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Gutter Options For Homeowners

Updated on October 27, 2015

Cloacina:Goddess of Gutters (really)!

Cloacina  Roman Goddess of Gutters (really!)
Cloacina Roman Goddess of Gutters (really!)

Gutters Can Save Homeowners Money

The management of water was recognized by the ancient Romans as being so important they actually had a goddess of gutters. Cloacina was later associated with Venus. Eventually she became the goddess of sexual intercourse. Boy, they really took water management seriously!

I can’t explain why the Romans catapulted Cloacina from the gutters to the bedroom (unless it had something to do with guilt) but she does represent the importance of water management. Directing water away from your home’s foundation can keep serious and expensive problems from developing later on. Big problems can be caused by rain water washing away the supporting dirt beneath the foundation and result in expensive repairs. Foundation repairs almost always run into the thousands of dollars.

"K" Style (Most popular) Aluminum and Vinyl Guttering

Vinyl and Aluminum Are The Most Popular Gutter Materials

There are numerous kinds of materials from which gutters are made: aluminum, galvanized metal, stainless steel, vinyl, wood, copper, cotton and silly putty…just checking to see if you’re still listening…

Each kind of gutter material has its own pluses and minuses. Aluminum guttering is the most popular among the metal choices. It’s relatively inexpensive to install. Galvanized metal gutters are more durable and the installation price is moderately higher. Aluminum will never rust as galvanized gutters might (as time goes by). The down side to aluminum is that it is easier to dent. They each are available in choice of colors.

Solid vinyl gutters are inexpensive and fairly easy to install. The color is manufactured throughout the vinyl but, after time, the sun can fade the color and vinyl can sag if the support brackets are not placed every few feet. Vinyl is a good choice for several reasons. It will not dent and there is no paint to peel. An added plus is the low cost.

Round Copper Clad Gutter Downspout
Round Copper Clad Gutter Downspout

Beautiful Copper Clad Guttering

Copper clad stainless steel guttering has many advantages and one really big disadvantage. They are a great look because the copper finish will remain shiny. This style of guttering is excellent in hurricane-prone and extreme temperature climates because of its durability. This is a great selling point if your house is on the market. The big disadvantage of copper clad gutters is the price. It can be as high as twenty times the cost of vinyl.

Wood gutters are an amazingly beautiful relic from the past. If you are not one of the few people into restoring historic homes then forget wood as a material for your gutters. Now-a-days wood is only used to restore a historic home to its original glory. If you are in love with the idea of wood gutters for your home then go ahead but it will not, most likely, add value to your home.

Guttering Styles

There are many Kinds of Gutter Styles

The two most common styles of gutters are the K style and the half-round. There are many other variations in styles and sizes such as the...Box Deep, Box Shallow, Ogee, Sectional Box Bead, etc. The widths vary from three inches on up. Most homes install four or five inch K style gutters. Aluminum is good, as is vinyl. Either of these is completely adequate if installed correctly. If you are installing vinyl, I repeat, make sure the support brackets are placed every few feet to avoid sagging later on. If you want to paint your new gutters to match your home’s color scheme you should go with aluminum. Painting vinyl is difficult and expensive.

The Costs of Different Kinds of Gutters

The cost of gutters depends on how many linear feet, how many downspouts, number of stories and ease of access. If your home has two or three stories, many exterior corners, trees/poles close to the house, and is located on an incline expect to pay more.

Always get three or more estimates from contractors for any project. If you are good with your hands and have a good sense of carpentry logic you may want to save money and do the installation yourself. You could save as much as 70% of a contractors bid. I do not recommend that you take on the installation of any kind of guttering system other than aluminum or vinyl.

Gutters Can Add Beauty and Functionality to Your Home

Gutters Are a Must For Today's Homeowners

Modern water management is just as important today as it was in Ancient Rome days. The Goddess Cloacina may seem a distant relic from the past but the modern homeowner would do well to take a good look at how water is being managed on their property.

Oh, by the way, please do not attempt to install cotton or silly putty gutters…I was just joking and besides the Goddess Cloacina would not be pleased!


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    • joeyallen profile image

      Kerry Allen 2 years ago from SE Texas

      Firstcookbooklady I've found, just like gutters on my house, I have to clear out my mind once or twice a year!


      I hadn't heard of asbestos cement gutters...gonna look that up. Please let me know how much that cost you when you have it done!

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      When I saw your post on gutters I had to read this, since 10 meters of ours came down after a heavy downpour in August. They were made from asbestos cement and are very old. When the rainy seasons starts again in March we must replace our whole guttering, for which we need to start saving NOW!

    • firstcookbooklady profile image

      Char Milbrett 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Okayyyy... my mind is 'in the gutter' now...

    • joeyallen profile image

      Kerry Allen 4 years ago from SE Texas

      Hi Janice...You're right, who knew gutters were so sexual!


    • profile image

      Janice Andrews 4 years ago

      Extremely informative article about the Goddess and gutters; probably more than I ever thought I'd know! thanks for the info!