Gutter sizes--can you get 4" aluminum?

artemis78July 9, 2014

We need to replace our gutters, and are in the process of getting bids. We need 4" gutters. Two companies are telling us that the minimum size for aluminum gutters is 5" unless they are custom-made, so we need to go with galvanized steel. The third company says that no, aluminum gutters are definitely available in 4" and quoted us for that. I can't seem to find references to 4" aluminum gutters anywhere online. Anyone have a clue as to whether this actually exists?? (We actually have no strong preference between the two--the current steel gutters lasted 40+ years--but I'm trying to figure out whether the third company knows what they're talking about or not, since they are also the lowest bid!) Thanks!

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Most "4 inch" aluminum gutter are either 4 1/2" or 4 7/8" Depending on where you buy them. Home Depot sells 4 7/8 while Lowes sell 4 1/2.

Continuous Gutters.

The third guy may still have an old setup for 4" gutter systems.

The two Continuous Gutter guys here no longer offer 4" gutter for homes. They stepped up to 5" due mainly to so many people are having metal roofing installed that a 4: gutter cant catch all of the runoff and it shoots over top of most 4 inch gutters..

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 1:15PM
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Thanks--that's what I was afraid of. We have an older home with dovetail rafter tails that can only accommodate true 4" gutters, and the third guy had initially proposed using 5" continuous gutters and cutting the rafter tails off so they'd fit. I said keeping the tails was non-negotiable so they then sent the proposal for 4" gutters instead. My fear is that their crew will show up with something that doesn't fit and then try to cut the rafter tails or otherwise modify things to get them in. Sounds like I need to ask more questions to figure out if it's possible that they do still have a setup for 4" gutters...don't want to be swayed by the price only to have trouble later.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 1:25PM
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5" K style gutters are the standard. HD, Lowes etc alll started using 4-1/2" or 4-3/4" to save aluminum which means lower cost. I have never seen nor heard of a 4" gutter.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 4:10PM
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Thanks--I called and asked, and they do not have the ability to make them locally, so plan to special order them from their supplier. Hopefully that means they do exist (or perhaps the supplier has the equipment) but I'm still a bit skeptical....

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 5:29PM
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Before the mid 60's most standard gutters were 4". Then the standard became 5". It is not uncommon to find houses built well into the 70's that have 4" gutters that had been installed by Continuous/Seamless gutter companies. And many with gutters that were bought in lengths of 4, 8 or 10' and pieced together. Our local hardware store still stocks it and the hardware for it.

Poke Here for 4" gutters.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 11:36PM
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Yup. My 1973 built home had 4" seamless aluminum gutters that I replaced a couple of years ago with 5" or 6" gutters.

I'm in the MD suburbs of DC.

This post was edited by saltidawg on Fri, Jul 11, 14 at 15:51

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 8:51AM
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Very well then I stand corrected from what I have seen here n L.I. the norm was pretty much always the 5" or 6".

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 1:23PM
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5 and 6" gutters are the norm and have been since the mid 60's. Once the 5" became the norm the companies that already had 4" formers and did not want to invest in new equipment just continued to use them until they wore out well into the mid 70's. By this time the 5" formers/rollers were cheaper to buy than a 4".

I have saw a few houses built during the 50 and 60's that were built in such a way that 5" or larger gutters would not work. The owners had to resort to buying "joints" of 4" to replace their old systems.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 8:21PM
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Thanks hippy, I was never aware of that. Learn something new every day.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2014 at 7:30AM
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2" are and were common for mobile homes, by ALUMAX.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 8:52AM
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Thanks all! Yes, we have one of those older homes (1910s) for which 5" gutters won't work without modifying architectural features of the home, which we aren't willing to do. We did get one more bid and now have three companies that say aluminum 4" cannot be had and one that thinks they can special order it. Of the first three, two want to use 5" aluminum gutters and modify the gutters to fit by cutting down one side, and one wants to use 4" galvanized steel (which is what we have now). We've decided not to use the company that wants to order the gutters for unrelated reasons. We're honestly pretty torn at this point--cutting down the gutters seems like a flawed plan, but now that two different, reputable companies have suggested it, maybe it's a thing people do that really doesn't compromise the gutters? We like the galvanized steel guy best and believe that his solution is the best for the home's architecture, but he is also the highest bid by quite a bit. So frustrating! Any thoughts on this dilemma?

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 5:03PM
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You are getting galvanized steel not aluminum and that is why the price is higher.

Copy & paste the link below and see if it shows up.

It is a link to 4" gutters sold at our local Lowes store.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:30PM
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Right--but isn't seamless aluminum supposed to be preferable to galvanized steel? Or is it really not a big issue as long as the steel gutters are properly installed and soldered? (It makes sense that they are more intensive to install given the work involved, in addition to the material--just want to be sure we're not paying more for something that is worth less for its intended function, if that makes sense.)

That is a great place for your local store to be, BTW! :)

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 12:18AM
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