What Gutter Material Is Right For You?

Construction & Contractors Articles

If your gutters have begun to leak, sag, or bow, then it's probably time to replace them. Leaving failing gutters in place will only lead to problems such as roof damage, foundation damage, and flooded landscaping. But replacing your gutters is not as straightforward as you might think. One of the first things you'll need to do is choose your material. Here's a look at the most common gutter materials and the pros and cons of each one.

Vinyl

Pros: Vinyl gutters don't corrode or rust like metal gutters, so they don't require a lot of maintenance. The material itself is colored, rather than the gutters being coated with color, so you don't have to worry about discolored spots appearing. There's never any need to paint vinyl gutters. Plus, vinyl gutters are rather inexpensive at an average price of $50 - $100 for 120 feet.

Cons: If you live in an area with a lot of temperature fluctuation, vinyl may not be the best choice. It becomes a bit brittle when cold, so your gutters may snap if something bumps into them on a freezing day. 

Aluminum

Pros: Aluminum gutters are lightweight and easy to install. Many models are made without seams, so leaves and other debris don't get caught in them so easily. Though aluminum gutters may eventually corrode, they are easy to patch on your own with kits from a hardware store. They are more expensive than vinyl gutters, but still quite affordable at $500 - $1,200 per 120 feet.

Cons: Aluminum gutters do corrode. If you choose painted gutters, the paint may eventually wear away in places, leading to the need to paint your gutters. Aluminum is also quite thin and flexible, so these gutters are easily bent if they're bumped into or if you lean a ladder against them.

Steel

Pros: Steel gutters are typically made from stainless steel, which does not rust. They last much longer than aluminum or vinyl gutters, and they stay looking presentable for decades. Many steel gutters remain functional for the life of the home, so you will probably never have to replace your gutters again if you go with this option. 

Cons: Steel gutters are very heavy, which makes them hard to install. You'll need to hire professionals to install the gutters; the seams need to be welded, which is not a DIY project. Steel gutters are also quite costly. You can expect to pay around $1,200 for 120 feet. You can find galvanized steel gutters for less than this, but they will eventually be prone to rust once the zinc coating wears off. 

Copper

Pros: Copper gutters give a home a very distinct, luxurious appeal. They could be the perfect finishing touch to make your home stand out from others on the block. When new, they look like a shiny penny -- and over time, they develop a green patina, which is attractive in its own right. Copper gutters will last as long as your home, never rust, and don't need to be painted. 

Cons: Like steel, copper gutters are hard to install and must be installed professionally. You can expect to pay between $1,800 and $3,000 for 120 feet. Some homeowners do not find the green patina that develops on copper attractive. You'll need to plan for this color change when coordinating your copper gutters with the rest of your home's exterior.

To learn more about these gutter materials and gutter replacement installation, talk to a roofing contractor in your area. They can help you weigh your needs and your budget to settle on the type of gutters that are best for you.

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13 February 2017

Using Reclaimed Wood For Construction Projects

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