition you can probably get away with a dumpster that is between 30 and 40 cubic feet.  Getting the size right helps to control the costs of hauling the trash away from your property.

How Long Will You Need It

How long do you expect your project to take?  Remember the dumpster isn’t just for the trash from demolition but you will also need some place to put the waste and packaging from the materials that you will be using.  Again the longer you need the dumpster the more you will have to pay for it. If you know how long your project is going to take and keep to the deadlines then you can keep your costs down.

The Allowable Weight

Rental companies give a certain amount of weight that is allowed in the dumpster and if you go over that amount then you are going to be charged additional fees.  Most companies will have a flat rate for every ton of trash that is over the limit.  Factor some extra weight into your budget just in case that you go over the weight limit.

Price Compare

Never book with the first company that you call but rather get a couple of different prices.  Try and find companies that only do dumpster rentals instead of going through a retailer.  Retail outlets like will charge a markup so it’s best to avoid the middleman altogether.

If you are doing any kind of home renovation then a dumpster is something you can’t do without.  That doesn’t mean that you have to overpay for it.  Follow these tips and you can get a bargain price on your next dumpster rental.