integrated-gutters-retro-ranchIf you haven’t noticed already — and many of you have — the gutters on my 1962 Retro Ranch house are not the style typically found on most homes. From what I can tell, my gutters are called integrated gutters, integral gutters or box gutters — a style which was supposedly popular in the 1960s.

gutter-strapThe last of the leaves have fallen in my yard, and there’s a terribly chilly weather front heading my way, so I decided to go up on the roof over the past weekend and get the gutters cleaned out. They needed it pretty badly, too! I try to get up on the roof at least once in the spring and once in the fall to make sure the gutters are clear. It never ceases to freak out my neighbors when they see me walking on the roof. Tee hee. (Don’t worry Mom, Jim was on the ground keeping an eye on me with phone in hand just in case of emergency!)

1960s-integral-guttersAs you can see, my integrated gutters are made of some sort of galvanized (I think) metal, made into a large box, hooked directly to the side of the roofline, and reinforced with metal straps that are spaced at about every 18 inches or so. From what I’ve read about my style of gutters, because the shingles overlap the gutter edges, if I wanted to replace them they would have to be done at the same time as the roof. Since our roof is fairly new (I’m guessing about 6-7 years old) and I really love the look of these integrated gutters, I have no plans to switch them out for new, vinyl traditional style gutters. These gutters are quite large and carry a lot of water off our roof quickly during rainstorms, which is probably also why our downspouts are also larger than average at 3″ x 4″.

integral-guttersFrom the ground, it is hard to tell that the house even has gutters — which is part of the integral gutter appeal — sleek and streamlined!

profile-of-integral-gutters integral-gutters-ranch-housegutter-rust

Of course, there is a downside to these gutters that will have to be dealt with sooner or later. They are starting to rust. Yes, at 52 years old, these gutters are still structurally sound, but in the next year or two, I’ll have to do something about the rust that is creeping in. In all likelihood, that means I’ll have to clean them thoroughly and then paint the entire insides of all of the gutters all the way around the house, which is going to be a job. I still need to do more research into this matter — including what sort of paint or coating to apply.

For the past four years, I’ve been spending most of my summer working on regaining control over the yard, but with the gutter rust situation, a new fence to stain/seal and my screen porch posts and screens in need of a fresh coat of paint, I can see the summer of 2015 being one that is spent with a brush in hand.

Wanna see more of my gutters? Check out this post from the last time I took my camera up on the roof.




  1. I have a 1955 ranch so I love watching to see what you do to your house! Just a thought on the gutters: Since it isn’t visible from the street, you could kill the rust with a product called Loctite. My husband uses it on our vehicles. Paint them your desired color and then overspray with a clear Rustoleum Leak Stop which will give it a protective coating. I don’t have original gutters but I’m going to use some Leak Stop in mine. Good luck!

  2. Upon reading your blog for the first time, my eye was immediately taken to the style of your gutters. I noticed them right away! I’ll wager you can find them made somewhere, and the extra money they’ll most likely cost will be well worth it. We had 6″ wide gutters put on our new house. They look great, and carry the water like crazy. Even if you aren’t able to find new box gutters in the same style, or find they cost too much, at least stick to a modern style of gutter as wide as the ones you have now.

    • Good eye Mike!

      My hope is I’ll be able to paint/coat the inside of the gutters with something that will keep the original gutters in good shape for many more years to come. So far, the rust is just surface rust, so I’m thinking they can be saved with a little effort. 🙂

      • Hope you can save them. Mind you, leaves hold water, so keeping them cleared out will help your gutters dry out and keep future rust to a minimum.

  3. I’d never heard of integrated gutters and really had not noticed them on your house. I love to drive to different neighborhoods in my town and walk around looking at houses and lawns, spotting cool features. Now I have something else to look for. Thank you.

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