Whether you’re looking to buy a house or upgrade your current place, you need to know the basics of gutter styles. The US and UK use similar styles of gutters, with a few differences that will be important to note when you are looking for the perfect gutters for your house.
Types of gutters you will see in the UK
Average rainfall is quite high in the UK as compared to other countries, including the US, so high-capacity rain gutters are important. The three main types of gutters are half-round, box (or square), and Ogee (or K-style) gutters. Ogee is short for “Old Gothic” and is used to describe the type of gutter popular in Victorian-era mansions. While you will see it on old Victorian homes, this type of gutter is used in new construction as a way to lend a home a little sophistication.
For a simpler style, half-round and box style gutters are both practical choices. The half-round is the more traditional look, and it is quite versatile. The only drawback to the half-round gutter is that it is more prone to clogging than square styles. Box gutters are the most modern choice and are popular on new construction and commercial buildings, given their high capacity and resistance to clogging.
The more rainfall, the more need to keep leaves and debris out of your gutters to keep water flowing easily. According to experts at Ned Stevens Gutter Cleaning Company (/), clogged gutters will cause rainwater to seep into your foundation, rotting the surrounding wood and even warping the gutter in the process. As you are choosing the gutter style you prefer, keep in mind upkeep including regular gutter cleaning.
Gutter types found in the US
In the US, you will find the same main types of gutters as in the UK—half-round, box (square) and K-style (Ogee). The differences lie in which styles are more popular and there are a few important differences in what each style is called. For example, in the US and other parts of the world, the half-round style is sometimes called the European style, given its popularity in continental architecture. Similarly, Ogee is a distinctly British term, and the US calls the Ogee style the K-style.
The main difference between US and UK gutters
While gutter styles are quite similar, the main difference between US and UK gutters is the materials used. In the UK the most popular gutter material is PVC plastic, which is comparatively cheap and easy to install. Another big advantage of plastic gutters is that they are light, creating less weight on the roof of the house. Other material choices for gutters in the UK are cast iron, aluminium, galvanised steel, zinc, and even concrete. (https://www.brothersgutters.com/blog/gutters-around-world/)
In the US, the most popular gutter material is aluminium, which is also fairly lightweight, but slightly more expensive and more durable than PVC plastic. Cast iron gutters are very rarely seen in the US, but can be found in the UK in many older constructions and are even required for building in certain conservation areas. (https://clanfieldguttering.co.uk/cast-iron-guttering/) Concrete gutters are also not found in the US, but can be found in the UK. These kinds of gutters are no longer constructed given their tendency to come disjointed at seams in the gutter and let damp into the walls of the home.
Choosing the right gutters for your home
Overall, the gutter style you choose will depend on the type of home, your budget and your expectations for upkeep. While getting to know the types of gutters in your area will help you get started on a DIY project, your gutter installation and maintenance will be most successful when left in the hands of a professional.