Part of Mary Anne White’s (my landscape Architect) plan for our landscape project in addition to extending the portico with new stone treads, was to beef up the column (below).
Then once the new column was built, we were going to install the downspout behind the column instead of right smack in the front where it was.
However, once the column was built, the downspout looked terrible sitting beside it. And the gutters were in really bad shape anyway, so we decided to replace them and move the drainage and the downspout beside the house.
Downspouts are just a problem aren’t they? You have to have them but there’s rarely a way to make them look good.
The best thing to do is to either paint them the same colour as the house or chose the closest colour to the siding if you are getting new ones.
Doug from Doall Contracting is the local Gentek Rep and he came out to look at our gutters.
These were the closest options (above). As you can see, Gentek Wicker was too green in comparison, Almond too yellow, making Cashmere the winner for the closest colour to match my pinky/taupe siding.
Our siding needs to be replaced too because the colour is not my favourite but no I’m not going to paint it before I replace it. The point of vinyl siding is that it’s maintenance free. I would only paint vinyl siding if you had a small area of it on your house and it was clearly the wrong colour.
Did you have any idea they make your gutters right on site? Fascinating.
I chose white simply because it coordinates with my trim colour. Gentek has one white so if you are choosing finishes for your house, make sure you chose the gutters first so that you can then match the trim colour.
One of my True Colour Experts™ wrote a great post about gutters and downspouts here.
And here’s the location of my new downspout! The colour is pretty darn close, I was very happy with it.
If they don’t have a colour that coordinates with your siding then the best thing to do is paint them, but they should be removed and sprayed with a special industrial paint. See your paint store for more details on how to do it properly.
And here’s another photo of our the landscaping before this project even started along with the banged up gutters and the small post holding up the portico!
And here’s the after. So nice to have the gutter away from my lovely new column.
More plant material will come to fill the beds of course, but the all the shrubs in the rest of the beds have to be planted first. I really love the boxwood!
Usually your gutters will coordinate with the trim colour but there are times when they just stand out too much and it’s better to have them relate to the roof. Downspouts should always match the building so that they disappear.
Here’s an update of what it looks like now (2020):
The Devil is in the Details: Update on my Landscape Project
Pure Painters Paint Better Doors
White Limewashed Brick Homes
If you would like your home to fill you with happiness when you walk in the door, become a client online or in person.
To learn how to choose the right exterior colour for your home, check out my Masterclass for Exterior Colour Selection here.
Wow! great improvement. Congrats.
Nothing about the gutters…
Why do Canada and the US have such huge house numbers?
Surely your street does not have 42000 houses?
I have genuinely wondered about this for years and if anyone can provide an answer I will be so grateful.
Fiona, biggest house number of my life – 355
I live in Canada and I’ve always wondered the same thing. It is usually older homes that have the low numbers (say under 100) and all newer built homes have numbers in the 1000s and 10,000s. Weird, I know.
Very funny thing to ask Fiona! When my hubby and I moved to our second, 2 year old home from our first which was built in 1930, my father-in-law from Ireland said “wow, it must be a really long street” as the new house number was 1356. No, it wasn’t, but the lowest numbered house was 1200. Our old house was number 26. When we lived in Ireland our rented house there was number 2 (the first house) on the street.
In some places with large numbers the number relates to things: such as the first two numbers, in this case 42, might mean that the house is near 42 street.
In the Seattle area it generally works like this:
– The last two digits of the number correspond to where on the block the address sits.
– Earlier digits correspond to where the block is on the grid, and thus identify the cross streets.
– St run E/W, Ave run N/S
It is brilliant in that you can tell from the address where the address is located without having to know thousands of street names. Some people find it quite boring though…
When we moved to this Canadian west coast region (close to where maria lives) I was surprised at the large numbers – ours was 32172. Growing up on the prairies we did not have 5 digit house numbers, only 4. When I inquired as to 5 digits I was told that the first 3 relate to the street – and the numbering starts at the ocean in Vancouver. Thus Maria lives at 423 (street) counted east from the ocean and her actual house is #15 on the block! Mine is only 321 street east from the ocean and house number #72!
Does this clear up the question?
