By Gerhard Linse

Wider Roof Overhangs

Usually 28” to 36” and more with 8” to 10” stepped facias.


  • Tends to provide more protection to building wall finishes
  • Provides more shade
  • Permits greater architectural expression with soffit and facia and frieze detailing
  • Allows for better placement of soffit down lighting for wall washing effects
  • Extends drip line further from building foundation wall resulting in less splash back onto foundation wall
  • Less need for eaves trough and down spouts.


  • May require modification to roof truss to support snow load on larger overhang, which translates to slightly higher truss costs. Although a stiffer truss design coupled with metal hurricane tie downs may be beneficial during the next high wind event.
  • Additional soffit material.

River Rock Maintenance Strips

 Basically a washed river rock filled no planting strip around the perimeter of the building, usually extending out a minimum of two feet or the width of the roof overhang.


–   Provides a clear space to set up a step ladder to clean windows, change soffit lighting and do building wall and window maintenance

–   Keeps planting and watering away from building foundation walls

–   Allows easy topping up of areas of settled earth around the perimeter of new builds should the builder not have compacted the back fill sufficiently.


-Additional cost, but likely less of a cost if rolled into the landscaping contract /proposal.


Buried Eaves Trough

Essentially a French drain (perforated pipe) buried in a trench lined with a water proof material ( like a pond liner filled with gravel at the drip line of the roof overhang. Sloped and directed to a tree well, ditch or lower part of the lot.


  • No more putting up ladders to clean eavestough and unclog downspouts.
  • No unsightly downspouts noodling their way down the side of the building.
  • Unobtrusive buried in the maintenance strip.
  • Opens up the opportunity to capture the rain water in a reservoir for watering plant material during dry spells.
  • Less costly than eavestrough and downspouts if construction is coupled with constrution of a maintenance strip.


  • Some additional cost if coupled with a water saving reservoir.

Entry Canopies

In our travels we still occasionally see main and secondary entries without any kind of protection from the elements. . In our climate all entry points should be protected with roof canopies that direct water and snow away from the users and not onto the steps or pathways leading up to the entry. They should be large enough to protect several users.


  • Protects users from nasty weather.
  • Directs rain, snow and ice away from step and landings.
  • Provides a protected sitting area to engage with neighbours or protect parcel deliveries.
  • Offer an ideal opportunity for architectural expression


  • None, should be considered a mandatory requirement in our climate.

Gerhard Linse is the recently and happily retired owner of Gerhard Linse Design, Inc. — a creative and idea-rich design, building and consulting company in Ottawa. His company provided services to both the new construction and renovation markets for over 40 years.

His well-known knowledge and experience in design and construction has won him a superb reputation and numerous local, provincial and national awards including a Governor General’s Award.