How to Build a Garbage Can Enclosure How to Build a Garbage Can Enclosure

What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Electric drill
Pressure-treated 2x4s
#8 screws, 2"-3" long
Spar varnish

Building a garbage can enclosure is easier than you think. With a few woodworking tools, such as a hammer, saw, measuring tape, and electric drill, you can construct a sturdy, convenient, and attractive storage bin for your garbage and recycling receptacles.

Step 1 - Build a Base

For all of the following connections, you should glue and screw each 2x4 with weather-proof glue and #8 screws approximately 2-3 inches long. Begin by getting accurate measurements of the existing area taken up by your trash can and recycling bin. Using pressure treated 2x4s, build the rectangular base frame on which you will lay your decking material. Install two cross members an equal distance apart to support the flooring of the enclosure. Flooring can also be pressure treated planks, common Douglas Fir, or for longer lasting structures, cedar or redwood planking. Lay planking lengthwise across the 2x4 framing and ensure it fits flush with the end of the crosswise 2x4s. Screw planking into the rectangular base frame approximately 1/8" apart to allow for water drainage.

Step 2 - Frame Your Structure

Build a frame consisting of two upright 2x4s connected at the top with a 2x4 cross member on each side of the base. Attach a long 2x4 across the front, connecting the front 2x4s. For the back, connect a long 2x4 across the back to connect the other 2x4s. Attach two upright 2x4s an equal distance apart along the back, from the bottom of the base to the long 2x4 at the top. At this point you should have six upright 2x4s and four connecting 2x4s along the top, connecting the sides, front, and back uprights. Pre-drill the holes to keep your wood from splitting.

Attach exterior plywood or cedar paneling to the 2x4 structure. Cut your plywood and dry fit it to your structure. When you are satisfied with the fit, apply a bead of glue along each face of the 2x4s and another bead of glue along the top, bottom, and end pieces of your plywood or paneling. Attach the paneling and glue it into place

Step 3 - Make a Cover and an Access Door

Measure a cover and two doors for your structure. Ensure that the cover overhangs the structure and slants backwards to allow for rain runoff. Dry fit the cover, apply glue, and screw it into the crosswise 2x4s along the upright 2x4s. Cut and dry fit the doors, affix hinges and screw hinges into the upright 2x4s of the structure. Test the doors to see that they fit securely and move easily.

Depending on the materials chosen, you can either apply spar varnish or paint your enclosure. Cut either the varnish or paint with 25% to 50% mineral spirits so that the wood is sure to soak up the finish. Let it dry for 24 hours, sand it lightly, and apply a second and third coat if necessary. The only remaining step is to decide where to put your garbage can enclosure.


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