Residential Gutters & Downspouts

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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)
  • gutter guards
    • 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:

  • new residential
  • 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:

  • aluminum
  • steel
  • plastic
  • 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.

Pricing Trends

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.

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