There are various types of gutters designed to protect your home from rainwater. Gutters help divert water away from your home’s foundation. They reduce moisture damage that leads to cracks and mold buildup. You also get to protect your basement from flooding.
What Are the Different Types of Gutters?
While all gutters work similarly, different styles are available to homeowners. The right gutter style depends on your roof’s architectural design. Most gutter styles come in different colors. It’s easy to pick one that suits your home’s exterior.
K-style gutters are perfect for edged roofs and have a decorative element that resembles crown molding. Compared to other designs, k-style gutters can hold more rainwater and are easier to install.
They have half-round shapes, as the name implies, and are common in older homes. Half-round gutters are circular, with the top half open to collect water. They’re often made of copper, giving them a rustic appearance.
They can also be made of galvanized steel, aluminum, or vinyl. Half-round gutters are installed by placing brackets on the roof’s edge first, then dropping in and fixing the gutters.
Unlike the typical round shape, fascia gutters have a deep rectangular build. Most fascia gutters are custom-built to give your home a seamless, contemporary look. They’re made to match your roof’s dimensions and pitch.
The fascia type tends to be more expensive than half-round or k-style gutters. Its front angle connects to the roof’s drip edge, eliminating the need to install gutter guards.
Box-style gutters are a traditional type common in commercial buildings but can suit residential homes. They’re fixed below the roof or into its overhang. Since they’re made of wood, they blend a home’s architectural design. Box-style gutters are ideal for historical homes with larger roofs.
They come in sizes ranging from 7 to 10 inches. Box gutters are covered in a thin metal sheet from materials like steel or copper. K-style gutters offer a better curb appeal, while box gutters handle heavy rainfall due to their size.
Most Popular Gutter Materials
The overall longevity of a gutter depends on the type of material it’s made of. It’s best to invest in a durable type to avoid future gutter repairs and causing damage to your home.
Aluminum gutters are the most popular as they’re inexpensive and easy to install. They’re resistant to rust and can tolerate freezing temperatures. While aluminum gutters are lightweight, the downside is they’re prone to dents and bending.
There are thicker options available, so this isn’t a great concern. Aluminum gutters can match your home’s exterior paint since they come in various colors. They’re often in 10-foot-long sections, making them ideal for DIY home improvement projects.
Average cost per linear foot: $8.30- $15.10
Copper gutters elevate your home’s curb appeal and could last up to 100 years. It’s a reliable gutter type as it doesn’t rust or corrode. Most gutter companies make copper gutters that are easy to customize. You won’t need to paint a copper type or worry about mold and mildew buildup. Their notable durability makes them a bit pricier than other gutter types.
Average cost per linear foot: $15.80-$28.80
While zinc gutters are expensive, they’re known to last twice as long as aluminum gutters. You can expect them to have a lifespan of about 50 years if you’re not living in an area with salty humidity. Zinc gutters have been long used in high-end homes and require professional installation.
Average cost per linear foot: $10-$22
4. Galvanized Steel
Galvanized steel gutters are rust-resistant, but oxidation is inevitable after 10-15 years. While stainless steel won’t rust, galvanized types are much cheaper. Regardless, they have a better durability rating than aluminum and vinyl gutters. One downside of galvanized steel gutters is they’re heavier than other gutter options.
Average cost per linear foot: $8-$10
Vinyl gutters are lightweight and ideal for DIY installation. They’re made of sturdy plastic material, making them resistant to rust and dents. It’s worth noting that vinyl gutters are considered the least durable among all other types. They can last up to 20 years if you’re not living in a harsh climate.
Average cost per linear foot: $1-$2
Sectional vs. Seamless Gutters: Which Is Better?
You can choose between sectional and seamless gutters. Let’s look at how they compare to know which is the most suitable for your home.
Sectional Gutters at a Glance
They are also known as seamed gutters and come in 10-foot sections that attach to your home’s fascia board using hangers. You can install sectional gutters by overlapping each section or snapping them together with joiner pieces.
These gutters are ideal for avid DIYers since they’re simple to install. Sectional gutters are less expensive than seamless gutters. They come in metal or vinyl and are simple to replace without destroying the entire gutter system.
- Easy to replace a section
- Available in most home improvement stores
- Easy to install
- The vinyl sectional gutter can’t be repainted
- Prone to leaks
Seamless Gutters at a Glance
Seamless gutters ensure less leakage and come in a wider range of color options. They’re made of a single material, so you won’t have to combine multiple sections. Only the joins at the corners and the downspouts need to be patched.
Seamless gutters are ideal for keeping the roofline horizontal and smooth. They are also an excellent choice for matching the color scheme of your home. One drawback of seamless gutters is that they must be installed by a professional.
- Fewer leaks
- Fitted to your home’s specifications
- A more edgy look
- Pricier than sectional gutters
- It’s challenging to DIY the installation
Rain Gutters Installation Cost
Installing gutters isn’t a costly home improvement project. The cost of installing rain gutters depends on the type and size of your home. It also depends on your area and whether you want to DIY or hire a professional.
Most homeowners spend about $2,800 on gutter replacement, which falls within the national average price range of $880 to $4,400. Installing copper gutters might cost more than the national average since they’re expensive compared to options like aluminum.
Rain Gutter Accessories
There are a few parts that make a gutter complete. You’ll need them during the installation process. Here’s what the anatomy of a gutter looks like:
- Drop Outlet: It connects the gutter to the downspout.
- Downspout: The vertical pipe that directs water away from the house
- Splash Blocks: The splash block is a component that diverts water away from the house.
- Elbow: A curved pipe connected to the downspout’s top or end and used to direct the drainage flow.
- Rain Chains:
- Fascia Board: It’s a long, straight board that runs along the bottom edge of the roof.
- End Cap: It attaches to the end of a gutter length and seals it off.
- Gutter Cleaning Tools: You need gutter cleaning tools to eliminate debris that might block the downspout.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)FAQ
What’s the best type of material for rain gutters?
Regarding price and durability, most professionals recommend using aluminum rain gutters. You might also want to consider picking one with a seamless design since they come in a wide range of colors.
What is the most effective gutter system?
Most brands focus on adding a unique selling point to their gutter models. While some are the easiest to customize, others are known to be the most rust-resistant. Therefore, it’s challenging to narrow down to the most effective gutter system.
Do gutters cause ice build-up?
No, they don’t. However, your ice dam issue could worsen depending on the gutter guard installed. Due to the damage to your home, you would need to spend on a new gutter system.
When is it necessary to replace gutters?
It’s probably time for a gutter repair if you see numerous leaks, cracks, holes of any kind, rust, peeling paint, sagging, or splitting. Water leakage or damage to your basement or foundation may be other, more severe warning signs.
Determining the best gutter type for your home is tough. Consider hiring a professional if you’re not DIY savvy. Proper gutter styles and downspouts prevent foundation cracks. Installing gutters protects your home from rain and snowmelt.