Most people look at a section of gutter and see only a tool to help channel runoff water from a roof to a downspout. But a few people have a more vivid imagination — and proceed to use these gutters for something different entirely. Here are the top 10 most creative uses of gutters.
1. Gutter gardens. More and more people who have green thumbs but little yard or home space are embracing gutter gardens as a way to grow flowers, plants, herbs, fruits, or vegetables. Gutter sections can be attached to a balcony or roof or hung from a ceiling, then filled with soil and seeds. Some sunlight and water, a little TLC, and voila!
2. Gutter boat races. Boy Scouts and other craft-minded groups like to take some long horizontal gutter sections, fill them with water, and build boats to race in them. Powered by air blown by the designer, gutter boat races test competitors’ woodworking as well as racing skills.
3. Gutter art. Believe it or not, some people like to take pictures of gutters. (No, really.) Those with an artistic eye can play with colors and light to get beautiful pictures of an otherwise mundane product.
4. Gutter shelves. Enterprising people can build shelving units out of gutter sections. When mounted on the wall, they are perfect for holding books, dishes, or knickknacks. And they cost a lot less than traditional shelves from furniture stores.
5. Gutter cable holders. Lots of people hate having their computer, stereo, and AC power cords all tangled up in disarray under a desk or cabinet. But mounting a perfectly-sized gutter section to the wall or the underside of a desk provides an easy, inexpensive solution to a mess of jumbled cords.
6. Garden irrigation. Since gutters are made to channel water where it needs to go, why not think outside of the box? If you have a garden that sits far away from your roofline, why not use small, stairstepped gutter sections to direct the runoff toward your plot of flora?
7. Skateboard rails. This isn’t something that OSHA would probably recommend. But the Do-It-Yourself Network actually rigged up a large wooden ramp next to a house and let a daredevil skater use the gutters as skateboard rails. Hopefully, he had a soft spot to land!
8. Rocking chairs. Some innovative craftsman actually fashioned furniture out of old gutter sections. He cut them up to exact sizes and affixed them to each other in the shape of rocking chairs. (Wicker seats not included.)
9. Gutter sundaes. A Kentucky nursing home wanted to treat its residents and employees. So volunteers took two 5-foot gutter sections with end caps (and hopefully cleaned them thoroughly) and filed them with ice cream, whipped cream chocolate and caramel sauce, and other toppings — and served a giant gutter sundae to everyone in attendance!
10. Building art. A European building’s owner decided to run the gutters artistically down the side of the structure. With some paint, an urban work of art was created – and it even purportedly plays “music” when it rains!