Constructing a Rain Barrel

Tools and Materials Needed for Constructing a Rain Barrel

Many nurseries and yard supply stores sell fully assembled rain barrels, but you can get an unmodified barrel and convert it into a rain barrel yourself quite easily. The trick, as with most do-it-yourself projects, is to do it right the first time. You don’t want to make the wrong or unnecessary cuts or holes. I’m here to help you not make the same mistakes I made, and to use the best practices I’ve developed over time…and with many rain barrels. For this do-it-yourself project, assemble your tools and supplies, and then follow the construction steps.

Tools for Constructing a Rain Barrel:

drillinch hole saw for overflow pipeone-inch spade bit for spigottin snips or heavy-duty scissors for cutting screenadjustable wrenchutility knifesafety glasses 

To Connect your Downspout to Your Rain Barrel:

hacksawdrillscrewdriver or nut driverpliers or crimpers 

Materials for Constructing a Rain Barrel

One 55 to 90-gallon food grade plastic barrel (found onlineor at local restaurant suppliers, nurseries, or gardening supplystores) 

Find the following items at most plumbing or hardware stores:

hose spigot with 3/4 inch threaded inlet and 3/4 inch male hose end
two 3/4 inch galvanized locknuts to secure spigot from the inside of the barrel
four 1-inch (opening) washers to provide rigid surface to fasten hose bib
Teflon tape
silicon adhesive or outdoor caulking
two 8”x 8” x 12” concrete or wooden blocks
window screen mesh (enough to cover the barrel opening)
downspout elbow to route the downspout to the barrel
clincher strap (attaches downspout and barrel to house)
small pieces of wood blocking to use behind clincher strap (if necessary)
any additional materials necessary for the overflow location
1/4” #6 sheet metal screws for downspout
3/4” screws for clincher strap
2” overflow pipe fittings