We love many things about our Palram Greenhouse, which you can read about in this post. However, one huge blind spot with this greenhouse kit is the lack of downspouts to support the gutter system. After lots of trial and error, we finally came up with the perfect Palram gutter downspout fix that looks great, functions perfectly with our rain barrel system, and directs water away from the base of the greenhouse.
Why you need a gutter downspout fix
Water management isn’t often given as much consideration as it should be when building a structure like a greenhouse. When we first built our greenhouse, we thought we could get away with installing downspouts later. The first big summer thunderstorm shifted that project to #1 on the list.
Water poured like a firehouse from the top of the gutters right to the four corners of the greenhouse base. The pressure from the water started eating away at the foundation of the greenhouse. Yikes!
The greenhouse manufacturer, Palram, does not sell a downspout extension kit. This means a DIY fix is needed for the greenhouse to really function properly.
Our gutter downspout extension fix
If you purchased the Palram greenhouse kit and need a DIY gutter downspout extension fix, we’ve already done all the work for you!
Here are the supplies you’ll need:
Downspouts & Extensions: Use grey 1.25 inch Charlotte Pipe from Lowes. There will be some text on one side of the pipe, so just install that side facing the greenhouse and you won’t see it. We ordered 4 ten-foot sections that we cut to fit our space. The cut pieces serve as the ground-level extensions.
Elbows: Use grey 1.25 inch PVC fitting from Spears manufacturing. They’ll fit the Charlotte pipe downspout and they’re the same color (again, magic!)
Why we chose these materials :
- Color: We really wanted the downspouts to match the grey color of the greenhouse. It feels magical that these pipes just happened to be an exact color match.
- Functionality: PVC can be easily cut to size with a chop saw or hand saw to fit a variety of outdoor configurations. There are also elbow pieces that are at 90 degrees or 45 degrees which is nice flexibility to have depending on your space. They sit evenly on our wood base which also gives them support.
- Sturdy year-round: We’ve had these gutter downspout extensions for almost a full year now, and they made it through our heavy Michigan winter with no problems. They haven’t fallen off or been pushed around by the wind. There has also been no cracking or discoloration.
- Easy to repair: If we did have an issue, these materials are readily available and can be used to repair our DIY gutter downspout extension.
Installing the DIY downspout extension
- Measure twice cut once: Measure how long of a downspout piece you’ll need, remembering to leave space for an elbow at the bottom to direct water away from your greenhouse.
- Cut to size: A chop saw works best.
- Install: We found it helpful to remove the end piece where the gutter connects to the downspout. Attach the downspout and then re-install to the gutters.
- Keep the PVC out of the sun: We learned this the hard way! The plastic expands in the heat and it makes it tough to connect the pieces together. Keep your supplies in a cool dark place until right when you’re ready to use them.
- Add elbows: Add elbows near the ground, and bonus points if they sit flush on the base of the greenhouse. This little bit of pressure helps keep it naturally in place.
- Add extension: Direct the water as far away from the greenhouse as you can. Some of our extensions are 2 feet long, while others are just a foot. One of the corners of our greenhouse downspout connects to our rain barrel.
- Test: You can use a hose to test your connections, or just wait until your next rainstorm.
Questions about the DIY Palram Greenhouse Gutter Downspout Extension
Do I need to use plumbers tape at the connections?
Nope. We didn’t use any and we don’t have any leakage. These are super tight fitting and actually difficult to take apart!
How far away should I direct water with the downspout extension?
This will depend on the surrounding conditions of your greenhouse, but in general you want water as far away from the foundation as possible. Go for zero standing water. On some corners this will mean 1 foot, and others 3-4 feet.
You can also connect a rain barrel to save rainwater for your garden, or direct water to a cute rain garden or pond.
Do I need to winterize the greenhouse gutter downspouts and extensions?
Nope! This is a set it and forget it situation. Our downspouts lasted through a harsh Michigan winter with no problems, cracking, or discoloration.
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