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Home Exterior Downspout Alternatives

Home Exterior Downspout Alternatives

Published: 09/30/2010 by Article Team

» Gutter Products
» Seamless Gutters

If you’re like the majority of Americans, then you see the components of your rain gutters as a function over form necessity for your home. While you’ll obviously still choose colors for your gutters that fit with your home’s exterior, you may not realize that there are some attractive alternatives to the traditional metal tube downspouts, or that downspouts could actually help cut down on your water bill!


People have been doing it for thousands of years but harvesting rainwater at home may be a new concept to many. It makes sense – rainwater is not legislated, and it’s free. Furthermore, it’s very easy to do with a downspout diverter. Downspout diverters connect to your downspout to redirect rainwater into a rain barrel. The rainwater can then be used to water your indoor plants, wash your car, wash your clothes, or run your toilet. Rainwater is ideal for non-potable applications, but the quality of the rainwater in our industrialized society may present some health concerns. That being said, it is recommended that you do not drink your harvested rainwater unless you have some means of sterilizing it first.


Rain chains are the aesthetic substitute for the metal downspouts that serve the same purpose. They attach to the gutter where a downspout normally would and are made up of cup-like water receptacles, chained together down the height of a house. The water gracefully flows down the chain into a water bowl or fountain, or to a splash block or the equivalent. Rain chains are becoming increasingly popular but are far from a new idea; the Japanese first utilized rain chains to create a visually appealing method of diverting rainwater to the ground. While rain chains are not able to handle quite as much water as traditional downspouts in heavy downpours, they benefit the landscape around your house by breaking the momentum of the downward flowing water.