Just like anything else that’s designed to protect your home from the elements, rain gutters are extremely important and should be chosen carefully and maintained responsibly. To maximize the value and curb appeal of your property, you’ll also want to choose a gutter style that complements your home, especially if it’s a period property. Following are some important considerations to help you make an informed decision:
Vinyl quickly became the new favorite among homeowners ever since the 50s. It’s quite durable but, most importantly, it’s very affordable. The lightweight sections, all of which come to standardized measurements, are easy to fit together as well, making vinyl gutters the favorite for DIYers on modest budgets. If you need new gutters, but your budget is limited, vinyl sectional gutters are usually adequate, especially in milder regions of the country.
Aluminum is cost-effective, although not as cheap as vinyl. However, it’s the material of choice for those seeking durability, since it’s a highly weather-resistant material making it ideal in colder climates. Aluminum is the material of choice for newer, seamless gutter systems. These systems are becoming more popular owing to their minimal maintenance requirements and decreased likelihood of developing leaks.
Steel, particularly stainless steel, is practically indestructible, and it should last for many decades. As the strongest material in the industry, steel is the premium choice for those who want something that will last the course and survive in even the severest of weather conditions. Galvanized steel, on the other hand, will rust eventually, making it somewhat less suitable.
Copper has been the material of choice for gutters and various other exterior home components, such as flashing, for centuries, particularly in Europe. It’s the only material suitable for use with a lot of period buildings as well. While expensive, it does provide the advantage of being very durable, and many agree that it provides a particularly pleasant accent to a property, especially when it oxidizes with age.
For centuries, wooden gutters were the norm in many parts of the world. However, cheaper materials have made it less popular, and it’s undoubtedly not as practical as metal or vinyl in most cases. Nonetheless, wooden gutters, typically made of cedar or redwood, are the only suitable option for certain period homes. Unfortunately, you’ll need to be prepared to spend a fair amount as well!