When Buying Gutters Decision No. 2 – Shape

After selecting the type of material, the second major decision a person buying a gutter system needs to make is the shape or profile the gutters will have. A gutter system adds a finishing touch to the roofing system; the “right” profile complements a home’s architectural style. When choosing a gutter profile, make sure that it is functional, aesthetically enhances your home’s exterior, and can be repaired or replaced.


A gutter profile ensures the perfect flow of water through the gutter channel to the gutter outlet and then into the downspout. The simpler the shape, the fewer indentations and edges the inside of the gutter will have, reducing the number of places debris can become snagged. Pay attention to the edge of the gutter – whether the gutter bead (edge) rolls inward or outward, will help strengthen the gutter profile depending on the gutter style.


A gutter profile should look right. Matching the shape of the gutters to the architectural style of your home will ensure that the gutter system blends in with other exterior elements such as window trim, gables, shutters and entry door.

Most gutter profiles, particularly K-style, are compatible with any architectural style, but when choosing gutters for an older or heritage home, it is probably best to choose a more classic shape. Other popular gutter profiles for traditional homes including cottages are K-style, crown mould, two-step and half-round.

Contemporary and modern style homes are characterized by simple lines and minimal details or decoration. Gutter profiles that reflect these characteristics are square, box, beveled box and flat face.

Custom vs. Standard

A custom gutter profile can be one that, while pre-manufactured, is unique to a certain manufacturer, available to their customers. A custom profile can also refer to one designed specifically for the house on which the gutter system will be installed. The advantage of either type of custom gutter profile is its distinctive appearance – no house on the block will look like yours. However, if something does go wrong and the gutters need replacing or repairing, they will be easier to fix if the profile is a standard one rather than custom made.