Stacking Functions Garden

How to install a rain barrel


We got a second rain barrel Saturday morning at a special discounted sale for Hennepin County residents (got our first one two years ago at a similar event).  Eventually I would like to have about 8 of them, but with my budget, I’ll have to build up slowly.  Here’s how we installed it:


First of all, Adam built a little platform out of some scrap lumber.  It is not necessary to raise your barrel off the ground like this, but it sure makes it nicer to use.  You get much better water pressure.  If you want to use your rain barrel with soaker hoses, a platform is a must.

rainbarrel2The platform from a different angle (it’s next to my tomato jungle).

rainbarrel3Next, saw off your downspout approximately 9 inches above where the top of your rainbarrel will be.  Adam held a piece of plywood behind it so he wouldn’t damage our siding with his saw.  This is why I married him.  That never would have occurred to me.

rainbarrel4If there is a bracket holding your downspout to the side of the house, remove it and move it up.


Attach the curved bottom piece to your downspout.  Adam had to drill out a couple of rivets in order to get it in there.

rainbarrel7Assemble your barrel.  This will vary of course depending on what you get.  Here I’m adding the overflow thinger to the back of the barrel.

rainbarrel8YAY!  Rain barrel installation complete.  Took less than 30 minutes.  OK, that doesn’t include the time it took Adam to build the platform, which he reports was about another 30 minutes.  He’s a skilled carpenter though.

I’m so jazzed about this.  Now I can use this to water my garden and get a two-for-one every time it rains.  I got super lucky too because it rained really hard last night and now we have two barrels full of water, all ready to go!

6 thoughts on “How to install a rain barrel

  1. we can teach you how to make your own for virtually free. then you can have your 8! they aren’t as cute as the city ones though. we have gotten the barrels from a shampoo factory in st. paul for free and then have converted them easily with a spigot, an overflow hose and some mesh.

  2. craftychristina, I would LOVE to learn how to do that too! Also, we don’t have gutters, but I wonder if I can still try to utilize a rain barrel at a point on my house where water tends to come of the roof in large amounts during rains?

  3. Christina would you consider doing a guest post? 🙂

    greenadventures, I think it would be possible to catch some with a well-placed rain barrel. It would take some adjustments, preferably during a rainstorm. A person could also get or make a rain chain and attach that near the spot where the water seems to be coming off. I think those are really neat. Here is one example:

    Google rain chains for many, many others.

  4. Great pictures and instructions as well! Keep up the great job. We always enjoy your articles, very well done. Just wanted to gently remind you to keep your rain gutters squeaky clean for all that rainwater harvesting you are doing. I invite you to come and visit with me at and see a new safer, cleaner, easier, and faster method of cleaning gutters on a regular reschedule.
    Your rainwater will be only as clean as your gutters are! Best wishes and much happiness to you and your family. God Bless

  5. come winter time you might want to look at adding on of these :

  6. Pingback: Make Rain Barrel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s