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Thread: No Gutter House

  1. #1
    Daniel Leung's Avatar
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    Default No Gutter House

    I saw this over 5-million dollar gorgeous custom-built home designed by award-winning architect on a light-rain day. One of the design feature is "NO GUTTER" for the entire single house!! Do you accept the design?

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: No Gutter House

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Leung View Post
    I saw this over 5-million dollar gorgeous custom-built home designed by award-winning architect on a light-rain day. One of the design feature is "NO GUTTER" for the entire single house!! Do you accept the design?
    I have seen many, many homes without gutters. Depending on how the ground slopes from the home, what the roof water falls onto and several other factors, gutter are not always needed. Sure they are nice but not always a necessity.... Besides, who are we to argue with an architect!

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  3. #3
    Daniel Leung's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gutter House

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Patterson View Post
    Besides, who are we to argue with an architect!
    Good point, Scott. I have no argue for the design features.
    No gutter single house is rare in rainy northwest. I don't mind if it is in dry climate city.


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    Default Re: No Gutter House

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Leung View Post
    I saw this over 5-million dollar gorgeous custom-built home designed by award-winning architect on a light-rain day. One of the design feature is "NO GUTTER" for the entire single house!! Do you accept the design?
    This may seem simplistic but living in the Sunny Southwest, I have a limited experience with gutters, so bear with me.
    What are the reasons that you want to see gutters?
    In my experience, gutters cause nearly as may problems as the solve, especially with limited maintenance and large trees.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  5. #5
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    Default Re: No Gutter House

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    This may seem simplistic but living in the Sunny Southwest, I have a limited experience with gutters, so bear with me.
    What are the reasons that you want to see gutters?
    In my experience, gutters cause nearly as may problems as the solve, especially with limited maintenance and large trees.
    I don't have gutters on my house due to trees and leaves. Since I have a basement I put in a good foundation drainage system when we built the house.


  6. #6

    Default Re: No Gutter House

    In Japan I saw many large buildings with gutters in the ground at the drip line of the roof. Grates over the gutters where it was a walking path. Not sure that having the drip line from the upper roof onto the lower is a good idea, i.e. concentration of water and its effects. But if you were prepared to deal with the need for earlier replacement, beauty sometimes hurts.

    Egbert Jager
    Diamond Home Inspection
    http://www.diamondhomeinspection.ca

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    Default Re: No Gutter House

    No, bad idea on the Wet West Coast. We get ** inches of rain every month of the year. You can already see a drip line mark on the lower roof where the upper roof gutter is missing. What's worse is the splashing around the lower walls.

    John Kogel, RHI, BC HI Lic #47455
    www.allsafehome.ca

  8. #8
    Daniel Leung's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gutter House

    Quote Originally Posted by Egbert Jager View Post
    In Japan I saw many large buildings with gutters in the ground at the drip line of the roof. Grates over the gutters where it was a walking path. Not sure that having the drip line from the upper roof onto the lower is a good idea, i.e. concentration of water and its effects. But if you were prepared to deal with the need for earlier replacement, beauty sometimes hurts.
    I think Egbert saw these kind of gutter in a yard of old Japanese house (first 2 photos from internet). But I also saw these gutters on roof of new buildings on Fuji Mountain.

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  9. #9

    Default Re: No Gutter House

    I would have to agree with John. Without upper roof gutters rainwater runoff is able to errode on the lowet roof shingles from chronic roof runoff. This will surely shorten the life of these shingles. But who's to question an architect design?


