Deciding on which skip size to order can be difficult. Large skips work out cheaper but only if you fill them up. But order one that’s too big and you’ll end up paying for thin air. Equally, there’s nothing worse than having a skip that’s too small so you end up having to order another. The following skip size guide explains the different skip sizes available, the sorts of projects each is best suited to, and certain restrictions that apply with larger skip sizes.
Skips Sizes are measured in cubic yards
Skip sizes are referred to by their volume in terms of cubic yards. A cubic yard is 1 yard (3 foot) high x 1 yard wide x 1 yard deep and is roughly the size of two washing machines or dishwashers, a domestic fridge freezer, or a large upholstered armchair. For the more metric of you, one cubic yard is equivalent to ¾ of a cubic metre (91cm x91cm x 91cm)
Common skip sizes
Below are the most common skip sizes together with a guide to how many full bin bags you can fit in them and the typical sort of waste projects each skip size is used for.
2 CUBIC YARDS - 'Mini Skip'
The 2 yard Mini Skip is suitable for very small domestic jobs. It holds the equivalent of 20-30 bin bags. This size skip is fairly unusual, so you may find that many of the listed suppliers won't have one available very often. Check out prices for the other size skips to see if a larger one might make more sense.
4 CUBIC YARDS - 'Small Skip'
The 4 yard Small Skip is excellent for bathroom and smaller kitchen refits. It holds the equivalent of 30-40 bin bags.There are smaller sizes available, like the 2 yard skip, but this is a good size for any minor scale job you might have.
6 CUBIC YARDS - 'Builder's Skip'
One of the most popular skip sizes, the 6 yard Builders Skip is perfect for larger kitchen refits and other medium sized refurbishment projects. It holds the equivalent of 50-60 bin bags.
8 CUBIC YARDS - 'Large Skip'
The most popular skip size, the 8 yard Large Skip is the largest skip available for loads of heavy waste like builders rubble, soil and concrete. It is ideal for larger residential refurbishment works and office and shop refits. It holds the equivalent of 60-80 bin bags.
12 CUBIC YARDS - 'Maxi Skip'
The 12 yard Large Maxi skip is ideal for large house clearances or bulky refurbishment works. It holds the equivalent to 100-120 bin bags. It cannot be used for loads of heavy waste (like builders rubble, soil and concrete) due to weight constraints of skip lorries. Equally, its size means that most councils will not allow it to be put on a public highway, so you can normally only use one if you have space for it on your property.
14 CUBIC YARDS - 'Ultra Skip'
The 14 yard 'Ultra Skip' is the largest commonly used skip. It's too big to go on road - councils won't allow a permit for a skip this size, so you'll have to make sure you've got somewhere to store it off road. Just like the 12 yard, it cannot be used for loads of heavy waste because the lorry won't be able to pick the skip up. It's a very big skip - and will fit between 150 and 180 bin bags. It's a good size skip for large scale clearances - emptying three or four garages of general waste, or clearing out several lofts completely.
When you've decided which skip size will best suit your plans, it's worth taking a look at our list on which items you can and can't put in your skip. Make sure to talk to the skip firm when you book your skip if there are any substances or items you're unsure of. Our list is a helpful guideline, but individual skip firms may well have their own policies on contents. Do let us know if you spot something we're missing on our list.