Thursday, December 02, 2010


a child of the slums who spends most of his or her time in the streets: contemptuous term applied to anyone regarded as having the manners, morals, etc. of the gutter

Origin: orig. (Brit dial.), the common snipe, which picks food out of gutters

Yes in the five years we have been at Foxcroft I have been a guttersnipe about our front gutter. Since the first winter I have known that there was a problem with the gutter in that it leaked over the front porch steps and created a gigantic ice hazard that made it nearly impossible to use the front door.

I'd had several people offer advice on what to do, but got nowhere. Finally I mentioned it last summer to Tim, a fellow member of Friends of Historic Preservation, who is a highly regarded handyman. He came over this fall and said, no problem, if I got him some copper to patch with, (our gutters are made of copper and are original to the house) he'd drop the gutter at the end where the downspout was (Which over time had become the HIGH spot) and patch in the bracket. Well he came and discovered that unlike most gutter systems this one has a continuous flap that must run a foot under the entire roof. There was no way to do what he had originally planned. I asked what our options were, he said really the only thing that could be done is to move the downspout to the low spot on the gutter which is over the steps. Tim came last weekend and we did just that.

First I carefully removed the downspout and set it aside:

Then we sweated out the downspout from its place on the North end of the house.

Then we cut a patch for the hole and cleaned it:

And hammered it to make sure it would lay flat:

Then after fluxing everything it was soldered into place:

Then we cut a hole at the low spot just north of the porch steps post:

And soldered the downspout into the new location:

At this point Tim was ready to call it an afternoon. I set the downspout back in and realized I would need some elbows to push the bottom of the downspout back out so it would clear the post steps pillar. I went to the hardware store Monday during my lunch hour and then set that all up. As I drove back to work it started to rain. When I came home Monday night I got out the ladder and went up to look, and there was nearly no water left in the gutter. I am hoping for a much safer winter!

I really don't like the way the gutter looks, having lost the symmetry, but in this case safety is much more important.


Vueling said...

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