What Are the Different Types of Rain Gutters?

What Are the Different Types of Rain Gutters?

Rain gutters come in a variety of materials, styles, and prices

By Robert Ferguson

Gutter and Red Metal Roof
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The first step to consider when installing a rain gutter system is choosing the type that best fits the house and the area you reside in. Is the location prone to heavy rains or snow, or are there a lot of trees close to the house? Does the price of the particular rain gutter system fit into your budget? It is important to address these questions before determining the type of gutter system to purchase. The two most common types of rain gutter systems are sectional and seamless. They are made from different types of materials, including vinyl, aluminum, copper or stainless steel. The cost of rain gutter systems can vary based on fluctuations in the metal market, as well as pricing differences from region to region.


Vinyl tends to become brittle over time, especially in colder environments, but usually retains its color well, and is light-weight. It is the most cost-effective material used for rain gutters, priced from $3 to $5 dollars per linear foot installed.


Aluminum holds up better in extreme temperatures but dents easily, which could be a factor if there are a lot of trees around the home. Aluminum costs $4 to $8 dollars per linear foot installed.

Copper and Stainless Steel

Copper and stainless steel are the most attractive and the most durable types of rain gutters; however, they are also more expensive than other materials. Both copper and steel are used primarily in seamless rain gutter systems. Copper costs about $15 dollars per linear foot installed. Stainless steel costs about $20 dollars per linear foot installed.


Seamless rain gutters are a no clog system. They maintain a seamless appearance, with no openings that allow for leaks. Seamless gutters divert the water away from the house while routing leaves and other debris to the ground below without interruption.


Home owners prefer sectional because there are a wide range of interchangeable parts that are readily available at most home improvement stores. Sectional gutters are made of either vinyl or aluminum.

About the Author

Robert Ferguson is a licensed building contractor with more than 30 years of experience, focusing primarily on residential remodeling, repair, renovation and construction.

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