Protecting Your Home with Gutters

An ideal time time to install new gutters is during a roof replacementGutters can be a relatively low-cost investment that also delay costly repairs down the road.  By keeping water flowing off and away from the home, an effective gutter system will prevent water damage, mold infestation, and dry rot.  HRTI offers many gutter types to choose from and will work with you to select that right look for your home.

Consider whether you would like your gutters to be an aesthetically appealing factor for your home.  HRTI has designed some gutter systems to enhance a home’s appearance through visually pleasing materials and placement.  They come in a range of materials, types, and looks. The choices you make can draw the eye or evade the eye’s notice.

This black gutter system is camouflaged into the standing seam roof
Custom porcelain tile, meet Custom metal siding! That is 100% unique!

Gutter Materials

Gutters can be made from aluminum, copper, steel, vinyl or zinc.  These materials range in price and function.

Aluminum Gutter – Aluminum is the most common type of gutter.  It will not rust and is easy to install. However, professional installation is suggested because of the height and placement of the system.  Aluminum gutters come in a variety of colors, but can also be painted to match or contrast with the exterior look of your house. HRTI suggests at least a .032 or .027 aluminum thickness in order for long-lasting wear in our Denver climate with heavy snows.

Seamless Aluminum Gutter – There is also a seamless aluminum gutter, which must be installed professionally, as a contractor comes in with a truck of flat aluminum and then forms it to your home’s exterior as he or she hangs the gutter.  This seamless aluminum gutter has the benefit of never leaking because it does not have joints. However, it is a more costly option than the traditional aluminum gutter.

Copper Gutter – Copper is a beautiful option for a gutter system.  This definitely would create a “wow” factor for your home.  However, copper must be professionally installed, as each seam and joint needs to be welded together.  Copper has the benefit of never rusting, never needing to be painted, and developing its own beautiful patina over time.  As you can imagine, copper gutters are one of your most costly options, but they offer an amazing return on investment for their functionality and long-lasting nature.

Steel Gutter – Steel is a strong option for gutters but can rust over time.  Galvanized steel resists rust but still can show signs of aging after 5-10 years.  Steel gutters come in a number of colors and can also be painted. Due to their heavier weight and cutting requirements, steel gutters are best put on by professionals.  Steel will tend to be more pricey than aluminum, but less pricey than copper, making it a good middle of the road choice for curb appeal and cost.

Vinyl Gutter – Vinyl gutters are one of your most low cost and lightweight options, making them one of the top choices for do it yourselfers to install.  There are not many colors of vinyl gutters to choose from, and the colors are more susceptible to fading from sunlight than other painted materials.  Be careful that while these vinyl gutters are easier for the do-it-your-selfer’s to install, vinyl gutters cannot support the weight of most ladders, so do not lean against the gutters as you are installing them.  While vinyl gutters are definitely a lower cost option, they will crack in extreme cold temperatures, and therefore may have a shorter life-span in the Denver front-range climate.

Zinc Gutter – Costing slightly less than a copper gutter, zinc gutters require professional installation, due to welding of joints and seams.  Because of cost, a zinc gutter is typically installed on historic restorations and high-end residences. They are long-lasting but pricey.  They do not need to be painted, and copper will develop its own beautiful patina over time.

Types of Gutters

There are two different types of gutter:  K-style and Half-round. K-style, while shaped on the outward facing side, are flat on the back and bottom.  This creates the most space within the gutter cavity for water flow and debris removal. The half-round shape is more common on older homes and historic restorations.  Some gutter materials only come in one shape or the other. For example, zinc gutters only come in the half-round style, so you will want to take that into consideration if considering this option.  You will lose capacity within the gutter itself but will gain longevity and appearance.

Some gutters are complimentary to the home aesthetic, like this K-style.Gutter Styles

Do you want your gutter to draw attention to itself or blend into the overall appearance of your home?  Traditional, k-style gutters blend into the overall feel of your home, having the appearance of crown molding.  They finish a look, without calling attention to the gutter themselves.

Wide-bottom fascia gutters have clear, straight lines, that draw attention to themselves on a contemporary home.  They draw the attention of the eye toward the trim of the home in a way that says “notice me.” They are a modern way of improving the look and curb appeal of your contemporary home.  These gutters are not seen as ordinary and make your home look extraordinary.

A half-round gutter offers a solid look with visual appeal for historic and high-end homes.  This style can hold its own next to brick, slate, or clay shingles and do not need to stand out as they complement the existing structure of a home. Half-round are a more costly investment up front, but they will add life-long beauty to your home’s exterior.

Most often new gutters are necessary when a new roof is installed. Find out more about our roofing installation options.

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