With April showers just around the corner, it’s time to make sure you are prepared for the upcoming rainy season. One of the most important ways to keep your home in tip-top condition when facing strong downpour is your home’s gutters.
Best Gutter Shape for Your Home
There are a variety of different aspects concerning gutters. First things first is the shape. There are three main shapes of gutters: wide bottom fascia, “k” style and half round gutters. Below we will discuss the pros and cons of each style.
Wide Bottom Fascia Gutters
This style of gutter holds the most amount of water and debris because it is larger than the other styles of gutters, making them ideal for areas with really extreme weather conditions. This style is also mounted directly into the fascia making them more secure. However, these can be difficult to install yourself and require more maintenance than other kinds.
“K” Style Gutters
Named after their shape’s resemblance to the letter, “K”, these gutters are by far the most popular and most widely recommended by professionals in the field. They are also more durable than other shapes and hold more water and debris. Another plus about this shape is that they are easy to install yourself and because they resemble crown molding, they are definitely more aesthetically appealing.
Half-round gutters are beautiful to look at, seriously. But that is about all the benefits of this shape. This style offers about zero functional benefits, are more expensive and are difficult to install. However, they are aesthetically pleasing and are good for a more historic renovation. Also, “K” style gutters have twice the capacity of half round of the same width and cost up to 50% less per foot.
Best Materials for Your Gutters
Now that you’ve chosen a shape for your gutters it’s time to choose the right material. Gutters can come in many different types of materials but there are definite advantages to some over others.
When it comes to gutters, aluminum is the most widely used. It is lightweight, durable and won’t rust. Aluminum gutters are easy to install yourself and you can even paint them. In areas that receive heavy snowfall, it is recommended you get thicker gauge aluminum gutters as it will better support heavy snow long term.
- Another option is seamless aluminum gutters. They make up 70% of all gutters out there today. They’re not really a DIY option as they are custom made at the job site. However, seamless gutters eliminate seams and reduce the chances of leaks. This option is more expensive than regular aluminum but there isn’t any hauling of long gutters from the hardware store to your home so that is a plus.
Copper gutters are used mainly in high-end residences and historic renovations. This type of material is extremely aesthetically pleasing, developing a natural greenish patina over time and never rusting. However, copper gutters require professional installment because installment includes welding. This option is also much more expensive than aluminum, the base price starting at $12/foot and aluminum’s highest price for professional installment sitting at about $9/foot, so definitely a factor to keep in mind.
These gutters are incredibly strong, but while galvanized steel initially resists rust, it will likely start to develop rust after about 5-10 years. You can also paint steel gutters if you’d like, but they’re very heavy and not recommended for DIY projects, plus, they also can be pretty expensive.
Vinyl gutters are the cheapest option and they’re also the second most widely used. They’re also lightweight and the easiest for DIY projects. This material does come in a few colors but even still there isn’t much to choose from. Plus, the color will likely fade from UV light. Vinyl will also possibly crack in severe cold and won’t support ladders placed against them. So while this is the cheapest option, consider going with something just a little more pricey to ensure longevity.
Zinc gutters are very durable and long lasting. Like copper, they are very aesthetically appealing and mostly used on high-end residences and historic renovations. You can’t paint zinc gutters, but they will develop a natural patina over time, making them look even better with age. However, they are expensive and also require professional installment because their installation includes welding.