Gutter Installation Cost Guide
When your home doesn’t have gutters, water can be a big problem. For instance, after a heavy rain, your basement can become flooded, and the foundation can become damaged. Other common problems include soil erosion, stained siding and moldy walls. It's not just a lack of gutters that can cause this damage to your property. Gutters that are past their lifespan or are installed improperly, won't protect your home. Considering new gutter installation is key when you see the sign that they are no longer performing the job.
Total Costs of New Gutters
The average cost to replace gutters comes to a total of $1,000-$1,800. However, a gutter installation can range from as low as $600 to as high as $5,000. What material you chose plays a major role in the overall cost. Where you live and the size of your house can affect the price as well.
Estimating how much material you need is easy: Just take the square footage of your home and divide by 10. You'll want to buy a little extra to ensure you have enough to surround your home. A 2,000-square-foot residence, for example, would need at least 200 linear feet of gutters.
The installation labor cost is usually included in the price quote you receive. Expert gutter installation professionals often cut their own gutters during the job for seamless installations.
Material is the primary factor in the total cost of gutter replacements. Copper costs $20-$40 per linear foot. Although it's the most expensive material, it's also the most durable. Galvanized steel is a cheaper option at $6-$16 per linear foot. This material is also highly durable but is at risk of rusting if the protective coating is damaged. Aluminum gutters are resistant to corrosion and cost $5-$14 per linear foot.
Vinyl is the cheapest material for gutters at $3-$7 per linear foot. You can install vinyl gutters as a DIY project, but expert gutter installation professionals can also do this for you. If you live in a cold climate, however, vinyl isn't a good material choice as it is prone to cracking at low temperatures.
Professional vs. DIY
When comparing your DIY gutter installation cost with a professional quote, remember to factor in how much time you'll spend on the entire project. Could your time be better spent on other activities or on side jobs where you're earning money? For a labor comparison, the total cost of paying an expert gutter installer comes to around $400. It could be lower or higher depending on where you live.
DIY gutter installation isn't recommended for those just dipping their toes into the DIY projects and home repairs pool. It is generally considered an intermediate project for homeowners. Completing the installation takes about six to eight hours for expert gutter installers. Allow yourself a bit more time than that for a DIY project.
Tips to Hire an Expert Gutter Installation Pro
Check that the contractor is licensed in your locality for gutter services. Choose someone who is insured in case they hurt themselves while installing your gutters. You should check their referrals and reviews as well. If there are too many concerning negative reviews, it could be best to choose another contractor.
Make sure that you know what types of gutters your contractor will install for your home to ensure they meet your quality standards and needs. Seamless gutters are recommended because they are more reliable than sectional options.
Always get your quote in writing to protect yourself from contractors changing the price on you after they complete their work. A reputable contractor will come to your home to take measurements before giving you an estimated cost. Your quote should include a date of project completion, deliverables and the payment schedule.
Other Factors to Consider
Do you currently have gutters on your home? It will cost around $100-$150 to have them removed before the new installation can be completed. If the contractor finds a damaged or rotting roofline upon removing the gutters, they can't install the new gutters until the roof is repaired.
If you have a two-story home, the upper story installation will be pricier. Each linear foot for the upper story costs $1-$1.50 more.
The climate where you live influences what type of gutters you need. Marine climates require high-capacity gutters with flashing to effectively handle the rainfall. In areas where forest fires are a threat, you shouldn't install vinyl gutters. Instead, metal gutters are recommended for homes in these regions. Windy environments need gutters made of durable materials. If your climate isn't prone to the aforementioned issues, you can get away with less robust materials.
Don't forget to factor in the price of accessories. The cost to install downspouts is as follows: Copper downspouts are $10-$25 per linear foot. Steel downspouts average about $10 per linear foot, and aluminum and vinyl downspouts are $2-$8 per linear foot. Elbows are needed if your roof isn't flush with the exterior walls. Aluminum, vinyl and steel elbows are only around $5-$9. Copper elbows are $20-$50.
Other accessories you might want with your gutter system include splash blocks, gutter hangers, gutter guards, heat tape and flashing. Splash blocks are recommended because they direct water away from your foundation, and they're fairly cheap at only $5-$10 apiece.
Consider buying gutter hangers if you live in a windy or rainy climate. They assist in keeping your gutters elevated. Vinyl and aluminum options are around $2-$5.
Gutter guards are an expensive accessory that help protect your gutters from debris buildup. Basic wire mesh gutter guards cost $1 per linear foot, and perforated metal gutter guards are $4-$12 per linear foot.
Experts advise installing heat tape if you live in the northern U.S. where ice dams are a risk. Heat tape wards off ice dams by preventing ice from forming in the gutters. Every 100 linear feet of heat tape costs $50-$75.
FAQs About Gutter Installations
Is gutter installation difficult?
If you install a basic system, this task generally isn't difficult unless you're new to DIY work around the house. It does take around eight hours or more to complete the installation, so some people may consider it difficult due to the time investment.
We recommend hiring an expert gutter installation pro even if you're familiar with DIY work. The gutters serve a very important role in protecting your home's structural integrity from water damage. If you unknowingly make a mistake while installing the gutters, you may end up with an unpleasant surprise years later when your home sustains some sort of damage.
Do you need gutters around your entire house?
You only need gutters at the bottom of each roof slope. Gutters around the entire house would only be necessary if the roof sloped in all directions. Roofs are designed to direct water down the slope where it should then enter a gutter system.
A new gutter installation isn't a task you'll have to do often since they're designed to last for around 20 years with good maintenance. Hire a reputable contractor to ensure your new gutters are placed properly. Incorrectly installed gutters won't protect your home from water damage.
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