Not everyone has a need for a dumpster, but plenty of people do find renting a dumpster a necessity from time to time. After all, around 55 percent of homeowners did renovations in 2022 alone. Anyone who has done even a minor renovation can tell you that there is always more debris than you expect.

For contractors, renting dumpsters is practically a way of life. Building a new home or conducting serious remodeling jobs means generating lots of waste.

Whether you’re a homeowner with a one-off project or a contractor with a recurring need, there is information you need from a dumpster rental company. Keep reading for some key questions you should ask before settling on a dumpster rental option.

What Dumpster Dimensions Are Available?

Every project will create varying levels of waste, but some estimation is possible. Say, for example, that you plan on renovating your kitchen and tossing the old cabinets. You’ll need a fairly big dumpster to accommodate the volume of those cabinets.

If you’re renovating a bathroom, on the other hand, the total volume of trash likely won’t prove that big, even if you strip the room right down to the underlayment and studs in the wall.

You’ll want a dumpster that’s sized appropriately for the expected volume of trash involved. After all, you won’t get your money’s worth from renting a huge dumpster for a comparatively small volume of trash.

That makes asking about the available dimensions important. The closer you can size the dumpster to your actual needs, the more cost-effective the rental becomes.

What Is the Dumpster Weight Allowance?

Another factor that you must consider is the weight of the waste that you’ll generate. For example, if you’re clearing away rocks from your property, it will mean a lot of weight. If you’re replacing the insulation in your attic, you’ll have a comparatively low weight for the same volume.

Some dumpster rental companies put a weight cap on their dumpsters. Understanding those weight caps can give you an idea of what size dumpster you need. If you’re disposing of heavy materials, you can increase the dumpster size to keep the weight in the right range for your needs.

What is the Dumpster Rental Period?

Construction or renovation projects vary in length. You can potentially wrap up some renovation projects over a long weekend. On the other hand, construction projects can drag out for months at a time or even longer.

That makes it important to know what kind of dumpster rental period or periods a company offers. Some companies offer rentals by the week. Other companies will offer rentals by the month or even recurring rental periods for long-term projects.

Granted, this requires that you know how long a project will take or at least have some idea about the duration. Ideally, you’ll go into most projects with a sense of the project length.

Is There Flexibility for Dumpster Rental Periods?

If all goes well, you’ll only need the dumpster for the period of time that you originally rented it. Life does not always work out quite so neatly. Problems often crop up that will extend the total time you need to finish a construction or renovation project.

Of course, most dumpster rental companies will show up to haul away the dumpster on the original schedule. It’s important to find out in advance if there is any flexibility in those policies to extend a rental period if necessary.

While you may not plan on needing extra time, it’s always useful to know that you can get it.

What Is Their Waste Management Policy?

Many locations have regulations on the books about what you can and cannot dispose of in local dumpsters. For example, some cities require that you separate recyclable materials from other waste materials.

You should ask the dumpster rental companies about their waste management policies to ensure they follow local regulations.

Do I Need a Permit?

As a general rule, you will need a permit if a dumpster will occupy public spaces like roads, streets, or sidewalks. On the other hand, you generally won’t need a permit if the dumpster will only occupy private property.

With that said, every city and town is a little bit different. You may live in a jurisdiction where all dumpsters require permits, regardless of location.

You should ask the dumpster rental company if you will need a permit for your dumpster at your location. If you will, check if they will get a permit for you or if you must get the permit yourself.

While many dumpster rental companies will get you the permit, not all of them will.

Do You Have the Appropriate Licenses and Insurance?

Generally speaking, the trucks that dumpster rental companies use require drivers with a CDL (commercial driver’s license). You should ask the company whether their drivers have the correct licenses to drive the trucks.

Additionally, dumpster rental companies need the correct insurance. Primarily, you want a company that carries an appropriate liability insurance policy.

Liability insurance policies are the ones that will protect you if the company accidentally damages some of your property. For example, let’s say that the company damages your driveway while delivering the dumpster.

In that situation, liability insurance would likely cover the damages if you can show solid evidence that the dumpster company caused the damage.

A legitimate company should have no problem showing you proof of proper licensing and insurance.

Renting a Dumpster and You

Renovations and construction projects aren’t the only reasons for renting a dumpster. They are, however, two of the most common reasons that people get them.

Before renting a dumpster, make sure you get all the important information. You should ask about dumpster sizes and weight limits. You should also look into their rental periods.

Make sure you ask about waste management policies, licensing, and insurance. Also, make a point of asking about permits.

Looking for more about home improvement? Check out the posts in our Home Improvement section.