When shopping for gutters, the one thing you should know is that there are first two types of gutters that are used, the system that you find on residential homes and sometimes apartments and then there are the box gutters that are mostly on commercial and industrial buildings. As a home owner, when you begin shopping for gutters there are some things you should consider. There are different materials used for gutters systems and different styles, which means pricing is going to vary depending on the material you pick. There are some pros and cons to consider also on the different materials.
The first and most popular gutter material is the aluminum. The reason is it so popular is because it is relatively inexpensive, durable and easy to work with. This materials does not rust over time and is also available in many colors and shapes so that you can accent your home. When getting pricing on gutters, the one thing to help understand is that price to buy gutters is by linear foot so this will be true to any kind of gutter. The price per linear foot will depend on manufacturer or supplier. If you are hiring a contractor for your gutter job then they will quote you a price for the materials plus labor to install.
The next material used for gutters is steel. Most steel gutters are galvanized (process of applying a protective zinc coating to steel or iron, in order to prevent rusting). There are also options for stainless steel. The galvanized steel gutters are strong and durable the one downside is that they will rust after 20 years or so. They are popular in regions that have heavy rains, snow and extreme weather. The galvanized steel is more expensive than aluminum and of course to get the stainless steel is higher than that.
The next popular and on elf the more durable gutter option is the copper. This gutter system is widely liked because of the unique look a homeowner can get for their property for more customization. The copper is one of the strongest metals and is suitable for any region. The copper depending on the manufacturer is actually in the price range (usually) with the stainless steel and galvanized steel. The one thing that homeowners must be aware of, although, is that aspect of copper gradually ages and changes colors. Normally it will be shiny for the first couple of months and then it will turn brown, dark brown, purple and eventually a greenish color. This is the one downside that some people do not like or normally do not even expect to happen.
The next gutter materials widely used is vinyl which is the least expensive option and is easy to cut and work with. They are more prominent in stores because of the easy assemble and availability for component parts. The big down side to the vinyl gutter systems is that they do become brittle and break easier than aluminum. Especially in colder climates and extreme weather conditions, so less durable and sturdy than they other materials that are used.
Now that we have covered the materials, gutters also come in different colors depending on the material you are getting and also have two different shapes the half-round or U-shape and the K-style. There are also 3 most common used sizes, the 4”, 5” and 6” which means the downspouts also come in three different sizes. The size of gutter system you get depends on how steep your roof pitch is and the amount of rain your home sees. If your pitch is steep and you get a lot of rain through the year then you should really have a bigger size gutter system, this also applies if you live in a thick treed area.
When you begin thinking about or are needing to replace your gutter system, make sure to do your homework for your home and area so that you can ask questions about the right gutter system for your home and region. You can contact a contractor to do your gutters and they will be able to lead you in the right direction or if doing it yourself talk to your local expert with the supplier or manufacturer you are ordering from.