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Gutters Resources

How to Extend Gutter Downspouts

Gutters protect a home from flooding and water damage. Adding downspouts helps to assist gutters to direct water away from the home. This helps ensure there is no harm done during heavy rain falls and snowstorms. For further protection, it may be a good idea to extend gutter downspouts. Downspouts help water flow systematically in the direction you want it to go, rather than allowing it to splash chaotically, which can contribute to problems if you live in an area with particularly heavy rainstorms. Continue reading to learn more about the importance of extending gutter downspouts and the different downspout extension products available.

gutter downspout

Table of Contents

Why You Should Extend Gutter Downspouts

There are several good reasons to extend gutter downspouts. First and foremost, it can help keep your gutter system maintained so it runs efficiently. In addition, extending downspouts helps to reduce the chances of your home being damaged. It prevents water from accumulating near the structure of the house. As a result, the basement is less likely to be flooded during a storm and the home’s foundation is better protected. Also, when you extend gutter downspouts, you help to prevent landscaping issues since water doesn’t get the opportunity to ruin plants and cause soil erosion.  

Types of Gutter Downspout Extensions

There are many ways to extend your downspout. Here are several options, including when you should use them.


Aluminum gutter downspout extensions are the most common. They’re also easy to install and affordable. However, they do have their limitations. Since they cannot be moved, you won’t have the flexibility to do things like mow the lawn in the areas where they are installed. In addition, these products are not necessarily the most attractive. They can have a negative impact on your home’s curb appeal if you install them in the front of your home.

Rain Barrels

While rain barrels do not extend gutter downspouts, they do collect water effectively. Adding a large metal or plastic barrel underneath a shortened downspout can prevent water from ever hitting the ground. However, in order for this method to be effective, these barrels must be emptied on a regular basis. But the upside is the water can be used to wash your car or water the garden.

Splash Blocks

Splash blocks are not directly connected to downspouts. They are plastic or metal blocks that allow water to flow further away from the home when placed directly under the downspout. There are many varieties of these products, which are usually about two- to three-feet long. They can also be custom made to fit the aesthetic of your home. They are particularly good for protecting grass and plants. However, it’s important to make sure the open end is pointed away from the house. Otherwise, water will still pool around your home.


Underground downspout extensions allow you to move water far from your home. You can have them run to the street or sewer system. However, since these extensions are buried underneath the ground, they’re difficult to install and maintain. If clogged, they can cause the very water damage and flooding you’re trying to prevent.

Cost to Extend Gutter Downspouts

The cost of a simple downspout extension can range from $10 to $50, depending type and size. To have these products professionally installed, it can cost between $30 and $100. For underground extensions, a DIY kit can range between $100 and $400, and to have the job professionally done, the cost is $200 to $2,000, depending on the length and complexity of the system.

If you choose a simple type of gutter downspout extension, like an aluminum one, you’ll have no problem installing it yourself. However, if you want to extend gutter downspouts through an underground system, it’s a good idea to hire an experienced contractor.  

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