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DIY Gutters from Scrap  RSS feed

 
Geoffrey Angle
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Location: Farmville, VA
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Errrmahgherrrrd!

DIY gutters.  Is there such a thing?  I really really really really don't want to go buy some.

ITS BECAUSE MY DAUGHTER IS GOING OFF TO COLLEGE AND I'M FRIGGIN BROKE AND MY WIFE HATES THE CHICKENS.... Okay confession over.

If there was timber bamboo handy, sure I know what to do. 

But i thought there would be a handy thread on the permies forum that I could mimic.

 
Ken Horkavy
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I've used discarded 3" PVC cut in half (long ways)  Screwed it in (directly under the roof and a few I hung with wire)  and hung drying vines at the end to slow the flow (draping down to guide the water).  Most of the water flowed down the vines unless it was torrential, then it went shooting off several feet from the house, either way, water averted... 

Wasn't pretty, but very functional.


https://www.calvin.edu/academic/engineering/senior-design/SeniorDesign09-10/team02/web/images/raingutters.jpg




 
Josephine Howland
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Location: White Mountains of New Hampshire zone 5
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Hmm, I'm not sure about DIY gutter's, but I wonder if you were to find an agreeable contractor or gutter company that might divert some gutters they are replacing your way?  I mean they take them down and install new ones all over the place, surely they must do something with the ones they remove?  They don't really weigh enough to get much money for the metal recycled.  I'd try to befriend someone.  Send your daughter have her smile, bring cookies.
 
Sharon Carson
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rip some cedar  logs into boards,  build long boxes, line with pitch, direct water to rain barrels .I have no gutters but do have dozens of rain barrels on the corners of my buildings . saves cleaning gutters .if you can recycle in todays modern world do so. lots of free stuff.
 
Gay Wiseman
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I have this problem too. Ken, thanks for the design pic. Do you know—is this used in snowy places? What will happen when snow is sliding off the roof? Is the hanging wire rigged so gutter will  swing under the overhang, out of the way? Or will it get ripped off the roof? Also—snow weight on that gutter itself—seems like that could get substantial, too much. How to handle the need for a roof gutter where snow happens as often as rain, and without buying fancy expensive products--that's been hanging me up for a ridiculous number of years. I'd love to solve that this year, good topic. Surely, someone's figured it out cleverly?
 
John Danks
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Location: Port Angeles, WA (USDA Zone 8b, AHS Zone 2/3)
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Look for a recycled building materials store in your area. Habitat for Humanity Restores are common all over. They may not have gutters but could probably point you to any other recycled building material stores in the area.
 
Jen Gira
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Location: Northern New Mexico/Heart of Espanola Valley
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I agree with the suggestion that John made about a local recycled materials store- Another good option, (and this might sound strange to those outside of urban areas- ha!) but most municipalities have a specific day-sometimes once a month, where individuals are allowed to throw out "bigger" things (things they might have to take to the dump for instance, like....gutters (that perhaps a more affluent person is changing due to...deciding to get all new siding in the color of periwinkle... who knows. another man's trash is definitely, (at least for me) my treasure.  I have gotten some fabulous, good condition (minus some chippy paint) heavy and old single pane windows for free, pots, furniture (that might need a coat of paint- avoid mattresses or cushions (bedbugs!) and since people put these out on the corner during this day- they don't want them. Trust me, they are psyched to see you take them.......away.  I have been doing this since I was in high school (always loved thrifting and garage sales) and I have never once had a person object to things they put out on "large garbage day"- Of course, if I walk by and see an item, and they are outside, It is the right thing to do to ask- but I have even been walking to the local pharmacy, seen something cool, I luck out, and the person is outside watering their lawn, tell hem I am a neighbor and could use their windows (for my cold frames!-or whatever) and I've even had nice folks let me set the items aside and go get my car. I am not sure if you live in an area where this is a possibility, but most smaller towns have at least one or two of these "bigger trash days" on their calendar.

I also in the past have gone to various thrift stores, or (even better) a recycled materials store, and not even that long ago, I desired some building materials for some projects around the house, my husband and I had just bought our first home, and I didn't want to spend any more money for awhile- So I went into the charity, and I asked if I could volunteer on busy days (trust me they always need help) and if I could in exchange for a day of volunteering- obtain  a few thrift items. I guess that isn't necessarily "volunteering"- but the manager of this store looked like I had offered him the golden ticket. I did it a couple times, and I was able to put aside a very nice 1940s armoire that I wanted, and after 3 days, I was able to get it- This might not work if you have another job, but It felt good to help an organization doing good things, and since many folks don't want to work on the weekends, (or they are constantly understaffed with employees that they can't pay hardly at all) I was able to be useful and help sell items- and get that piece of furniture I wanted. Everyone was happy. Just an idea. You never know.

