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Top Notch Rainwater System does the Trick…


When, following a major downpour in the Worcestershire countryside, the elderly cast iron guttering on Steve Parson’s house became detached from the fascia boards over his bedroom window, he knew that the house needed surgery to survive! When he tried to temporarily straighten and reattach the now flapping piece of guttering, it became detached either side of the original problem as well, swinging alarmingly in the air and Steve realised despite not being ‘Mr Practical’ that the cast iron guttering – which was far heavier than he had anticipated before heading up the ladder to sort it out – could literally fall off, damaging the house and from his precarious position up the ladder – him! It was time to call in the experts!

The house, a solid if unspectacular, four bedroom detached red brick house, stood out in the countryside, open to the elements. There was no protection from the prevailing winds that came over the Malvern Hills and headed straight up the drive to the front of the property. It had been built by a farmer who had retired, sold the farm and built a retirement home in one end of one of his former fields. That was in 1954.

Now in 2010, the guttering needed replacing and as it transpired so did the fascia boards. Having been nearly decapitated by the old guttering, Steve had no desire to replace the old cast iron guttering and downpipes with new cast iron, and was impressed by the latest Elegance uPVC cast iron look alike system just released by Polypipe. He had assumed the job would need the half round version of the Elegance rainwater system, but the new profile, just released – the Elegance Ogee notched – which to him had a little more class, looked just right for the property and the decision was made. Polypipe had designed the Elegance system so that whichever profile was selected, the downpipes were the same, making ordering simple.

The new Ogee notched profile guttering provided a secure fit and countered the problem of gutters becoming dislodged from their retaining clips during warm weather due to heat expansion, making leaky joints a thing of the past. The leading edge of the Elegance Ogee gutter is notched and the system uses a flexible band clip to secure it. The lugs on the gutter are simply matched to the band clip and snapped into place.

In addition to the notches, Polypipe has included grooves midway between the notches which act as cutting markers when cutting the lengths of guttering. These benefits, in addition to the lightweight construction of the new guttering system, makes handling, assembly and installation as simple as possible for installers – and far less likely to decapitate unsuspecting homeowners who head up ladders to address any problems!

Tony and Nick from local firm Cladmaster replaced the rotten fascia boards to give the new rainwater system a sound, secure, and a good looking base and then the guys set about fixing the new guttering. They were pleasantly surprised by the lightness of the components and the ease with which it all went up. They instantly recognised the value of the notched design and told stories of the worst case scenarios they had come across with uPVC guttering expanding in warm weather – and whilst some of the claims seemed excessive and better with the telling, they saw this as a real benefit! They also liked the saw guide marks between the notches and found these helpful when cutting lengths.

Overall they were impressed with the look of the new system, the ease of fitting and the way it all slotted together so simply. There were a couple of pieces of guttering that didn’t want to clip in immediately but they soon sorted those along with the end stops which snapped in good and tight and were soon back on terra firma standing back admiring their handy work.

“I’m impressed both by the way it looks and that the guys who fitted it, who had not worked with this system before, managed to get it up and in place so quickly,” said Steve. “It’s not a modern house, neither is it an old one by the standards of some of the properties around here, but using the Elegance Ogee Notched system has added a bit of style and elegance to what is really a pretty robust, standard four bedroom home. It’s changed the first impression you get as you drive in through our gate and up the drive – it’s definitely added something extra to the property.”

Full details of the new extended Elegance rainwater, soil and vent range can be found on its own dedicated web site at www.polypipe.com/elegance and the new system is available from merchants now. Alternatively you can call 01709 770 000 quoting reference “ElegancePRcs” and request information, a product leaflet and price list.

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