Need New Gutters for Old Victorian

sarahandbraySeptember 28, 2012

We are in the process of having our house painted! And it's getting new storm windows/doors...keeping original windows. And our front porch is being redone in a month!

So now we're on to needing gutters in the very near future.

I would like historically appropriate looking gutters, but don't necessarily need copper, since I actually (gasp!) don't like the look of copper for some odd reason.

The small, old section of original gutter that was left was painted dark green half-round. Not sure of size, but can measure.

What should I be looking for in product and installation? Can gutters be painted? I think they will be up against much of the thick trim which will be painted a very dark green. The green swatches on many websites look too bright green for our application.

Or maybe plain white?

I know I don't want the 80's looking gutters that are on it now nor the new recatangular "seamless" gutter look.

Please school me on all there is to know about historic gutters! Thanks! :)


Sarah Engel

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Not sure I can help, but this has always been my issue as well for my old schoolhouse which was "housified" by my Uncle in the 1930's. Originally the building, built in the 1870's-80's, had no gutters. Not necessary because it was built on a rise and proper drainage away from the foundation was accounted for. Plus there was no cellar. When I moved in, it had the half round style of old gutter you speak of with twisted wire hangers. They were failing so my father insisted I put up modern. That was in 1978, and I have put a different set on since. Because the house settles so much off and on, there is never consistently the proper grade for water to run the length of the gutter to the down spouts.

I too wanted a more historic look but gutter salesman just looked at me like I was from outer space. They had what they had. There is still some of the old half round with wire hangers on the small barn- getting badly rusted by now - but I like the style.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 2:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Sarah, my metal gutter on my pantry and front porch are painted to match the trim...holds up very well.

With the storm last June which took out my tree, I now ought to replace my porch gutter--and am seriously leaning toward the half-round, but I too dislike (and can't afford) copper. I ran across this link, and am probably going to use this.

You might be able to find this in a local builder's supply (not a big box store I think)--the guy who took down my garage said it was available, but then, he ran off with my money to build a replacement shed in place of my who knows?

Here is a link that might be useful: Half-Round Gutter system

    Bookmark   September 28, 2012 at 8:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


You can still buy half-round galvanized in the Albany area. It can be painted (after careful cleaning, or a season or two of oxidizing in place).

When you have it installed (or do it yourself) try to avoid the modern (time-saving for installers) technique that leaves the gutter bent out awkwardly rather than smoothly inwards as it crosses the eave/frieze trim. They can be tucked in nicely -the 19th c way- but you have to insist. Strenuously!

After the M'Ville tornado we had some temp. K-style aluminum(you will know how long "temporary" is in this case) installed to replace the torn off half-round. In the (longish!) interim it has fared much worse from ice damage than the decades older half-round. It's marginally cheaper but appears to last only a tiny fraction as long. The installation costs are the same. The supports in some places have already torn out. The K-style is outta here as soon as as we have time to tackle it.

Installing it youself is not hard, but requires two people with considerable ladder-comfort, obviously two tall ladders, and sometimes scaffolding. And careful measuring and planning, and then sometimes maddening fidgeting to get the segments to go together, and stay together, during the install. Getting the pieces up, together and secured is one of those tasks that invite married-couple crabbiness. I generally have to plan on a weekend's worth of my DHs fav meals, and fresh cookies, to smooth out the ripples from a gutter install. It doesn't help that gutters, being in the roof and exterior wall assembly so they are my projects take a lot of time away from my DHs projects, like (boring and invisible) electrical stuff.

Aluminum K-style is often custom-bent on site so it goes up faster. The installers who did the work for us didn't seem to bicker too much, at least in front of us!

One other signifcant difference is that the K-style is hung from above so it has brackets that cross over the top of the gutter to front lip. The half round can be installed so it is supported from below in a cradle. The completely open half-round top makes cleaning leaves out much, much easier as you can just sweep them along without having to work around the @#$%^&!*&! brackets.

You can order longer lengths of half round from various places, but trucking fees can get pricey. Small family-owned building supply stores may be able to get longer lengths, if you ask. The big box stores, not so much.

I could suggest a source, but I am an hour away from you and you probaly have a better local one? There's also a metal-fabricating place in Albany which will custom make guttering in any metal you like. It's beside, and down below, the Henry Johnson Blvd. elevated flyover section just north of Central Avenue intersection. Tricky to find, but an excellent resource with very cheerful and helpful people working there.



    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 1:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

We are in the process of installing Zinc Half Round Gutters on our old home. Check out the World Gutter Systems site at They carry the half rounds in a variety of materials and sizes. We found them very easy to work with and they ship.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 4:36PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
rwiegand seems to carry gutters and all the other required hardware in a range of materials, including aluminum in many prefinished colors as well as the more traditional galvanized or galvalume. A local supplier would probably be easier to deal with, but the materials are pretty readily available.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2012 at 4:25PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Original Heart of Pine Flooring - matching
Hello, I have a contract on a 1905 Edwardian row house....
Strip flooring with unusual cross section
(Cross posted from Flooring forum) I'm renovating a...
New windows in kitchen for 1926 house
We are planning a kitchen and bathroom remodel in our...
Weird things found in old houses
So I went on a basement rampage this weekend, donning...
Claw foot
I also posted this in the bathroom forum, but though...
Sponsored Products
Polished Copper Bluebell Rain Chain
$89.99 | zulily
iRobot Looj 330 Robotic Gutter Cleaner
$299.00 | FRONTGATE
Rain Gutter Foam 32-linear Feet Gutter Guard
Metro Vacuum and Blower
$239.00 | FRONTGATE
Palram Canopies Feria 10 ft. x 24 ft. Grey Awning Patio Cover 702740
Home Depot
Hibiki Cup Pure Copper Rain Chain 8.5ft
Red Hummingbird Haven Feeder
$16.99 | zulily
Double-Link Rain Chain
Signature Hardware
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™