How Much Does Gutter Installation Cost?
Maybe you’re looking at purchasing a flip house that needs extensive exterior TLC, you’re planning and building your dream home, or you’ve taken a hard look at your place and seen nothing but broken-down gutters on their last leg. Either way, you’ve begun researching the cost of a brand-new gutter installation and there are a few things you should know.
Gutters are long lines of vinyl, aluminum, stainless steel, copper, galvanized steel, and even wood. Their sole mission is to collect rainwater that drains from your home’s roofing and direct it far from the exterior surfaces, foundation, and landscaping. Gutters commonly consist of both horizontal gutter runs or channels that drain into vertical ones called downspouts.
The downspouts commonly extend at least 4 feet from the foundation to avoid absorption and further water damage issues in your basement or crawl space. However, while 4 feet is the minimum, consider extending the downspout’s opening to drain 10 feet away.
There are two primary styles of gutters – K-style and U-style. The K-style is the most common and has somewhat of a decorative edge. It slopes outward at the opening to catch more rainwater, even at faster water flow speeds; however, some homeowners prefer U-shaped gutters.
While there are an extensive number of options to choose from and factors that should be considered before obtaining a more accurate quote, the national averages in the United States will get you off to a great start when prepping your wallet for a complete gutter installation.
National Average Cost
Average Cost Per Linear Foot
Cost Range in the US
Average Minimum Cost
Average Maximum Cost
$4 – $8
$665 – $1656
In this complete gutter installation cost guide, you’ll learn:
- What Influences the Cost of Gutter Installation
- Signs and Causes of the Need for Gutter Installation
- Potential Home Damage with Lack of Functioning Gutters
- DIY vs. Hiring a Gutter Installation Professional
What Influences the Cost of Gutter Installation?
Depending on several of your home features and preferences, the average cost can vary. The size of the home, the pitch of the roof, aesthetic or architectural preferences, your location, and the material chosen have much to do with the final invoice for gutter installation – among other factors.
Let’s dig into it.
The material selection can drastically change the average cost of gutter installation. From the least expensive aluminum gutters to the high-cost copper ones, the material should be your first major decision.
Aluminum, the cheapest gutter material, is widely popular because it has a life expectancy of approximately 30 years, depending on your location’s climate. It’s durable and doesn’t rust like most metals but over time, it can crack after many years of freeze-thaw cycles. Aluminum gutters commonly run homeowners in the range of $4 – $8 per square linear foot. It is often available in a wide range of stock colors and is the most prevalent across the United States.
Vinyl or PVC
At $3 – $6 per linear square foot, Vinyl gutters are one step up on the price scale from aluminum. Vinyl or PVC gutters are sought-after gutter types because they are lightweight and attractive, and they won’t easily dent or leak over time like other gutter types but with harsh weather, they may crack and break. Vinyl gutters are also available in a wide range of colors to suit any exterior decor palette.
More durable and resists breakage, steel gutters can withstand heavily wooded areas and locations that receive a large amount of precipitation. However, because they are steel, they are prone to rusting and deteriorating over long periods. Steel is easy to install for gutter installation teams because they are fairly lightweight and flexible. Running an average of $6 – $9 per linear foot, steel is still an affordable price for homeowners looking for full gutter installation.
While adding a one-of-a-kind flair to a home’s exterior, copper gutters will set homeowners back quite a bit in comparison to vinyl, steel, or aluminum gutter material. It is extremely durable and won’t crack or rust. It may gain some greenish patina when subjected to the elements over years but has been called the best gutter material at $15 – $28 per linear foot. Due to its high resale value, some homeowners have had their copper gutter installation stolen.
While it may turn the heads of neighbors with the unique choice of wood gutters, wood is the most expensive of all materials and often requires the most annual upkeep. Between $18 – $28 per square foot, wood gutters may still require annual sealant application and maintenance aside from semi-annual gutter cleaning. While some types of wood do well in outdoor settings, they may be subject to wood-boring insects, woodpeckers, and harsh climates.
When selecting the gutters that function appropriately for your home, consider the pitch of your roof. Think about it… the steeper the roof, the faster the water flows – and when the rainfall picks up speed, it tends to completely jump over the gutter run if it’s not wide enough. Traditionally, gutters can be purchased in 4-inch, 5-inch, and 6-inch widths which tend to suit homeowner needs but that also equates to a difference in pricing.
If your location receives ample amounts of precipitation or has a steep roof, it may be wise to purchase wider, 6-inch gutter channels but if your abode is smaller with only a slightly-pitched roof and not an abundance of rainfall averages, you may opt for a 4-inch gutter.
Calculating Roof Pitch for Gutter Width Needs
Every home is different and has different requirements to keep water from damaging exterior surfaces and foundations. It’s integral that you take some measurements to determine how many gutter channels and the total number of linear feet you’ll need to keep your home safe.
The first total you’ll need to decide on gutter width is to calculate the square footage of your roof by measuring and multiplying the lengths by the widths of each roof section and adding them together to gain the total square footage of your roof.
Grab your level and measuring tape or a standard 12-inch ruler to get a pitch measurement as well. Take a piece of tape and measure out 12-inches on your level – and mark it. Climb up to the roof (be safe while doing so) and hold the level so that the far edge (0 inches) of the level just touches your roof. Be sure that the level is, well… level by eyeing the “bubble” on your level and making certain it’s centered. Use your ruler or measuring tape to find the measurement from the level (at the 12-inch mark you created) to the roof – creating an upside-down right triangle.
