Introduction

installer Peter Robinson makes sure the gutter slopes during installation of fiberglass gutters
Photo: Anthony Tieuli
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Q: Our historic district says our replacement gutters must be wood, but we'd like to avoid the maintenance. Any ideas?
— Ashley Guir, Worcester, Mass.

Tom Silva replies: You may want to consider fiberglass gutters like those chosen by the owners of the latest TOH TV project house, in Arlington, Massachusetts. Made and hung by The Fiberglass Gutter Company, they look just like traditional wood, but they'll never rot or need paint. And because the seams are fused in the field, they won't leak, either.

Many historic districts in New England have already approved these gutters as replacements for wood. When your district sees them, maybe you'll also get a green light.

The company ships gutters in 26-foot sections all over the country, so take a look at the steps at right to see if the project is something you'd like to do yourself or hire out.

Pictured: Installer Peter Robinson makes sure the gutter slopes ¼ inch every 10 feet.
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    Tools List

    • pencil
      Pencil
    • 30-foot tape measure
      Measuring tape
    • brad nailer
      Brad nailer
    • miter saw
      12-inch miter saw
    • four-foot level
      4-foot spirit level
    • chalk line
      Chalk line
    • dust mask
      Dust mask
    • latex gloves
      Latex gloves
    • eye goggles
      Eye protection
    • sandpaper
      80-grit sandpaper
    • respirator
      Organic-vapor respirator
    • drill
      Drill/driver
    • Painter's Tape
      Painter's tape
    • Natural-bristle chip brush
      Chip brush
    • utility knife with hook blade
      Utility knife
    • hole saw
      2 ½-inch hole saw
    • nut driver
      Nut driver

    Shopping List

    Fiberglass gutter

    5/4x6 cellular PVC trim

    18-gauge stainless-steel brad nails

    3 -inch stainless-steel structural screws

    Stainless-steel sheet-metal screws with hex washer head

    Superglue

    Acetone

    Fiberglass mat

    Polyester resin and hardener

    Gelcoat

    Fast-cure marine-grade polyurethane sealant

    Microballoon filler