Downpipes and Spouting – How to Make the Best Choice for Your Home

August 17th, 2017

Whether you are building or renovating, at some stage you will need to consider your downpipes and spouting options. We’re lucky in New Zealand that we have many options when it comes to rainwater collection systems. With downpipe and guttering manufacturers all praising their own products, it makes finding a non-biased opinion about choosing the best type and material challenging.  



That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on how to choose the right material and type of spouting and downpipes for your home.

What are downpipes and gutters or spouting?

Downpipes and guttering are the rainwater collection and management systems of your home. The guttering or spouting as it is also known, collect the rainwater which runs off your roof. They then move the rainwater to the downpipes. The downpipes, of which there are usually at least three per house, take this water into your ground drainage pipes or to your water collection tanks.


Downpipes are usually made in both rectangular and circle shapes. Older homes tend to choose circular downpipes, while modern or designer homes use rectangular shaped ones. Your choice of downpipe will affect the shape of your guttering or spouting.


Choosing the guttering for your home

When it comes to choosing the guttering for your home, both appearance and size need to be considered. A modern house will often suit a box shaped guttering system, with older homes looking better with curved spouting. Some of your options include:

  • K Shaped Guttering – this has a flat bottom and back, with a decorative front which looks a bit like crown moulding.
  • Half Round Guttering – a traditional shape, often found in copper on older homes.
  • Square or Box Guttering – often small and seen on newer homes. Usually manufactured in steel.


If your home is in an area where there is high rainfall, you will need to install spouting which can transport large water volumes quickly. A K shaped or deep half round gutter will hold more water than box shaped guttering. Larger spouting will also need larger downpipes too.

Choosing the best downpipe and spouting material for your home

In New Zealand, we have four main materials which our spouting and downpipes are made with:

  • PVC
  • Pre-Painted Steel
  • Copper
  • Pre-Painted Aluminium

Traditionally copper downpipes and spouting have been used on NZ homes. The durability and low maintenance of copper meant it was a popular choice with builders, especially those of State homes.

With the rising cost of copper, this is no longer an affordable option for many homeowners. Instead they are choosing to use either PVC or pre-painted metal spouting and guttering.


How to pick the best material for your guttering and downpipes

To make the best choice for your home, there are a few things you will need to consider regarding each type of material:

  1. PVC – often the cheaper option, PVC downpipes are low maintenance, UV safe, won’t rust or corrode and are safe for water collection. They are known to leak at joins however and can become brittle over many years.
  2. Pre-Painted Steel – steel gutters and spouting have a lifespan of up to 25 years, requiring little maintenance. As a recyclable product, they are also an eco-friendly option. Steel is prone to rust and is not the best choice for rainwater collection tanks.
  3. Copper – copper looks great and is incredibly long lasting. It also prevents bacterial growth, making it suitable for rainwater collection systems for tank water.
  4. Pre-Painted Aluminium – more durable than steel and less likely to rust, aluminium gutters and downpipes are a costlier option than the other options.


If you are in need of some new spouting, guttering and downpipes, head over and find yourself a tradie now. Simply fill in your details and wait for the quotes to come in. Easy as.

Posted In: Auckland, Choosing Tradespeople, Christchurch, Hamilton, Plumbers, Rotorua, Tauranga, Waikato

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