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This study analyzes US demand for residential gutter and downspout products (also referred to as rainware) by product, market, material, and region. Historical data for 2010, 2015, and 2020 and forecasts for 2025 and 2030 are presented in dollars and in linear feet (excluding hardware and accessories).
Residential gutter and downspout demand is segmented into the following product categories:
gutters (seamless and preformed)
downspouts (seamless and preformed)
meshes and screens
hood and covers
foams and bristles
hardware and accessories:
hardware, including elbows and other connectors, end caps, miters, outlets, brackets, hangers, and straps and other mounting hardware
accessories, including conductor heads; downspout drain guards, strainers, and extenders; splash guards; rain chains; rainwater harvesting equipment; and deicing systems
For the purposes of this report, gutter guards that are part of one-piece gutter systems are counted as gutters.
The residential gutter and downspout market segments analyzed are:
residential improvement and repair
Excluded from the definition of residential buildings are housing units located in a structure whose primary purpose is something other than habitation. Thus, a small living space contained in a larger retail facility would be classified as part of a retail building and not a residential building.
The gutter and downspout materials addressed in the study are:
copper, zinc, and other materials, such as wood, fiberglass, concrete (Finlock)
Additionally, demand for gutter and downspout products is broken out for the following US geographic regions and subregions:
Northeast (Middle Atlantic and New England)
Midwest (East North Central and West North Central)
South (South Atlantic, East South Central, and West South Central)
West (Mountain and Pacific)
Demand by Material
Materials in the residential market are chosen primarily on the basis of price and aesthetics:
Aluminum is the dominant material used in residential markets – representing 77% of demand for residential gutter and downspout products in 2020 – and is typically favored over steel due to its lower cost, corrosion resistance, light weight, and ease of formability.
Steel is most commonly used in northern climates where heavy snow and ice buildup require gutters to have greater strength. The material is also often specified for apartment and condominium complexes, which tend to have larger roof expanses and thus need gutter systems capable of handling heavy fluid flows.
Plastic is expected to post the fastest growth from the smallest sales base in value terms due to increased demand for gutter guard products. Plastic gutters and downspouts will also see sales gains, particularly among DIY consumers.
Growth for copper, zinc, and other products will be supported by homeowner efforts – especially those of high-end consumers – to install these products to boost the curb appeal and value of their properties.
The pricing environment for residential gutter and downspout products is quite varied, reflecting the wide variety of materials utilized in these products and the different pricing pressures encountered by each material:
Aluminum is the least expensive metal available for gutter and downspout fabrication; steel used to be comparably priced but costs have increased over the last decade.
Plastic gutter and downspout products constitute the lowest cost option for rain carrying systems, largely due to the low cost of PVC relative to most metals.
The most expensive products are fabricated from copper and zinc – due to the higher base cost of these metals compared to aluminum and steel – or wood, reflecting the value-added nature of hand-craftsmanship.
Cost competitiveness is a major factor affecting choice of material in the aluminum, steel, and plastic segments of the market:
Long-term increases in the price of steel, which were further exacerbated by the tariffs levied on many imported Chinese products in 2017 and 2018, have put steel at a disadvantage compared to aluminum and will continue to do so going forward.
Plastic products are sold in hardware stores and big-box retailers and are intended for DIY customers, so a low price is essential to counterbalance the better performance of metal products installed by contractors.
The average gutter guard price is lower than those of gutters and downspouts due to a much higher concentration of low-cost plastic products like foams, bristles, and meshes. However, some gutter guards can be expensive, such as those that nearly completely cover the top of the gutter and are custom-designed to meet the exact dimensions of the gutter system to which they are attached. In some cases, these systems can cost as much or more than the gutter and downspout system itself.
Demand by Application
Demand for gutter and downspout products in residential markets is projected to increase an average of 2.0% annually to $4.1 billion in 2025, with demand in terms of linear feet rising an average of less than 1.0% per year to 1.7 billion:
New construction applications will see the more rapid growth in the short term due to a boost in housing completions through 2021, leading to faster average growth through 2025.
The improvement and repair segment will remain the larger application, supported by the large stock of homes with older gutter systems at or near the end of their product lifespan.
Residential demand for gutter and downspout products in the US is forecast to rise 2.0% per year to $4.1 billion, equivalent to 1.7 billion linear feet, in 2025. Advances will be supported by:
the replacement of older or worn roofs, as gutters and downspouts are often replaced as part of roof repair and replacement projects
rising interest in the use of gutters and downspouts to direct water away from basements and building foundations to minimize water damage
expanding use of gutter guards to prevent gutters from being clogged by fallen leaves, pine needles, and other debris, which minimizes the need to periodically clean gutters, a time-consuming and potentially dangerous task
However, faster growth will be limited by high levels of pandemic-related spending on homes in 2020 and 2021 – particularly single-family units, where most gutter and downspouts are installed. Beyond 2022, residential construction spending is expected to return to normal levels, and the large number of products installed during the pandemic will preclude additional sales gains through 2025.
Surging Home Renovation Activity Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Boosts Near-Term Sales
Pandemic-related increases in housing completions and surging home renovation activity boosted demand growth for gutters and downspouts in 2020 and 2021. Additionally, multiple severe weather events across the US that caused widespread damage to roofs in 2020 and early 2021 aided growth, as gutters are often repaired and replaced at the same time as reroofing projects. From a high base, demand is expected to slow after 2022, as construction spending returns to normal levels. Though home renovation activity is expected to remain elevated compared to the pre-pandemic period, if much lower than its 2020 peak, the large number of products installed during the pandemic will preclude greater long-term sales in this market.
More Consumers Are Continuing to Invest in Gutter Guards
Through 2025, demand growth for gutter guards will continue to outpace that of the overall market as homeowners increasingly opt to install these products along with gutters and downspouts (either existing or new) in order to reduce the need for periodic cleaning. Continued gains for gutter guards will be driven by replacement sales as the base of homes with gutter and downspout systems featuring these products expands. Homeowners replacing gutter guards will also be more likely to upgrade to higher value products for their aesthetic and performance advantages.
Design Trends Favoring Hip Style Roofs Will Bolster Gains
Though demand for gutter and downspout products tends to track the number of new homes built, other factors also impact demand, including characteristics of new homes. Growth in demand for gutter and downspout products will be supported, for example, by the increasing number of new homes built with hip style roofs instead of traditional gable style roofs. Hip style roofs slope on all four sides of the home and typically require gutters along each slope, whereas a gable roof only requires gutters on two sides of the home.