Is Metal or Plastic Guttering Better?

It’s an age-old debate, and everyone has their own opinions when it comes to metal versus plastic guttering for a residential home. In reality, whether you opt for a metal or a plastic system on your home, maintenance is required to keep them it in tip-top condition, so if you were hoping for something that you could install and then forget about for a decade, you’d be hard-pressed to find it.

When you opt for plastic guttering on your home, you’re choosing something that is inexpensive, fairly easy to install, and doesn’t actually require the assistance of a professional guttering or roofing contractor, providing you do your research before starting the project. They’re a lighter material, making them easier to get up and down a ladder without the need for equipment or multiple people. Plastic is often the first option for those on a budget.

Plastic is also easily molded into a shape that works for your home. Bespoke plastic pieces are going to be cheaper to buy than bespoke metal pieces, and you can even customise segments at home with the right tools, meaning that once again, you probably won’t need to rely on the professionals. (Although, it is wise to remember that they are available if you don’t know what you’re doing, or what would rather not spend your weekends playing around with the guttering of your home.) If the wind gets up, plastic will bend in the breeze, much more flexible than its metal counterpart. The latter is more likely to dent and bend when it gets moved around. Plastic can bend to a greater angle before splitting or breaking, despite being the more fragile material of the two.

Although more expensive, metal guttering systems are considered to be more long-lasting. Much stronger and more durable than plastic, metal doesn’t succumb to the sun’s UV rays in quite the same way that plastic guttering will, and that means that the guttering will require replacing less frequently over the years. Advances in roofing and guttering technology also means that metal guttering can be created without seams, which adds less risk of general damage and wear and tear too. Newer, lighter materials, such as stainless steel and aluminium, also means that metal guttering is almost as light as plastic guttering, and certainly nowhere near as heavy or as problematic as it was once known to be. Metal is also less likely to be impacted by large storms; although, when they are, the damage can be more extensive. With plastic guttering, a small section of it can break with high winds or bad weather, but with metal, the entire system could be ripped from the house. This is more so the case with seamless systems.

When comparing the two, it is important to remember that price will have a big price to play in your decision. Metal guttering can be two, three or more times as expensive as plastic guttering, and the more bespoke you go, the more expensive it will be. You may also find that some roofing and gutter contractors only work with one or the other, and not both. As far as color options are concerned, you have just as many options with plastic as you do with metal, although most people choose the traditional silver-metal look because it looks nicer than colored metal or plastic. This is a personal decision. Unpainted metal guttering is going to have fewer problems with things such as paint peeling and scratching, etc., than painted systems will. If you were to ask our personal opinion on the plastic versus metal gutter debate, we’d simply say this: plastic is a great, cost-effective solution that is easier to install without professional assistance, but metal guttering is a more durable choice, more of a long-term investment.

Visit our Roof Contractor home page to learn more about us, or hire a local professional from over 100 USA locations.

© - Professional Roofing Contractors

This site is a free service to assist homeowners in connecting with local service contractors. All contractors are independent and this site does not warrant or guarantee any work performed. It is the responsibility of the homeowner to verify that the hired contractor furnishes the necessary license and insurance required for the work being performed. All person depicted in a photo or video are actors or models and not contractors listed on this site.