Gutters are an essential part of a home’s roof system. The primary purpose of a gutter is to drain water away from a building's roof and siding to prevent water damage. While gutters may appear an unimportant aspect of your roof, investing in a quality gutter can protect your home and prevent thousands of dollars of damage.
How Much Does It Cost to Install Gutters?
The cost of installing gutters varies greatly – between $1,000-$6,000. There are several cost factors that explain the dramatic price range, including preparation costs, gutter costs, downspout costs, and labor costs. By far, the most significant cost impacting factor is a gutter’s material type.
There are several things that a home may need before it is prepared for new gutters. Removing old gutters is the most common preparation expense, but is usually a relatively small expense.
If a homeowner neglects their roof, it is common for a home to experience significant fascia damage, which requires a full replacement and removal. Fascia removal and replacement can cost anywhere between $5-$10 per square foot.
Cost of Gutters
Above all else, the type of material the composes a gutter will determine its cost. Aside from the price, there are several differences between differing gutter materials that deserve consideration. Understanding the cost difference and the relative pros and cons of the common types of gutter material is an essential step towards making an informed decision.
At $3-$5 per linear foot, vinyl gutters are the cheapest material available for gutters. For many homes, vinyl gutters offer sufficient protection from the rain. However, vinyl is the least durable type of material commonly used for gutters. If you live in an environment where extreme weather is common and durability is essential, vinyl gutters are a poor choice. On the other hand, if upfront saving is a critical factor in determining which gutter material to go with, vinyl gutters are unbeatable.
At $6-$12 per linear foot, aluminum gutters are mid-tier in terms of price. In terms of performance, aluminum gutters are also mid-tier. Aluminum gutters are chemically durable but structurally weak. The aluminum used for gutters is coated to protect against erosion, but the lightweight material can quickly become malformed, which requires a full replacement.
Stainless Steel Gutters
At $9-$20 per linear foot, stainless steel gutters are on the pricier side. The advantage of stainless steel gutters is its superior durability. Stainless steel gutters are far more durable than aluminum gutters and often last decades. If a home is located in an environment that experiences harsh weather, stainless steel is an excellent choice.
At $20-$50 plus per linear foot, copper gutters are the most expensive. Copper gutters are structurally sound but do not offer significant structural advantages over stainless steel gutters. The chief advantage of copper is its beauty. If you are willing to invest in your gutters for reasons beyond function and cost, copper gutters can be a great fit.
Cost of Downspouts
A downspout is a pipe that carries water from your gutters safely away from your home. The material a downspout is made from determines its cost. A gutter and its downspout are commonly made from the same material.
Vinyl and Aluminum Downspouts
Vinyl and aluminum downspouts are roughly the same price and usually cost between $5-$8 per foot.
Stainless Steel Downspouts
Stainless steel downspouts usually cost between $8-$12 per foot but can cost more.
Copper downspouts cost more than $15 per foot, and $15 is at the low end for copper downspouts.
Downspout screens are incredibly cheap for the functional role they play. A downspout screen protects your gutters from damage, leaves, pests, and anything else that can get between a gutter and its downspout.
Cost of Labor
Labor costs will vary due to region and specialized labor requirements. As a rule of thumb, if a region’s cost of living is high, labor costs will be as well. Elevation also adds to labor costs as extra time and specialized equipment are often necessary for installing gutters on taller houses. Installing gutters on roof corners takes longer than any other aspect of gutter installation, so if the roof has many corners, its labor costs will be higher than it otherwise would have been.
Having a functioning gutter system is essential because a gutter protects a home from water damage. There are a variety of factors that determine what type of gutter best suits a home and how much installing that gutter will cost. If you are in the process of installing gutters on your home, it is always a good idea to consult with an experienced roofing professional.