Several weeks ago, I drove by a home in Apex that stood out among the others. This home, outlined in copper with stone walls and wooden shutters reminded me of something you would see in a graphic novel or “Lemony Snicket’s Trip to The Triangle” It was not a scary or haunted house, but it was obvious this was not the home of your average family either. Since seeing it, I’ve noticed dozens of homes in the area employing the use of copper rather than your standard white aluminum gutters and it got me wondering what “look” they’re trying to achieve.



One explanation might be attributed to the “Vintage” trend. Copper and brass have been used in the kitchens for centuries. A copper range hood with brass fixtures can certainly get you that “Vintage” look indoors so if it looks good inside, it must look good outside, right? I see the attraction, but after a few years copper begins to tarnish and requires some costly maintenance to get that shiny new look back. (Unless that is the look you’re working to achieve.)



For me, “Steampunk” jumps to mind. Steampunk is a genre of science fiction that has a historical setting and typically features steam-powered machinery rather than advanced technology. It is Victorian styled laptops powered by steam engines where copper is used in much of the design. A home, outlined in copper would certainly appeal to this small, but growing group of people, but are there enough “Steampunks” in Raleigh to have such an impact?



Whatever the reason, copper is expensive, so to redo an entire home would be quite costly. Aluminum gutters range between $3.50-$7.00 a linear foot while copper starts around $18.50 a foot. It’s funny how something that was standard in the past, is now an expensive upgrade. This holds true for much of the trends in home design such as concrete or brick. I love and appreciate retro, but some things just seem like back paddling. Is it only a matter of time before we bring back lead-based paint? (A toxic free version please)


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Patrick Cox is the Creative Content Creator for Dana Ben Realty Group and is passionate over home design and gardening.