Recently, still on this, "try to make improvements for no cost, or hardly any cost" tip I am on with my house, I was cruising my local cragslist in the "materials" section. I had never really checked it out, and, of course, there are some folks who are selling their unused home renovation materials, and trying to get what they paid at Lowe's for them, (or make a profit which is kind of bizarre-but you know, people can be.... bizarre!) But I took note, that the vast majority of folks who were listing materials-just wanted to get rid of them. I saw lots of cool items, that I could make use of (but if I have any more hobbies, or projects, or "I'll use this in 6 months" items come home, my husband will KILL ME. ha ha) but there was a plethora of great things that were free, or ridiculously low priced, as another person, just didn't want to drive it to the charity or dump, and some places, (like where I live now) doesn't have one of those "larger trash days"- So I would encourage you to check out this section.

I don't have the skills to rip cedar board, build log boxes, or line with pitch- I suppose I could try, but I give kudos to those who have more handy person / construction skills than I, and just thought I'd throw these ideas your way, as I have been able to do small improvements on my home, with a little thinking and reaching out-for almost nothing. A local charity that "didn't know what to do with them" when they were donated- (awesome. It pays to your local thrift store, who you are, be nice, and leave a number, if they "get any building materials donated") perfect, 1930s era steel casement windows (huge!) that I am stripping and restoring and will eventually put into my house........ for $1 a piece.   I am really into architectural salvage and antiques is my business- so I was.... blown away. Windows like that cost around 250-400 in their size and condition.

So maybe "if you don't want to go to a store", you could adjust that, and just... go to stores, like a thrift store, or charity, and introduce yourself. I have even been given bizarre things (actually, ha ha, I think I was given a couple gutters honestly) because I had been talking about making a chicken coop, and I was trying to conceptualize a feeder DIY (so I screwed this gutter onto a board. and then used a smaller board to cover most of the gutter-instant feeder!

I wish you luck! people are mostly nice! just reach out.

 
Ken Horkavy
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Hi Gay, No snow where I am.  I would be cautious with the type of mounting to make sure it can withstand the weather.  For me, it would be wind and hail, so not nearly the reinforcement you would need for snow.  Maybe having the curve facing away from the house a bit more, so that the snow won't be as inclined to pile up, but again, that is just an idea, I do not have that kind of experience.  My general rule is if in doubt, double the reinforcement or screws... 

Gay Wiseman wrote:I have this problem too. Ken, thanks for the design pic. Do you know—is this used in snowy places? What will happen when snow is sliding off the roof? Is the hanging wire rigged so gutter will  swing under the overhang, out of the way? Or will it get ripped off the roof? Also—snow weight on that gutter itself—seems like that could get substantial, too much. How to handle the need for a roof gutter where snow happens as often as rain, and without buying fancy expensive products--that's been hanging me up for a ridiculous number of years. I'd love to solve that this year, good topic. Surely, someone's figured it out cleverly?
 
Sam DuBois
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In the Amazon region, I learned that the gutters don't have to be 'way up there, hard to clean out, easy to hang something heavy on and pull down... they dig a gutter in the ground for the rain to fall from the eaves into. Then you can gather the water from all these little canals.

Not so little. I would say about a foot wide and deep. So, to avoid twisting ankles, you will want to cover them with some sort of grill, slats, sticks wedged across - anything to keep people from taking a plunge!

 
Jotham Bessey
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Location: Newfoundland, Canada
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Birch Bark, I mean the whole bark, not just the rind. cut a, lets say, 6" diameter log, slice straight down the log one cut on each side and carefully pull the bark from the green wood. you'll have two half pipes just like slicing PVC in half. For a complete seal you have two choices... roofing tar or pitch from a fir tree. Dry the green wood for firewood.
 
Corey Schmidt
Posts: 155
Location: Kachemak Bay, Alaska (usda zone 6, ahs heat zone 1, lat 59 N, coastal, koppen Dfc)
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maybe 2  1x4 boards attached together in a v with something to seal the joint, like tar.  if you are using the water, different story, you could line it with plastic stapled to the high points.
 
Dj Wells
Posts: 22
Location: Cincinnati, OH
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We build our roofs with the idea of simply keeping the house dry.  Usually they are made of linear planes.  What if we designed our roof to actually collect and move the water where we wanted it to go at a  collection point?  Something shaped more like a modified parabola.  Does any one understand what I'm getting at here?  Like the curved roofs in the orient, only slightly slanted in an interesting architectural manner, specifically for directing the run-off.  If I were more computer savvy, I'd upload a drawing somehow.
 
Roy Hinkley
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Location: S. Ontario Canada
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I find it hard to believe that you could make your own gutters for less than buying them.

A 10 foot section of aluminum gutter is $6.28 - $5.53 if you buy 5 of them.   Vinyl sections are around $4.
Corners and drop sections are where the expense lies.  Figure out what you need, price both aluminum and vinyl.

