Sunday, April 25, 2010

Rain Barrel Installation: Building a Stand

It's a beautiful Sunday morning in my backyard - the birds are singing, the lilacs smell amazing - and I can see our newly installed rain barrel. While it was a big project, now that it's all done, I feel that I can say that most people would be able to get this done with a little help from a friend. Doing a project together is always more fun than going it alone anyway.

So, the first step to installing a rain barrel is building a stand - unless you live on a hill. Since rain barrels have no water pressure, elevating them uses gravity to push water through the hose. We decided to make our stand about 2 ft high.

1 - 4" x 4" x 8'
2" x 4" (we have a bunch of these that were used for a project & then disassembled. We ended up using about 28' worth.)
Outdoor rated screws - 3" long
Wood stain/treatment - we used a color called Canyon Brown
Table saw
Measuring tape
T-square (or something that helps you see when things are at nice 90 degree angles)

Unfortunately, Lowe's can't cut 4" x 4"s. We used our table saw, but quite possibly you could find a local lumber yard that would be willing to help you out for a small fee.

First, we built the base. Obviously, the 4" x 4"s were the legs.

We left the front bottom open because eventually, overflow from the gutter will end up coming out there. Our cuts weren't perfectly straight, but they were close enough. Even though we used our angle checker thing-a-ma-bob, we still had to tweak it a little - but that was easy enough.

Then we added the top. We left spaces in between the 2" to keep the weight down a little, and to keep water from puddling up on top. I'm sure you could use 1" x 4"s instead, we just have the 2"x 4"s already, and we like to reuse.

Finally, we stained the whole thing - we want it to be pretty water-resistant & last a long time, so we covered the stand pretty thoroughly.
Huge thanks to Steve for all of his work on this project. He is patient & thoughtful, and I couldn't ask for a better partner for any kind of project!

Up next: Installing the rain barrel!

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