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Understanding the Pros and Cons of the Different Rain Gutter Systems

Main Rain Gutter Mounting Systems

You have a torrent of rain pounding on your roof as you watch the water cascade over your house eaves.  Now, walking out your front door without going under a waterfall is the task at hand, all while trying to place that sump pump in your crawl space.  You may need a gutter system for your home at this point! Rain gutters are not the most glamorous feature of your home, but they do serve a critical purpose. By draining water away from your home, they protect your home’s foundation, siding, windows, and doors.

Our goal at Rain-Go Exteriors is to educate the homeowner in their options when choosing a gutter system.What material should I choose when deciding on a gutter system?  Gutters can be made from copper, galvanized steel, aluminum or vinyl.  Below is a list the pros and cons of each:

Copper Pros 

  • Increases value of home substantially
  • Elegant
  • Prestigious
  • Durable,lasting 30 years


Copper Cons

  • More Expensive per square foot (Call for Pricing)
  • Will need everything to be copper including all accessories
  • Installation requires extra time to avoid premature tarnishing
  • Requires additional soldering around joints


Galvanized Steel Pros

  • Durable lasting 20 years
  • Does not crack in heat
  • Can be painted


Galvanized Steel Cons

  • Expands and contracts with heat
  • Higher Maintenance with Problematic Leaking Seams over Time
  • Smaller Range of Colors/Styles


Aluminum Pros

  • Fairly Inexpensive per square foot (Call for Pricing)
  • Easy to Install and Lightweight
  • Over 25 Different Colors
  • Durability of 25 years
  • 5 Inch or 6 Inch Width with Oversize 3 x 4 Downspouts Recommended


Aluminum Cons

  • Aluminum will rust faster than copper
  • Aluminum more susceptible to thermal changes


Vinyl Pros

  • Does not rust,rot or require a finish
  • Easy for Do-It-Yourself Jobs
  • Purchase from any hardware store


Vinyl Cons

  • Can become brittle and cracked over a very short time
  • Colors are limited to mostly white/black
  • Dark colors degrade from sunlight exposure over a very short time

Gutter Guards Pros

  • No gutter cleaning
  • Saves time and money over long term

Gutter Guards Cons

  • Short term moderate costs for material and installation



Gutters are attached along the fascia (eaves) by several means including straps, brackets, and hangers. The hidden hanger method is the most widely used system for securing gutters. The older spike & ferrule system faded out of the industry in the late nineties due to the spikes eventually pulling out of the fascia. This caused the gutters to pull away from the home with extensive fascia rot. The hangers used today in the industry are secured to the fascia with stainless steel screws.

No matter what the mounting system is, the fascia must be at a 90-degree angle to have the gutter level and properly sloped to the water table.  Many contractors do not have a clue of how to resolve this issue, especially in older historical homes. The gutter contractor must have the knowledge and skill set to build a custom aluminum wedge to build up the fascia to a 90-degree angle. You cannot just hang a gutter on a section of fascia and hope for the best.

Once the homeowner has decided on the type of gutter material and mounting system, then the true work begins – finding a skilled gutter contractor. We have truckloads of used gutters, not to mention all the fascia that we have replaced from homeowners who mistakenly thought all gutter contractors are the same.  To save you money and prevent your gutters from ending up in our pile, we have a few suggestions.First, hire a Licensed General Contractor who has accountability to a licensing board. Second, make sure the company carries worker’s compensation and general liability insurance. Finally, make sure the contractor offers a warranty on their work.

At Rain-Go Exteriors we meet all the above! We also offer transferable warranties. This means if you are selling or buying a home, then our warranty will benefit both parties.  The owner Tim Howell has been operating Rain-Go Exteriors for over 21 years,servicing Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill locations.Give us a call today for all your roofing or gutter home projects at 919 875-0700 or e-mail us here:  Rain-Go .

