• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook explains how to install rainwater collection.


    1. Install three solid-concrete barrel blocks in garden beside a downspout; check blocks for level.
    2. Set rain barrel on top of blocks with its spigot facing the garden.
    3. Disconnect and remove the downspout.
    4. Attach water diverter to downspout elbow with self-tapping gutter screws.
    5. Using template provided, mark and trim top end of downspout with aviation snips to accommodate the diverter.
    6. Slide downspout onto diverter and secure with gutter screws.
    7. Connect rubber hose to diverter oulet; secure hose to downspout with nylon cable ties.
    8. Attach soaker hose to spigot on barrel, then run the hose around each plant in the garden.
    9. Cover soaker hose with thick layer of mulch.
    • Difficulty: Easy to moderate
      Setting the concrete blocks takes a bit of time, but hooking up the rain barrel is very straightforward
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      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • two-foot level
        used to level concrete barrel blocks
      • mallet
        Rubber mallet,
        used to pound blocks level
      • Aviation Snips
        Aviation snips,
        used to cut downspout
      • drill
        used to drive gutter screws

      Shopping List

      1. Rain barrel,

      used to collect rainwater

      2. Diverter and hose,

      redirects rainwater from downspout to barrel

      3. Hand truck,

      used to set rain barrel onto blocks

      4. Concrete barrel blocks,

      used to create a stable base for barrel

      5. Self-tapping gutter screws,

      connects diverter to downspout

      6. Nylon cable ties,

      for securing hose to downspout

      7. Soaker hose,

      delivers rainwater to garden

      8. Mulch,

      used to cover soaker hose