In Hawaii, many street numbers run something like: 46-247 (then street name) or 92-233 … The first 2 digits before the hyphen are tax key numbers indicating what region of the island you’re on. You don’t need a street name to figure it out. The first two digits also relate to voting districts and political representation.
Thankyou to everybody for the information – certainly makes more sense than really, really, really long streets!!
Even my computer doesn’t get it, it’s refusing to print the ‘four’ of forty two thousand!!!
Ha, I just had a conversation with my son about house numbers in the US and then read the comments!
I am Australian, and one of my work colleagues tells me they are map co-ordinates as well as a house no. Her son is married to an American gal and lives in the US.
I’m sure the natives will explain it further.
Maria, your garden is looking great, love the view with the tree on the far side of the house. What a stunning change! Your home gets more beautiful with every well planned move. Thanks for sharing with us, you generous souls. I’m including your lovely Terreeia, as it’s her lovely space too.
THanks Connie, this runaway thread talking about house number is so much fun! I did not know how they were calculated! Thanks everyone for sharing. Maria
I have a rain chain that leads into an old wooden wine barrel. I have also seen them lead into a shallow bowl, angled away from the foundation.
Love rain chains!!
Ours are white – to match the windows, not the trim which is a perfect periwinkle or the house- a lovely blue/gray. I remember thinking they had a lot of beiges (like looking at carpet samples). Fiona – my “street” is 15 miles long- it’s not a street in a town it’s a county road!
About a year ago the man across the street replaced his Tudor house’s gutters and downspouts. They are stark white where nothing else on the house is white — red brick first story, tan stucco second story, dark brown timbering, dark brown roof, tan windows. It still shocks me to look at it (which I have to do every day since it’s the view out my home office window).
He sold the house recently. When I mentioned to the realtor that the white gutters were a travesty, she looked at me like I’d grown a second head. At least the new owner seems receptive to painting them brown (it will look 1000X better).
Mine are white to match the trim and are period-appropriate, i.e. large half rounds.
Thanks for the shout out Maria. Your gutters and downspouts look great. I can’t wait to see the whole yard. That flagstone looks stunning.
Maria, the changes in post and downspout look so much better. It’s all in the details.
Love the new look of your house and landscaping.
I have a two-story house. What color should the downspouts be: The 1st floor is a reddish-brick (with some scattered black and white intentional “overspray” randomly placed) and the 2nd floor is white siding?
It sounds like it should coordinate with the roof. Maria
The roof is black.
Hi Vera, It’s very hard for me to give you accurate advice without a picture. Email me for my on-line rates. Maria
when we did our reno with new siding and paint, I did get the cashmere and it matches my trim so close one can not tell. It was perfect. They are a pain but yes we need them. Maria, so much better now where the downspout is. its looking so beautiful.
Looking marrrr-velous darling. ☺ Regarding industrial paint on house troughs not to argue but … painted ours thirteen years ago (with Benjamin Moore) and they have stood up exceptionally well in our distinct four-season climate. Believe, just an exterior acrylic base paint was used.
As for matching with your siding or roof; feel window frames should be included in the overall scheme as well. Realize the purpose of low maintenance and/or expense and no intention to offend those who have white vinyl clad, but to me it is sinful to see them paired with expensive facings like stone or brick. Totally drives me crazy when I see a beautiful home with screeeeeaming white windows ‘n frames that do not relate to anything else. Okay ….. maybe I require psychological help but it really – really – really bugs me. -Brenda-
That’s good info about the paint Brenda thanks. I didn’t say it but I consider windows to be in the same category as trim. Sometimes yes the gutters should relate to the windows.
I agree with you about the screaming vinyl. White does not belong on a house full of earth tones that in actual fact have no white anywhere to be seen. Maria
I have window frames in the same category as trim, I totally agree with you Brenda! Maria
I love your posts about the stages of your home improvement projects. Keep ’em coming! Boxwood is a favorite shrub too….it is one of the few shrubs that I can count on the deer NOT eating.
BTW….would love to see more posts of your kitchen. Can’t get enough of them!
I second that request…Would love to see the crystal knobs in your kitchen which you spoke of using. I saw some green ones that I’m considering as they look vintage.
