Introduction

installing a half-round gutter on a house
Photo: Matthew Benson
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Q: I got rid of the rusty old gutters on my 1830s farmhouse. Now I need new ones. What should I replace them with?
—Susan Choyce, Stow, Mass.

Kevin Lyons, Hayden-Lyons Roofs of Distinction, replies: I'd recommend that you install traditional half-round gutters in copper. The style is appropriate to your house, and you'll never have to worry about the copper rusting.

Hanging them is not hard, as long as you have a helper to lift and set the sections in place. But first you need to size up your situation so that you can order the parts. Ask yourself: What lengths do I need? Will each gutter get one downspout or two? And what about the fascia, where the gutters attach? Is it angled or plumb? Is it even sound? (If it isn't, repair it.)

When the parts arrive, locate the high point of the gutter's run—the farthest point from a single downspout or the midpoint between two. Then you can set the pitch, and the rest is all downhill.

Shown: Kevin Lyons fits a downspout elbow to a copper gutter. Its shine will fade, but this durable metal will last a lifetime.
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    Tools List

    • ladder
      Ladders
    • pencil
      Pencil
    • water level
      Water Level
    • 30-foot tape measure
      Measuring tape
    • chalk line
      Chalk line
    • drill
      Drill/driver or Impact driver
    • hole saw
      Hole saw or Metal shears
    • pop rivet gun
      Pop-rivet gun (if using pop rivets)
    • emery cloth
      300-grit emery cloth
    • propane torch
      Hand torch
    • tack cloth
      Wiping cloth

    Shopping List

    Gutter brackets
    Screws (included with brackets)
    Gutters
    Flux
    50/50 solder