Aug 9, 2022

Gutters And Gutter Guards: Buyer's Guide

Tim Shepel
Greater Seattle Gutters rated 5/5 based on 17 reviews.

Gutters, along with gutter guards, are essential parts of a house. They guide water away from the house's foundations and into the street gutters. They're particularly useful if you have a basement. They come in various shapes, styles, and materials. And while the functionality remains the same, the extent to which they can do their job may vary according to these factors. Read on to find out how to choose the best gutters and gutter guards for your home.

1. Set a budget for the purchase

Before anything else, you must set a budget for the gutters and gutter guards. For your reference, gutters may cost from USD$7 to USD$33 per linear foot. The average size of homes of 150 feet would equate to a total cost of approximately USD$1,000 to USD$5,000 per home. Meanwhile, gutter guards may cost USD$0.50 to USD$10 per foot, with a total cost of USD$75 to USD$1,500. You have to establish a budget according to these numbers.

With a budget, you can at least eliminate a couple of options from your list, which would help your selection later on. You must get rid of either too pricey or too cheap.

2. Decide between seamless and sectional

Gutters can either be seamless or sectional. Seamless gutters are made up of one continuous piece of metal, while sectional gutters are cut into multiple smaller sections, hence the name.

Each type has its respective pros and cons. Seamless gutters, in particular, have the advantage of being stronger and more rigid compared to sectional gutters as they're connected seamlessly.

Furthermore, water often leaks into the gaps of each gutter piece. So, water leaks are less likely to happen with seamless gutters as they're made up of fewer pieces and, therefore, contain fewer gaps. The only downside to seamless gutters is that they're more complicated to install than sectional gutters. This is because they're cut from a single piece of metal on-site.

For these reasons, installing seamless gutters yourself is rarely a good idea. That also means seamless gutters can increase the cost of hiring a gutter service company due to the greater difficulty, while sectional gutters do not.

3. Consider the type of gutter guard

There are generally four types of gutter guards. Each type offers a set of pros and cons, and the best option for you would vary according to your specific needs and preferences.

Here's a look at these types and their pros and cons:

  • Screen gutter guards are grids with holes where the water can pass through to enter the gutter. It's typically the cheapest option and easiest to install, along with micro mesh guards. You simply lift the bottom row of your shingles, then slide the guards into the gutter. The shingles' weight is what keeps the guards lodged in place. But since they're not properly screwed, they can be dislodged by winds and other forces of nature.
  • Micro mesh gutter guards are made of wires with gaps in between where water can pass through. It has a similar installation method to screen gutter guards. Unlike other gutter guards, you must clean it regularly with a hose to eliminate fine debris.
  • Reverse curve gutter guards are metal or plastic pieces that don't contain holes or gaps like the other two. Rather than allowing water to pass through it, it lets water flow from the top of the gutter guard into the gutters via its curvature. They work well to filter leaves, but installation is complex as it requires a certain angle to work.
  • Brush gutter guards are unique in that they're found inside the gutter rather than on top. They're basically brushes attached to the interior of gutters to ensure no debris gets stuck at the gutter itself. This type is flexible since you can cut the brushes to a specific length and install them; you simply slide the brushes into the gutter.

4. Make sure you pick the right material

jets of rain drain into the drainage system on the roof of the house

Both gutters and gutter guards can vary in material. And just like the type, each material offers different advantages and disadvantages. Let's take a look at what each material offers:

  • Aluminum is arguably the most popular material for gutters as it has excellent longevity and can last up to 25 years. Aluminum gutters are also reasonably cheap, costing around USD$4 to USD$6 per linear foot. The material can bend relatively well, so its installation, particularly around the corners, is relatively easy.
  • Copper is a much pricier alternative to aluminum. Though they can last up to 50 years and have quite an excellent aesthetic, copper gutters cost an average of USD$20 per foot. Also, it's worth noting that you cannot install copper gutters by yourself.
  • Steel is known for its strength, but it tends to rust more quickly than other materials. It has slightly better longevity than aluminum as it can last up to 20 years. You can choose between stainless and galvanized steel. Stainless steel is twice the price of galvanized steel, but the material isn't prone to rust, though both types tend to be noisy during rain.

Closing thoughts

While high-budget gutters and gutter guards are generally better in many aspects than those with an affordable price, they're not always more cost-effective. Moreover, you must assess your needs first before deciding which is the best option for you. The ideal choice would vary depending on whether you value aesthetics, longevity, or efficiency. Regardless, this guide should help you with decision-making as it tackles your available options.


Laura Hodges, “Time to Update Your Gutters? Top Materials to Consider” House Method, June 16, 2022,

Lee Wallender and Samantha Allen, “How Much Does Gutter Installation Or Replacement Cost?” Forbes Advisor, February 6, 2022,

TC Backer, “Seamless Gutters vs Sectional Gutters: Which is the Better Gutter?” TC Backer, January 6, 2020,