Aluminium is the Light Fantastic for Heritage Projects

Aluminium is the Light Fantastic for Heritage Projects

For conservation and heritage restoration projects the selection of building materials is of paramount importance and most specifiers and self-builders think immediately about using traditional materials. Guttering is no exception.

Many heritage projects feature cast iron guttering – beautiful, long-lasting, and definitely traditional. A perfect choice in many ways. But is it the right material for every heritage project? We are finding that increasingly, aluminium guttering, downpipes and hoppers are the go-to choice for older building projects.

  • Lightweight: aluminium guttering weighs, metre for metre, less than a third of the weight of cast iron. That is particularly important on heritage buildings since it will not place as much strain on what could be a fragile or sensitive structure or substrate.
  • Corrosion-free: traditional materials can lead to unseen problems in the future. Unlike other materials, aluminium has an in-built protection mechanism as it oxidises to protect itself.  And our aluminium gutters can be polyester powder coated providing exceptional corrosion resistance and protection against the weather.
  • Maintenance-free: unlike cast iron which will require rubbing down for rust removal and repainting to protect the fabric of the system, aluminium is virtually maintenance-free and will retain its striking good looks even in a tough environment. Apart from the occasional wipe down with soap and water, we expect aluminium gutters to give 30+ years of functional life expectancy and that means less scaffolding against your heritage building, less wear and tear, less disturbance to sensitive surfaces.
  • Traditional profiles, sizes, and textures: from a traditional ogee profile to an embossed hopper head, it’s hard to tell aluminium apart from cast iron, especially as we offer a variety of a textured paint to give the full visual effect and aesthetics of cast iron. Our cast aluminium rainwater products are traditionally sand cast from an aluminium alloy to mimic cast iron.
  • Colour comes alive with aluminium: we can match any RAL or BS colour of your choice that can match roof tiles, windows, stonework, bricks, wherever your design takes you! Our in-house polyester powder coating line has a total of seven stages, including pre-treatment, for 100% protection and true, deep colour.
  • Bespoke solutions: if, like so many older buildings, your property is a little out of the ordinary – unusual angles, period features, decorative hopper heads – we can make bespoke items to order that will be unique to your project.

You can find examples of some of the lovely heritage and listed buildings we have worked on here. One of our favourites was the refurb of the old United Reform Church in Stevenage. The church building was built as a church in 1810 and is a Grade II listed building. It was in a state of disrepair and a major refurbishment to its external envelope, including a new roof, rainwater system, brickwork and plastering was badly needed.

Bakers of Danbury , a specialist refurbishment contractor for historic and listed buildings, undertook the works and used our Legacy Cast Half Round Aluminium Gutter and Colonnade Cast Eared Rainwater Pipe in a black polyester powder coated finish for the old chapel. Legacy is manufactured in aluminium to replicate traditional cast iron profiles and was chosen as the ideal solution for its maintenance-free good looks. Read more here.

If you have a heritage or conservation renovation project coming up, why not talk to us about how aluminium gutters could work on the building. We are happy to prepare a quote from your drawings or simply talk you through the issues you might face. If you still really want to use cast iron, as the UK’s metal guttering specialist, we can even help you with that too.