Trade in you traditional downspouts and install something more unique.
A visually interesting alternative to traditional downspouts, rain chains are ideal for water control and for your home’s overall aesthetic appeal. If you’re tired of the way traditional downspouts look and want to go with something a bit more unique, decorative and reflective of your home’s style, try a rain chain. In this post we will go over some ways to properly hang a rain chain and list a few different types of rain chain designs to choose from.
Image via Comrade Foot on Flickr
WHAT IS A RAIN CHAIN?
First off, rain chains are beautiful yet functional alternatives to closed gutter downspouts. There are many different types, but basically, these chains can be made of decorative cups or chains to guide water from the roof to the ground. This visually appealing water feature also offers a calming tinkling sound that you can listen to when it’s raining.
Rain chains have a long history that originates in Japan hundreds of years ago. The Japanese used rain chains to collect water in large barrels for household use. You may spot rain chains adorning ancient Japanese temples, for example, representing an ornate yet functional method of rain diversion and collection.
Installing a rain chain is easy. Just hook the top of the chain to the hole where your old downspout connected to the gutter. Most rain chain downspouts come with a gutter attachment and hook to make the process easy and straightforward. You can purchase rain chains at home improvement stores, garden stores, specialty stores and online. Typically, rain chains are sold in standard lengths or by the foot. You can even get custom made rain chains. Many people choose to nestle a clay pot in small stones underneath the last link in the chain as a decorative way to catch and re-use rainwater.
Traditionally, plain link chain designs are the most popular; however, they tend to splash more than cups do, which is a consideration if you’re installing a rain chain near a doorway or window. Today, you can get rain chains in a variety of modern designs, from geometric shapes and hummingbirds to scallops and Zen loops reminiscent of Asian designs. Cups are one of the more common designs, with openings in the bottom of each cup that allow rainfall to get through. Even in the heaviest of rain storms, they won’t splash as much as the traditional chain will. Other designs for rain chains include copper cascading leaves, flower petals, and umbrellas. Look through even more creative designs shown here on Houzz.