When it comes to choosing a rainwater systems for your self-build or renovation project you will find a vast swath on the market to choose from – different profiles, sizes and materials – offering advantages on the practical side such as ease of fitting, low-maintenance, long life cycle as well as different styles to suit aesthetic tastes.
Choose an aluminium system with gutter joint fix technology for a quick and easy installation with a professional finish. A highly durable material giving 30 years and upwards of service, aluminium gutters and downpipes, like all metal systems, require only periodical cleaning out of leaves and debris – no re-painting required. The protective black textured powder coating suits brick and stone-constructed modern buildings with a choice of gutter profiles and decorative accessories, such as ear bands, also lending themselves to the more traditional design.
For timber cladding, oak frame or garden houses why not consider a rainwater system that changes patina over time adding depth to the colour and matching the changes in the timber as it seasons. Copper and zinc are great materials for such a build adding to ecological credentials, being completely sustainable, and are recyclable materials – a perfect choice for people wishing to make the most of our British climate by harvesting the rain.
Stainless steel products add to the clean lines of glass, concrete and metal constructions, again proving – as with all metal rainwater goods – to be extremely long-lasting, saving precious time and money on replacement and maintenance chores.
Finally, for those renovating Victorian, Edwardian or older heritage houses, cast iron is the go-to choice, offering traditional profiles and accessories such as functional yet decorative rainwater hoppers.
Aluminium and cast iron rainwater systems can also come in a choice of colours adding that unique and perfect finishing touch to your prized self-build project.
Here metal rainwater system supplier, Rainclear, unveils its top five tips on selecting guttering for a self-build project.
1. Consider initial cost:
Galvanised steel will last 25 years+, but only costs about three times that of plastic (circa £100 for a uPVC system on a three-bed semi vs circa £300 for a galvanised steel system). Cast iron or cast aluminium will last much longer, but the initial outlay will be considerably more.
Galvanised steel is the most cost-effective of the metal rainwater systems and makes sense if you are not a developer and are planning to self-build your own dream home.
2. Consider the environment:
Guttering in any of the metals can be recycled 100% at the end of their life.
3. Consider future maintenance requirements:
If you don’t want to be repainting or replacing the complete system in five years’ time – and remember, the most expensive part of this cost will be for the scaffolding – then galvanised steel, extruded aluminium or copper are your best options.
4: Consider style and kerb appeal:
Powder-coated aluminium and colour-coated galvanised steel will not fade like some unsightly uPVC guttering you often see. Copper and the uncoated galvanised steel will naturally weather from bright, shiny metallic to a darker hue and eventually the copper will patinate to verdigris. This natural process creates a protective outer shell increasing the longevity of the guttering, while also enhancing the aesthetics of your property.
5. Consider matching your window frames:
Colour-coated aluminium and galvanised steel guttering come in a variety of colours to match to your aluminium or steel window frames – like ‘Anthracite Grey’, for example.
Higher considerations for the future
Chris Coxon, Head of Marketing at Eurocell, offers his guidance on roofline products.
“An oak frame will stir one’s emotions and give you a feeling that no other style of house will offer. I believe that buildings shape the way people interact with each other and for many people, particularly those in urban surroundings, going back to nature is a rare feat.
“I discovered that by infusing a home with a natural oak structure created a sense of calm and wellbeing. At Living Oak, we believe in a less is more approach, with regards to the oak frame, to create exceptional living spaces that stir client’s emotions as they walk in. Often, oak-frame companies and indeed, new clients, will want to have lots of oak frame within a project, however we feel that often there is too much emphasis on the oak itself.
“Careful consideration of the other elements that surround the frame and the interior design enables us to create stunning spaces. There has definitely been a shift in requirements for a more modern and fresh looking aesthetic with less bare wood visible. Combining an oak frame with other natural materials and subtle colours creates natural looking spaces which don’t date but age beautifully over time.”