September 30-October 4: Gutters are a maintenance headache and generally, pretty ugly. I decided to try “in-ground gutters”.
My excavation crew laid down a 12″ deep layer of washed river stone in a landscape-fabric-lined-trench under the eaves. The trench prevents erosion at grade and splash-back on the siding. Rainwater flows freely through the gaps in the stone, seeps through the fabric, and drains away into the native sand below. The fabric prevents the underlying sand from working its way up through the river stone and clogging the works.
If I had a basement to keep dry and/or heavy clay soils, I’d need a more robust solution. It would include plastic draintile (slots up) laid within the river stone and run downslope to daylight. This strategy would serve the same function as downspouts with extenders—to get the water away, fast.
Ringing a house with stone like this is fairly common, and usually done to make mowing easy. Most installations include black plastic bulb-style landscape edging but I decided to take my chances without. It seemed like another maintenance issue (they have a tendency to pop up) and I visualized a “naturalized” edge where stone and grass meet. So far, I’m pleased with the look but worried about future weeds until a friend gave me a tip: “hit ’em with a blower torch”.