Trash Enclosures: How to Build Your Own Trash Enclosure & Free Plans

A trash enclosure solves more than a few problems. Let's look at the reasons to have one as well as the tools and materials required to build it. We'll even point you toward free resources to help with the project, or you can assign the task to your professional handyman.

Reasons to Have a Trash Enclosure

Garbage containers are not the most attractive items. They usually are large and bulky, and they only seem to come in drab colors. Garbage containers also get dirty and worn with use. An enclosure allows you to hide the unsightly items. Trash enclosures also are a must in areas of the country with pesky wildlife. If bears are an issue, the last thing you want to do is leave food waste out that will attract them. While not as dangerous, raccoons, possums and coyotes like to get into garbage containers. Even a loose neighborhood dog can make a mess if determined enough.

Tools and Materials Required to Build a Trash Enclosure

The tools and materials needed to build a trash enclosure for your home will vary by plan. The following are common items on a to-buy list:

  • Saw
  • Drill
  • 2-by-4 lumber
  • Corner posts
  • Nails and screws
  • Construction adhesive
  • Heavy-duty hinges and latches
  • Handles
  • Metal flashing to cover seams
  • Stain
  • Shovel
  • Landscaping fabric
  • Gravel or concrete

The scope of the project will increase significantly if you plan to create a concrete base for the trash enclosure. It's a good idea to do so, though, in areas of the country that see lots of wet weather. Wheeled garbage containers will get stuck in mud or create a mess down your driveway every time you put the trash out after a soaking rain.

Free Plans for Trash Enclosures

Whether you decide to tackle this project yourself or have your professional handyman take it on, it helps to have a plan in mind. Check out these free options:

The Renovation Headquarters website offers free, downloadable plans for trash enclosures and also for combo enclosures if you would like to add firewood in the same storage area.

The City of Anaheim, Calif., also posts its requirements for trash enclosures online. It helps residents understand what is and is not allowed, but it also serves as a blueprint for anyone want to build an enclosure.

The Garden Path offers this video, which gives you an overview of a more involved trash enclosure project that features a concrete slab. Before getting started on the project yourself or hiring help, check with the appropriate department in your city to learn whether there are any rules you must follow. As with all home projects, whether you take the DIY route or hire a professional depends on several factors. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I have the skills necessary to do a quality job?
  • Do I have the tools needed, or will I need to purchase them?
  • Do I have the time this project will take?

You also should do the math. Ask your professional handyman to provide a quote, then add up the cost of tools and materials you need to purchase. Don't forget to factor in your time. It has a monetary value, too! Also keep in mind that it will take you much longer to do a job once that a professional does on a regular basis. If you decide to tackle the project yourself, it still doesn't hurt to ask your professional handyman for advice during his or her next visit. Mr. Handyman, a Neighborly company can maintain your home to save you money. One call really does take care of everything on your to-do list. Make sure to stay on top of all your household repairs, improvements and maintenance needs and request service now online.

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