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DIY Rain Barrel On A Budget

2. Select Your Location

Before assembling your rain barrel, select and prepare the location where it will be used. The barrel should be no further than 28″ from the downspout and the downspout must be a rectangular 2″x3″ or 3″x4″.

It’s also important to make sure the ground is level and firm before moving your barrel into place. To prep, we raked away the existing river rock and used a stone paver to create a base for the DIY rain barrel. In addition to the stone paver, we used some soil we had on hand from another project to help even things out and then checked our work with a level.

Once your base is prepared, mark the front of the barrel for the spigot and double check that the hose can reach from the rim of your barrel to your downspout.


3. Install The Spigot and Drain

Break out the power tools! It’s time to install the spigot and the drain. I was the most nervous about this step. (Measure twice, cut drill once!) But, since the DIY rain barrel kit includes the hole saws, the process was simple.

We followed “option B” in the kit directions, which includes notes to drill both a hole for the spigot and the drain. The spigot hole should go approximately 12″ from the bottom of your barrel, and the drain hole should go 3″ from the bottom. (Note, we had to adjust our holes slightly to account for the metal ribbing, but it didn’t cause any issues.)

After measuring and marking where your holes will go, use a drill and the small hole saw to drill the holes. Insert the rubber seals into both holes, and then install the spigot and the drain.

4. Install The Fill Hose Seal

With the front of the barrel complete, it’s time to move to the back side to install the fill hose seal. After measuring carefully, use the medium hole saw to drill a hole and insert the fill hose seal.



5. Prepare The Downspout and Install The Flexifit Diverter

Remember when I said I was nervous to drill into the barrel? I was even MORE nervous to drill a hole into our downspout! As you can see below, I’m happy to report we didn’t encounter any issues. Phew!

Before you do anything, carefully measure (and re-measure!) the location of the hole in your downspout. Then, use the large hole saw to cut the hole.



*Tip: Be sure to wear your safety glasses for this step.

Once the hole is cut, insert the diverter into the hole. Then, using a Phillips head screwdriver, use 2 screws to firmly attach the diverter to the downspout.



6. Connect Your Barrel

Now it’s time for the last step, connecting your barrel. To complete your DIY rain barrel, connect the hose to the downspout diverter. Make sure to press firmly until the corrugated section of the hose is flush against the diverter. Then, extend your hose to the desired length and connect it to the fill hose seal on your barrel. Check to make sure the hose is flush with the seal, and your DIY rain barrel is all done!

Safety Tip: Do not drink water from the rain barrel.

Rainwater from your DIY rain barrel is great for your flowers and vegetables, but it is not recommended for consumption by pets or people.

Here is the front of our home before the rain barrel was installed. Bare, bland, and lacking some serious curb appeal!

And the front of our house after the DIY rain barrel was finished. So much better, right?!? P.S. See that big brown drainpipe eyesore? We’ve got plans for that as part of phase II of our mini landscape makeover, but more on that later.

Now, let’s talk about the budget. Similar style rain barrels can cost anywhere between $100 – $260 or MORE, and most of them are made of some type of plastic. Whomp, whomp. The type of wine barrel we purchased was a bit more expensive, but we preferred it to the look of some of the other barrels. And for a few more bucks, our barrel is guaranteed to be waterproof. A tiny (but important!) detail and worth the extra money.

Here is the total cost for our DIY rain barrel project.



Cost Breakdown

  • Wine Barrel — $106.18
  • Stone Paver — $4.82
  • Earth Minded™ DIY Rain Barrel Kit — $29.99
  • Soil — $0 (had extra on hand from another project)



Total Project Cost = $140.95



How To Winterize Your DIY Rain Barrel

It may be hot now, but a rain barrel can be damaged if the water is allowed to freeze in it during the winter months. To protect your DIY rain barrel, it’s important to know how to winterize it.

To winterize, first, remove the screws from the downspout and remove the diverter. Next, completely drain the barrel making sure the water is drained away from the foundation of your house. Last, cover the hole in the downspout with the winter hole cover (included in your DIY kit) and secure it with screws.

We’re in love with the finished look and are already making plans to install a few more DIY rain barrels around the house to help conserve even more rainwater (and lower our utility bills!) What do you think of our little budget-friendly project? As always, thanks for stopping by and for supporting the blog. I appreciate it!