Popular Types of Gutters - 2018 Guide

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Below are some of the most popular types of guttering available these days, as well as pros and cons associated with them.

Table of Contents

PVC Gutters

uPVC plastic guttering advantages

This is one of the most popular options for guttering on homes today.

Pros

  • They are extremely affordable. In most cases, it’s possible to purchase them in long lengths at £2 or less per length.
  • PVC gutters are easier to install than many other guttering types, meaning that labour costs will generally be lower than those charged for metal guttering, for instance
  • They are low maintenance and relatively durable in that they don’t dent or rust like metal guttering. If they get scratched, it will not be noticeable because they PVC is white all the way through
  • PVC guttering doesn’t need to be painted to look attractive
  • These gutters are extremely lightweight, meaning that they will not pull loose or come down as easily as heavier metal gutters

Cons

  • Some types of PVC guttering can be flimsy, meaning that if a ladder or heavy tree branch bumps against them, it could cause damage
  • In most cases, these gutters will have several joints along longer lengths, providing an ideal opportunity for leaks to start forming over time
  • As with any other form of plastic, PVC gutters will deteriorate over time due to sun exposure. Severely low temperatures can also cause these gutters to warp or crack

Cast Iron Gutters

cast iron guttering installation

These gutters tend to have an extremely attractive appearance when correctly installed and they are normally used on older homes or heritage buildings to preserve their original appearance.

Pros

  • Durability. Cast iron gutters have been known to last 100 years or more when correctly maintained. They can also withstand extremely harsh weather conditions without becoming damaged
  • They are environmentally friendly in that they not only last a long time; they can be fully recycled when they are no longer usable
  • These gutters are manufactured in half round or Victorian profiles, meaning that they will provide the ideal finishing touch for your home – especially if it is an older property

Cons

  • Cost. While other guttering can be as affordable as £2 per length, be prepared to pay anywhere from £24 and up for a metre of cast iron gutter
  • Weight. These gutters are substantially heavier than other types, meaning that the infrastructure they are being attached to will need to be able to carry the weight
  • Higher labour cost to install. Because these gutters are so much heavier than other types, it makes installing them a lot more challenging
  • A thorough knowledge of metal work will be required to install these, as joints will need to be correctly soldered to prevent leaking

Copper Gutters

copper gutter installation

Copper gutters add a beautiful finish to virtually any home.

Pros

  • Although copper is highly malleable, it has the ability to withstand harsh weather conditions far better than many other types of guttering
  • They are rust-proof, meaning that you will not have to worry about holes forming in them over time and causing leaks
  • When correctly maintained copper guttering can last for more than 100 years
  • As the copper ages, it changes colour. Over time, this looks more and more attractive, especially on an older property

Cons

  • Cost. Copper guttering is quite expensive to install initially, and you can expect to pay anywhere from £20 per metre for it
  • It is quite labour intensive to install, which means that labour costs will also be higher than those of other guttering types
  • All hardware such as screws, nails, fittings etc. will also need to be copper, which further raises the cost of installation

Aluminium Gutters

aluminium gutter systems

These gutters have become quite popular over the past few years.

Pros

  • They are more affordable than many other types of metal guttering
  • These gutters are quite easy to install, so labour costs will be lower than those of many other types of gutters
  • They are resistant to rust
  • These gutters can be manufactured in several different colours, making it easy for them to match the rest of your home’s interior
  • They are known to last for approximately 20 years
  • They can be manufactured as seamless units, meaning that there will be fewer places for leaks to develop over time

Cons

  • Although aluminium doesn’t bend as easily as PVC, it can dent if large branches or ladders are bumped against them. Over time, this can affect their performance
  • Extreme temperature changes can cause these gutters to contract and expand a lot, which could cause them to crack
  • Although they will not rust, they can still corrode if they aren’t correctly maintained
  • If your gutters have been painted, they will require regular touch-ups to keep them looking attractive

Galvanised Gutters

galvanised gutter installation

These gutters are quite versatile in that they are suitable for many different types of buildings.

Pros

  • Durability. These gutters are more durable than aluminium gutters, meaning that they will often last longer than PVC or aluminium guttering. They will also not show any damage as easily as aluminium or PVC units
  • This guttering is also quite affordable in that pricing can start from around £4 - £5 per length
  • As the galvanised metal changes colour over time, it provides your home with somewhat of a rustic appearance
  • Galvanised guttering is also more resistant to extreme temperature changes than aluminium or PVC

Cons

  • Galvanised guttering can be quite heavy, so it’s essential that the correct screws and supporting brackets are used during installation
  • Over a period of time, galvanised guttering can rust or corrode. As a result, it is essential that they be correctly treated before installation and correctly maintained thereafter
  • They can be expensive in that they will often cost up to twice as much as aluminium gutters

Gutter FAQs - Your Questions Answered

We're sure you've got loads of questions regarding the best type of guttering for your property... so why not get in touch with local professionals via our online form? They can offer free advice to help you decide. Below you can see some frequently asked questions we receive regarding the various gutter types available.

How will I know what type or style of guttering will be most suitable for my property?

In many cases, it’s possible to simply replace your home’s gutters with the same type or style that was installed previously. However, if you have a roof that is larger or steeper than average, it is recommended that you have a guttering professional assess your property.

Will you provide a quote before installing, repairing or maintaining my guttering?

Yes. After you have filled out our quick contact form, you will be contacted by up to four qualified roofing professionals – all of who will provide you with a quote before getting started with any work on your property.

If I have metal gutters installed, can I replace them with PVC to save money?

In some cases, you will be able to do this. However, you will need to determine whether PVC gutters will be large enough to channel water off your roof and away from your home, as they can sometimes be smaller than other types of gutters.

Why do some types and styles of gutters cost more than others?

PVC gutters will cost less than cast iron, aluminium, steel, copper or cast iron because they are cheaper to manufacture. In addition, labour costs will often be higher when installing various types of metal guttering because their heavier weight requires additional labour to install them.

How long does it take to install gutters?

This depends on whether PVC or metal gutters are being installed, the size of the property and how much labour will be required to complete the job. While installation of PVC gutters on a two-bedroomed single storey home can be completed in a day, installing cast iron or copper gutters can take substantially longer.

Is it true that some styles of gutters are more efficient than others?

Yes. Box gutters or K-style gutters are known to be more efficient at channelling water away from your home’s roof than half round gutters, for instance. However, it is recommended that you speak with our roofing experts before choosing a gutter style or type, as they will be able to provide you with the best possible recommendations for your property.

Installation Articles


Gutter Types:

Pros and cons of all popular types of guttering such as PVC, aluminium and copper.


Gutter Styles:

Which style is best for you? Half-round, ogee, square, deep-flow? We look at various options.


Gutter Accessories:

From guards and filters to water butts and extensions, view the most popular accessories.


Choosing Guttering:

Useful tips to ensure that you choose the most appropriate guttering for your property.


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