House Has No Gutters (Do You Need Them & What To Do)

If your house has no gutters, you may be concerned and wonder if they need to be installed. Gutters run around the perimeter of your roof’s overhang and direct excess water away from your home. 

You need gutters if you live in an area with heavy rain, have a flat roof design, or have an overhang of fewer than 6 inches. Gutters may not be necessary if your climate is dry or you live on top of a hill. If you need new gutters, you must choose the right type of system and seek a professional for installation. 

There are many types of gutter systems to choose your household needs and preferences. Read on to learn the differences between each option and how to proceed with installing gutters in a home that needs them. 

What Do Gutters Do? 

Gutters are included in the design of a roof for the purpose of catching water and draining it. Standing water can come as a result of rain or melted snow throughout the year. They are necessary to get rid of excess water, which can cause damage to a roof if not taken care of. 

The gutter on a roof is positioned where the roof ends on either side, parallel to the outer edges. They are constructed in a “U” shape to collect water at the bottom. The gutter runs all the way around the perimeter of the roof, ending in an angled downspout. 

As more water is pushed into the gutter from the rain, it flows down the spout, landing on the ground on the exterior of the home. Gutters direct water away from the roof and other interior areas and are important for several reasons. 

Why Are Gutters Important? 

Gutters are a necessary component of any home, especially those with extreme weather conditions. Their functions are vital for preventing damage from flooding and pooling, and they keep the roof area dry overall. 

Protects Against Basement Flooding

The main purpose of a gutter system is to direct excess water away from the home. As previously explained, rain travels through the opening and is disposed of through the downspout onto the ground. 

In the absence of a gutter, any water present during or after a storm would slide directly off the sides of the roof. While this may seem like no big deal, there is very little control of where the water goes in this instance, which can amount to expensive consequences. 

The gutter catches the excess water as soon as it falls from the side of the roof. A consistent flow of water has nowhere to go but downward toward the spout at the bottom, and the curved design of the gutter itself forces the water to collect at the base of the “U” shape. 

This makes it nearly impossible for the water to go over the edge of the gutter. Instead, it would travel through the system and land on the ground. With an effective gutter system in place, water only comes in contact with the roof itself, then slides down the sides, through the gutter, and ends up far away from the home. 

Without a gutter, the water falling off the edges of the roof has the opportunity to seep into other areas of the home. Water in the gutter collects to form a large mass that is then directed elsewhere. 

Rain traveling down the sides of a roof with no gutter would trickle with no direction, coming in contact with the exterior structure of the home. Over time, the water can easily spread to the basement, causing visible flooding or damage to the foundation underneath. 

Keeps Water From Pooling  

In addition to directing water away from the basement, an effective gutter system keeps water from pooling on the roof of a home. This is especially relevant for homes with flat roofs. In the absence of a sharp angle, flat roofs have more surface area for puddles of water to form. 

After a rainstorm or heavy snow, a flat roof requires an adequate drainage system to get rid of the excess water that won’t slide off the roof on its own. Pooling water that’s allowed to sit on the surface of a roof can result in costly damages. 

Without gutters, puddles of water have nowhere to go. This can wear down the material of the roof, requiring repairs and replacements to keep up the appearance and functionality. Similarly, standing water can eventually seep into the home from the top, causing leaks and water stains from the ceiling on the interior. 

Provides a Dry Overhang 

The overhang of a roof is the length of additional material that extends past the exterior wall of the home. When gutters are incorporated into the roofing system, they make the roof’s edges stretch further away from the house. 

It’s essential for a home to have a proper overhang, as this keeps water and excess moisture off of the walls, ceiling, and structure. Homes with adequate overhangs are less prone to basement flooding and structural damage in the event of extreme weather. A gutter will help you achieve dry overhang by removing additional water and keeping the area free of moisture. 

When Do You Not Need Gutters?

Although gutters are recommended to direct water away from a home and prevent costly damage, they are not always necessary. If you live in an area with a dry climate that doesn’t experience much rain, you may not need to build a gutter system for your home. 

The construction of your home and the materials used to build your property may not present the need for gutters along your roof. Gutters are typically used to direct rainwater away from ground materials that need additional protection. If your home is surrounded by concrete or asphalt, the installation of a gutter system is much less urgent. 

Similarly, houses situated on the top of a hill or downward slope will naturally direct water away from the foundation. In these instances, you can leverage your property’s terrain instead of installing gutters. 

Finally, roofs with adequate overhang may be able to do the job of a gutter system without actually incorporating one. Gutters are usually needed when the roof is only a short distance from the sides of the house. If you have over 6 inches of roof overhang, you may be able to skip the gutters. This is especially true if your area doesn’t experience much rain in the first place. 

What Types of Gutters Are There? 

