Copper Gutters

Copper Gutters 101

Copper gutters, especially an aged copper gutter, are rising in popularity as more homeowners want to create a retro look for their homes. These gutters serve the same purpose as any other: to direct rainwater.

However, they have many benefits you won’t find with aluminum or other materials. They look great on many farmhouse style homes.

Why Use Copper Gutters?

Copper gutters utilize copper instead of other materials to mold the gutters. Most people purchase these gutters for aesthetics, and seamless versions work best. However, if you purchase sectional models, they’re more prone to leaks than their seamless counterparts.

Copper Gutter Styles to Choose From

© Sunshine Contracting Corp

Gutters come in many styles, and you’ll find that copper is no exception. In addition, you can choose from multiple types of copper gutters, such as:

  • Square. These downspouts are square, and they have modern edges, which does take away from the historical look a bit.
  • Round. The downspouts on these models are round and in a tube shape.
  • Half-round. Instead of a tube, these gutters have a half-tube style.
  • K-style. These gutters feature a flat back and bottom, but the edges curve.

Which style is a good choice for you?

There’s no easy answer. For most people, the style you think looks best is the one that you should choose. However, if you live in an area where it’s not uncommon to get a lot of rain, you may do best with a K-style gutter.

The K-style models are meant to carry more water, so they’re less susceptible to rain flowing over the edges of the gutter.

How Much Do Copper Gutters Cost?

Copper gutters have varying costs. If you have half-round copper gutters or other models, you can expect to pay a different price just in material costs. When compared to traditional aluminum models, copper will be more expensive.

However, if you have a 1,500 square foot home with the following gutter configuration, you can expect to pay $5,300 – $6,600 for an install:

  • Full copper gutters
  • Downspouts
  • End caps
  • Gutter guards

The price also includes all of the labor to install the new gutters. Since copper is considered a “premium material,” you may pay significantly more than the price listed above.

However, when comparing prices, consider the following:

  • Aluminum will cost $5 – $8 per foot of material
  • Copper will cost $25 – $30 per square foot

You’ll also have to pay for other components to complete the gutter system. For example, you’ll need downspouts, which will cost you around $50 – $90 each. End caps will also need to be installed, and you can expect to pay up to $15 for each cap.

Gutter guards aren’t a necessity, but they are an addition that will make your gutters flow better. You’ll pay $12 – $20 per linear foot for these.

You’re going to pay significantly more for your copper gutters, but also keep in mind that they can last 80 – 100 years with the proper maintenance. In comparison, aluminum and steel gutters usually have a lifespan of about 20 years.

If you’re outfitting a forever home and don’t want to even think about replacing gutters in the future, copper will last most people’s lives with proper care. Depending on your preference, you can coat the gutters with a solution to protect the copper from getting a patina. Coatings will need to be reapplied annually for long-term protection.

But copper is definitely more expensive than aluminum, steel or vinyl gutters.

Benefits of Copper Gutters

copper rain gutters
© Creative Seamless Gutters

Utilizing copper can be very beneficial for a gutter system, especially when compared to the likes of vinyl, which is the cheapest and least durable material. The following benefits are why most people choose copper for their new gutter install:

Aesthetics

Copper is different and beautiful. In a high-end home, copper makes the home look rich. If you’re opting to create an old, historic look, allowing the unit to get its natural patina is a great option.

A patina will form naturally, but so many homeowners are looking for that aged look that some manufacturers are selling gutters with a patina already.

Durable and Long-lasting

Once you replace or install gutters, you won’t want to go through the process again. The good news is that copper is the longest lasting gutter material on the market today. You’ll find most steel and aluminum gutters will last about 20 years before needing replacing.

However, copper will last up to 100 years with the right care.

When it comes to durability, copper can withstand major storms far better than aluminum. In fact, most homeowners will never have to replace their gutters again once they install copper systems.

Sustainability

If your goal is to create a more sustainable home, then copper gutters are a good investment. Why? Because copper is:

  • 100% recyclable
  • Naturally produced
  • Durable
  • Naturally resistant to fungi and algae

Cleaning and maintenance are also much easier due to copper’s natural durability and resistance.

Pros and Cons of Copper Guttering

Copper has its pros and cons, like any material you choose for gutters. A few of the pros and cons to consider are:

Pros

  • Boost your home’s value
  • Less prone to expansion and contraction
  • Lifespan of 80 – 100 years
  • Higher durability than aluminum

Cons

  • Lack of installers with experience
  • Higher price than comparable materials
  • Heavier than aluminum
  • HOA issues

One major issue to consider is if your homeowner’s association (HOA) will allow you to install copper gutters. While many will allow you to choose your own gutter type, you’ll need approval to ensure that no one complains and hassles you from the HOA.

Copper isn’t the “norm,” so it’s not uncommon for neighbors to complain.

However, the aged copper gutters will make a home look like it has history and an antique appeal. If you have a farmhouse or barndo, adding copper gutters will complete the look.

Plus, over time, the gutters will form their own natural patina.

Examples of Copper Gutters in Real-world Projects

Copper gutters make a traditionally boring part of a home gorgeous. However, if you prefer a vintage or aged look, copper is the way to go. Not surprisingly, they’re popular with barndos and modern farmhouses.

Although they add beauty to the home, the copper gutters are not glaringly obvious or overly showy. They’re a subtle addition to the barn that will only become more beautiful over time.

While copper gutters sound great on paper, you may be wondering what they actually look like. Let’s look at one stunning example: The Bank Barn.

White Horse Construction Bank Barn With Copper Gutters

Beautiful use of copper gutter system on the white exterior
Bank Barn Project - Malvern, PA by White Horse Construction

Located in Malvern, PA, the Bank Barn is a project brought to life by White Horse Construction. The 38’ x 38’ timber frame barn features a stunning tack room, three horse stalls, board and batten siding made from Cyprus and a standing seam metal roof.

But what really catches your eye when you look at this barn is the copper gutters. Along with function, the gutters add warmth and an antique appeal to the exterior. The Azek Cupola’s roof is also made of copper, which further complements the gutters.

One thing is for sure, copper gutters look good on most homes, including the following styles:

  • High-end custom homes
  • Victorian
  • Tudor
  • Barndos
  • Historic homes
  • Traditional homes
  • More

Copper gutters are a beautiful addition to many homes, and they should last a lifetime before needing to be replaced. If you do opt for copper, be sure to replace the entire guttering system of the home.

Why?

Mix-matching gutters will make your home stand out for all of the wrong reasons. You’ll find that adding all copper will provide a nice, seamless look that will add value and appeal to your home.

Also, double-check to make sure that your HOA allows copper gutters. Not all do, and there may be specific covenants for the exterior of your home that you have to abide by.

If you’ve done all of your homework and decided that copper gutters are the right investment for your home, all that’s left to do is find the right manufacturer and installer for the job.

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