Rain gutters are more important to your home than you might realize. Not only do they add a nice decorative touch, but rain gutters also prevent mold, mildew, and other water damage from happening to your house. Over time, you may need to replace your gutters, which leads to the question: should you install your gutters yourself or hire a professional gutter installer?
You may want to DIY your gutter replacement if you usually clean your gutters and are familiar with your home’s rain system. While DIY projects are typically lower in cost, they also demand more labor and time. Completing a DIY gutter installation requires special equipment and extra care to ensure they’re correctly measured, pitched, and installed.
Making a mistake can have long-lasting and expensive consequences. When gutters aren’t installed correctly, they can cause water damage to your home, such as a flooded basement, mold and mildew formation, collapsing walls and ceilings, a damaged exterior, and more.
To complete a DIY rain gutter installation, you must have the knowledge, experience, proper tools, and time to do the labor. DIY gutter replacement can be a fun and challenging project for some homeowners. If you decide to go with a DIY installation, avoid making these common mistakes:
However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all type of project, so if you’re unsure about the process, consider hiring a professional to install your gutters.
With professional help, you don’t have to worry about renting special tools and equipment or getting the perfect angle. Instead, you can feel confident knowing your gutter replacement was done correctly by an experienced professional.
Additionally, pros know how to spot water damage in a house caused by a leaky gutter, identify poor-performing areas of the existing gutter system, and provide long-term solutions.
The cost of gutter installation will depend on a few factors, such as:
The national average cost of materials to install gutters is between $3.85 and $4.73 per linear foot. The total price for labor and materials is between $6.11 and $9.64 per linear foot, making the cost for an average 60-linear-foot project between $366.33 and $578.43.
Replacing your gutters will include the cost of installation labor and materials and the removal of the old gutters. Removing the old gutters ranges between $.50 and $4 per linear foot. The cost to dispose of the old gutters ranges between $40 and $100.
Typically, rain gutter installers will estimate an hourly rate for the installation cost. Prices vary depending on location; most installations take about eight hours or longer if you have a large home.
The average cost of an individual downspout is about $5 to $25 each, and each project usually requires five to six downspouts, depending on the roof’s structure. The number of downspouts needed will impact the cost.
Gutters come with their standard range of widths in three main styles: box, K-style, and half-round. The most common type is K-type, which comes in five- and six-inch sizes. Older or historical homes typically need half-round gutters with a standard size of five and six inches. Because of their high volume, you’ll often find box-style gutters on large commercial and industrial buildings. This gutter type comes in seven- and eight-inch widths.
The most common gutter materials are aluminum, vinyl, and steel — although copper is a popular material for fancier houses. The most expensive material is copper at an average of $33 per linear foot, as it’s sturdy and stands the test of time. Steel gutters are $15 per linear foot on average. This gutter material is highly durable. On average, aluminum gutters cost around $9 per linear foot and are a great budget option. Vinyl gutters cost about $4 per linear foot and are the most economical option.
Additional improvements can increase the cost of your gutter installation. These are some added accessories you can choose from:
Replacing your gutters can impress potential homebuyers and add curb appeal. New gutters can add value to your home by protecting the exterior and interior.
When your gutter system works properly, it collects and drains water away from your home’s foundation. With water flowing away from your home’s foundation, you should be free of damage and landscaping issues caused by water runoff. When excess water collects in an improper gutter system, it can ruin the home’s exterior and decrease market value.
Not only are gutters crucial for protecting the home’s exterior, but they also prevent damage to the interior. When water flows from the roof, into the rain gutters, down the downspouts, and drains away from the home, it keeps the roof, soffit, and fascia drier.
When water is left to accumulate, there is the potential for mold and mildew damage. If your gutter is clogged or not draining correctly, it can cause basement flooding, water entering through entryways, foundation damage, rotted fascia boards, damaged soffits, and more.
Follow these steps to add value to and protect your home:
With the proper gutter installation, you protect your home from costly interior and exterior damage and increase its market value in the process. Whether you don’t have gutters or the ones you have are dirty, broken, or incorrectly installed, you’re compromising the longevity of your home. These problems will impact the appraisal if you later try to sell your home. In some cases, gutters in poor condition can detract up to $1,000 from the value of an average-sized home.
Installing rain gutters can be pricey, but they’re a good investment for any homeowner who wants to protect their home.
Gutters are an important investment — whether you plan to sell your home or live there forever. From keeping you and your possessions dry to preventing damage to your home, replacing your rain gutters can save you money on maintenance.
The cheapest type of gutter is vinyl. While it's the most economical option for gutter material, vinyl is less sturdy than other materials and may not hold up well against the rain and weather elements.
Most houses should have gutters installed. Without them, you risk water damage to your home. So, the length of time you can go without gutters depends on how much water damage you’re willing to sustain.
Not all houses need gutters. For example, homes 75 years and older rarely have gutters since gutters first appeared in the mid-1900s. Additionally, homes in largely sunny and dry areas rarely have gutters because of the infrequent rainfall. If you live in an area where rainfall is consistent, reliable, and sometimes destructive, you should install gutters. The gutter installation cost is minimal compared to repairing the resulting water damage.
You should install rain gutters beyond roof eaves to collect rainwater. Typically, they’re on all sides of a home across the roof's edge. Whether you need gutters around your entire house depends on the number of slopes it has. For example, if your house has a lot of slopes, you may consider putting gutters at the edges. If your house has a flat roof, gutters may not be necessary all the way around since there are no slopes for gravity to push the water toward the gutter.
Since gutters aren’t required by law, not every house has them. You may need gutters if your roof has steep slopes. Because of the steep slopes, water can pool at your home's foundation because the gutters can’t collect the rainwater and redirect it right away. If your roof ends at the same point as your home, you may need gutters to prevent water build-up below. Lastly, you may need gutters if you live in a location that experiences a lot of heavy rain.
The number of gutters around your house will depend on the size and design of your home. You can also consider the specific direction of rainwater. Or if you don’t want gutters, consider an alternative:
Rain chains to direct water away from your home. Drip edge to protect your home from moisture. Drip path to prevent water from soaking into the soil around your home’s foundation. Ground gutters or French drain to send water from your roof underground. Grading to direct rainwater downwards and away from your home. Rain dispersal systems to reduce the force of rainwater.
Whether you replace gutters around your whole house or opt for an alternative solution, it’s essential to protect your home from potential water damage. Ensure your rain gutters are installed properly, and hire a professional gutter installer near you.