A Guide to Different Types of Gutters for Your Home
One of the things that you want to choose when it comes to your home is the right type of gutter. But there are so many from which to choose. So here are some of the more common types and their advantages and disadvantages to help you choose the right one.
Basic Gutter Types
We’ll start with the kinds of gutters. There are two types of basic gutters, and these gutters are named by the cross-section shapes. They both come in widths of 5 and 6 inches.
K-Style – These have flat backs and bottoms and the gutter’s front side generally has a shape that’s decorative, like an ogee or curve which looks like crown molding. There are lot of styles available.
Half-Round – These are just what their name suggests. They’re tubes that are half-round. They’re often seen on the older and historic homes.
Gutters for residences are made from different metals. These include metals such as:
This is the type that you will see most often and has advantages like:
- Available in many colors and is paintable
- Comes in .027 or .032 thickness and is recommended for people who live in regions that have a lot of snow in winter.
- Lightweight and easily installed if you want to install it yourself
- Low in cost if you install it yourself or if you have it installed professionally
- Used on most homes
- Cost of pro install (materials and labor): $4 to $9 per linear foot
Copper is very stylish and it comes with both pros and cons:
- Doesn’t need paint – develops patina as time goes by
- Exceptional beauty
- Doesn’t rust
- Joints and seems have to be welded
- Must be professionally installed
- Professional installation will cost $12-$25 for each linear foot for 6 in K-style
Also known as continuous gutters are made at job sites. A truck that has a flat aluminum spool on it will pool up to the house and the company fabricator will use a machine to form the gutter to make your gutter the length you want. They don’t have to haul a long gutter. Almost three-quarters of the gutters installed are this type of gutter.
When you install a seamless gutter it:
- Will eliminate a lot of seams and reduce the chance of leaks
- Will cost a bit more than getting a regular aluminum gutter.
The cost of professional installation of 6in K-style (materials and fabrication is $5-$11 for each linear foot
The strength of steel makes it a popular choice but it also has its pros and cons:
- A lot of options for color and is able to be painted.
- Costs $4-$6/linear foot (6 in K-style) do it yourself
- Resists rust
- Better installed professionally
- May begin rusting after 5-10 years
- Tends to be expensive
Professional installation (labor and materials) $8-$10/linear foot
Vinyl is cost effective and lightweight, but it doesn’t have a lot of strength.
- Good choice for DIY
- Color many fade in sunlight
- Not a lot of color choices
- Often cracks when whether is cold
- Unable to support a ladder when leaned against the gutter
- Costs 6 in K-Style
- DIY – $1-2/linear foot
- Professional (labor and material) $3-$5/linear foot
Though zinc offers a couple of advantages, but it can be expensive.
- Long-lasting and durable
- Doesn’t need to be painted – develops patina as time passes
- Joints and seams need welding
- Mostly used on historic restorations and high-end residences
- Needs professional installation
- Professional installation cost (labor and materials 6 in half-round) $10-$24/linear foot
When it comes to downspouts, you can choose either square or round and you can choose widths from 3 – 6 inches. The sizes of downspouts that are most common are the rectangular sizes:
- 2 in x 3 in
- 3 in x 4 in
There are also decorative ones, like the spiral ones, available. The number and size of your downspouts that you are going to need will depend on your system’s capacity. You will need a downspout for each 30 to 40 linear gutter feet. If you want to increase your gutter system’s capacity, add additional downspouts.
What’s the Amount of Gutter You Need?
It can be hard to figure out your gutter capacity and size, and it involves your roof’s slope and size and your area’s average maximum amount of rainfall expected. It’s a good idea to leave this to a professional.
For most people, the 5 in K-style is the way to go. It’s also a good idea to choose the larger downspouts so you have the best drainage. With a 6 inch gutter, you’ll have nearly double the capacity but if you are in a cold climate, a bigger gutter could mean that it will be weighed down with the ice that could form and damage your gutter system. This is increased by approximately 25% when you have the 6 inch.
So there you have it, the pros and cons of each type of gutter. Now you can make an educated decision about what is best for your home.
About Gulf Coast Exteriors
GCE Gutters is a residential and commercial gutter service committed to providing professional quality service at a competitively low prices in Fort Myers and Cape Coral Florida. Let GCE Gutters show you how we are becoming the area’s finest gutter cleaning, repair and installation company in Lee County.