Hi Maria, I notice that you don’t have the pedestal and urn yet in front of the window. It seems to me that it will be really hard to access with the boxwood hedge all around it. Have you thought of the logistics of planting and watering? The space also looks very narrow for the major piece you showed us earlier. I would have opted for a fountain.
another option is to have a rain chain instead of the downspout…… can be a very cool artsy accessory item
Thanks for showing the actual process of choosing among the colours… very helpful. I don’t entirely agree about the downspouts; I think it depends on the age and construction of the home. I have beautiful copper gutters and downspouts whose patina adds so much to the brick and red tile roof. It’s a design and colour element all on its own. In fact, I hate to see older homes with aluminum beige (or whatever) gutters. My paint store sells a great paint that really looks like the patina copper develops for use on metal. I’ve used it on some older houses I had whose gutters had been painted. What a difference!
I have seen homes where the downspouts were very well done but that is definitely the exception. Sounds pretty! Maria
Ditto, I have copper downspouts and gutters, and they are a gorgeous piece of art. Unlacquered so they turned a lovely dark bronzey green.
One chat I had with the gutter man was about placement of downspouts. He felt strongly, and now I do too, that downspouts don’t ever need to be front-and-center of a house…they can be hidden, even just around a corner. Naturally, your downspouts are now in place so I won’t say another word 🙂
My downspout could not be moved any more than it was because of the pipes it connects to, to carry the water out. I totally agree, if you can have the downspouts anywhere but the front of the house, that would be a perfect world. Maria
Wow! What timing! We just had our gutters put on yesterday. I hated to do it, but the torrential rain spells make it a necessity. I saw your post and cringed that perhaps I had gone and done it wrong. Much to my relief we did good! The gutters are white, attached to the white trim board you can barely notice them, and the downspouts are the exact taupe of the house so they disappear. Not the eyesore I feared at all. Your exterior is truly lovely. Best, Beth C.
About the North American house addresses:
First: they are usually assigned even numbers on one side of the street, odd on the other. In older areas, houses often were, indeed, numbered sequentially from ‘1’ to ‘N’, beginnning at one end of the street. As someone mentioned, in urbanized areas with numbered streets or avenues, the numbers on a block usually begin with the lower of the two surrounding street numbers x100. e.g., the house at the corner of Maple and 9th Sts, on the 10th St side of the intersection, would be 900 or 901 Maple. The houses on the far side of 10th St would begin with 1000/1001, regardless of whether the 900 block contained 2 or 20 buildings. This works in many cities, but not in Manhattan. The really large house numbers are often in suburban areas where they follow the same ‘block’ concept even though there may not be blocks. There is a reference point somewhere, that lets emergency personnel/GPS systems identify the location more easily. About 15-20 years ago, many folks in rural areas had new addresses assigned to follow these guidelines.
(In Latin America, my experience was that the houses had hyphenated numbers, with the first indicating the cross street, and the second the number of meters from that street. Very logical.)
Sorry for rambling on….obviously I’m a geek.
You must be a very interesting person, Susan.
My house is 90 years old, stucco over stone with a clay tile roof (rare in PA). We have a copper roof on our breakfast room and other bits of copper, but we could not afford copper gutters and downspouts. So we had all new gutters painted Sherwin Williams Best Bronze (thanks to an article on Tara Dillard’s blog.) Then we had some light verdigris faux painting done here and there where you might expect patina. They look great– very convincing and appropriate on our 1920’s house. One friend scolded me for spending the money on copper hahaha.
Hola Maria!!! Hermoso tu jardín. Me encanta seguir tu paso a paso. Slds desde Argentina. Hello Maria! Beautiful your garden. I love following your step by step. Greetings from Argentina. Silvia
Love the path, beginning landscaping, and the beefed-up column.
Great article Maria. Makes so much sense.
All so pretty Maria….bet your neighbors will start improving their houses too–that’s what usually happens! Iron sharpens iron, one (wo)man sharpens another….
Since I needed to replace my gutters and paint the house and trim, I FIRST selected the color of the gutters THEN had the trim paint made to match the gutters.
Wow! The landscape made a huge difference. Did you also change your roof when you did this project? Looks darker in post landscape pics.