Gutters are narrow troughs along the roof line of the home that empty out into down spouts. Roof gutters are an integral part of the roofing system of the home. They collect and divert rainwater off the roof and away from the bottom of the home so that standing water cannot collect and ruin the foundation, erode the ground at the base of the home, or flood the basement. The troughs are generally suspended below the roofline, so that the rainwater follows the slope of the roof into the troughs, down the spouts, and away from the home.
Gutters can become clogged due to lack of maintenance or structural damage. Clogged gutters cause a variety of problems. The water can back up and leak into the room through the roof. Or, the stagnant water can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other insects.
The average cost of gutters is $3 to $5 per linear foot for vinyl PVC gutters.
Vinyl gutters are great because they do not corrode, fade, or rust. They are also dent resistant. However, extreme fluctuations between hot and cold temperatures can cause the vinyl to become brittle. Aluminum, wood, steel, and copper are other materials commonly used for gutters. The most common of those materials is aluminum. The cost per linear foot for aluminum gutters is $4 to $7. Gutters can also be made from stone and concrete.
You calculate the cost of gutters per linear foot. The average home will need about 200 feet of gutters. The downspouts are also priced per foot. Additional pieces of a gutter system such as dropouts and elbows are priced individually. In colder climates, heating elements might be required to keep any water collecting in the gutters from freezing. Doing this project on your own will limit your cost of gutters per foot to materials only. An average contractor would take seven hours to install a fifty foot gutter.
Gutter repair cost is much less than replacing the entire system, although there is a possibility that a portion of the gutters will need to be replaced. If you hire a professional, they will charge you a minimum of $100 just for a service call, and then labor as well. For a small repair, you might be better served by purchasing the material yourself and then hiring a local handyman to install them for you. For someone with moderate experience with home repair, gutter repair is fairly simple. A full day of labor from a handyman runs from $100 to $200.
When a home’s gutter system fails, the risk exists of damage to the foundation or walls of the home. Failed gutters can also cause erosion to occur, and the water that accumulates can flood the basement. How much new gutters cost is determined by linear foot, plus the cost of labor and materials. Another associated rain gutters cost is disposal of the old gutters. This can generally be done for a fee of $100. Or, you can contact your local land fill and haul it there yourself. If your old gutters are made from recyclable materials, you can bring them to a recycling center who might pay you cash which can help offset the new gutters cost.
Gutter installation cost per foot is approximately $4 to $9 for aluminum or galvanized materials. Gutters cost per foot installed for vinyl gutters is $3 to $7, where vinyl is much easier to work with. The average home requires 125 feet to 200 feet of gutters. So, the average cost to install gutters on a home ranges from $375 to $1800. For professional installation, expect estimates in the range of $1050 to $2500.
Copper gutters cost $15 to $25 per linear foot. They are relatively low maintenance, and do not rust. Copper will acquire a patina over time. This means that your gutters will eventually turn a green color as they are exposed to the weather. Homes in coastal locations will acquire this coating faster. One modern problem with copper gutters is the threat of theft, as people are stealing copper from air conditioning units as well to recycle for cash.
Aluminum gutters are the most common. They are light, durable, and inexpensive. Aluminum gutters cost $4 to $9 per linear foot. Downspouts will cost $5 to $8 each. Lightweight aluminum is easy to work with. Downsides of aluminum gutters include the fact that they dent easily, and expand and contract in extreme temperatures.
Gutters can be sectional or seamless.
Sectional gutters are easy to work with and can be installed yourself. Seamless gutters are a professional installation project. The seams in sectional gutters are points where leaks can likely develop. Professional installers will fabricate the seamless gutters on site using a seamless gutter machine. The cost of materials is virtually the same as for sectional gutters, but you will be paying for the installation.
Gutter guards act to keep debris out of the gutter system. Debris that collects in the gutter can cause a clog, backing up the water and causing a risk of rook leaks or gutter damage. The cost of gutter guards is different depending on which type of guard you choose. Gutter hangers are important, as they hold the gutters in place allowing for the efficient flow of water. They cost about $5 each. Gutter caps are metal domes that cover the gutter and keep out debris. A gutter topper system will keep debris from collecting in and clogging your gutter starting at $6.54 per linear foot. A gutter cover often has a mesh design. They are flat, not domed like caps. They allow debris to be swept off the roof by the wind, while still collecting the water and allowing the gutter system to transport the water away from the bottom of the home. These guards can prevent the need for a gutter cleaning, which can run as high as $200 for 150 linear feet of gutter.
Leaf Guard is one of the leading gutter manufacturers. Their seamless gutter system allows water to get in while keeping out debris like leaves that can cause clogging. If you don’t want to purchase an entire new system, you can purchase mesh leaf guards yourself from a local home improvement store or online. You can purchase about 15 feet of guards for $20. Leaf guards allow the wind to sweep the leaves off the roof while still collecting the water and moving it away from the home.
When snow on a roof melts, the water runs off into the gutters. That water can then freeze while it is in the gutter and turn into ice. In climates where this is common, heated gutters are a smart option. Heated gutters cost a bit more money than your ordinary gutter system. Heat tape is another option for melting the snow and keeping frozen water in your gutters from causing a roof leak.
While gutters are priced per foot, other components of a gutter system are not. Downspouts and elbows, for example, are priced by the unit and not by the foot. Downspout extension systems can move the water even further away from the home. These extensions are sometimes attached to underground French drains which allow the water to leach into the soil and irrigate the yard.