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Wood, vinyl, aluminum, steel and copper are some of the materials that gutters and downspouts are made of. Wood is the least popular because of it’s high maintenance and price. Vinyl is great for do-it-yourselfers and can be found at home-improvement centers. Aluminum gutters are the most common. Primary aluminum is the thickest and most consistent kind. Avoid secondary aluminum, a recycled product that's often plagued by inconsistent thickness. Metal gutters are made in sheet metal shops and require gutter specialists to install them.

Shapes & Sizes: U- and K-Shape

Gutters come in several sizes and shapes called profiles. The most common are the U shape and the K shape. The more important choice is the sizing of the gutters and the downspout. Choices include 2x3-in or 3x4-in. rectangular shapes, as well as 3- or 4-in. round pipes. Metal gutters are also available in different sizes. The most popular is 5" gutter which is typically paired with 2x3-in. downspout. 4" gutter is more popular in areas where there is less rainfall. Occasionally you will see 6" gutter in markets where rainfall is particularly heavy.

K shape gutter U Shape Gutter


So as to allow you to match house color or trim, there are more than 25 different colors to choose from when you buy sectional aluminum and steel gutters. Vinyl gutters usually only come in brown or white. Copper has a natural color and comes unfinished.

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