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The Different Types of Gutters

Updated: Jan 14, 2021

Rain gutters help maintain your home’s siding by funneling water through the gutters rather than letting the water run down your siding. They also can be a great way to harvest rainwater in dry regions where water is scarce. But there are many different types of rain gutters in the market. Choosing the right type of rain gutter for your needs is crucial.

Rain gutters come in many different shapes, sizes, colors and prices. To find the right size gutters for your home involves some math, it’s usually best to go with a professional rain gutter installer. It’s still good to know the different types of rain gutters so you can choose the right one for your home.

Types of Gutters

There are two main types of gutters, K-style and Half round gutters. Both of these typically come in 5-6 inch widths.

K-style gutters have are flat at the bottom and the back. The front of the gutter is typically decorated with a curve to look like crown molding. There are many styles available on the market.

Half Round gutters are what they sound like: half round. These type of gutters are typically used in older or historic homes.

For the most part, K-style gutters have more capacity than half round at the same width. K-style gutters also cost more, but the added capacity is well worth the extra spend.

copper rain gutters

Different Types of Gutter Materials

Residential rain gutters are typically made out of the following materials:

Aluminum Gutters

According to the experts at House Logic, this is the preferred material for most homeowners. This is mainly because it won't rust, without mentioning how easy to install and repaint it is, especially since it comes in a variety of colors. One thing to keep in mind, though, is the cost of the materials per linear foot, which is US$2 to US$3 for a 6-inch, K-style model if the homeowner decides to tackle this themselves, and US$4 to US$9 if they hire a professional. Another thing is that it is advisable to acquire one with a gauge thickness on the 0.027 to 0.032 range.

Copper Gutters

Famous for its exceptional beauty, it doesn't need paint because it is likely to develop a patina during its useful lifetime. Another thing to consider is that it needs pro installation, mainly because the seams and joints need to be welded during the process. Unlike the aluminum gutter that can be found at any home, its copper counterpart is often used in high-end residences and historic restorations. Needless to say, it's going to be pricy, mostly in the US$12 to US$25 range, per linear foot.

Seamless Aluminum Gutters

These are made at the job site, so it's a no brainer that these require professional installation. Often made of a spool of flat aluminum pulls, using a gutter-forming machine. This process eliminates many seams, reducing the chances of having leaks. Seamless aluminum gutters are pricier than their regular counterparts, costing from US$5 to US$11 per linear foot, although it's worth the investment.

Steel Gutters

The strongest of them all, these are made of galvanized steel that only rusts after it reaches the 5 to 10 years old threshold. Although it can be painted if the owner is not satisfied with its variety of colors, it is too heavy for them to install. Thus, professional installation is a must. It can cost around US$8 to US$10 per linear foot, more expensive than the US$4 to US$6 range for DIYs. Their wallet might scream, but not their back.

recent rain gutter profiles

Vinyl Gutters

This one is the lightest when compared to its counterparts. There aren't many colors available, but its affordable price makes it perfect for those who want to install it by themselves. It often costs around US$1 to US$2 per linear foot, whereas its professional installation costs US$5 at its highest. However, it is important to keep in mind that the colors might fade from exposure to sun rays and can crack when it's too cold outside, without mentioning that it doesn't support ladders.

Zinc Gutters

These are the most durable of the bunch. Similar to the copper gutters, they don't require painting since it could develop a patina over time and requires professional installation as well, mainly because it has seams and joints that need to be welded. They can be extremely pricey, costing around US$10 to US$24 per linear foot. high-end residences and historic restorations use zinc gutters as well, so they're uncommon in regular households.

Each one of these gutter materials has it’s pros and cons. Choosing the right material comes down to where you live, the type of weather conditions in your area and your budget. When you’re ready to have your rain gutters installed reach out to us. One of our team members will come out and give you a free estimate.

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