Monday, January 01, 2007

Copper Rain Chain

When we were first planning and building our house the two guys that we got our land from were anti gutters. Dave, the more eco friendly of the two, felt that the way gutters direct water from the roof to a single point would lead to water accumulation and erosion.

After a few rain showers we realized that we would need a gutter on the porch side of the house. With a good rain and a breeze the first few feet of the porch gets a good mist. This is a problem when you want to sit out and enjoy the rain on the tin roof.

To keep with the design of the house using galvanized metal surfaces on the exterior (galvalum roof, galvanied RLM light fixtures and conduit) we used a custom fabricated 6" galvalum half-round gutter with aluminum rafter end gutter hangers.

Instead of the traditional down spout we went wwith a copper rain chain. It is not actually a chain but a series of 4 inch cups that filter the water down to a catchment basin that is piped into the woods. The basin was filled with fist and larger sized rocks that we collected from the "lawn" (aka muddy grass area around the house). Now that the copper has a good patina started it is great to watch. The pictures herewithin do not do it justice. Even after a rain the water continues to cascade down the chain as the roof and gutter drains of its last rain shower.

While the rain chain cost was 50% of the overall gutter system cost I would highly recommend it to others. We got ours gutters and chain from a local firm that fabricates architectural metal work.

P.S. Joshua and Jacob love to climb around the outside of the porch as we spend lazy "winter" mornings eating breakfast outside. We still have to move the last of the tools and wood off the porch and get the extra wood-burning stove hooked up out here along with our vintage Chicago porch swing and we will be in good shape.


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