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Gutters

K-Style Gutters

Average cost range:

$1,650 - $3,000

The average cost in 2022 to install k-style gutters on a 2,000 square foot home in the U.S. is between $1,650 and $3,000. This includes the price of labor and installation, which typically runs between $2.15 and $4 per linear foot. The national average cost for k-style gutters is $11.60 per linear foot, but can cost more or less depending on the gutter material you choose.

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Buying new rain gutters may seem like an add-on that can be put off for a later date, but they actually are a crucial element of your home’s roof system. Gutters transport water off your home’s roofline and away from the foundation, which prevents soil erosion and water damage. K-style gutters are the most popular gutter style in the U.S. for a number of reasons. They are highly efficient at moving large amounts of stormwater away from homes and hold up well in most weather conditions and climates. They also are easy to install onsite, making installation a breeze for licensed gutter installation or roofing contractors. Lastly, the design of K-style gutters adds a decorative touch to exterior fascia akin to interior crown molding.

Modernize created this guide on K-style gutters for homeowners looking to complete gutter installation projects. We provide helpful information on how this type of gutter works, common k-style gutter sizes, expected lifespan, material options, costs, and more. Read on to learn why K-style gutters dominate the residential gutter market.

k style gutters

What are K-Style Gutters?

K-style gutters are the most popular out of all the available residential gutter styles on the market. They are named for their resemblance to the capital letter K when viewing the gutter’s  profile. This design, often created onsite from blank aluminum sheets that are passed through a gutter roll-forming machine, gives the gutter unmatched rigidity and strength that holds up well when the gutter is filled with rainwater or snowmelt. Some contractors might call this style an “ogee gutter” due to its pronounced double-curve design.

K-Style Gutters

This gutter style is found on the majority of homes in the United States

  • Highest rainwater capacity

  • Affordable price point

  • Last 20-50 years

  • Easy to install

K-style gutters are widely used in homes throughout America because they compliment a tremendous range of house architectural styles. While they are most commonly found in contemporary architectural styles, they also work well on older home architectural styles. This gutter style can also come in a variety of materials – including aluminum, galvanized steel, vinyl, and copper.

Types of Gutters

Learn more about the most popular and durable materials for home gutters

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Benefits of K-Style Gutters

There are a number of reasons why licensed roofing and gutter installation contractors prefer working with K-style gutters over half-round gutters:

  • Efficient during heavy rainfall. The gutter has a deeper profile than half-round gutters, so it can hold and transport more stormwater away from your roofline.
  • Solid lifespan. The “K” design gives the gutter increased strength, which can lead to a much longer lifespan.
  • Easy installation. They are easy to fabricate and install onsite, making them the preferred option for gutter installation companies. The flat back of the “K” can be nailed directly to the fascia, which simplifies installation even more.

K-style gutters do have a few drawbacks versus half-round gutters to keep in mind. Debris tends to collect easier in this style of gutter than gutters with a half-round profile, due to the “k” shape. This shape can also make them more difficult to clean. However, as long as you keep up with your regular gutter maintenance, or hire a professional gutter cleaning service, you should have nothing to worry about.

K-Style Gutters Dimensions and Rainwater Capacity

In this section we’ll go over common gutter sizes and their efficiency in moving rainwater. This will help you determine which size of gutter is the most appropriate for your home.

K-style gutters are made in widths ranging from 4” to 8,” but 5-inch-wide gutters are the most commonly used size. This is because they are more than adequate to handle stormwater in most climates. Homes with steep roof lines, as well as residences located in areas that see heavy rainfall, might need slightly wider 6-inch gutters to accommodate greater amounts of rainwater.

Licensed gutter contractors can help you determine which gutter size is best for your residence.

k style gutter sizes

If you want to get technical, you can multiply the drainage area of your roof by its pitch and the maximum rainfall intensity in your area. This will determine which size gutter will keep it from overflowing during an intense storm burst. Alternatively, you could follow a more simple guide for how much water your gutters can carry:

  • 5-inches wide: A 12-inch length of 5-inch wide K-style gutter can hold 1.2 gallons.
  • 6-inches wide: A 12-inch length of 6-inch K-style gutter can hold 2 gallons.

The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association also has a gutter sizing and downspout calculator on its website you can use to determine which k-style gutter dimension is best for your home.

Durability and Lifespan

The unique shape of K-style gutters lends itself to excellent durability and longevity, even with lighter-weight aluminum gutters. Gutter durability, however, is also determined by the material used to make the gutter troughs, downspouts and other components of a complete gutter system.

