That’s why spring is always a good time to clean out your home’s gutters and perform maintenance checks to make sure they are in good condition. If during your spring gutter cleaning you notice that your gutters are damaged, cracked, or pulling away from your house, it might be time to replace the system completely. In that case, you will have to consider your options for a brand new gutter system. This article gives an analysis of the overall cost.
The Cost of Installing New Gutters
Before we talk about the cost, it is good to know that new gutters are definitely a worthwhile investment. The function they serve — protecting your house by directing water away from the ceilings, walls, windows, and foundation — is a vital one. Broken or clogged gutters can cost a fortune if your home sustains damage. For ideal maintenance, you should clean out your gutters a few times a year and check that they are well secured to your house.
The cost of a new gutter system and installation depends heavily on the size of your house and the type of material you choose. That said, the average cost for installing a new system is around $1,000. The cheapest gutters are made of vinyl and will run anywhere from $4 to $8 per piece. Aluminum and stainless steel gutters are of higher quality, and consequently have a higher price point (ranging anywhere from $12 – $30 per piece). The most expensive gutters available are copper which can run up to $100 per piece but have the highest quality. Seamless gutters are another good option, which can effectively eliminate problems with joints between gutter pieces.
Estimating the Cost of Installing Gutters
Doing the cost estimation for your new gutters is quite easy. The first thing you have to do is divide the square footage of your house by 10. For instance, if your house is 2,000-square-foot, you will need at least 200 feet of gutters. You might want to buy more pieces to make sure you have enough gutters for the house. The labor cost will also depend on the square footage and your installer should be in a position to give you the best price for the job. To ensure a seamless installation process, your gutter installers may cut their own measurements based on your house. This is good because it prevents wastage of material, as the gutters should perfectly fit your home.
Cost of Gutters and Downspouts Based on Material
Gutters cost between $3 and $40 per linear foot. The cost depends on the gutter material that you decide to go with. Downspouts, on the other hand, cost between $5 and $25 per piece, and the cost also depends on the material. Without the right gutter and downspout materials, you will have gutters that may not be very effective. In fact, your house will be at risk of foundation flooding plus premature cracking or crumbling.
As earlier mentioned, one key factor that affects the cost of gutter installation is the material you decide to go for. This part of the article explains different gutter materials and costs involved when you decide to use them.
- Copper Gutters and Downspouts
Copper gutters cost between $25 and $40 per linear foot, depending on the quality, your location, and the specific manufacturer. The downspouts cost around $17 per foot. Copper gutters and downspouts are quite effective but are also loved for the aesthetics they offer. Copper, as a material for gutters and downspouts, is more expensive than other materials. Due to this reason, homeowners that love the look they offer and are not worried about the cost definitely go for copper gutters and downspouts. Despite this, it is good to note that copper gutters can be a target for theft due to their high value. Therefore, be sure to do your due diligence and ensure that this will not happen to you.
- Steel Gutters and Downspouts
Steel gutters cost between $9 and $20 per linear foot. The downspouts cost around $10 per foot. Steel gutters are loved for their longevity and durability. They are therefore quite effective for homes located in areas that experience tough weather conditions. Despite these benefits, steel gutters come at a more expensive cost than other gutters like aluminum, which offer almost the same effectiveness.
- Aluminum Gutters and Downspouts
Aluminum gutters cost between $6 and $12 per linear foot. The downspouts cost around $5 and $8 per foot. This low cost means that aluminum is the best for anyone looking for affordable gutters. Aluminum is easy to install, lightweight and should be able to carry water away from your house. The only issue is that aluminum is not very sturdy, meaning it can get damaged over time. Therefore, aluminum is not as durable as other materials in the market.
- Vinyl Gutters and Downspouts
Vinyl is quite cheap since it costs between $3 and $5 per linear foot and $5 and $8 for the downspouts. If you are looking for affordable gutters without having to worry about the quality of the material, then vinyl is the way to go. Vinyl gutter is great for individuals that live in areas that do not experience tough weather conditions. The only issue with these gutters is that they can get easily damaged, requiring replacement after some time. In addition, they cannot survive in areas that experience extreme weather.
