Comparing Traditional & Seamless Gutters: What Type Is Best for Your Home?

Learn more about the differences between traditional and seamless gutters and factors to consider when choosing the best type for your home.

Long shot of a new gutter

Gutters play a critical role in the overall functionality and longevity of your roofing system, as they help channel rainwater away from your home’s foundation, walls, and landscaping.

Naturally, choosing the right gutters for your home is crucial to ensuring proper protection and aesthetic uniformity. When making a decision on gutters, you must consider size, shape, material, and type.

Gutters come in several size options—the most common size is 5 inches, but don’t assume this is the right size for your system—we recommend having a professional perform measurements to determine what size gutters you need.

In addition to size, there are a couple of different gutter shapes you can choose from: half-round (shaped like a tube cut in half) and k-style (flat bottom and back)—preference simply comes down to the architectural style of your home, typically historical homes will have half-round gutters. Gutters can also be constructed from various materials, most commonly aluminum, copper, and vinyl.

Finally, you must consider the type of gutter you want to install: traditional/seamed or seamless.

In this article, we’ll discuss the differences between these two options, including advantages, cost, and maintenance requirements.


One section of a traditional gutter system

Seamed gutters have a distinct design that sets them apart from their seamless counterparts. They’re constructed in sections, which are typically 10 to 20 feet long. The sections are then joined together along the length of the roofline resulting in seams where the sections meet.

Installing these gutters involves measuring, cutting, and fastening the sectional pieces along the roof’s edge, then all of those seams are sealed with a special sealant to prevent leaks. 


  • Easy to Install: The sectional nature of traditional gutters makes them easier to handle and install, sometimes resulting in lower installation costs.
  • Accessibility for Repairs: In case of damage or wear, individual sections of the gutter can be replaced.
  • Customizable Lengths: Traditional gutters can be cut to custom lengths during installation, allowing for a certain degree of flexibility in fitting them to various roof sizes and shapes.


The joint to one section of a gutter system has popped out, showing an empty hole where the screw used to be that connected the joints together.

While seamed gutters have their advantages, there are many drawbacks to keep in mind:

  • Potential for Leaks: The seams in traditional gutters can become points of weakness over time, leading to leaks. Regular maintenance is required to seal the seams and prevent water damage.
  • Clogging Issues: Seamed gutters are more prone to clogging, as debris can accumulate at the seams, so more frequent cleaning is required.
  • Aesthetic Issues: The presence of seams can detract from the smooth appearance of the gutter system, potentially impacting the overall aesthetic of the home’s exterior. Plus, the color/painting of gutters fades faster. They also scratch easily and collect pollen and plant debris, causing dark black streaks and unsightly greening or discoloration.
  • Durability: Traditional gutters may not be as durable as seamless options, particularly in harsh weather conditions. The seams can weaken over time, leading to sagging or separation.
  • Risk of Damage: Many seamed gutters are made from a lower quality, thinner aluminum. The thinness or (gauge) of the aluminum makes the gutters more vulnerable to damage. The sections in traditional gutters can also be more susceptible to damage from ladders, fallen branches, or heavy snow and ice accumulation. Additionally, traditional gutters are installed using spikes or ferrules. Over time, these spikes/ferrules will loosen, causing the gutters to ultimately fall during heavy rain or in the event of an ice dam.


The average cost can vary widely based on several factors.

First, material choice matters. Vinyl gutters are usually the most affordable, followed by aluminum and steel. Copper gutters, though less common for seamed types, can be significantly more expensive.

Second, the total length of gutters needed for the home will impact the cost. Larger homes, or those with complex roof designs, may require more gutter material, increasing the overall price.

The complexity of the gutter installation impacts overall costs, particularly labor costs. Factors like the height of the house, roofline accessibility, and the number of stories can influence how easy or difficult the installation process will be. 

Labor and material costs can also vary depending on the region. Areas with a higher cost of living may see higher prices for gutter installations.

Lastly, additional features like gutter guards, downspouts, and decorative elements can add to the cost.

Maintenance Requirements

Seamed gutters require more routine maintenance than seamless. Primary maintenance tasks include:

  • Removing twigs, leaves, and other obstructive materials from the gutters and downspouts
  • Regularly inspecting the seams and joints for signs of leaks
  • Re-sealing joints as needed
  • Checking for sagging and alignment issues
  • Removing ice dams in the winter


Long shot of a new gutter

Seamless gutters are characterized by their continuous seamless design, which sets them apart from traditional gutters. The seamless design not only contributes to a more sleek and polished look but also significantly reduces the likelihood of leaks and clogs. They are custom-made on-site to fit the exact dimensions of a home and are available in more material options, colors, and finishes than traditional gutters.


