Being a homeowner can have its ups and downs with lots of options for building and endless questions when it comes time to repair something. One of the things that often gets asked about are gutters – people ignore them until they aren’t working anymore. If you’ve noticed that every time it rains there is water damage, leaking gutters, or other issues, then it might be time to scope out your current gutter system and see if they need to be repaired or replaced.
You can also talk to other homeowners who have had their gutters replaced by posting something on online portals such as NextDoor. This can also help you to good gutter installation specialists.
There are a few different materials and design configurations to choose from when installing gutters, and this can make it a bit confusing. However, with a little bit of research you will be able to choose a gutter system that is right for your home and budget.
When it comes to gutter materials, there are three main choices. Let’s take a look:
Vinyl gutters are probably the most popular and prolific gutter material these days. They are lightweight, economical, and do not rust. The pieces that vinyl gutters come in easily snap together, so it can be much easier for someone to install themselves if they are going that route. The downsides of vinyl is that they can crack over time if exposed to extreme temperatures such as cold and heat. They also need to be installed correctly to avoid water pooling issues.
Aluminum gutters are another very popular choice. They are a bit more resilient in extreme temperatures, and like vinyl they do not rust. They can come in seamless or sections, and are relatively lightweight. Aluminum gutters are also easy enough for the intrepid DIYer to install on their own home. Aluminum gutters can also be painted to match your home or roof. The downsides to aluminum are the easy dent factor, where they will dent if hit with a stray bicycle or wheelbarrow. Primary aluminum is a bit stronger than recycled aluminum, but you have the choice of either of those materials.
Stainless steel gutters are a notch up from Vinyl and Aluminum in that they are a bit more sturdy. They are more costly, but they can potentially last longer than vinyl and aluminum and therefore the cost may be worth it. Stainless steel gutters also will not rust at all.
Copper gutters are more of a rare luxury item and are seen on historic homes and luxury homes. They are quite attractive, however they are rather expensive and must be installed professionally as they must be welded together on site. They will develop a signature patina as they age. When they are new they can stand out due to their color, but some homeowners may find this quite attractive. Copper gutters can last quite a long time.
Wood gutters are generally not chosen unless there is a specific reason to have them, such as a historical building or someone going for an extremely specific look on their home. Wood gutters are expensive and costly to maintain over time, and are complex to install. Wood gutters must be painted every few years and the insides oiled to keep the wood healthy. There are also only a few manufacturers that make wood gutters, so they can be difficult to find locally.
Gutters also come in different shapes and styles. Let’s take a look at the most common variations:
K style gutters have a flat back and a flat bottom, and the front often has a variation of decorative shape and bevel. There are many styles to choose from so you can match your home.
Half Round Gutters
Half round gutters are semicircles or half of a round tube. They are often found on older and historic homes, although they are making a comeback as people look for more interesting ways to make their homes stand out.