How Much Does a Rain Barrel Cost in 2024?

The national average cost for a rain barrel system is $140, with costs ranging from $120 to $160.

Collecting rainwater runoff with rain barrels is a simple and low-cost method of water conservation. It’s the easiest and most feasible solution for homeowners looking to save money on water bills. A single rain barrel costs between $120 and $160, but most homeowners spend an average of $140 for a 40- to 60-gallon barrel.

The total cost of installing a rain barrel depends on the material of the rain barrel, the storage capacity, and the labor required for additional installations such as rain gutters, sprinkler systems, etc.

This cost guide includes:

Average rain barrel costs in 2024

National average cost$140
Typical price range$120 – $160
Extreme low end cost$120
Extreme high end cost$5,000

Rain barrels typically range in capacity from 40 to 100 gallons and include a PVC fitting, spigot, garden hose, and mesh screen. They are much less expensive than cisterns and other rainwater collection systems but cannot hold as many gallons of water.

A typical prefabricated rain barrel costs between $120 and $160 at any home improvement store nationwide, though homeowners prefer to buy the 40- to 60-gallon rain barrel, which costs $140 on average. Prices can be as low as $120 and can go all the way up to $5,000. Expect higher costs if you add or replace fixtures such as a gutter downspout, sprinkler system, or diverter.

Homeowners who want to reduce the cost of rain barrels can:

  • Opt for smaller barrel units
  • Harness available rebate programs in their water district
  • Find out if their community offers incentives for rain barrels

Rain barrel cost estimator by size

The typical price range for rain barrels is between $0.50 and $4 per gallon. Prices can be high or low as per the material and size of the catchment system.

MaterialSizeCost
Plastic50 gallons$85
Polyethylene65 gallons$200
Brass55 gallons$200
Oak50 gallons$170

Other factors that affect cost

There is usually no cost to install a rain barrel. All that is required is to find an ideal location for the rain barrel and place it under a gutter. However, additional features can drive up costs. 

P.S. Make sure you know how to install and use your rain barrel properly once you’ve purchased it!

Labor cost

Rain barrels can be installed without the help of pros, but if more extensive work is required, you will need to hire a technician. Hiring a technician costs between $55 and $225 per hour.

Gutter installation

To get the water collection system up and running, some homeowners will need to install a downspout for the gutter. In other cases, this component is already in place but is worn out or damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced. A typical gutter downspout repair costs between $185 and $540, while replacement or installation costs an average of $1,465, or $4 to $30 per square foot.

Water filtration system 

Filters are often optional for rainwater collection systems. However, it is essential for homeowners with large rain barrels to install a filter if they plan to convert roof runoff into potable water. A pre-filter costs about $150 to $1,500.

Sprinkler

To reduce water usage, you can combine rain barrels with a sprinkler system for irrigation. A sprinkler system costs an average of $3,150.

Rain barrel maintenance cost

Rain barrels must be routinely checked and maintained, especially after heavy rains. Checking the gutter downspouts and filters ensures they are not clogged or leaking. You can hire a landscaper to do the work for you if you can’t do it yourself. The cost is charged by the hour and ranges from $50 to $100 or $750 total per year, including repairs.

Related services

Below are landscaping services that may be needed before installing rain barrels, as well as strategies to minimize stormwater runoff.

Yard clean up

Depending on the number of rain barrels to be installed and the neatness of the installation area, homeowners who do not have the time or expertise may need to hire a landscaping company to tidy their yard to make room for a new rain barrel. Cleaning a yard costs an average of $550.

Land grading

You may need to level the area where you’ll install the catchment system if the site is not level so you can capture a good amount of water. Leveling a small portion of a yard costs about $310.

French drain

French drains are a great way to capture stormwater and distribute it to any part of your landscape. Installing an exterior french drain costs between $10 and $75 per linear foot.

Concrete sub-base

Concrete is the best base for supporting the weight of blocks and water-filled rain barrels. It does not decompose over time like wood and other materials. A concrete sub-base costs about $10 to $20 per cubic yard of concrete.

DIY cost vs. Pro cost

Installing a smaller rain barrel can be a DIY project, as most flat-back rain barrels and a few others are almost entirely coupled. In situations where they are not, you can watch online tutorials on how rain barrels work to educate yourself beforehand. Here is the breakdown of DIY equipment costs according to item prices from Amazon, Lowe’s, and Home Depot.

DIY equipmentAverage cost
Brass spigot$14
Cordless drill$140
Hacksaw$12
Sealing tape$12
Diverter kit$50
Plastic drum (55 gallons)$145
Total cost$375

If your gutter downspout needs replacement, you will need to contact a professional who can also couple the prefabricated rain barrels. The cost ranges from $55 to $225 per hour for this service.

Cost of rain barrel by location

Where you live can increase or decrease the cost of a rain barrel. Of the 50 states in the U.S., only 20 encourage and reward rainwater harvesting. Some states have restrictions, while others simply allow rainwater collection without subsidies.

If you live in places like Texas, California, Washington, D.C., San Jose, and San Antonio, you can be sure to buy rain barrels at a lower price because of tax breaks, rebates, or incentives these cities offer.

FAQ

Why should I install a rain barrel?

The main benefits of installing a rain barrel include:

• Easy way to conserve water during droughts
• Helps to reduce stormwater runoff
• Saves you money on your water bills 
• Prevents water collecting in your yard
• Provides pure, natural water for watering plants 

What is the best material for rain barrels?

A variety of materials can be used to make rain barrels, but plastic is the most popular choice because it is lightweight and long-lasting.

How long can water remain in rain barrels?

Rainwater becomes contaminated after a week or thereabout. However, you can keep it clean by preventing it from coming into contact with insects and livestock.

How much rain can I collect?

The amount of water you can collect depends on the size of your roof and the storage capacity of the rain barrel. To determine the actual amount, multiply the square footage of the roof by a standard conversion factor of 0.623, which means that a 1,000-square-foot roof would produce about 630 gallons of water from one inch of rain.

Note: Some states and municipalities restrict the amount of rainwater you are legally allowed to collect, so check local regulations before installing a rain barrel.

Final thoughts

A rain barrel system not only provides cost-effective irrigation but also reduces your reliance on the local water supply system and diverts water from the storm drain system, reducing pollution to rivers, lakes, and streams. The benefits of installing a rain barrel are worth the low average cost of $120 to $160.

Note: Lawn Love may get a referral fee for matching you with contractors in your area.

Main Photo by: Pixnio

Ayoola Azzan

Ayoola Azzan is a versatile writer and investment enthusiast. He loves developing an impactful course and enjoys meditating when at leisure.