Our Roofline Photo Gallery

                   View Our Roof Line Gallery 


Roofline Brochure

                   View Our Roof Line Brochure


Guttering in Bristol and Wiltshire in Three Styles

Introduction to guttering

Believe it or not, the humble gutter can trace its history all the way back to 1500 BC and the Indus Valley civilisation; one of the most widespread civilisations in South Asia during the Bronze Age. There, the basic concept of moving unwanted water away from a dwelling, using guttering made from burnt clay bricks, is first recorded to have been used.

It wasn’t really until much later in history, however, that gutters were used as part of a rainwater system like those we have today. Before guttering, buildings had to have overhanging roofs, or be built with the first story jutting out over the ground floor, to try and prevent rainwater from running down the walls and soaking into the footings causing damp and other water damage to the property as it did. However, these solutions would still leave a wall of water between you and your front door on a rainy day. Guttering, as it was introduced to Great Britain by the Romans, was a solution to all these problems.

Though the invention of the downpipe came later again, early gutter systems still served to direct rainwater off the roof, and away from the buildings walls and footings, in a concentrated flow of water that was much easier to avoid than a front door waterfall.

When the invention of the downpipe did then come along, the first recorded use being in 1240 on the Tower of London, it brought with it the ability to actually collect the rainwater that fell on our roofs and put it to good use.

Nowadays, almost all buildings we see have some form of guttering system to help direct rainwater away from our properties and prevent flooding. The basic design is quite simply a trough running along the base of the roof that catches the rainwater run-off and channels it towards a downspout that directs it into a drain to be carried away, or into a water tank for collection and rainwater harvesting purposes.

However, though they are indeed simple in design and purpose, guttering systems do come in a variety of materials and configurations, which can make it a bit confusing when it comes to deciding what type of guttering you need. So, whether you are planning to install an entirely new guttering system on your property, need to replace a damaged section of an existing gutter, or just want advice on how best to keep your gutters clean, this guide has you covered.

Guttering system overview

When you hear the word "guttering" you're most likely going to picture the trough, the gutter itself that runs along the edge of your roof. However, there is much more to a guttering system than just the gutter. From gutter clips and unions to support brackets and downpipe shoes, there are a number of important components that you'll want to familiarise yourself with. Below is a breakdown of all the parts you will see in a standard rainwater guttering system.


Arguably the most important part of any guttering system, the gutter collects the rainwater that runs off the roof and channels it into a downpipe to transport it away from the property. However, for the gutter to be able to do its job, it needs support from the following components:

  • Stopends - these are used to cap-off the open ends of the guttering to stop the water from being able to go anywhere but towards the downpipe. You'll find them available as either External or Internal models, which may seem confusing at first, but there is a simple explanation to differentiate the two.
    • External stopends are used to cap-off gutter lengths.
    • Internal stopends are used to cap-off other component pieces, such as unions, angles, or outlets, as necessary.

See our guttering system diagram for examples of this.

  • Gutter Angles - these are used to facilitate a change in direction of the gutter to support it in following the shape of your roof. They are available in a variety of angles to suit most needs, including 90 degrees, 135 degrees and even some that are adjustable ones that can accommodate angles between 50 - 156 degrees.
  • Gutter Unions - these are used to connect lengths of gutter together. Given that gutters tend to come in 2m or 4m lengths as standard, and the average residential home will require somewhere between 30m to 80m of guttering, you are likely to need a lot of these. Connecting lengths of gutter together isn't all they do, however, as they are designed to be fixed to the fascia board of the house and provide additional support to the joints.
  • Fascia Brackets - also known as support brackets or gutter clips, these, like the gutter unions, are fixed to fascia (a maximum of 1m apart along each gutter length) to secure the gutter in place and provide support joints connecting to angles and outlets.
  • Gutter Outlets - these are used to connect the gutter to the downpipe. The outlet sits slightly lower than the base of the gutter which allows the water to run out more easily. They are available in two styles:
    • Running Outlet - this type of outlet is used to connect two gutter lengths together whilst also providing an outlet to the downpipe. Ideal for properties where the roof overhangs as they enable the guttering to continue past the point where connection to the drainpipe needs to be made.
    • Stopend Outlet – this type of outlet has a built-in stopend to cap-off the gutter at the point of connecting to the downpipe. Ideal for systems where the guttering end up against a wall, such as around conservatories and extensions.


