4 Important things to consider when replacing gutters

When doing house renovations, gutters are often an overlooked and underthought-about subject. You know that they are essential to your home, protecting it from potential water damage. And you also know that they play a role in your home’s aesthetic. But that is often the extent of most people’s knowledge of gutters, so they the rest to the professionals. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, some contractors will use deceptive practices simply to get your business. This could be using cheaper and low-quality materials, using installation techniques that, while functional, don’t look pleasing. And also leaving out important details simply because they know most homeowners won’t know better. Below are four things to know about and consider when getting your gutters replaced.

Downspouts over your shingles

One of the most common things that we see left out on competitors’ quotes and installations is the addition of downspouts over shingles. When you have a downspout coming from your upper roof and emptying onto your lower roof, it prematurely wears out your shingles by dramatically increasing the water flow to that area. This results in a shorter life span of your shingles and a pricey replacement sooner than should be needed. To avoid this, we recommend adding a downspout over your roof, going directly into your lower story gutter to counter this. This eliminates any premature wear on your shingles, increasing your roof life for a small amount of money. 

Many eavestroughing contractors avoid informing homeowners of the benefits of adding downspouts from their upper levels over their roofs simply to increase the chance of getting the job. Adding the extra labor and material needed to install the shingle-saving downspouts increases the overall project price. While one downspout won’t affect it too much, multiple downspouts will. As a result, contractors do not add it to their quote as they fear the price difference for their estimate with the downspouts added, compared to an estimate from a competitor without, will seem expensive and overpriced. While receiving estimates for your eavestroughing replacement, it is important to ask for downspouts over your shingles; otherwise, it might end up costing you more in the long run.

Gutters on Dormers

While not necessarily needed, installing eavestroughing on dormers can prove to be beneficial. Not only can the aid in the rerouting of the water coming off of your dormer roof, protecting the shingles beneath from potential premature wear, but it can also add in aesthetic enhancements as well. The gutters are not only able to add additional contrast to your roofline through the use of opposing colors, but it also adds in more “meat.” Meaning it helps make your dormers appear bigger. Lastly, the use of various types of gutters, such as European Half Round Gutters, can add a much-needed distinctive look to your home. 

Corner Details

One of the main reasons people get their eavestroughing replaced is leaking corners. With corners typically being the only joints/seams on modern gutters, it is not hard to see why. But did you know that how the corner was installed also impacts the chances of it leaking? 

Depending on the type of corner, either a customer mitre, box mitre, or stripe mitre, the chance of it leaking increases. Customer mitre corners are by far the most popular choice in Alberta, followed by stripe mitres and lastly, box mitres which are typically used by homeowners who are replacing their gutters themselves.

Custom miter corners are exactly as they sound. They are custom cut to fit the building exactly, being finished with either bent tabs on the outside or hidden to look like a picture frame. These corners only have one seam and, therefore, only one place to leak. Most gutter contractors install corners with the tabs bent on the outside, typically because it is faster and easier to install and therefore cheaper for them. We install them to look like a picture frame, meaning there are no tabs to be seen and instead appear almost like a picture frame corner (hence the name).

Stipe and Box mitre corners are typically installed on new homes or by homeowners. Stripe mitres, like custom mitres, only require one joint/seam if installed correctly. Box mitres, on the other hand, result in two joints/seams no matter what, greatly increasing the chance of a leak. Both stripe and box mitre corners require at least four screws to hold the corner together, which increases the potential for leaks, whereas custom mitres only require two. These corners also do not look the best as they protrude the gutter, sticking out like a sore thumb.

Knowing which corner style will be used on your gutter replacement is a lesser-known but important detail. This can allow you to properly compare quote to quote and save you from an increased chance of leaks. 


Most people would like to believe that gutters are a out of sight out of mind type thing. While this would be nice, it simply is not the case. You must think of many things when it comes to gutter maintenance, such as are they clean of leaves and other debris? Are they flowing correctly? Is there ice building up in them during the winter? These things result in a worrying mind and extra chores for you as you now have to either check on these things yourself or hire someone to do it for you. 

Most of, if not all of these issues can be solved by installing your gutters using an Alu-rex leaf guard hanger system. These leaf guards are installed by clipping onto your eavestrough before installation and becoming the hanger system, eliminating the need for other hangers. This allows for continuous support along the whole gutter opposed to just where the traditional hangers would be. In addition to added support, the Alu-rex leaf guard also protects against, you guessed it, leaf’s! Providing a consistent cover to your eavestroughing, including the corners and over the downspouts ensuring no debris gets in. With two products available, T-Rex or DoublePro, Alu-Rex has a leaf guard solution for you. To find out more about the benefits Alu-Rex, read this article

Choosing the right gutter installer

When getting your eavestroughing replaced it can be hard to choose between gutter installation companies. We always recommend getting a minimum of three quotes to all of our potential customers. By doing so you can get an accurate price range for the replacement instead of assuming that the cost provided by one company is the industry standard. Getting multiple quotes also allows you to compare apples-to-apples, showing you what each gutter installer is providing you with so you know that you are getting the best value possible. 

At Let It Flow Exteriors we are experts in all things exteriors, proving gutter, soffit and fascia, siding, and faux stone installation services. Proudly serving Parkland County, Edmonton, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, and surrounding areas. We are a family-owned and operated business that prides itself on our workmanship and customer service. Call 780-932-2810, email [email protected] or visit Let It Flow Exteriors for a free no-obligation quote.