New gutters on old house

kitaseiAugust 20, 2013

I am reluctantly installing gutters on our 1940s carriage house, which is stone on a concrete slab. The cedar shingle roof was replaced with architectural shingle (asphalt) on plywood, but with no ice dams. There are no soffits to attach them to, so they either have to be strapped underneath the shingles, attached to new solid pieces of wood, or to new blocks of wood spaced every two feet. I am inclined to go with the third option.
For aesthetics, I think 6" half round gutters with round leaders will be most appropriate to the architecture. I would spring for copper if it made a difference, but have been told that modern copper does not develop a patina. It just turns the same brown as an aluminum gutter painted brown, so it's a waste of money to do it for aesthetics. Does anyone have any thoughts about the installation, and the material? Thanks!

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Copper will patina if left out. Be prepared to spend about 2.5X what you would for aluminum.

Unless you are really married to the look, aluminum is just as good.

Without seeing the home, I can't say for certainly but I never like hanging gutters from the roof deck.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2013 at 8:40PM
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Consider looking at Zinc half-rounds gutters We put those on our old home and are pleased. I know you can purchase them from World Gutter Systems, and probably from Berger Bros. also

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 7:46PM
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on plywood, but with no ice dams.


If you mean "ice shield," your roofers were ignoring both building codes and good practice.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 3:43PM
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Copper hasn't changed since the Big Bang, so it will still develop a patina, though with less sulfur in the air now it will probably take longer than in the industrial age. Plan on 10-25 years to get through the browns to the nice green verdigris. You can speed this up by chemical treatment, but that can be a bit of a crapshoot. If it's been coated or isn't actually copper it may take longer or not patina at all.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 4:30PM
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One thing to think about re copper: Where we live, at least, there have been many cases lately of copper gutters and downspouts being stolen off buildings for their scrap value.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 3:05PM
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Yes I did mean ice shields, not dams. We have none, and roofers have said it is dicey to try installing them under the shingles now. So that presents another problem with the gutters - are they going to cause more problems than they solve?

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 6:02AM
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Is this carriage house heated and occupied? If neither, the Ice & Water shield is a costly option. Ice dams form primarily because heat escapes at the eave line, melting snow there, which refreezes. If no heat, very little ice damming.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 7:43AM
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My cottage on Lake Erie was but in 1946, it didn't have gutters and still doesn't. If your carriage house hasn't had any for 67 years why exactly do they suddenly need them now?

The building is on a 4' deep block foundation wall on footings without a basement below. I am the only person in the neighborhood that doesn't clean gutters. There has never been a foundation issue, knock on wood. Everyone especially aluminum siding guys have told me I need them, for 20 years.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 3:49AM
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