Using a SonoTube As a Remodeling Debris Chute

Job Site Debris Chute

I try to follow best practices when dealing with remodeling dust and debris. I also prefer to work  smarter NOT harder! One of those practices, that accomplishes both, is using a Sonotube as a remodeling chute. It’s probably the best way to get remodeling debris out of the house and into the dumpster.

Benefits of Using a Debris Chute

A debris chute is the quickest, safest, and most efficient method of removing  demolition debris.
A chute is basically a tube that carries construction debris from the remodeled zone and into a dumpster, using gravity.

The chute allows you to avoid having to drag a debris barrel through a clients home. It also reduces risk of damage to the other areas of the house.  Dragging trash barrels through a house inevitably leads to scratched trim, dirty carpets or scratched hardwood floors.

Debris Chutes Save Time, Money and Prevent Injury

Debris chutes save time, and labor by eliminating having to ascend and descend stairs or wait for an elevator. Carrying fully loaded barrels of debris, through my clients house, and down flights of stairs is exhausting. Descending stairs with heavy barrels increases fatigue, and the risk of falling. It also eliminates trying to hoist a fully loaded barrel above your head, and into the dumpster at ground level.

Why Use a SonoTube?

While commercially available debris chutes are available, they’re super expensive, heavy, and take up a tone of storage space, space I don’t have. A 24 inch by 12-foot Sonotube costs me $130.00

Sonotubes are sold in 12-foot lengths and come in many diameters.  I recommend using the 12 -16 -18 -20  or 24-inch diameters.  The larger sizes obviously cost more and need to be special ordered, at my lumberyard. The debris chute pictured in this article is 24 inches in diameter.  It’s larger diameter is perfect for gutting a space for the studs.

We typically support the tube with an extension ladder, and secure both the chute and latter to the dumpster with ratchet straps.

READ:  Best Practice For Controlling Remodeling Dust

How Long Will The Tube Last?

The tubes will easily last several weeks on one job or on a few jobs.  Moisture and punctures will damage their integrity over time.  I typically expense a debris chute to every 2nd or 3rd floor remodel project I do. When were done with the majority of trash and debris activities, we toss it in the dumpster when done.

If your project is going to take a long time you may want to protect it from rain or snow by bringing it in or wrapping it in plastic and bungee cords.

About the author

Rob Robillard

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob Robillard

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1 Comment

  1. David Norriss

    I like how you emphasized how the most effective way to not get debris everywhere while disposing of the waste is by using a debris chute. I know that I would never want a trash removal service to drag waste and debris through my house. I would much prefer it if they used a trash chute to move everything directly to the dumpster.

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