The “run” is the 12-inch horizontal distance on your level that you pre-measured and the “rise” is the number of inches from the roof to that 12-inch tape marking on your level. Next, we multiply your “rise” number by the following amounts to find the correct gutter width for your roof pitch.
- 0 – 3 inches, no multiplier
- 4 – 5 inches, multiply by 1.05
- 6 – 8 inches, multiply by 1.1
- 9 – 11 inches, multiply by 1.2
- 12+ inches, multiply by 1.3
Now that you’ve taken care of the final calculation, if your total is between 5,520 and 7,500 for K-style gutters, a 5-inch wide gutter will work well for your home but if your calculation exceeds 7,500, you may consider something wider.
Length of Gutter Channels
The length of necessary gutter channels is also a cost factor because the larger the home, the more gutters you’ll need. Measure the outside of your home on the horizontal exterior walls that are straight (no pitched roof line). This measurement will offer a decent idea of how many feet of gutters your home will need.
Don’t forget to plan where to place your downspouts. Commonly, gutter installation experts position drainage downspouts in strategic areas where they are unrestricted, and be sure to stay away from utility lines. Traditionally, downspouts are located at your home’s exterior corners. Add a minimum of four extra feet so the water is channeled far from your home.
Seamed or Seamless Gutters
Gutter channels are manufactured in common 8-foot lengths and when installed, must be sealed at every connection to avoid gutter leakage but seamless gutters are bent on site and installed in long horizontal runs. In some areas, the price of each may vary and each requires different types of labor costs.
Downspout Extensions – Above Ground or Below Ground
Downspout extensions make sure that the water is directed at least 4 feet from the foundation of your home but depending on the slope of the property, some homeowners will extend up to 10 feet away.
For a more aesthetic look, burying your extension to channel that rainwater ensures water ends up in the desired place – not seeping through the concrete or stone that secures your home in its place. However, below-ground channeling will add much more to the final gutter installation bill versus traditional downspout extensions due to additional materials and extensive labor costs to dig trenches and slope buried extensions to keep the water flowing.
Custom or Stock Gutter Color
Gutters come in a vast number of colors that align with common home color palettes but if your home has a non-traditional color, you may be looking at additional costs for custom gutter material color.
Signs and Causes of the Need for Gutter Installation
If your home currently has a drainage system but you’re wondering if it’s time to get a brand new gutter installation, here are a few of the many signs to look for when making your final decision.
- Leakage – Whether your gutters are beginning to rust through or the seams are beginning to come apart, leaking gutters allow water in places it shouldn’t be.
- Rot, Peeling, and Discoloration – When your exterior walls, windows, and decks are rotting, peeling, or stained, it might be due to your non-functioning gutter system.
- Mold and Mildew Growth – Basements and attics are prime places where mold and mildew grow and many property owners believe it’s just part of homeownership but if you’re seeing mold and mildew, that means water is getting in there – most likely from your malfunctioning gutters.
- Denting and Breakage – A large tree branch fell on the house and dented your gutters. Slight dents can be repaired but major dents or broken gutter channels are going to require a replacement.
- Missing Gutter Runs – If pieces of your gutter have fallen due to inclement weather or just end-of-life, you’re missing part of your integral drainage system and it must be installed.
- Not Enough Gutters – When homes are built, many factors are considered but if any of those gutter-related factors were dismissed, you could find your home’s gutters aren’t functioning properly because there just aren’t enough of them to handle the rainfall totals in your area.
- Water Spilling Over the Sides of Gutters – Water speeding down your roof, and jumping over your gutter channels is a great indicator that you need wider gutters and should consider installing new ones.
Potential Home Damage with Lack of Functioning Gutters
Unbeknownst to homeowners, your gutters are the unsung heroes of your home. They often go unnoticed as just another part of your home, but they prevent your life savings from being instantly depleted with water-damage repair bills.
Aside from foundation absorption and mold growth, your home’s foundation is prone to cracking and chipping – losing its structural capability over time – when continually subjected to water contact from your leaky or non-functioning gutters.
Your home’s exterior surfaces rot and decay when exposed to water which allows small animals and insects to make themselves at home… in your home. Mice, spiders, and even snakes can penetrate rotted walls caused by water damage.
Roofing issues are another potential damage-causing reason to have properly-working gutters. Water can flow up and under the roofing material like shingles or metal and enter your attic space (mostly made of wood trusses and studs) to cause massive water damage. Ice dams are also a consideration in areas that receive ample amounts of snow and ice.
DIY vs. Hiring a Gutter Install Professional
It’s not uncommon for homeowners to watch a few home improvement shows on television and a couple of YouTube videos to gain the confidence to try tackling a massive DIY gutter installation project. A few things to consider when doing it yourself include:
- The need to purchase expensive, one-time-use equipment
- The need to gain exact measurements to order enough product
- Master seam sealant application
- The length of time necessary to complete the project plus unforeseen circumstanc
- Getting the gutter slope perfect to keep water flowing on light rain days
- Potential accidents and safety concerns
Hiring a professional gutter installation company relieves homeowners of the added DIY stress. These experts are highly trained and have the proper amount of liability insurance and specialize in every piece of the gutter installation puzzle that confuses most homeowners nationwide. While saving costs on labor by doing your own gutter installation may seem desirable, improperly installed gutters can cost you 10 times more money to pay for the home damages.
Consider all the factors, both short- and long-term when making your decision to install new gutters and what type and size of gutters you’ll need to keep your home free from damage.
Accurate gutter installation is vital to the safety and structural integrity of one of your largest
Call your local, trusted gutter installation company to gain a free service quote before considering doing it yourself and compare all costs – money, equipment, time, and the safety of your home, your family, and yourself.