How to Match New Gutters to a Roofing System

Gutters contribute to a home’s character, often in subtle ways. While K-style aluminum gutters are installed on the majority of homes in North America, more homeowners today are paying attention to how well a gutter system works with their current roof. Gutters define the roofline, giving the eaves a polished, finished edge. Here are some tips on how to match gutters to a roofing system for increased aesthetics and curb appeal.

Multi-Tiered Roofs

When a house design includes architectural features such as dormers windows or skylights or is more than one storey, the roof is often multi-tiered. Multi-tiered roofs should have gutters installed along the upper eaves and corresponding downspouts to prevent water from dripping directly onto a section of the roof below, causing undue wear and tear.

Multiple rooflines usually mean that the gutter system is more visible. By selecting a colour one shade darker or one shade lighter than the roof can make the gutters blend into the roofline. The choice will then have to be using the same colour for the downspouts (making them stand out) or selecting a different colour, one that complements the siding the downspouts will be attached to (making them blend in).

Steep Pitch Roofs

A homeowner should consider the size and the pitch of the roof when installing new gutters. Steep pitch roofs such as a gable roof, hip roof, gambrel roof or skillion roof shed water more easily. This means the gutters should be able to handle larger volumes of water. If the style of your roofing system is one with a steep slope or pitch and covers a medium to large sized house, K-style gutters, for example, tend to have more capacity than half-round gutters.

Metal Roofs

A standard gutter system like aluminum gutters, copper gutters or steel gutters that utilizes brackets or spikes and ferrules seems to work better for most homes than a gutter system using straps (attached to the roof deck). Installing seamless aluminum gutters on a metal roof is a popular choice. However, every residence and its metal roof are different. For the best results, before installing a gutter system, it is advisable to consult with both the roofing contractor and the manufacturer of the metal roof you have purchased.

Matching Gutters to Roofing Materials

When matching gutters and roof design, roofing materials also play a prominent role. The uniqueness and individuality of a home’s exterior can be greatly enhanced when the gutters a specifically selected with certain roofing materials in mind.

Copper gutters: Because copper gutters develop a patina over time, they perfectly complement roofs made of cedar shingles or slate tiles. A composite roof paired with a copper gutter system will have added style and more curb appeal.

Steel gutters: Steel K-style gutters or box gutters are appropriate for the roofs of modern style houses that want to achieve a contemporary or “industrial” vibe.

Half-round gutters: Since half-round gutters have a curved profile as opposed to a more angular one, they look good with clay roofing tiles. When installed on stately homes, mansions, or heritage residences over 5,000 square feet, half-round gutters can increase the refined appearance of a home’s exterior, regardless of the roofing material.