There are a wide variety of gutter materials and styles available, and choosing between them can be difficult. While there are two primary styles of gutters, half round and K-style, there are many more materials used. Here are some of the pros and cons of different gutter materials.
Highly affordable and rust-proof, vinyl gutters are common on many homes. You can often find them in a variety of colors. However, vinyl is not an especially sturdy material and is known to grow brittle and crack in extreme cold. On average, vinyl gutters last 10-20 years.
Available in both galvanized steel and stainless steel, the two materials are very different! Though both are sturdy, galvanized steel will succumb to rust after about 20 years, while stainless does not rust and is nearly indestructible. This makes stainless steel gutters about twice as expensive as galvanized steel. However, both materials stand up well to rain, wind, snow, and hail.
Similar in price to vinyl, aluminum gutters are extremely lightweight and available in many colors. One big benefits is their rust-resistance; however, they are not very durable and can be easily damaged by hail and may not support heavy snow.
One of the most durable materials, copper is a more expensive option but will last for several decades. While many homeowners choose copper gutters for their appearance, it is important to remember that they will develop a patina and change color over time.