Gutters come in all shapes and sizes. The appearance of a gutter is referred to as a gutter profile. The three main types of gutters used today are open gutters, hidden gutters and seamless gutters.
Common gutter profiles include:
- colonial gutter – wide channel; blends with a variety of architectural styles
- crown mould fascia gutter – narrower channel; curves outward; classic lines
- 2-step fascia gutter – narrower channel; straight lines
- flat face fascia gutter – narrower channel; simple lines; minimal detail
The most common type of gutter is the open gutter, characterized by two sides forming a channel and open at the top. They are available in sections and are attached to the fascia. Certain types of open gutters act as a replacement where fascia boards have not been installed. Open gutter systems for residential applications typically are 5” accompanied by 2 x 3 inch downspouts. For larger homes needing to handle more water, a 6” inch gutter with a 3 x 4 inch downpipe would be used.
A kind of open gutter, seamless gutters eliminate the number of seams (which can potentially leak). Seams appear only where sections meet at the corners and where downspouts are attached. Instead of sections joined together, they are roll-formed from one piece of metal. To achieve that smooth, continuous look this type of guttering is known for, seamless gutters are installed by professional contractors with proper fabricating tools.
Hidden gutters, also known as built-in gutters are appealing from an architectural standpoint because they can’t be seen. Instead of being attached to the exterior of a home, they are incorporated into the structure of the roof. Box gutters, often used for commercial applications because they handle large amounts of water, are also hidden from view, constructed as a roof component.