Use the chart below to get a baseline idea of gutter durability and lifespan by the k-style gutter material. 

K Style Gutters Lifespan
K-Style Gutter MaterialAverage LifespanAverage Cost per Linear ft.
VinylUp to 20 years$7
Aluminum20 - 30 years$11.69
Galvanized steel20 - 40 years$8.39
Copper50+ years$22.30

A great deal of factors can affect gutter durability and average lifespan. For example, gutters on a house in a rainy climate near the ocean will not last as long as gutters in a dry climate that sees little rainfall – even if they are made from the same material.

Routine maintenance – keeping the trough clear of debris, and painting any exposed metal – also can greatly extend the life of your gutters.

How Much Do K-Style Gutters Cost?

Several factors will determine the total cost to install new K-style gutters on your home, including:

  • The size of your home
  • Architectural style
  • Amount and size of gutters needed
  • Difficulty of installation
  • Local contractor labor rates
  • Choice of gutter materials
  • Number of downspouts
  • Gutter guards, if needed

The national average cost for K-style gutters is $11.63 per linear foot. However, K-style gutter installation prices can run anywhere from $8.25 to $15, depending on the variables mentioned above. This total cost includes the cost of professional installation, which can run $2.15 to $4 per linear foot, depending on your local labor rates. Also, if you want higher-end copper gutters, expect to pay even more than the amounts listed here.

We know there are a lot of variables in determining how much you will pay for new k-style gutters. But you can use our Gutters Cost Calculator to get a rough pricing estimate for pricing for your specific home.

Gutters Cost Calculator

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How Much Do Downspouts and Gutter Guards Cost?

Keep in mind that the above costs also are only for the gutter trough – they do not account for downspouts and gutter guards. Gutters without downspouts are like a car without a steering wheel. Downspouts are a necessary component to remove water from the gutter trough and transport it to the ground and away from your residence. A well-functioning gutter system has downspouts placed no greater than 40 feet apart.

Aluminum downspouts – the most popular type of gutter system – typically come prefabricated in 10-foot lengths and cost around $25 to $46 each. Other materials can run $31 to $62 each, and most homes require at least four downspouts. There are several different shapes from which to choose, but rectangular gutter downspouts are typically paired with K-style gutters.

Gutter guards are also an extremely important component of a properly functioning gutter system. Gutters guards are screens that are placed on top of the gutter trough to keep debris such as leaves and twigs from collecting inside the gutter. This detritus will impede water flow, reduce overall performance, and you will have to clean it out manually.

Gutter guards can cost anywhere between $45 and $1,005 for a 1,500 square foot home, depending on the type you choose and its durability.

K-Style vs. Half Round Gutters

Although k-style gutters are the most common type installed in homes across the U.S., it is also worth considering half-round gutters, the second-most widely used gutter style.

As the name implies, half-round gutters look like one-half of a circle. They are more often used on homes built in older residential architecture styles, such as Colonial, Victorian, bungalow, Cape Cod and American foursquare. However, they also can pair well with modern architectural designs, especially residences clad in stone or brick.

Lifespan, durability and other key factors are largely the same as k-style gutters. Installation costs are typically higher, since half-round gutters are not as easy to fabricate and install as K-style gutters.

Due to their shape, half-round gutters can transport water faster than K-style gutters. But since they have a slightly shallower profile, they hold less water.

A rough rule of thumb is that 6-inch half-round gutters hold the same amount of water as 5-inch K-style gutters.

Installing K-Style Gutters

Installing new gutters is different from other home improvement projects like a full bathroom or kitchen remodel – your licensed gutter contractor will not be working at your house for several weeks. Seamless gutters are often formed onsite from rolled aluminum, and are usually fabricated and hung in less than a day’s time.

Your gutter or roofing contractor will first determine where the gutters and downspouts will be installed, then measure the lengths needed for each part of your roof. If the gutters are formed onsite, the contractor will do most of the work on the ground with a roll-forming machine. After cutting the gutter troughs to the right lengths, the contractor will drill downspout holes at key locations in the bottom of the trough. Gutters must be hung with a slight slope to ensure rainwater doesn’t pool in the gutter.

A complete gutter system includes end caps, inside and outside corners, mounting brackets and downspouts. Gutter guards also are recommended to ensure peak performance. Note that there is a lot of expertise involved in building a complete gutter system. By hiring a professional, you can rest assured that the job will be done correctly and safely.

When you are ready to begin your gutter installation or replacement project, Modernize can connect you with local gutter contractors in your area.