In the UK, gutters are normally made from uPVC. It’s a hardy plastic that won’t rot, warp or tarnish very easily, which is why it’s so popular. It’s the same material that’s used for most homes’ windows these days; they don’t have to be the standard white as they can be made into a range of colours. Expect to pay an average of £500 for the supply and installation of uPVC guttering, and more if you require scaffolding.
Other materials that are popular for gutters include copper, aluminium and cast iron. These are much more expensive – you might be looking at around £1500 or more for the supply and installation – but they give a more polished look and are often used on period properties or those in a conservation area. If you're considering these types of gutters, make sure you get a few quotes from different roofline companies so you can compare the different materials.
In the past, gutters were made from wood, asbestos concrete or stone. They were often lined with lead to stop the water from seeping through. When it was discovered that asbestos was seriously harmful, it of course stopped being used. Wood was prone to rotting, even with lead lining, and stone is heavy and expensive. So when uPVC came along, it became an affordable and easy material to use for gutters so homeowners could be confident that rainwater will be kept away from the foundations of their properties. It’s important to keep gutters clear from leaves and debris, because if they become blocked, they can make water to fall against your property’s walls, causing damp.