Eaves, gables and guttering

Most houses of the 1970s had flat, boxed eaves though other styles are found. Gutters and downpipes were PVC or steel.

Eaves and gables

Roof eave and barge overhangs typically ranged 450-600 mm with widths up to 1350 mm, although there were sometimes no overhangs.

Eaves were generally flat and boxed (Figure 1), although there will be examples of continuous exposed rafters (Figure 2) or boxed sloping eaves (Figure 3).

If there was no eave overhang (Figure 4), the rafters were extended beyond the top plate so that the fascia board could cover the top weatherboard.

Soffit linings typically consisted of 5 mm or 6 mm asbestos-cement sheets, and a 100 x 25 mm grooved fascia board provided support for the soffit lining and gutter. Where extra ventilation was required, perforated hardboard (called pegboard) was also used.

Gables were either plain with the wall cladding continued in the gable wall, or with a contrasting cladding material, for example, asbestos-cement sheet with vertical timber battens to provide a contrast to horizontal weatherboards.

High level glazing in the gable often featured in houses with sloping ceilings.

Barges were typically finished with 150 x 25 mm barge boards.

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Gutters and downpipes

Gutters were available in 0.55 or 0.70 mm G300 galvanised mild steel or PVC and fixed to the fascia board with external brackets. Metal fascia systems also became available during the 1970s. PVC offered a wider range of profiles, fittings were available in longer lengths and there was a greater range of connection accessories.

Concealed gutters were also sometimes used. The guttering was formed within the end of a cut down rafter end, or in framing fixed to the end of the rafters. A folded metal lining, galvanised mild steel, zinc or copper, was fitted over a timber base and installed before the roofing was fixed. A fascia board concealed the gutter.

It was essential that the outer edge of the gutter was lower than the inner edge so that if a blockage occurred, the water would spill to the outside of the building. Falls are difficult to achieve with concealed gutters, so more downpipes were installed and the concealed gutters were wider than with externally fitted gutters.