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How I spent my Tuesday afternoon

Cussing. Mainly.

Otherwise known as installing my first-ever gutter and downspout.


It was just a 14-foot span and would not have been a difficult job at all, had I had the brains to ignore the manufacturer’s instructions. Those instructions called for gluing together the entire main gutter span — in this case a 10-foot section and a two-foot section — before bracketing it to the fascia board. Given that the glue sets in geological time rather than human-relatable time, that meant I was up on a ladder handling (all by my lonesome) a 12-foot gutter section that flopped like a dead fish and became increasingly sticky with each wobble.

Next time (and there will be many next times, as there are three additional short spans that currently have no gutters and one very long span whose gutters are destined to go wherever bad gutters go when they die) I’ll simply assemble the gutter sections in place and eliminate yesterday’s major step of cussing. Once I’d finally managed to install the long section, the job was easy-peasy.

The bottom of the downspout will feed into a four-inch drainpipe, which will run under the house and eventually (next summer, maybe) join the underground drainage system that began behind the new retaining walls. Still need to get that pipe, add a few more bits of glue, and bracket the downspout to the wall. Then it’s done. Oh, and scrub off half a dozen store barcodes. Not a lovely aesthetic touch, those.


This single gutter assembly was the last project I’d hoped to accomplish this summer (summer! where did it go?), mainly to avoid the merciless drip-drenching the critters and I get every winter day when we go in and out the door. Mission accomplished.

But the gutters have a nice, sharp appearance, too. That helps. Someday this place will look like a real house. Bit by bit by bit it’s getting there.


  1. Pat
    Pat September 28, 2016 6:12 am

    “…(summer! where did it go?)…”
    You were busy — time flies when you’re having fun.
    The gutter pic was too small to see.

  2. Claire
    Claire September 28, 2016 6:18 am

    LOL, yes. Having fun moving websites, building retaining walls, and … OMG. I’m rather glad this summer is over.

    Small pix, though … on my system, the pix don’t appear small at all. Plus the blog has a click-to-enlarge feature. Can you email me a screenshot of what you’re seeing and can you not click to embiggenate the images?

  3. Pat
    Pat September 28, 2016 6:26 am

    It just opens as a tiny picture on my screen, but it won’t save the image. Is it a .jpg?

  4. Claire
    Claire September 28, 2016 6:34 am

    There are actually two images, both 1400 x 1050 pixels, both jpegs. Did you try clicking a second time on the small image?

  5. Pat
    Pat September 28, 2016 6:43 am

    I had done that, yes. But now it’s large and I can see it.

    It looks nice. But that pure white will surely show dirt fast.

    I wonder why they don’t sell different colored gutters and drain pipes. The ones on my house get dingy much too quickly, after the first good windstorm. They grab every speck of pollen or dust.

  6. Pat
    Pat September 28, 2016 6:45 am

    P.S: Now the pix are showing up on the blog itself. They weren’t before.

  7. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty September 28, 2016 6:48 am

    Looks beautiful, Claire. Love the multicolored wall. I’d rather put a roof over the deck, but the wind would have it shredded in no time. I “might” get away with some gutters. Now if I could only manage to put it up myself. Got to get the handy man back here anyway, since the screws have decided to come out of the bottom hinge of the back door. Just hope I don’t wind up needing to replace the door and/or the frame. Always something.

  8. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal September 28, 2016 9:37 am

    There’s a coconut and bamboo wind chime hanging from my porch, too. Psycho Hose-Beast’s sister sent it to her from Hawaii a few years ago.

  9. Claire
    Claire September 28, 2016 10:13 am

    Cool, Kent. And don’t they make a lovely sound? Clattery, but still rich and musical.

  10. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal September 28, 2016 10:22 am

    Yep. And there’s another wind chime with metal tubes near it, and they complement each other nicely

  11. DiabloLoco
    DiabloLoco September 28, 2016 4:03 pm

    Heh. If only I lived close to you guys (Claire/ML). I would have done it for free. Materials and all! I do stuff like that for a living. Something like Claire’s gutter would have taken me about 20 minutes or so.

  12. Claire
    Claire September 28, 2016 5:00 pm

    Bet you’d have cussed a lot less, too! Thanks for the thought, DiabloLoco. I’ll remember that next year or the year after when the serious part of the gutter project needs doing.

  13. John
    John September 28, 2016 8:28 pm

    Looks spiffy!
    Cussin’ through it, helps us know/ remember, it’s something we really wanted to have happen. When we want it different then we did it, well, we get more practice, and think of new words…

  14. LarryA
    LarryA September 28, 2016 9:44 pm

    What, no rain barrels?

    Ah. Forgot where you live.


  15. Ruth
    Ruth September 29, 2016 6:38 am

    Pat, they do make colored gutters, you just have to be prepared to spend more on them and they generally have to be special ordered. When we did our gutters we splurged, the gutters are brown, to match the trim they’re mounted on, and the downspouts are cream to match the house. White would have looked really out of place on our house!

  16. Pat
    Pat September 29, 2016 8:19 am

    Ruth — thanks for that info; I didn’t know they were available.

    One rain challenge I always liked was rain chains in place of downspouts, but you have to have a suitable landscape for that — gravel preferably (and an anchor) at the base of the chain, and knowledge where the percolating water will end up. They certainly wouldn’t work by Claire’s porch, in any case.

  17. DiabloLoco
    DiabloLoco September 29, 2016 9:39 am


    Actually, you can get gutters in any color you want. They have a special machine that mounts in the back of a van that fabricates the gutters right on site. A roll of aluminum coil is fed into the machine, and the newly fabricated gutter shoots right out of the back of the van. This allows for “seamless” gutters. No seams, no leaks. Ever. Add an end cap on either end of the gutter and cut in an outlet tube (installed with 1/8″ rivets). Seal these with silicone and presto. All done 😉

  18. Claire
    Claire September 29, 2016 9:51 am

    Unfortunately the only company in my area that does continuous gutters does only white, is a total ripoff outfit, and will never set foot on my property. They might do some other color by very special (and expensive) arrangement, but it’s a moot point given what a pack of scoundrels they are.

    Vinyl gutters from the hardware store may be inferior, but they’re cheap, DIY, and they can be painted any color you like.

  19. DiabloLoco
    DiabloLoco September 29, 2016 4:54 pm


    Wow. Seems like a good place to start a seamless gutter business then! Around here in upstate NY, there are many companies to choose from, and all colors are the same price. Of course, I only do high-end type jobs, so I never use inferior products. It’s not often that I actually do any gutters. Not worth my time. I usually sub that out.

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