The humble gutter often gets little attention in terms of a home’s features. Most people pay more attention to things like the roof or the kitchen. Yet, the gutter serves as something of an unsung hero by redirecting water from your roof away from your home’s foundation.
This helps preserve the integrity of your foundation and, by proxy, the rest of your home. Of course, gutters wear out eventually. When that happens, you’ll face a choice about which of the types of gutters you’ll install to replace the old one.
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Not sure what gutter variations are available? Keep reading for our quick guide to gutter selection.
A half-round gutter looks exactly like its name. If you view it from the side, it looks like a round shape that someone cut in half.
While traditional and even required in some historic neighborhoods, this style of gutter has its share of problems. For one, it needs brackets to hold the gutter in place due to its shape. These gutters also tend to clog more easily from leaves and other debris.
Most new homes now use k-style gutters. Much like the half-round gutter, you’ll see a k-shape if you view these gutters from the side.
These gutters lend themselves to DIY installation and repair, which makes them popular with homeowners. They offer a more decorative look than the half-round gutters.
The k-style gutters also show fewer problems with clogs, although cleaning them can take longer because of their shape.
Gutters come in many different material options. Some of the more common options include:
- Stainless steel gutters
- Vinyl gutters
- Aluminum gutters
- Copper gutters
- Zinc gutters
In the case of copper, zinc, and steel gutters, you’ll need a professional service like Braun Group to install them. Yet, these options may appeal to you if you want to match a specific look or feel for your home.
Gutter costs can vary wildly depending on your material choice and whether you select a professional installation. You must also consider overall durability.
In terms of pure, initial cost, vinyl gutters that you install yourself will prove the cheapest. Yet, vinyl will almost inevitably break down before any other material.
Copper, steel, or zinc will cost you more in terms of the material and the required professional installation. Of all the options, aluminum will probably give you the best balance of cost and durability.
Picking Between Types of Gutters
Picking between types of gutters for your home can prove tricky. If you live in a historic neighborhood, always check about the local regulations before you buy or install new gutters.
All other things being equal, cost and durability will likely serve as your primary considerations. While vinyl is the cheapest option, aluminum holds up better without coming at a huge cost increase. If cost isn’t a consideration, copper, zinc, or steel gutters offer visual options.
Looking for more home improvement tips? Check out some of the other posts in the Blog section.