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Types of Gutter Designs: Pros & Cons


May 6, 2019

gutter designs pros and cons

With several types of gutters, multiple materials from which to choose and the option for seamed or seamless, you’ll want to understand the pros and cons of each type to help decide which gutters are best for your home. If you’re still unsure if your home requires gutters, we recommend reading this post first: Does My Home Really Need Gutters?

Use this guide as a starting point and always feel free to contact us for assistance. 

Types of Gutter Designs

K-style Gutters

K-style gutters (look at them from the side and you’ll see the K) are the most popular, largely because of their durability and ease of installation. A lot of homeowners like the aesthetics of the gutters, which resemble crown molding. Also, because they’re available in so many different materials, k-style gutters are some of the most versatile for homes of all styles.

Pros

  •      Large capacity – can hold more water than other gutter types
  •      Durable
  •      Easy to install
  •      Versatile – many material options
  •      Aesthetically pleasing

Cons

  •      Corners can be difficult to clean

Half Round Gutters

Half Round Gutters - Gutter Types

Most of the time, half round gutters are used to create a historical look to homes and can be a valuable touch to curb appeal. As the name implies, half round gutters are u-shaped and, while they do the job of direction precipitation away from your foundation, their main advantage comes from looks.

Pros

  •      Curb appeal, especially for historical homes

Cons

  •      More expensive than other gutters
  •      More difficult to install than other gutters

Fascia Gutters

Fascia Gutters - Gutter Types

When you need to fend off sizeable amounts of water, often appearing suddenly, fascia gutters may be your best option. They’re installed directly onto a fascia board and are the most secure gutter on the market. Because of their security and durability, fascia gutters are ideal for large roofs or homes and buildings in areas prone to extreme weather.

Pros

  •      Secure, even in extreme weather
  •      Able to handle a lot of water at once

Cons

  •      More maintenance required than other gutter types

Gutter Materials

Aluminum Gutters

Aluminum Gutters - Gutter Types

Starting with the most popular gutter material, aluminum gutters are loaded with advantages. Lightweight, durable, long-lasting and weatherproof, among other plusses, most homes and buildings select aluminum gutters.

Another huge benefit of aluminum: you can paint them. You can customize your curb appeal as many times as you want without having to reinstall your gutters.

Pros

  •      Long-lasting
  •      Durable
  •      Lightweight
  •      Rust-resistant
  •      Weatherproof
  •      Paintable
  •      Available as seamless or seamed gutters

Cons

  •      Due to the light weight, they can be dented

Copper Gutters

Copper Gutters - Gutter Types

Copper gutters share many of the same advantages of aluminum gutters, but there are certain areas in which one type performs better than the other. Copper gutters are stronger, making them better for withstanding falling debris and avoiding dents. If properly maintained, copper gutters will last seemingly forever due to their high quality.

Aesthetically, copper gutters are hard to beat, especially on certain types of homes. They’re heavier and more expensive than aluminum gutters, but definitely worth consideration as you contemplate what to put on your home.

Pros

  •      Rust-proof
  •      Durable
  •      Extremely long-lasting
  •      Ideal for seamless gutters
  •      Aesthetically pleasing

Cons

  •      More expensive than aluminum gutters
  •      Heavy

Vinyl Gutters

Vinyl Gutters - Gutter Types

The least expensive gutter material, vinyl, has several advantages, including being the easiest to install for people who want to do it themselves (as they are only available as sectional gutters). Still, you want to be careful before deciding to do it yourself as a poor installation can lead to sagging gutters, leaks and potential damage to your home. Check out our other post outlining the difficulties of DIY gutter maintenance.

While inexpensive, vinyl gutters won’t last as long as aluminum or copper gutters and are at their best in mild weather.

Pros

  •      Least expensive gutter material
  •      Very lightweight

Cons

  •      Only available as sectional gutters
  •      Not as durable as other materials

Pros & Cons of Seamed (Sectional) and Seamless Gutters

Seamless gutters are installed as one continuous piece of material running the length of your home or building. Sectional gutters come in pieces and are fastened together by snaps or adhesives. While both types can create reliable gutter systems, seamless gutters are less prone to leaks as there are no seams that can potentially separate or leak.

Seamless Gutters

Seamless Gutters - Gutter Types

Seamless Gutters Pros

  •      Not prone to leaks
  •      Longer lasting
  •      Aesthetically pleasing
  •      Very little maintenance required

Seamless Gutters Cons

  •      Higher cost than sectional gutters

Sectional Gutters

Sectional Gutters - Gutter Types

Sectional Gutters Pros

  •      Easy to install (and more accessible to DIYers)
  •      Less expensive than seamless gutters

Sectional Gutters Cons

  •      More prone to leaks than seamless gutters
  •      Lifespan is shorter than seamless gutters