There are four main types of gutters you can choose from when installing a drainage system on your roof: one-piece, two-piece, built-in, and double-bottom gutters. Each comes with advantages and disadvantages, which we will explain below. 

50 words – Introduce the type of gutters that are available.

One-Piece Gutters 

A one-piece gutter runs continuously without any seams or gaps. It is essentially one piece of material that follows the edge of a roof with no interruptions. Because there are no joints or connected pieces in a one-piece (seamless) gutter, leaks are much less likely. 

As a result, one-piece gutters experience less damage and require less frequent maintenance. In addition, they have a clean appearance that contributes to the overall curb appeal of the home. 

However, seamless gutters have a few disadvantages, especially in terms of price. If you’re on a budget, you may be disappointed to learn that a one-piece gutter system has a higher average installation cost. Along with paying more, the process of attaching these gutters is much more complex and requires the help of an experienced professional. 

If you have any issues with your one-piece gutter system, repairs are not possible. Instead, you would be forced to replace the entire thing since these gutters consist of one cohesive piece. 

Fewer leaks and damages less maintenance Cleaner appearance  Higher installation cost Professional installation required Repairs are not possible (must replace entire system) 

You should choose a one-piece gutter system if you’re looking for a low-maintenance option. The benefits outweigh the disadvantages for those willing to pay the upfront costs of professional installation. 

Two-Piece Gutters 

Contrary to seamless gutters, this type of gutter consists of two separate pieces. The first piece is the gutter channel that runs around the perimeter of the roof’s overhang. When there’s a rainstorm or excess water piles up on the roof, the water travels through the “U” shaped opening. 

The second component is a gutter cover that is installed over the top. Its purpose is to protect the open gutter from leaves and other debris. However, this system is not always effective in blocking out the elements. 

Flying debris can sometimes get trapped underneath the gutter cover, which can block the water flow inside the opening. Two-piece gutters are also more susceptible to leaks since there are separate components connected by joints. 

DIY-friendly installation is More customizable Can collect debris Susceptible to clogs and leaks 

A two-piece gutter design is best for DIY-ers and those looking to save money on installation. With some technical skill, you can install these gutters on your own and easily customize them to the unique shape of your home. 

Built-In Gutters 

A built-in gutter is integrated into the edge of the roof itself. When you install this type of gutter system, it will be less obvious from the exterior of the home. This type of gutter system is nicknamed “hidden gutters” for a reason. 

They are constructed with waterproof materials along the edges of the roof, effectively catching water and directing it elsewhere. Because hidden gutters are a part of the structure and are made of the same durable materials as the roof itself, they require much less maintenance. 

The downsides of built-in gutters have to do with the cost and installation procedures. Since hidden gutters are built into the structure of the home, they require thought and planning during the initial build. It’s possible to add hidden gutters to an existing property, but the costs are high in either case, and the process is extremely invasive. 

Although less maintenance is required for built-in gutter systems, cleaning is still necessary throughout the year. Without the appearance of traditional gutters on the exterior of your home, it can be easy to overlook them altogether and skip out on important tasks that will extend the lifetime of your system.  

The invisible design gives high aesthetic appeal Less maintenance is required Easy to forget to clean Expensive to install and requires professional installation Must be integrated into the structure of the home (invasive installation process) 

If style and appearance is most important to you, built-in gutters may be the best choice for your home. However, you should keep in mind that this type of gutter system requires extensive planning and a larger budget for professional installation. 

Double Bottom Gutters

Double-bottom gutters direct water through the downspout and onto the ground in two separate locations instead of just one. This is beneficial for a large flow of water, however this design may not be necessary for most homes. A single downspout can properly drain the water from up to 40 feet of gutter space.

Additional drainage to keep your property dry Can handle excess water from large roofs The double spout may not be necessary More complex DIY installation 

Double-bottom gutters may be the best choice for you if you have a particularly large roof or require additional drainage for another reason. Consider this type of gutter system if you experience heavy rain in your area or 

How Much Do Gutters Cost? 

The overall cost of your gutter installation will depend on the length and materials you choose. Labor is also a factor if you decide to hire a team of contractors. On average, you can expect to spend anywhere from $5 to $25 per linear foot. 

Hiring a Professional To Install Them 

When you hire a professional to install your gutters, you will need to pay for a combination of materials and labor. Most contractors charge an hourly rate, so the cost will increase depending on how long your project takes to complete. Professional gutter installation averages between $1,000 and $7,000 based on these factors. 

Choosing the right roofing contractor or team is essential. Be sure to check reviews and references to get the best return on your investment. 

DIYing It 


DIY gutter installation is possible if you have some skills and experience. Certain types, such as seamless gutters, will require a professional, while two-piece systems can be easily set up on your own. With the cost of materials only, you can save money on labor, spending $1,000 to $2,000 on a do-it-yourself installation.  

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