Don’t just take our word for it! Here are recent reviews of work completed for customers like you with links of where to find them:

Review 1 from google reviews:

Marielle White

RainGo is an amazing company to work with. We contacted Tim when pricing gutters for our home but then reviewing his website I realized he also did decks and exterior work. He was straightforward and I was happy that they only used full time employees for their jobs. We had Tim install our gutters and then replace an exterior door. Steve, his crew manager, was efficient and always willing to listen to my requests. Tim visited at the end of each job to make sure we were pleased and we were.

After being impressed with the process we again hired RainGo to demolish our old deck, build a new one and then install a sliding glass door (removing windows in the process) to access the new deck. Tim and Susan handled the permitting, our deck was scheduled and finished in a few days. The permitting process took several weeks but that was in the hands of Wake County, not Tim.

After our door arrived, it was installed and then dry walled to perfection.
Steve even hung up my broken crawlspace door and added matching siding to it without us asking just as a bonus. I’m so pleased with the work that was done. I’m happy to know that our projects add to our home’s value and more importantly to our family’s enjoyment.


Read This Google 5 star review here


Review 2 on Google:

Ty Ballard

Tim and his crew provided excellent work and service. You immediately get the sense that Tim will provide you his honest best work based on a lifetime of experience, price it fairly, and guarantee the work. He delivered on all counts, and even addressed a loud drip in the gutters outside our bedroom window (which was simply the gutters functioning as advertised, but was loud nonetheless). They made this adjustment at no cost. Highly recommended.


Read This Google 5 star review here


Review 3 on Yelp! :

I was considering installing new gutters with gutter guards, and I also knew that I had some rotten siding that needed to be replaced. I contacted several companies to help determine exactly what work needed to be done and to provide estimates for that work. Of the four companies that visited my house, no one impressed me more than Tim Howell, owner of Rain-Go. Tim spent more than two hours (!!) examining my house, climbed over the entire roof, photographed issues of concern, and then discussed with me in detail the work that he thought should be done. (I should add, I contacted Rain-Go because I was so impressed with the info available on their website: Tim has posted dozens of videos of his crews doing the actual repair work on homes, providing audio descriptions of their process while at work. The transparency of this company astounded me, and the videos showed an amazing commitment on the part of these guys to do the very best job possible, working coherently as a team.) Based on the videos I’d reviewed and the confidence I developed in Tim based on his visit to provide an estimate, there was no doubt at all that I wanted Rain-Go to do this work. I can’t express strongly enough how happy I am with that decision. From start to finish, working with Rain-Go was a great experience. From every contact I had with Susan, the happiest and most upbeat scheduler and office manager I’ve ever dealt with, to the actual work done by Tim’s crew, I could not have hoped for a better outcome. The Rain-Go team arrived on time, worked non-stop and finished the job in two days, as scheduled. As a team, it was clear that these men had worked together for years, and their experience showed both in the commitment to their work and the quality of the job they did. They weren’t satisfied until every detail of the work, large and small, was completed to the highest standard. I am so happy with the job they did! And their clean-up at the end was absolutely meticulous. I’ve had handy-men come in to do very small jobs who left large messes behind, but that was not the case with the Rain-Go team. Frankly, I was amazed at how spotless my deck and yard were when they left! Rain-Go charged a modestly higher rate to do the work I needed to have done, but it was completely worth the slightly higher cost: These guys are perfectionists, they know what they are doing and they work as a well-oiled team to do the job right. I was so pleased, I have already now booked them to replace my roof!

Follow-up: In November Rain-Go replaced the roof on my 2,050sf home and on a 250sf outbuilding. As before, the team arrived on time, with a large crew that was fantastic. They finished the work in one day. I am so pleased with the excellent work they did, and with the AMAZING clean-up they did before leaving.  Tim and the entire crew at Rain-Go are absolutely the best.  Having hired them twice, I can recommend them with great enthusiasm, and I’d happily hire them again in the future. You won’t find a better company for roofing or home repairs!

Click here to read this Review on

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