Downspout Styles – Which one is Right for You?

Properly installed downspouts play an important role in preventing structural damage, basement flooding, and washed out landscaping. Gutters collect rainwater from the roof, but it is the downpipes that direct the runoff safely away from the foundation. The two main types of downspouts are rectangular and round. They are typically matched with a gutter system based on the gutter profile. However, downspout styles are interchangeable with most gutter profiles and selecting one that is not usually paired with a particular gutter system can add an unexpected element to your home’s exterior, boosting curb appeal.

Rectangular Downspouts

One side of rectangular downspouts is longer than the other. They are typically paired with K-style or box gutter systems. Newer homes in larger urban locations opt for rectangular downpipes because of their efficient design and modern vibe. Standard available sizes are 2 x 3 inches, 3 x 4 inches, and 4 x 5 inches.

Square Downspouts

Square downspouts have a simple traditional appearance with a modern flair. Standard available sizes include 3 x3 inches and 4 x 4 inches. The typical size of square gutters on older homes was 2.5 x 2.5 inches – if you have an older gutter system with square downspouts consider upgrading to larger square downpipes.

Round Downspouts

Round downspouts are circular in shape. European copper gutters, known for their timeless elegance, are a half-round gutter system typically matched with round downspouts. Round downpipes generally manage a larger volume of water because of their smooth interiors. They are available in sizes ranging from 3 inches to 8 inches in diameter.


Downspouts have two main finishes, smooth and corrugated. Rectangular, square, and round downpipes are available in either finish.

Smooth Finish Downspouts

A smooth finish downspout provides clean lines with a contemporary feel. Because of the absence of texture, smooth finish downspouts blend more easily into a home’s exterior. They are also known as plain downspouts.

Corrugated Downspouts

Corrugated downspouts are downpipes with ridges. The ridges give the material additional strength and durability. Because aluminum is a soft gutter material, aluminum gutters are often paired with square or rectangular corrugated downspouts to make them more dent-resistant and help them keep their shape. Corrugated downpipes are also known as fluted downspouts.