DIY Dumpster Diving: How to Turn a Roll Off Dumpster into a Backyard Pool

When you think of dumpsters, you likely think of trash hauling and junk left over from home renovations. Although dumpsters are most commonly used for trash collecting, an unused roll off dumpster that is ready for retirement can make a great starting point for a backyard pool. If you are a homeowner in love with the DIY approach, then creating a pool out of a dumpster is the perfect choice for you.

The Cleaning Process

Start by cleaning your newly acquired dumpster thoroughly. Start off with a high-pressured power washer. Use the pressure washer to clear away dirt, debris, and paint. You may need to create a drainage hole so you can empty the water from the pressure washer.

You can create a drainage hold by drilling a hole into the side of the dumpster. Use a cork or a round rubber stop to plug the hole when necessary. Once you have managed to pressure wash all of the gunk off the sides and bottom of your dumpster, you will need to use some elbow grease to ensure it's clean.

Fill a 5-gallon bucket with warm, soapy water. Using a large, textured sponge, begin scrubbing the inside of the dumpster. Start at the bottom and work your way up. Make sure you clean really well in between grooves and in the corners. You will also need to scrub down the outside of the dumpster.

After you are finished scrubbing the dumpster clean, use a garden hose to help you rinse off the soap. Keep rinsing the inside of the dumpster until the water run clean and is free of any soapy residue.

The Preparation Process

Measure your dumpster before you begin digging a foundation for your DIY pool. A typical swimming pool usually has an average depth of 5.5-feet. However, a roll off dumpster typically varies between 3.5 feet and 8.5 feet in depth.

An 8-yard container, which is 10-feet long, 8-feet wide, and 3.5-feet in depth would work well for a smaller wading pool. If you prefer a larger pool, consider a 20-yard container, which is 23.5 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 4.5-feet deep, which is the perfect size for a backyard pool.

Once you have measured your dumpster, you will need to prep the ground. Dig a shallow hole that is just slightly bigger than the length and width of your dumpster. Place a layer of limestone around the bottom and sides of your hole in order to protect the soil beneath.

With the help of friends or a professional dumpster dealer, secure the dumpster into the hole. Make sure you pack the dirt tightly around the base of the dumpster once you have it in place. If you would like, you can also pour concrete around the dumpster.

The Conversion Process

Apply a layer of anti-corrosive paint to the inside and outside of your dumpster. Dumpsters are made of metal and a combination of metal and water may cause the metal to rust out. Rusted out spots can eventually ruin your DIY pool.

Wait for the anti-corrosive paint to dry before applying a layer of insulation foam. Place a pool liner with relative flexibility over the insulated foam in order to provide additional padding and that nice, blue look that pools often offer.

Cover the dumpster up by using paint to camouflage your dumpster or you can cut boards to create a wooden surrounding. Layer the wood around the outer edge of the pool and screw the boards together. Make sure you also have thin boards cut so that you can also hide the top edges of the pool.

If you are interested in making a roll of dumpster your next DIY conversion, contact a dumpster rental company through resources like to ask if they have any dumpsters for sale. Some rental companies may offer you a great deal, particularly if they are looking to get rid of some older, worn out dumpsters they have in stock. Your dumpster to pool conversion will quickly give a whole new meaning to the term "dumpster diving."