In our eight years in business we have come across a wide variety of rain barrels. They run the gamut from "designer" to utilitarian, inexpensive homemade ones to very costly. The pictures below give you some ideas about what you may find. So what do you look for when picking what to purchase? Here are some suggestions that we have used in the past:
1) Durability: Will it do the job and last long enough to make the investment worthwhile?
2) Removable screened lid to keeps insects and debris out of the water;
3) Solid fixtures: brass versus plastic
4) Ease of care & off season storage: Does the lid come off for cleaning?
Other factors such as where the spigots are located, how overflow is addressed are also issues to be considered. The good thing is most barrels can be modified to make them work better for you. We are constantly looking for ways to make our rain barrels as easy to use as possible. Oh, by the way, all the pictures below are rain barrels we modified and installed at their present location. So if you need help give us a call or email, and let us make your rain harvesting experience a better one!
Joel Gettys is the co-founder of Rain Barrels Iowa. He is our resident gardener, product designer, chief of installation at our Rain Barrels Iowa store.