Wood gutters: a custom touch for your Victorian home
Most homeowners are familiar with gutter materials such as aluminum, vinyl, and perhaps even copper, but have you ever considered wood gutters for your home? Wood was used to make gutters for hundreds of years, and it could be just the touch your older Victorian home needs to make it stand out.
The cost of nostalgic gutters
Because wood gutters are a holdover from the years before steel, copper, and aluminum became the materials of choice for gutters, they are well-suited to the style of certain older homes or newer homes with nostalgic styling. Unlike newer materials, wood gutters must be created at custom millwork shops in much the same fashion as intricate interior moldings and trim. They are normally made from woods able to tolerate moisture, such as redwood and cedar, but pine, hemlock and fir are also used.
When it comes to cost, conventional, modern guttering materials are less expensive and require less maintenance than wood, which needs regular care to prevent damage from the elements. Pricing for wood gutters varies depending on the species of wood and how difficult your design is to make, but a good price to budget for is roughly $14 to $17 per linear foot for materials and installation labor.
The exterior of the gutters should be painted or stained every other year and the interior oiled at the same time to prevent moisture damage. It is very important that the gutters be kept free of debris and leaves: Any substance that holds water in the trough can potentially cause wood rot.
Wood gutter styles, care and longevity
Victorian homes are known for their complex gingerbread exterior trim designs and eye-catching paint schemes, which is why wood gutters can be such a great choice for this house style. Wooden gutters are custom made, so there are almost countless shape options to choose from as long as the design is capable of carrying water to your downspouts. You can design a gutter style unique to your home.
You also have the choice of painting your gutters to blend in with your exterior trim, but for most Victorian enthusiasts that would never do--there's a reason the homes are called "painted ladies." The wood exterior surface can be painted any color that may complement your elaborate Victorian paint scheme.
Wood gutters, like any other wood on the exterior of your home, can last many years with proper maintenance. Aluminum, vinyl and copper gutters do not need any upkeep other than being cleaned on occasion, but wood gutters need regular maintenance.
Finding contractors who specialize in wood gutters
Unless you live in a large metro area or upscale community, finding a vendor or contractor who deals in sales and installation of wood gutters could be challenging. The form on this page can help you connect with contractors in your area for more information on having this type of gutter designed and installed.