  • Reduced Leaks: Their design minimizes the number of seams, which are common leak points.
  • Low Maintenance: With fewer seams, this gutter type is less prone to clogging from leaves and debris, making them easier to maintain and clean.
  • Durability: Often made from sturdy materials, seamless gutters are durable and long-lasting. Their construction reduces the risk of sagging and damage over time.
  • Increased Efficiency: Their design improves water flow and drainage, effectively reducing the risk of foundation damage, landscaping erosion, and basement flooding.
  • Value for Money: While the initial cost may be slightly higher than traditional gutters, the long-term savings in maintenance and repair costs make them well worth the investment.
  • Aesthetically Pleasing: The smooth, continuous line of seamless gutters provides a clean look that improves curb appeal. They are also available in various colors and styles to match different architectural designs.


Photo of a gutter machine in the back of a truck
  • Higher Initial Cost: Because seamless gutters are made with highly durable materials and custom-made on-site, they typically have a slightly higher upfront cost than traditional gutters.
  • Complex Installation: Some homeowners opt to DIY their gutter installations—this is definitely not a gutter type you can DIY. The installation process for seamless gutters requires the use of a portable gutter extrusion machine and skilled professionals.


As already mentioned, the cost of installing seamless gutters is a little higher than traditional gutters due to equipment and talent necessary to make them. The cost will also vary based on the factors we covered earlier: material choice, size/layout of the home, installation complexity, geographic location, and additional features that are also being installed, like downspouts and gutter guards.

Maintenance Requirements

  • Cleaning the gutters at least twice a year to remove leaves, twigs, and other debris. We recommend doing this in the fall and spring when leaves and blossoms are more likely to accumulate.
  • Inspecting the corners and joints and the areas around downspouts for leaks. If leaks are found, seal them.
  • Periodically checking that the gutters are properly aligned and sloping towards the downspouts.
  • Checking for ice dams and icicles in the winter, which can add weight and strain to the gutters.

Which One Should You Choose?

Choosing between traditional and seamless gutters ultimately comes down to three things:

  1. Budget: If you’re looking to save money upfront, traditional gutters will definitely be cheaper. However, traditional gutters are prone to leaks and can be more easily damaged compared to seamless. While you’ll definitely save money upfront, you may end up spending more down the road.
  2. Maintenance Preferences: If you want a low-maintenance option, seamless gutters are the best choice. All they require is periodic inspections and bi-annual cleaning, whereas traditional gutters require regularly removing debris, routine visual inspections, and joint re-sealing.
  3. Location/Climate: If you’re in an area that frequently receives heavy rainfall, we can’t recommend seamless gutters enough. They are designed to be more durable and leakproof than traditional gutters and will prevent future headaches (and costly repairs).

We have many years of combined experience installing gutter systems—in our professional opinion, seamless gutters are the way to go. While the initial cost is higher than traditional, the cost difference is not dramatic, and the benefits of seamless systems far outweigh any cost considerations. Think of it this way—would you rather install a new gutter system once at a slightly higher cost or install a low-quality option that requires more maintenance and is more prone to leaking? 

Our Seamless Gutter System

Long shot of a new gutter coming out of a truck

L&S Home Improvements provides 5- and 6-inch seamless gutter options made from premium materials and exceptional gutter protection solutions that fortify your system and reduce the need for seasonal cleaning. We can even install 6-inch downspouts onto 5-inch gutters in certain areas of your home to push water away quickly.

Our seamless system uses aluminum rivets to hold pieces together and features a counterweight-hidden bracket system installed every two feet. These top-quality brackets fit inside the gutter and feature a screw, which stays in place throughout seasonal changes, unlike spikes/ferrules, which loosen over time. We also drive the screw into the wood on a slight downward angle, which helps keep it stable, even during heavy rain or if ice dams form. Our seamless gutters come from a thicker gauge aluminum, are heat-treated, and have baked-on paint to ensure less damage over time, better color retention, and mold and mildew resistance. We also seal all corners, downspout cutouts, and other susceptible areas with a silicone sealant to improve strength and prevent leaks.

Install New Gutters Today

Before and after of a home with new seamless gutters

If you need new gutters, don’t wait too much longer to replace them. They’re critical to maintaining the health of your roof and your home’s foundation.

When you schedule your gutter installation with us, our team will help you pick the right size and perform an in-depth water flow analysis to ensure your system effectively protects your home. Our team also looks at all angles of your existing gutter system to find a solution that will protect all facets of your home. 

In order to meet every budget we offer easy financing options (subject to credit approval) through GreenSky and Enhancify, including a No Interest No Payment option. We also accept ALL Major debit and credit cards as well as check or cash. 

Please contact us today to learn more about our installation process or to request a free estimate.


Superior Service.
Uncompromising Quality.

Drone view of home with new black roof

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