  10. #10
    mathew stouffer's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gutter House

    A large number of the homes in this area do not have gutters. They don't get along with the snow and ice


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    Default Re: No Gutter House

    Daniel as it has been said before beauty is in the eye of the beholder in this case the owner. Gutters can still be installed if the owner finds they want them or need them. from a design point yes you can do with out them, but from a practical point and perferance point due to the results from the rain effects they might be wanted. water over time can be damaging to other features. for me it would be something to be notted in the report as to missing but if it is acceptable to the new owner then fine let it ride. always best to note it than deal with it later as something they are not happy with


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    Default Re: No Gutter House

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Latosky View Post
    I would have to agree with John. Without upper roof gutters rainwater runoff is able to errode on the lowet roof shingles from chronic roof runoff. This will surely shorten the life of these shingles. But who's to question an architect design?
    Rain has little effect on the life of shingles here. The shingle is used up by sun, hail, and wind long before water does them in.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  13. #13
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    Default Re: No Gutter House

    By design if the soffit extension is sufficient in conjunction with the ground drainage system, then it works. Go to Maine, Vermont and you will see a lot of homes without gutters due to snow.

    My next house will not have gutters. Tired of leaves clogging them. Reduce the cost of construction with a little time in design.


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    Default Re: No Gutter House

    Frank Lloyd Wright would have been sued out of existence had he been working in today's industry.

    From the looks of the drip lines on the lower roof I would say there was a significant oversight on the designers part.


  15. #15
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    Default Re: No Gutter House

    In my opinion a person should avoid gutters if possible for the following reasons....first of all when you need them the most like when it's raining heavily the rain will just over shoot the gutter, second they almost always leak and rot out the facial, third they get clogged way to easily which means they will overflow and rot the facial. They probably should be installed on second story roofs though because they are less likely to clog up there and it minimizes the impact of rainwater around the house....just my opinion


  16. #16
    Terry Griffin's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gutter House

    In this area not many houses are built with gutters attached. Usually it is up to the homeowner to get or not get gutters installed.
    I recently inspected a 5,000 sq. ft. house with a basement. The egress window was at grade level with no flashings installed. Guess what? the basement had about 1/2 inch of standing water in it. I do think the building contractor got a serious phone call the following morning.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: No Gutter House

    Here in Eastern Washington I see gutters less than 40% of the homes. And since almost no one installs them correctly truly functioning gutters is probably a bigger issue than no gutters.

    The ol' form vs function strikes again.

    Don Hester
    NCW Home Inspections, LLC
    Wa. St. Licensed H I #647, WSDA #80050, http://www.ncwhomeinspections.com

  18. #18
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    Default Re: No Gutter House

    That would definitely end up being a problem around here.

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  19. #19
    Daniel Leung's Avatar
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    Default Re: No Gutter House

    I just found the following Roof Drainage Building Code Guideline References from National Rain Gutter Contractors Association http://www.nrgca.org/rainguttercodeinformation.php That means most houses need gutter!!

    International Code Council
    International Residential Code 2006 Ch. 8 Roof-Ceiling Construction: Section R801
    R801.3 Roof Drainage - "In areas where expansive or collapsible soils are known to exist, all dwellings shall have a controlled method of water disposal from roofs that will collect and discharge roof drainage to the ground surface at least 5 feet (1524 mm) from foundation walls or to an approved drainage system."
    International Residential Code 2000 Commentary - Vol. 1
    "Saturated expansive or collapsible soils can lead to foundation failures because their additional loads are imposed on the foundation wall. To minimize the potential for the soil adjacent to the foundation wall to become saturated due to roof drainage, the code requires that the roof drain 5 feet (1524 mm) from the foundation."

    National Association of Home Builders
    NAHB Model Green Home Building Guidelines - click here Version I, Section 2.2 Enhance Durability and Reduce Maintenance
    2.2.4 Install drip edge at eave and gable roof edges.
    Intent: The drip edge directs roof runoff water into the gutters and away from the fascia and roof sheathing.
    2.2.5 Install gutter and downspout system to divert water at least 5� away from foundation and from there into the overall onsite drainage area.
    Intent: Moisture intrusion of foundations is avoided by moving runoff water beyond the foundation.

