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Gutters aren’t given a lot of thought in home design these days, but that wasn’t always the case. Today they are seen as necessary evils- functional elements there to do a job and hopefully not look too bad. Yet as recently as forty years ago, they were key parts of the vocabulary of exterior trim.


The gutters on these homes are an important piece of the exterior finish

Gutters used to be fully integrated into the overall trim scheme of a home. From modest Bungalows to extravagant Victorians, gutters were a key architectural element. They were treated as moldings that defined the roof line and seamlessly intersected other trim pieces. Well, actually there were seams, and that was partially the cause for their demise.

Until the 1950’s or so, most gutters were made of wood, usually rot-resistant species like redwood or cypress. The joints were made by carving out a recess on the inside, where a lead or copper flashing was nailed. Given the movement of wood, these joints would fail over time leading to leaks and rot. Wood gutter joints required skill to repair, so when aluminum gutters came on the scene most wood gutters were replaced by aluminum.


Wood rot at joints leads to replacement. Aluminum replacement gutter ruins the appearance

There was one big problem, architecturally speaking- the profiles of aluminum gutters were different than wood gutters, so the new gutter could no longer integrate into the trim scheme of the original architecture. This led to some hideous hacking away of original details and compromising the integrity of many fine homes.


An abruptly terminated aluminum gutter

Over time, many architects and builders forgot the original details, and developed new, “bastardized” versions that could be executed with available materials. A few diehards still insist on using authentic wood gutters, but the gutter material itself has been compromised, as redwood and cypress have been replaced by less durable cedar and fir.


This was the sorry state of affairs until fiberglass gutters came along about ten years ago. They promised to provide the authentic look of wood in a maintenance-free product. And while they work for some installations, their difficulty of installation, high installed cost, and inability to integrate with other trim elements limit their appeal.


Duragutter was invented by an architect to provide an architecturally correct, maintenance-free gutter that could be fully integrated into both Classic and Modern house designs. It is a highly engineered, patented gutter system that uses internal connectors to provide a seamless look. Duragutter "extruded aluminum" is ten times thicker than flimsy "roll formed" aluminum. It comes with a full complement of accessories to address every architectural detail from rake miters to curves.

Duragutter replicates the beauty of wood in heavy gauge, powder-coated aluminum

The OG shape is an exact copy of a traditional 4”x5” wood gutter, yet holds twice the volume. Simple straight runs are achieved with end caps, or self-returns. But where Duragutter really shines is the ability to miter into the rake cornice. This beautiful detail provides a seamless outline of the roof, from the eave up the rake, and was standard on all quality homes before the aluminum gutter era.


Duragutter enables architects, builders, and homeowners to improve the appearance and functionality of the homes they design, build, and live in with a maintenance -free line of architecturally-correct gutters and accessories.



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I &M construction is the preferred installer of Duragutter in the Boston area. They replaced PVC gutters on this historic Sudbury home with Duragutter.


Here's the customer's review:

"One word comes to mind when I think of our experience with Imer and Duragutter, BRAVO! I must say we had a difficult ask of you, Imer and Duragutter. Moving into into a historic home built in 1911 with MANY original details preserved, we were tasked with replacing gutters that were installed only a few years earlier with an very expensive Azek product that proved to be disappointing. We performed a lot of research on wood gutters, copper gutters and everything in between. Our goal was to find a gutter platform that BOTH had form and function. A system that would perform under the harsh New England conditions YET preserve the look the home demanded. In the end, the Duragutter product proved to be best in class. Your thoughtful engineering of the system along with Imer and his team’s incredible professionalism and installation skill made the end product look like it was installed at the time the house was originally built! Thank you again for a great design with Duragutter and also a fantastic installer with Imer and his team at I&M construction."

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Updated: Nov 23, 2020

As much as I love wood, there are some places you really don't want to use it- like underwater. Wood + water = rot. In the old days of wood gutters, when they were made from old growth Cypress and Redwood, the wood could last 30 years or so if properly maintained before it rotted. Today, a wood gutter purchased from the local supplier might last 5 years.

This is what was left of a wood gutter we recently replaced. But even if wood lasted forever, it would not be as good as Duragutter. That's because Duragutter is made from extruded aluminum that is 1/8" thick, not 1" thick like wood. For the same outside dimensions, Duragutter holds exactly twice as much water as a wood gutter. That means fewer downspouts and no possibility of overflowing.

Here's the new Duragutter, with integral leaf guard and flashing. This will last the life of the house. The customer said "Just a quick review of my recent Duragutter installation by I&M construction. Imer and his crew did a great job installing the gutters and repairing rot where it was encountered. I have an old (over 200 years) house on Cape Cod with wooden gutters. In particular, it has miter joints between the gutters and the rake molding. I wanted to preserve that architectural detail but have more durable gutters than the wooden ones. The Duragutter system worked great. I was also able to get gutter covers to hopefully prevent leaf build up in the gutters to reduce the need for cleaning."

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