Return to the Home Repair Forum | Post a Follow-Up

Using Stone at the Roofs Drip Zone vs. gutters

Posted by claga (My Page) on
Mon, Jun 27, 11 at 18:54

I recently bought a new home in Massachusetts and it has no gutters or downspouts.
I was wondering what the pro's and con's of not using gutters and downspouts verus putting 3/4" to 1" stone around the house were the rain comes off the roofs and hits the ground. Using the stome to eliminate the mud from splashing up on the houses foundation and siding.
We have had a pretty wet spring and early summer and the basement has remained dry.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Using Stone at the Roofs Drip Zone vs. gutters

Gutters and downspouts will route the water away from the house.
Depending on how long you run the downspout and whether or not you bury a pipe to run them even farther, you can move the water quite a distance.
Rocks would not move water away from the house and IMO getting water away is important.

RE: Using Stone at the Roofs Drip Zone vs. gutters

It's a valid installation.

While I have gutters on my house, I don't have gutters on my front porch, which is about 16' wide and 14' deep. I just installed crushed bluestone (roughly 3/4" stone) over landscape fabric in the raised planting beds that surround the porch.

Just like you wrote, the stone prevents mud splattering.

I do recommend fabric underneath the stone to prevent the stone from migrating down into the soil below and a couple of inches depth of stone on top of the fabric.

RE: Using Stone at the Roofs Drip Zone vs. gutters

No gutters/downspouts is, in my opinion, often a recipe for foundation damage and/or leaks at some time. If it were my house, I'd put in gutters and downspouts, and install perimeter drainage if it didn't already exist. I would also correct any problems with improper grading (i.e., with the lot sloping toward the house).

RE: Using Stone at the Roofs Drip Zone vs. gutters

If you have a basement you are inviting problems.

RE: Using Stone at the Roofs Drip Zone vs. gutters

A lot of houses in New England are built without gutters, often times it's a design consideration, going for a more authentic look. Sometimes it's simply a cost-cutting omission.

With no gutters, special care is given to grading around the foundation and for water removal around the same; perimeter drains just below the surface of the soil, perimeter footing drains down deeper, as well as foundation wall treatments.

Or this builder might have dumped all the construction debris around the foundation and back-filled over it.

Did this homeowner get a well-detailed new house? Maybe yes, maybe no. But they've written that it's been a wet year and to date there have been no problems.

If you don't want gutters and you've had no water issues, I say try the stone. If you have water issues down the road you can address the ideas of adding gutters then.

RE: Using Stone at the Roofs Drip Zone vs. gutters

Thanks for all the follow-up and opinions.
If I decide not to install gutters can I damage the concrete foundation walls?
Thanks again

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Home Repair Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here