Designer guttering

It might not seem that significant, but guttering can have a big impact on the look of your home. Nigel Stokes of steel guttering manufacturer Lindab explores the options to ensure you get a rainwater system that’s right for you


functioning rainwater system is essential to a building, but as a visible feature on the exterior of

the property it is important to select products which complement the design aesthetic of the project.


Guttering suppliers now offer a large range of colour options meaning you can make a choice to suit your own taste. Lindab recommends taking into consideration the colours of the other building materials being used and picking a colour which will either match or contrast with key elements. A bold colour could be selected to stand out against a white rendered facade. For example an exact RAL 7016 anthracite grey colour could be chosen to match window frames. Metallic finishes reflect light and can be used to add opulence while earthy tones suit muted schemes. Steel rainwater systems are often used for contemporary designs but a heritage-style colour or classic black option can provide a traditional characteristic. Don’t be afraid to ask suppliers for material swatches to be sure that you are happy with the whole colour pallet for the exterior of your project, and take into consideration that a RAL colour reference may look different on different materials.

SHAPE The profile or shape of guttering can lend itself to particular design styles. Custom- designed profiles can be made in cast iron or aluminium which is a good option if an exact match for an ornate shape is required for a restoration project. Readily available rectangular or box guttering is a more affordable way to create a traditional look on a new project. A standard half round gutter shape is typically the most cost-effective option. A beaded front can add a twist to a rectangular or half-round gutter to add interest without huge increases in cost. For projects where the roofline itself is curved, guttering solutions are limited. Radius gutters can often require expensive tooling for production. Cleverly

july/august 2018

designed brackets are available from some gutter suppliers which allow straight gutters to be installed on convex or ‘concurve’ facades without the need for specialist equipment.


Rainwater goods are typically made with metal or plastic. A number of aspects may influence your decision for one material over another not least, price. Though plastic products have a lower initial cost, metal systems with much longer life expectancy can offer better value and some metal systems such as steel require very little additional initial investment over a good quality plastic system. It is important to consider the colourfastness of plastic systems and the durability of paint used on metal systems. When opting for a painted metal system, we recommend looking for a surface coating which is UV stable and scratch resistant. Alternatively, unpainted metal such as copper or galvanised steel can make an attractive design feature of a guttering system.

Natural metals change appearance over time creating an elegant effect which is sympathetic to the environment and works well with other materials, such as wooden cladding, which also weathers. Advances in material technology have provided new strengthened material compositions for galvanised coatings which means unpainted metal systems now offer improved corrosion resistance, making a natural metal appearance a more attractive proposition. If the look of an unpainted metal system is appealing, but you want the extra protection that a painted coat offers, a metallic paint finish in silver, anthracite and copper-like colours is a good compromise.

Once the rainwater is collected by the gutters it’s important to consider disposing of it in a sustainable way. Manufacturers usually offer a free of charge design service to help size the gutters correctly for the shape and size of the roof and make recommendations for pipe positioning. These decisions will determine the

rainwater capacity of the system and are important to avoid overflow.

At design stage you should consider adding a collection device. A water butt can be useful and is an environmentally friendly way to care for your garden while saving money. Most manufacturers now offer rainwater diverters which can be built into the pipe stack to simplify connection to a water butt. Water damage from a poorly functioning rainwater system can really damage the kerb appeal of a property. Purchasing high quality products from a reputable supplier and making certain that the system is installed according to the manufactured instructions is important to prevent this. You should expect well designed goods to carry a functional warranty of 10 years or more.

Nigel Stokes is building products commercial manager for Lindab 39

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