Extend Gutter Downspouts: 7 Ideas + Splash Blocks & Rain Barrels

Downspout gutter extension should move water at least 4-6 feet away from the base of your house to protect your foundations from water damage and avoid soil run off near your house. Downspout extensions can include underground piping, on-ground extensions, decorative splash blocks and roll-out drain sleeves.

Check out this article for my top 6 drainage ideas which will extend your gutter downspout and look great in your yard.

Extend Gutter Downspouts

1. Underground Gutter Downpipe Extensions

Burying downpipes can keep water away from your foundations and can keep unsightly pipes from laying on your lawn. You can also use this method to move water to areas of your garden that will benefit like around larger trees or shrubs.

Down pipes that are buried can also be connected to your curb to send excess water into the waste water system. Burying downpipes is a great DIY project and can be a great weekend job.

Burying downpipes can prevent mulch, soil and plants from being washed away when there is a large downpour of rain. It can make your yard look neat and tidy and prevent pets and kids tripping over pipes laid on the ground. This can avoid excess water from absorbing into your foundations and causing damage.

This can also reduce the chances of water pooling in your yard and damaging your lawn.

2. Amerimax Stealth Flow downspout extension

For an option that does not need require any digging, the Amerimax Steal Flow downspout is a good option. It will attach to the end of your downspout and can be hidden underneath bark mulch or landscaping stone. This will move water away from your house foundations and will fit standard residential downpipes including 2 in. x 3 in., 3 in. x 4 in, and round).

These are made to last well in outdoor areas and there are added extensions available if you need extra length to move water further away from your house.

You can also get an elbow attachment to move it around garden beds, large rocks or to move it around the corner of your house.

No digging required, low-profile design can be hidden by covering with mulch, straw, or other landscape

Check out this video below for tips on installing this steal flow downspout extension.

3. Decorative splash blocks

A splash block is the perfect way to extend the distance that the water will run away from your house from your downspout. A splash block has one open end and one closed, and can be made from concrete or plastic.

Splash blocks move water away from your house, reducing the chance that your foundations will be damaged by this water and can help to stop mulch run off.

Checkout this video below to see how a splash block works.

The benefits of splash blocks are:

  • Easy way to move water away from your foundations
  • They can stop mulch from being washed away
  • Prevent soil run off and protect plant roots
  • Direct water to plants that would benefit
  • Look great and can be made a feature

4. Roll out drain sleeves

Roll out drain sleeves are a great way to add an extension to your downspout. These are flexible sleeves that will roll out when there is rain and will roll back when they are empty saving space. These will help to move water away from your house in an easy and affordable way.

These are a good, quick solution but these are not as long lasting as some of the buried plastic options or drain grates. These can be modified to water your lawn by adding additional drain holes. Check out the video below for more.

5. Rain barrels

Rain barrels are a fantastic extension to your downspout and will help you to save water and save your foundations at the same time. Rain barrels can be made from recycled materials, even garbage bins and can be used to collect water for your garden.

Rain barrels will hold some of the excess water that flow down from your roof when it rains and will be set up with an overflow system which will send extra water down to your yard or stormwater collection. With a rain barrel system you will need the rain barrel and an additional extension on your down pipe for the overflow.

Check out this video below for a simple rain barrel set up.

6. Aluminum downspout extensions

Aluminum downpipe extensions are the most common and easiest to install. Using an elbow and aluminum pipe extension you can move water away from your house, garden beds or mulch with a simple attachment.

The benefits of aluminum down spouts is that they will last longer than plastic extensions yet are still an affordable option. They come in a range of sizes and can be cut off to the perfect length to reach a drain or rock area.

Check out this hinged aluminum downpipe extension which can make it easy to move your extension out of the way for mowing or gardening.

7. French Drains

French drains are a great way to extend your down pipe and move water away from your house. This system can move water out another area of your garden out of the way.

A French drain is simply a sloped trench, filled with landscaping rock and a perforated pipe which can move water away from your house. Check out this video below for more on how to build a French drain and how they can stop your mulch washing away.

Extend Gutter Downspouts – FAQ

How do you extend a gutter downspout?

Gutter downspouts can be extended using plastic roll out extensions, aluminum, buried plastic pipe or by simply adding a splash block. For a system that saves water, consider installing a rain barrel system which will collect rain water for your garden and divert extra water away from your foundations.

What is the best downspout extension?

The best downspout extension for a long lasting solution that will move water away from your house is a correctly installed piping system which moves water away from your house moving it to an area that will not pool or damage your foundations. Options can include a French drain or poly pipe system which moves water away from your foundations where they can cause damage.

How can I make my gutters drain better?

Install the largest gutter and down pipe you can afford, keep gutters clean and flush the downpipe every 1-2 years. Keeping gutters and downpipes clean and free of leaves can be achieved in a low maintenance way by installing gutter guard or netting which covers your gutters to stop leaves.

Is it OK to bury downspouts?

Downspouts should not be buried but a correct extension should be used that will not corrode or break down in the soil. Poly pipe is a common option for a downpipe extension and can be set up in a French drain set up where a pipe with drainage holes is buried, sloping away from the house and surrounded by well-draining gravel.

Extend Gutter Downspouts – Summary

The top 6 gutter downspout extensions include underground piping, on-ground extensions, decorative splash blocks and roll-out drain sleeves. The choice will depend on your choice of styling and the intended use of the area that is near your downspout.

Extending your storm water run-off away from your house foundations is a great idea and will also work to avoid mulch or soil run off near your house. Try one of these extension ideas at home this weekend.