Either way, get good clips and use lots of them.

 
Erica Daly
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Since we have downpours more often now my gutters are always overflowing, especially on the back of the house (one long stretch and one down spout). Next time will have at least 2 downspouts and extra clips, perhaps one even in the center. For the overflow, I have been putting buckets of leaves, wood pieces, anything for mulch/compost/berm building, since it has been so dry this year. This way they are premoistened.
 
Jotham Bessey
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Location: Newfoundland, Canada
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Dj Wells wrote:We build our roofs with the idea of simply keeping the house dry.  Usually they are made of linear planes.  What if we designed our roof to actually collect and move the water where we wanted it to go at a  collection point?  Something shaped more like a modified parabola.  Does any one understand what I'm getting at here?  Like the curved roofs in the orient, only slightly slanted in an interesting architectural manner, specifically for directing the run-off.  If I were more computer savvy, I'd upload a drawing somehow.


Years ago I saw a design where the roof was a v with the valley at the center of the house and sloped to one side. This would need to be kept clear and so not feasible where there is snow.

The romans had several designs but I can't remember what they looked like. Look up "Roman architecture" 
 
Sharon Carson
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when we remodeled the roof of this old house on an addition, my husband did design it to be like wings rather than the simple pitch it had .
  Yes it is a lot cheaper to use modern plastics but it is also important to be capable of doing things the old ways without the modern manufacturing .
  I have about 60 pickle barrels and put them under the eves of my buildings and on the corners where the roofs meet.  I wish I could figure out how to connect them all so when one filled it would then fill the next, I screw down the lids and the water stays clear for years . Ideally I would love to have a huge cistern next to my house with a solar pump . These should be a part of every home in America for water backup for every family. I think Earthships do this and circulate the water for multiple purposes with in the home and landscape .
 
Susan Quinlan
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For cutting the PVC sideways. With what? Also, If you have any suggestions about cutting the tops off the blue barrels? Is there a hack saw blade that works? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 
Rus Williams
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Cutting the blue barrel top is easiest with jigsaw, with a normal wood blade on it. Drill a hole , put the saw in and saw away. Take it nice an easy and don't push to hard.
Also, use ear protection please!

If you don't have a jigsaw a hacksaw blade will work, although it'll be a lot of work, and you'll probably use more that one blade. Better to try to find an reciprocating saw blade, (maybe they are called sabre saw blades in the US?) get a long one with not too large teeth and  gaffa tape/duck/duct tape it to a butter knife  or an old speedbit/ flatbit or something like that to it for a handle. Drill a hole and saw away.

Edit: Cutting the pvc sideways is probably only do-able on a table saw. You might be able to to it with a jigsaw or circle saw, but I wouldn't recommend it.

Also the only home made gutters I've seen were made from 2 oak planks 25 x 100mm  or 4x1's  in a v-shape.
Also it's still quite common on older houses here in the Netherlands to  use a length of chain for a downspout from a single story flat roof. The water running down the chain makes less noise, doesn't get blown about so much and doesn't make an impact hole on the ground. They're really quite nice actually.




 
Paul Scheuermann
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Just thinking as I am writing this but, what about using pop/beer cans? Kind of flatten them out then rivet them together? Or even the plastic bottles using wire or zip ties to hold together?

 
Burr Hubbell
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Corey Schmidt wrote:maybe 2  1x4 boards attached together in a v with something to seal the joint, like tar.  if you are using the water, different story, you could line it with plastic stapled to the high points.

I used to care for an old house in VT which had wooden gutters.  They appeared to be 1x4s in a V-shape, sealed in pitch.  They were hung on V-shaped hangers driven into the fascia board.  The hangers appeared to have been hand-fabricated by a local blacksmith.  Some years the gutters were taken down during the winter (except over the steps) and reinstalled in the spring; brackets were left in place.  Other years the gutters were left in place, usually without damage.  The length of the each gutter was 6' to 8', as I recall, and they were simply lapped over one another for longer continuous runs.  At the low end, the water simply ran out.  Usually a flat stone was placed on the ground, sloping away from the structure, to stop erosion and absorb the energy of the falling water.
 
Shane Kaser
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Location: Portland, United States
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Gutters with a shovel and some muscle:

Carefully grade the first 5-10' from your foundation to deflect splash and carry water away from the house into drainage swales that feed the rest of the landscape. Use rock in the splash zone, or your grading will erode. Vegetate close up with clover/turf, mowed once or twice per year: splash reduction, good visibility/mobility/ventilation around structure, erosion control, easy drainage maintenance, soil building... Maybe extend the clover/turf/wildflowers through the swales, so then make them mowable/grazable. Otherwise, feed your terraced/alley-cropped polyculture system or whatever. You think catching fish is fun, try catching the river. As soon as you put it in a pipe, you start making extra problems for yourself that require more than just a shovel.

Good luck!
 
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