What Does Your Home Say About You? - Say it with CEDRAL Roofs | Facades
01 Nov 2017

How gutters and downpipes can complement a timeless design

In the world of self-build, one of the challenges of selecting and specifying building materials is the sheer number of products on offer. A higher specification more often than not equates to a higher price rather than better performance. For self-builders renovating or building in a classic style, it’s vital to strike the right balance between traditional aesthetics, performance and keeping the project on time and on budget.


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To give new builds a touch of old-style detail without the price tag or for the sympathetic renovation of a historical building, Brett Martin offers Cascade – a range of gutter and downpipe profiles with an authentic cast iron aesthetic and all the benefits of modern plastic manufacture.

When creating a heritage-style or reflecting local architectural vernacular, getting the specification wrong could not only spoil the build’s appearance, but also have a serious impact on the planning process and efficiency of the overall construction programme. As with all specialist products and materials, it is crucial that self-builders utilise the knowledge of industry experts to get the right product first time, every time.

Brett Martin developed Cascade to offer the cast iron-look in a range of profiles and systems that are more affordable to buy, install and maintain.

A distinct appearance

An integral element of the architectural landscape for over 150 years, cast iron has a highly distinctive appearance due to the texture of the material, its thickness and the quality of the cast components. However, cast iron drainage systems can be heavy and difficult to install, resulting in an issue for self-builders who are looking to achieve that distinct characteristic for their new home.

With significant additional weight, self-builders must also be extra vigilant regarding health and safety and will require more time to lift and fix the system – leading to increased costs and potential delays in the installation process. Almost every job will require both gutter and pipe lengths to be cut on site using specialist tools and, to ensure long-lasting durability, they need to be fully finished on site, using a primer, undercoat and topcoat, to ward off corrosion.

Cast iron alternative

Manufactured using lightweight plastic, Brett Martin Cascade makes installation at height safer, quicker and easier. The system also benefits from external fixing lugs, enabling easy power tool access, which further speeds up installation.

To ensure each rainwater system can be designed to meet a self-builder’s requirements, there are an expansive choice of options and gutter profiles available for both new-build and refurbishment projects.

When a traditional aesthetic is a prerequisite, the right drainage system can be the difference between design success and failure. As budgets are increasingly stretched and tight deadlines dictate product specification, self-builders must be aware of every product’s cost – in both materials and labour.

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