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The benefits to having a rain barrel are huge. First, water in your rain barrel is not subject to community watering restrictions and has no additives like fluoride or iron to irritate your plants. Second, your water bill will be smaller. Third, a rain barrel helps reduce problems associated with storm-water runoff.
In this video, Fine Gardening senior editor Danielle Sherry builds a rain barrel for under $50 using homeowner power tools: a power drill with a 15/16-inch spade bit to cut the hole for the faucet and a 2-1/4-inch hole saw to cut the hole for the overflow outlet, along with a jigsaw to cut a hole in the top of the barrel.
Click here for a printable parts checklist.
Special thanks to Rebecca Chesin for her guidance and instructions. Read more about her adventures at http://tylertork.com/diyrainbarrels/construction.html.