When we had our pre-inspection on the house, we noted a few different water-related issues. There was, of course, the missing cap on the chimney that led to a saturated plaster wall by the fireplace, but also a bunch of problems with the gutters.

For example, this downspout not only crossed in front of the basement door at face height, it didn’t actually connect to the final elbow, and dumped water from about a quarter of the roof a mere 6 inches from the foundation. And the previous owners wondered why the basement flooded sometimes…

This gem collected water from fully half of the area of our roof and deposited it into a grassy area only a foot or two away from the house. Oh, by the way, that grassy area is sloped back towards the house.

This was the least questionable of the downspout designs, but it was also the least attractive, being positioned right by the front door. And while it did end up guiding water away from the house, it guided it on to our front walkway.

So this past weekend, I watched some more Ask This Old House videos and picked up some aluminum downspout parts at Lowes (along with some white sheet metal screws).

Here’s the first re-routed downspout:

No more head clunking! And, it actually connects to the drain instead of pour water on the foundation.

At the back corner, I installed a rain barrel with an overflow hose. This will let us use some of that water (for the garden, no drinking!), and I ran the hose down to the corner of our lot so that any excess water will flow into the street & ultimately the sewer.

In the front, our buddy James came over again and we reconfigured the downspouts altogether. It turns out the section of gutter on the front porch roof was already sloped away from the house (meaning it didn’t drain properly after a rain), so it wasn’t too hard to patch up the old downspout hole and add a new one at the other end of the gutter.

We also added a very small section of vertical downspout to connect the main roof gutter to the porch roof gutter (visible in the upper right of the above photo).

The new downspout runs into the front rockery/bushes, and deposits water a good ways away from anywhere it could do damage (foundation, etc.).

Not the most beautiful work I’ve ever done, but functional. All in all, a very successful weekend, I think! Though of course we’ll have to double check when it actually rains.

There is a long-term plan to address other water issues in the back of the house the backyard – our house is at the bottom of a long hill, and all the water coming down is currently directed right at the back of the house. But that French drain project is at least a year away…