Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Project Rain Dance...Complete!

This project was a year in the making!   No joke.  We started the rain barrel project last May!  You can read up on the initial work here.  Basically the barrel was purchased on Craigslist {of course!} and we painted it to match the house and protect it from UV rays. {to prevent mold}

The purpose of a rain barrel is to collect rain water in a green effort to conserve water consumption.  The rain water is then used to water the lawn and garden.  It's easy, energy efficient and great for the environment.  Many commercial rain barrels can run from $50 into the $100s!  Check your local city programs to see if they offer rain barrel making workshops!  {Usually around $40 for everything!}
Algreen Agua <em>Rain</em> Water <em>Collection</em> and Storage <em>System</em> with 50 ... Rescue 85 Gal. Stoneware Urn with <em>Rainwater Collection System</em> 2264-1
The original plan was to attach the barrel to the back of our house, but in the end we decided to put it on the back of our shed.  It made more sense because the veggie garden is back there, and it would be easier to water everything down there with the barrel, rather than drag the hose down.

So the first step was to attach a gutter to the back of the shed.  Matt actually got this step done by himself while I was at school one night.  {heart him!}  Next was getting the water spigot attached to the barrel.  The following tools were needed:
My freaking awesome new drill
Drill bit {large enough to bore the right sized hole}
Waterproof caulk {we used clear}
Caulk gun
Reducing washer
Gutter and downspout {we used plastic}

Detailed step by step directions can be found at YHL.
But this is how we did it... 
First, we drilled a hold into the barrel base.  


We had a barrel that didn't have a removable lid, so we didn't exactly follow directions from here on out.  Basically there was a lot of calking involved to prevent water from leaking out. lol.  The reducing washer was attached using caulk, then the spigot was coated in caulk as we threaded it into the barrel. 
 We coated the outside of the spigot and reducing washer with more caulk as well. Matt stacked the decorative bricks to have it raised enough so that we could get a bucket or watering can underneath the spigot. 
  The next few steps were dirty and happened so fast I didn't snap pics.  But we got some fiberglass window screen and cut a square to attach it to the opening of the barrel with a rubber band.  This is to keep any large debris out.  We then positioned the barrel underneath the down spout and cut it just right so that it sat on top. 
 We then topped the barrel with white rock and decorated with some flower pots I had laying around.
Underneath the barrel was filled with white rock as well to prevent anything from trying to grow or live in the empty space.

 View of the back of the shed now!  We absolutely love it!  Not long after this shot... it rained! yay! 
Total cost was approximately: $70-80 {Including the rock}
This project was featured on:


I'm all linked up at these parties!





 














22 comments:

  1. that is such a smart idea. I wish I could do something like this but it hardly ever rains here in Texas :( oh well!


    Notes She Wrote

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  2. cool idea! we live in a high rise building with no green space... :)

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  3. Looks great! (I love YHL too.) I have been meaning to tackle this, but I haven't found a barrel I like yet.

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  4. @ Jen, Definitely check out Craigslist for food grade barrels. That's how we found ours for $15!

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  5. that looks great! i'd love to have something like this, i'll have to take your advice and check out local resources. love that you made yours match the house, and the decorative stones around it!

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  6. You are one handy lady. Even your rain barrel is pretty!

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  7. Great job! Still trying to find barrles for under $20! Craigslist is not being so kind lately!

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  8. Thanks for linking to Take-A-Look Tuesday - - I featured you today! - Mandy, www.SugarBeeCrafts.com

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  9. Great job. I got one for Mother's Day this year from Home Depot and LOVE it. But nearly cried when it ran out of water! =-) Still amazing to me how quickly they fill up and am considering a second one to daisy chain to it.

    I really like the flowers on the top, too. Great job AND great instructions.

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  10. This is SO cool! You did such a great job! Every time I look at our water bill I want to cry...this would be such a lifesaver. Thanks for the great tutorial; I'll also check out YHL's, too.

    www.freestylinbeth.com

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  11. you amaze me! the rain barrel looks so awesome, and what a great way to save money and conserve water! awesome job!

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  12. Not understanding the top. So you positioned the barrel under an existing downspout, then cut the spout to sit rght above the opening? So these are meant to catch all the water that collect from the top of your shed, right? Please excuse my ignorance here. :)

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    1. Nevermind! Read post #1 and get it now!

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  13. Inspiring! It looks so tidy and discreet! A year on, how are you finding it works for you? What happens to excess water when the barrel is full and its still raining? Is there a drain under your stand of rocks?

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  14. is the screen sufficient to prevent mosquitoes from laying eggs? Also, what happens if the barrel overflows, is there a way to divert back to the downspout system? - if connected to the house, this could cause water problems to the foundation if it happens frequently.

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    1. We've never had a real overflow problem. The one time is rained and overfilled, it just flowed onto the rocks and down the sides. The downspout isn't actually "connected" to the barrel, just sits on top. Also, for the past two years we haven't had any mosquito issues. :) We used the barrel every day to water our garden, so the water level was always about 1/2. If you're in an area that produces a lot of rain, I would suggest setting up a secondary overflow barrel. You can find tutorials for such online. But basically, you would connect a PVC pipe from the top of the primary and angle it down to a secondary barrel. So when the first gets full is starts flowing into the second. Hope that answers your questions!

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  15. What type of paint did you use? I have a blue barrel that I want to paint to match my shed....actually it's the same color as yours! Love it!

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    1. Angie, how exciting! You can read about the prep work and painting here (I used Krylon products):
      http://lovelacefiles.blogspot.com/2010/05/project-rain-dance-part-1.html

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  16. We are lucky to have a soda manufacturer in our area and they sell 55 gallon food grade barrels for $7 each! We have 3 so far.

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    1. Wow. That is cheap! Where are you?

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