To support the barrels, a stand was constructed from recycled shipping pallets which I was able to find on craigslist for free. This Instructable details the construction of the rain barrel stand, and the assembly of the rain barrels to enable rain water collection. The remaining decking planks from the pallets were used to make a trellis to surround the tanks so that we can grow a creeper around them to beautify the installation.
Initially our plan had been to use the rain water for our vegetable garden. Several resources on the web including university research reports advise against this due to the chemicals present in the typical USA asphalt shingle roof, and the presence of bacteria from birds, squirrels and other animals. Things might be different in your country but research first. Anyway, the water is perfectly good for watering your lawn, shrubs and other non-edibles which is a major water source of water consumption anyhow. So lets get building!It's quite likely that I will miss a tool/part/material or 7 from this list. If you see something pop up in a photo that wasn't on the list, get that item as well!
For the recycle pallet stand: 3 x Pallets – I used standard 42” pallets. Make sure you select heat treated pallets – search Instructables for detail information on pallet types. Claw Hammer – a roofing hammer would be ideal Big Hammer – I found a 3lb hammer to be a great help Pry bar – longer is better. I used a 18” pry bar Electric/Battery Drill Kreg Pocket Hole Kit with 1 -1/2” and 2-1/2" pocket hole screws 1-1/4" All weather screws for screwing down the decking Miter Saw Table Saw Woodworking clamps
For the trellis Table saw to cut the decking planks into 1" wide strips Miter saw to cut strips to length and cut joining strips as needed Nail gun and air compressor to drive nail gun with ¾” brads (18 gauge) Elmer Max waterproof wood glue Square – carpentry or roofing square Measuring tape
For the rain barrels: 2 x 50 gallon Pickle barrels. Check craigslist in your area for the best pricing. Faucet with standard ¾” house thread for connecting a garden hose Hose Reel Leader hose for connecting the two barrels together Replacement house nut Dual channel valve 1 ½” PVC tube 6 foot long and right angle PVC fitting for the same 5/8” Drill bit for the faucet. 1” spade drill bit for the PVC fitting 6 foot lung plastic gutter extensions (the extensions supplied in the kit from the City were too short for my barrel location Gauze/Mesh to use as a leaf trap Utility knife Heatgun for shaping the overflow tube Channel Locks (Waterpump pliers) for assembling the faucet That's all for the materials. And here's the disclaimer:
Please make sure you understand safe working practices for your power tools. They can cause serious injury very quickly. Make sure your wear appropriate safety equipment recommended in the manuals that came with your power tools. Always read the manuals for safe operation. A power saw can kick the work piece back at you at high velocity - always work outside of the "line-of-fire" - check your manual..