I’m a tree hugger at heart, and ever since we bought our home I have wanted a rain barrel in our yard. Last year I window shopped for them, comparing prices, and designs, and sizes. I was never really happy with what I found, mainly because they were all so expensive. I did eventually find a charitable source for rain barrels, and they were even made from used barrels. Which at first sounded really awesome, but the site said they “tried” to ensure that the barrels were previously used for importing fruits and vegetables. I took that as meaning that sometimes, the barrels had been used for something else…something like chemicals? Who knows! I wasn’t willing to risk it, considering I wanted to use the water I collect to water my vegetable garden. They are a great deal; at $50 each you save a plastic barrel from a landfill, and the money goes to charity, but they aren’t for me.
Lucky for me, I know someone who works in the back office of a smaller home improvement chain, and can sometimes get us crazy good deals on things,. Last year, they only has really expensive barrels in, and this year they had weird cheap ones…but then he found a couple of other ones that were just perfect! So after a few emails, and a quick phone call, we loaded everyone in the van to go and buy one for a little more than $60! And on the way home, we stopped at my parents house to borrow a saw and some metal shears to cut through the down spout. Once we got home, my husband asked if he should put the barrel in our garage. I told him if it went in the garage, the thing would never get installed, so it was being done right now! After we all had a quick snack, I went out and installed it myself :)
It took about an hour, and that included another trip to a home improvement store to buy another elbow for the down spout. I levelled the barrel using the concrete splash block that was already there, and some 2×4 scraps that were in the garage. I hacked off the down spout using the saw, but mostly the metal shears, then used needle nose pliers to fold the sharp edges under so I could fit the elbows back on (that took the longest!)
I love the design of this barrel so much! The back is flat, so it sits nicely against the fence. The hose attaches at the bottom, but clips into that little notch at the top so it stays out of the way. It also has an over flow hose, which connects at the back at the very top, it runs down the back and underneath the barrel (you can see it there in the front on the ground). It of course has the mesh covering to keep debris, animals, and mosquitoes out, and it is easily removable for cleaning too!
Such a great little purchase and project for Earth Day :)