    U.S. Green Building Council
    LEED for Homes Program Water Efficiency: Credit #1 Water Reuse - Maximum Points: 2 There are no mandatory requirements. Optional requirements include:
    1.1 Design and install of rainwater harvesting system which includes the collection of surface and roof run-off for irrigation uses. (1 Point)
    1.2 Design and install gray water re-use system, with minimum of dedicated clothes washer with 2 inch drain directed to subterranean drain field for landscape irrigation. (1 Point)
    USGBC Rationale: 50% of potable water use in a home may be for maintenance of lawns and gardens. This credit promotes the re-use of indoor waste water and rainwater to help meet landscape water demands. Materials and Resources: Credit #4 Durability Plan - Maximum Points: 3 The mandatory requirement is:
    4.1 Prepare a detailed durability plan per the design process in Exhibit MR4-A.
    Optional requirement:
    4.2 Verify implementation of durability plan via third party inspection as described in Exhibit MR4-C.
    The synergy between durability, energy efficiency, and indoor air quality are inextricably linked in high performance homes. Moisture management becomes more critical as energy management reduces the buildings overall drying potential.�
    Moisture can be a major cause of indoor environmental problems (e.g., mold)�. The point value of this credit therefore reflects the related indoor environmental benefits of improved water management at the foundation, exterior walls, and roof.
    Water management of the property (i.e., both lot and structure) is a combination of surface and ground water management, with the dual goals of protecting the structure from water as well as keeping as much water as possible on the site in order to limit the burden on municipals infrastructure, recharging the aquifer, etc. To the greatest extent possible, the site and landscape should be designed with these goals in mind. The durability plan is intended to prevent damage to the home by water - both surface and ground - that can not be effectively managed at the site level, as well as to protect the structure from other damage functions.
    USGBC Rationale is that durability problems can substantially shorten the life of assemblies, systems, and/or materials in a home and indeed the home itself. While the development and implementation of a durability plan can not guarantee improved durability, there are a number of precedents in the insurance industry, in particular, supporting the premise that a prescribed process aimed at improving durability can indeed correlate to improved performance, as measured by decreases in warranty claims for durability-related building defects and failures.

    Energy Star
    Indoor Air Package Pilot Specification - April 4, 2005
    1. Moisture Control Required Measures References(s)Water Managed RoofsReference(s)1.1 Provide Minimum No. 30 roof felt under layment or equivalent.Copper Development Assn. Design Handbook, Sec. 41.2 In IECC 2004 Climate Zones 5 and higher, provide self sealing water protection membrane ice flashing over the sheathing at the eave extending 2 feet inside the exterior wall plane.Moisture Control Handbook
    IRC1.3 Provide metal drip edge at all exposed roof decking.1.4 Provide self-sealing bituminous membrane at all eaves, valleys and penetrations except in climates with less than 20 inches annual rainfall.EBBA Builder Guide
    Moisture Control Handbook1.5Provide Insulated wind baffle or other air barrier to block wind washing at all attic eave bays in roof assemblies with soffit vents.EEBA Builder Guide
    EEBA Water management Guide1.6Provide step flashing at all intersections of roof and walls with the exception of continuous flashing at metal and rubber membrane roofs. Metal �kick-out� flashing shall be provided at the end of roof/wall intersections to direct water away from wall. Drainage plane above shall be directed water flow onto and not behind flashing. Intersection wall siding shall terminate a minimum of 2 inches above roof. HUD/NAHB specs for gutters and downspoutsIRC code 801.c
    EEBA Builder Guides1.7Direct roof water from house with either:HUD/NAHB specs for gutters and downspouts
    Moisture Control Handbook
    IRCGuttering and downspouts shall empty to lateral piping that deposit(s) water on finish grade a minimum of 5 ft. from foundation, or in limited spaces, deposit to underground catchment system that carries water 10 ft. from foundation.In dry climates with less that 20 inches annual rainfall as shown in EEBA Builder Guides, provide minimum 18� roof overhangs that deposit water to grade sloped away from home.



  20. #20
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    Default Re: No Gutter House

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Leung View Post
    I just found the following Roof Drainage Building Code Guideline References from National Rain Gutter Contractors Association . . . . .


    Excellent post.

    As to the above mentioned problems I can tell you that I have had raingutters on every home I have lived in for my entire life and the potential problems are much smaller than the benefits that they provide.


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