Wood gutters: historic homes benefit
Until the 1960's, when rolled metal manufacturing replaced them, wood gutters were a common fixture on most homes. Today, these gutters are used mostly in restoration work to maintain the period integrity of a home. There are few manufacturers in the U.S. that still make these gutters. They need to be milled to the proper shape and are usually sold in 10- to 20-foot lengths and either 4- or 6-inch patterns. The correct choice depends on the size of the roof the gutter will be draining.
Installation can be expensive, because the joinery is detailed work that requires beveled scarf joints to prevent leaking or decay. The outside of the gutters are typically painted to match the house, but the inside should be finished with a non-drying oil like shingle oil. These gutters are often made out of cedar, clear fir or redwood, so if they are installed properly and well-maintained, they have the potential to last for decades.