How to Build a Rain Barrel Platform

If you are a Master Carpenter:

  1. You can go ahead and skip this post and find something more interesting on the interwebs…… maybe by visiting my full Site Index. 😉
  2. You, Sir or Madam, are most definitely not me.

After several projects, and over several years, I think I’ve gotten pretty decent at banging some pieces of lumber together.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot to learn.  To give a specific example, when I proudly unveiled a “Ta Da!” to the Wife after finishing the Chicken Coop, she looked innocently at me and asked, “Is that quarter inch gap supposed to be there?”

So a simple, sturdy, framed platform like this might be old hat to you.  But if you’re starting from where I was… it might not be.

You’ll recall from our previous tutorial on building a cheap and easy DIY Rain Barrel, that a full one weighs about 450 pounds.  I’m doubling up and connecting two barrels for this particular project – harvesting rain from my chicken coop’s roof.

So we better build this baby right.


Here is most of the scrap lumber I’m re-purposing.


Curious about where that good, free stuff came from?

If so, the answer is a friend and neighbor is (sadly) moving.  He built a mobile pen for meat turkeys that were tractored around his pasture.  Since the turkeys are in his freezer, and they’re moving away, he doesn’t need the tractor any longer.


I have to admit it was fun pushing it the quarter mile home.  Especially downhill.


Yeah, we might have jumped on and rode it like a skateboard down the hill.

Yeah, that might not have been the best idea.

Yeah, I am really grateful the county installed guard rails on that section of our little country lane.

That’s just good, clean fun for some sober early-thirty-somethings I couldn’t have enjoyed a couple years ago in our manicured McSubdivision.

Anyway, I disassembled the turkey tractor’s 2×4 and 4×4 lumber skeleton… and began building a simple two foot by four foot tabletop frame since a rain barrel is 24″ in diameter.  I knew for this kind of weight I’d need bracing and additional legs in the middle.  Therefore, notice the middle of the frame has two 2×4 braces.  You don’t have to guess or measure on the distance between those.  Just stick your 4×4 leg in there to get the exact space needed.


Next I cut a scrap piece of 3/4″ outdoor-rated plywood I had in the shed.

Then I screwed it to the top of the frame.


Imaginary weather-proofing thanks to invisible stain is optional.


Here’s a look from underneath.


Next it was time to cut the 4×4 lumber to make legs.

I pulled out my miter saw and put my new platform’s table to use atop some sawhorses.


Atop that sturdy surface, I measured the length of leg I would need so the rain barrels would sit as high as possible (for maximum water pressure), yet still be under the coop gutter’s downspout hole… and started cutting.

Six identical legs were fashioned and I carried all the pieces out to the coop.  I had a feeling if fully assembled in the driveway, it would be too heavy and awkward to carry the finished platform by myself.

I leveled the area a little with a shovel and laid down two cement stones for a sturdy foundation.

I attached the platform’s six legs.


I flipped my new baby over.

And….. Ta Da!


We’re ready for rain barrels.


Question of the Day: Do you know your way around saws and hammers? Have you done any small or large construction projects?

Posted in Chickens, Garden, Homestead, Resilience Tagged with: , , , ,
5 comments on “How to Build a Rain Barrel Platform
  1. Perfect timing. This is the hubster’s project for this weekend. He doesn’t listen to me about structural integrity. Maybe he’ll listen to you.
    Jessica | The 104 Homestead recently posted…Chickens & CompostMy Profile

  2. Mike says:

    This was the first time I’d built a wooden platform for them. My other barrels all use cinder blocks to raise them up a bit.

    So I’ll be your guys’ guinea pig. 🙂

  3. Ann says:

    You’re like MacGuyver to me. This week I nearly went nuts trying to move my old (good) bike pedals to my new bike because my husband said he needed a special skinny wrench. It ain’t easy to: A. Fit 2 bikes in my car at once, or B: Walk 2 bikes to the bike shop at once. Ended up my dad came over and used a regular wrench. You may downplay your platform building skills, but considering my situation, I think you’re being modest.

    If I consider a rain barrel, I will definitely ask my DAD to follow these instructions, so thanks!!
    Ann recently posted…Chicken jellyfish slawMy Profile

    • Mike says:

      I’d love to see video of someone trying to push two bicycles down the road. That sounds like one of the circles of hell. An outer circle for sure… but one of them.

  4. Found this page yesterday. Purchased the wood and made my first rain-barrel stand. Took about 4+ hours (including weatherproofing). Very simple but sturdy. Thanks for posting your pictures and explanations.

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