This was our solution to rain running off the roof onto a railing by the front door. Conventional gutters and down-spouts were not satisfactory because the cottage has low four-foot roof overhangs and we didn’t want to see a pipe dangling from the eave.
Our solution (borrowed from the Japanese) was to install wooden gutters (lined with fiberglass) along the eaves. The leaders (or down-spouts) are made from clear acrylic balls, drilled and threaded onto stainless steel cable. The rain water clings to the chain by “surface tension”.
In bright light, the clear balls refract the landscape in a mysterious way – during rain, the light vibrates as water courses over them – in winter, they support bizarre icicles.