Choosing the Ideal Rain Gutter Size for Your Home: 5″ vs. 6″ Gutters

rain gutters size

Choosing the Ideal Rain Gutter Size for Your Home: 5″ vs. 6″ Gutters

Every homeowner aspires to provide only the best care for their homes. This sentiment extends to essential home features like doors, windows, roofs, and flooring. But apart from these, your rain gutters also need your utmost attention.

Gutters are elongated, hollow structures affixed along the roof’s edges. Their role is pivotal in collecting rainwater and channeling it away from your home’s foundation, protecting it from any possible water damage.

Hence, selecting the appropriate gutter size is a critical decision every homeowner should take. The debate whether are 5 or 6  gutters better has long been a topic of discussion. Below is a guide on choosing the correct gutter size for your home.

Difference of 5 and 6-inch Gutter Sizes

The gutter size directly impacts their capacity to handle rainfall and debris. Hence, it is essential to know which size suits your home best.

Five and six inches are the most popular gutter sizes homeowners typically choose from. But before choosing, you must first know their differences.

5-inch gutters are the standard gutter size commonly used in residential buildings. Their width is approximately 5 inches from the outer edge to the back, while their depth and height may vary.

On the other hand, 6-inch gutter guards are the more popular choice due to their enhanced flow capacity. They are often chosen for homes in places with heavy rainfall or roofs with a large surface area.

Understanding Gutter Sizing

While knowing the appropriate gutter size for your home is challenging, it is crucial for effective rainwater management. Factors such as roof size, pitch, and local climatic conditions should be considered when deciding on the gutter size.

Below are five (5) fundamental steps to get the correct gutter size for your home:

1.    Determine the Roof’s Total Area

Different types of roofs require different ways to determine their total area.

For a gable roof, multiply the length and width of both slopes. Meanwhile, for hip, intersecting, gambrel, and mansard roofs, multiply the length and width of each flat section and then sum those values for the total square footage.

2.    Identify the Roof Pitch Multiplier

The roof pitch indicates the incline of your roof, revealing the vertical rise for every horizontal 12 inches.

Below is a table to determine a roof’s pitch factor:

Roof Pitch Roof Pitch Factor
12:12 or higher 1:3
9:12 to 11:12 1.2
6:12 to 8:12 1.1
4:12 to 5:12 1.05
0:12 to 3:12 1

3.    Identify the Maximum Rainfall Rate

The National Weather Service is a federal agency in the United States that provides the public with weather forecasts, warnings, and other information.

You can rely on this agency to assess whether your area receives substantial rainfall. Use this information to decide on what size of gutter you should install in your home.

4.    Calculate Adjusted Square Footage

To calculate the potential rainwater runoff from your roof,

you first need to determine your roof’s total surface area. Consider your roof’s pitch or slope, as this affects how quickly rainwater drains off. Lastly, factor in the maximum rainfall intensity in your region.

Once you get all the values, multiply them to estimate the potential rainwater volume your roof can collect or manage. Calculating this is necessary to plan effective rainwater harvesting or drainage systems.

5.    Select the Appropriate Gutter Size Based on its Type

Among all gutter types, K-style and half-round gutters are the most popular. But these two options have distinct differences that may affect your decision.

K-Style Gutters

K-style are popular for their affordability, durability, and ease of installation. Their deeper profile allows them to efficiently manage a significant amount of water, making them one of the most practical choices for gutter. Their design can also seamlessly complement modern roofs.

  • For roofs under 5,520 adjusted square feet, it is best to choose 5-inch K-style gutters.
  • Choose 6-inch gutters for roofs with 5,530 and 8,000 adjusted square feet.

Half-Round Gutters

Half-round gutters resemble pipes split in half. Compared to K-style gutters, they are considered more aesthetically appealing. Half-round gutters are also popular for being easy to clean and maintain.

However, their issue lies with how shallow they are and their low water-holding capacity. Hence, half-round gutters are not recommended to be installed in average-sized houses that may need to manage rainwater more effectively.

  • Roofs with under 2,500 adjusted square feet can use 5-inch half-round gutters.
  • If your roof area is between 2,500 and 3,850 adjusted square feet, 6-inch gutters are the most recommended.

But while all these are valuable tips you can use to identify and answer your questions like “Do 6-inch gutters look good or 5-inches are better?” consulting a seasoned professional is still the wisest thing to do. Their expertise offers meticulous analysis to ensure the optimal gutter size is tailored precisely to meet your unique requirements and preferences.

What is the Better Choice?

When you ask a professional, their answer will be pretty much the same – 6-inch gutters are better.

While the final decision would still depend on the size of your roof, size undeniably holds significance when it comes to guttering. Therefore, upgrading from 5-inch to 6-inch gutters can yield substantial enhancements, particularly in the efficiency of your drainage system.

In addition, 6-inch gutters provide a 50% increase in water-holding capacity compared to 5-inch gutters. This alone presents a notable advantage.

If your current gutters struggle to manage the water flow during storms, it is a clear indicator that an upgrade is warranted. This not only safeguards your foundation by ensuring the maximum water diversion away from your residence but also shields the vegetation beneath the guttering and prevents the formation of channels post-rainfall.

Work with the Best Gutter Installer in California

From redirecting rainwater away from foundations to preventing erosion, basement flooding, and structural damage, there is no doubt that gutters are one of the most crucial components of every home. Therefore, gutters must be properly maintained to ensure longevity and your home’s structural integrity.

Originally called Lucky Installations, L.I. Metal Systems was established in 1970 by Tony Chiovare and Peter Buekckert. The company started with humble beginnings until it gained more and more popularity by pioneering the concept of seamless rain gutters in California. Since then, L.I. Metal Systems has established its name as a reliable gutter installer.

To work with us, you may visit our website at

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