Factors That Affect Gutter Installation Costs
Countless homeowners have learned that taking the cheapest route can lead to more work (and more expenses) down the road. When it comes time to invest in a new gutter system, you want to make sure you are investing in hardware and installation that will last, without requiring tons of upkeep. If you install a cheap gutter, you will pay less at the onset but spend a lot of money on maintenance, meaning you pay more in the long term. However, if you install quality gutters, which might be a little expensive, then you will pay more at first but will spend a lot less in the future because you do not have to do a lot of maintenance. It is a great idea to do plenty of research before you choose the type of gutters you want to install, and the person you want to hire for the installation.
- Labor – DIY Vs Hiring a Professional
Gutter installation cost is not just about purchasing the gutters. You also have to pay attention to the cost of labor. To install gutters, you might decide to go the DIY route and do everything yourself or hire an expert to help you out. When you decide to install gutters as a DIY process, you will not have any labor costs. However, you have to factor in the time you are spending doing the task and whether you can use this time elsewhere and make much more than you are saving. For instance, if you are working at a job, and spend a lot of hours doing the installation, is it possible to make much more at your job than you are saving?
- Gutter Removal Cost
Another aspect that will affect gutter installation cost is whether you have gutters in your home that you need removing in readiness for the new ones. Gutter removal is a task on its own that may cost somewhere between $100 and $200. Therefore, you have to factor in this cost.
- Cost of Fixing Damaged Roofline
Your home’s roofline could already be damaged from elements, rotting, or any other issue like damage when removing gutters. At such an instance, you will need to fix it because the new gutters cannot be installed on top of a damaged roofline. Doing this can cause the gutters to fall off and become damaged. Therefore, you have to pay attention to this cost when installing new gutters.
- Two-Story House
If you have a two-story building, you will need to pay more for installation than someone with a one-story house. The reasoning behind this is that installing gutters on a two-story house is quite overwhelming and tedious for the installer. Therefore, they will charge more. In fact, each linear foot for the upper story costs between $1 and $2 more.
- The Climate
The climate of the area you live in will heavily affect the kind of gutters you need, which will also come into play when deciding the overall cost. If you live in areas with marine climates, then you will need good and high-capacity gutters with proper flashing that can perfectly handle the heavy rainfall experienced there. In regions that are at high risk of forest fires, you should not go for vinyl gutters. Instead, consider installing metal gutters. If the area you live in experiences strong winds, you will need gutters made of high-quality materials to prevent them from being blown away. In short, if you reside in regions that experience tough weather conditions, you will need good gutters, which are relatively more expensive than normal gutters. However, if you live in areas that barely experience tough weather conditions, you could get away with less robust gutter materials, which may be quite cheap to buy and install.
- The Cost of Gutter Accessories
Gutters come with accessories that enable them to function optimally. An example accessory is downspouts. Steel downspouts cost around $10 per linear foot, copper downspouts are between $10 and $25 per linear foot, and vinyl and aluminum downspouts should cost you between $2 and $8 per linear foot. If your roofing is not flush with exterior walls, you might need to purchase some elbows. Copper elbows cost between $20 and $50 while vinyl, steel, and aluminum elbows cost around $5 and $9 per piece.
That is not all; you might need other accessories like gutter hangers, splash blocks, flashing, gutter guards, and heat tapes. Gutter hangers are used to help keep the gutters elevated and they cost between $2 and $5 for vinyl or aluminum options. Hangers are ideal for regions that experience heavy rainfall and strong winds. Splash blocks help direct water away from the foundation and cost between $5 and $10 per piece. Gutter guards help protect gutters from debris buildup and basic guards cost around $1 per linear foot. Perforated guards cost between $4 and $12 per linear foot. If you live in areas like Northern US where ice dams are quite a risk, you might want to install heat tapes to ward them off by preventing ice from forming in the gutters. Heat tapes cost between $50 and $75 per 100 linear feet.
An experienced gutter installation specialist will be able to walk you through the decision-making process and help you decide which type of gutter is the most economical and effective for your home and budget. In choosing a specialist, read online reviews, ask for recommendations from friends or family, and get references from former clients. Be wary of any quotes that are far below those of other specialists. It is likely that corners are being cut somewhere. While it might not be the most exciting home renovation project, having properly functioning gutters — and taking the time to maintain them properly — will ensure that your house stays safe and dry for the long term.