I am looking at replacing a downspout and possibly some gutters. Currently I have the usual rectangular white aluminum downspouts and gutters.

My concern with those is that they have limited capacity, so in heavy downpours they can overflow. Also, they are kind of flimsy.

Are there better options that would represent an upgrade disregarding cost?

Several options I have thought about are: clay pipe for the downspouts, copper gutters and stainless steel gutters. In Europe I have seen clay/terra cotta downspouts, but in the US I do not see them. Is there some practical reason why they should not be used?

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    In the US aluminum downspouts come in different sizes (at least 2"x3" and 3"x4"). Gutters also come in sizes (4", 5" and 6"). What size do you have now? – Daniel Griscom Mar 29 '16 at 22:44
  • The current size is 2" x 3"s – Tyler Durden Mar 29 '16 at 22:55
  • 3"x4" downspouts would have double the cross-section, which, although probably not double the capacity, would substantially increase it. – Daniel Griscom Mar 29 '16 at 23:53

Hands down, Stainless Steel. The hardest thing to dent out of all the choices, it has a good deal of spring where nothing else does. It won't turn ugly nor ever need paint & comes in a number of wall thicknesses, get as thick as you're willing to afford. All of the same profile choices are available, something with a face profile will dramatically increase the durability. SS will hold up to ladders & everything else the best.

Since you've noticed an overflow or possibly a Run-over issue with your current gutters, then definitely go up another size...an inch more in both height & width. Also, make sure your current gutters aren't more than an inch below the roofing edge, & that your roofing edge is no further than halfway across the gutter width. These would be the cause of Run-over. Don't skimp on screws, hangers or downspouts either. You'll never ever have to replace a single thing.

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    This was my thought; I'd think it's unlikely that gutters which are properly hung would overflow. More likely it's runover. – DrewJordan Mar 30 '16 at 12:53

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