How to Install a Half-Round Gutter
Copper half-round gutters won't rust, will last a lifetime, and look great on traditional homes
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.
Set The Pitch
At the high point of the gutter's run, hold a bracket and a section of gutter against the fascia, with the gutter's outer lip just under the plane of the roof. Make a mark with a pencil for the bracket's screw hole. Use a water level to make a matching mark at the downspout end. Measure down from that mark, ½ inch for every 10 feet of run, and mark the low point. Snap a chalk line between the high and low marks, and you have your pitch.