The downpipe is the controlled escape route for the water collected by the gutters. It funnels the water safely down the side of the building and into a drain where it then flows away from the property. Though not as impressive looking as the gargoyle waterspouts of old, the common downspout does do a much better job of allowing you to control where the gutter water goes. However, just like with the gutter itself, the downpipe cannot succeed without a supporting cast of the following items:

  • Offset Bend – these are angular sections of pipe that are used to connect the gutter outlet to the downpipe in situations where a “swan neck” bend is required e.g. where there is an overhang between the fascia that the gutter is attached to and the wall that the downpipe is attached to. The most common types of offset bend have a 112.5 degree angle that, when two are connected together, create the “swan neck” bend.
  • Hopper Head - this is a small container that attaches to the top of the downpipe and enables a waste pipe from another source to empty into the guttering system. Generally found on much older systems as they are no longer common practice to use in new installations.
  • Pipe Socket – this is used to connect two lengths of downpipe together, usually with a simple pushfit connection. Some types of pipe socket are designed with an integrated bracket that allows it to be screwed into the wall to give support around the joint.
  • Pipe Clip – these are used to secure the downpipe in place against the wall of the property and provide support around joints.
  • Pipe Branch – this is used to connect two downpipes together into a single drop, which is useful if you need the collected water to flow into one drain. Typically designed with angles that match the standard offset bends, ensuring that the connecting pipe aligns perfectly with the branch.
  • Shoe – this is fitted at the end of a downpipe to direct the water flow into a drain or gully. Also known as a spout, it is basically a truncated pipe bend that diverts the water away from the wall to prevent it from seeping into the property’s foundations. It is important to fit one of these if the downpipe isn’t being connected directly into a drain or soakaway.

The different types of guttering

Technically speaking, there are 3 different types of guttering; eaves, valley, and parapet gutters.

A parapet guttering pipe.
  • Parapet Gutters offer drainage for flat roofs between parapet walls (i.e. walls that continue on up past the level of the roof). A gap in one of the walls allows for the gutter to drain water from the roof into a hopper fitted to a downpipe.
  • Valley Gutters consist of metal flashing that runs the length of any junction between where two roofs meet, or where there is a change in direction of the roof. The flashing forms a watertight gutter channel that directs water run-off into either eaves or parapet guttering.
  • Eaves Gutters are the type we’ve been describing up to now. They run along the bottom edge of a sloping roof to form a trough that channels rainwater into a downpipe. This is the most common type of guttering and, as such, is the one we will continue to focus on in this article.

When it comes to eaves guttering, there are two main choices you have to make; the type of material you want and the profile of the guttering. Unless you have an unlimited budget for your project, the type of material you choose is likely to be the most important of these two factors, as it is the one with the biggest impact on overall cost, so that’s where we’ll start.

Gutter Material Options

We often get asked the question “which is better plastic or metal gutters?”, and it would be easy to suggest that the stronger, more durable (and expensive) product would indeed be the best in the long run. But that isn’t always the case. It really is dependent on the type of building, the desired look that you require and the budget you are working too. Metal gutters can have a longer lifespan than PVC (over 50 years for copper gutters), but they tend to cost more to repair if damaged. A PVC guttering system may need to be replaced after 30 years, but is far cheaper and easier to repair

Our Trusted Suppliers & Accreditations

We are proud of being a Wiltshire WHICH Trusted Trader as well as being registered with the respected industry governing body FENSA. This means that when you use LF Replacement Windows & Conservatories you can do so with absolute peace of mind.


What Our Customer's Say

We firmly believe that we provide the best Wiltshire double glazing based on the quality and durability of our products, the efficiency of our service and our outstanding sales and customer service.