Downspout design

All the rain we’ve had this year on the east coast has got me to thinking about an unusual aspect of outdoor design: gutters and downspouts. Think about it for a minute. This is a necessary component to have on the outside of your home, yet gutters and downspouts are often utilitarian at best or just downright unattractive. But what is utilitarian need not be necessarily ugly. While homeowners are usually preoccupied with clogged gutters, as long as building codes are satisfied, and the design does not impair the function of the drain, then there is no reason for any homeowner to settle for ugly downspouts. As you start on your downspout design, keep these stats in mind:

• The standard downspout sizes are 2” x 3” and 3” x 4”

• Your design must insure that the water draining through it will be directed exactly where it needs to go. (Looking good is not enough. The homeowner will be upset if your design causes his basement to flood!)

• Know what materials are necessary to meet building codes. Copper always works. Here are examples of downspouts taken to new levels of artistry.

These photos are a compilation of designs found on the web. (Many are from and Pinterest pins by various people.)