The idea of water leaks and water damage to a house can conjure scary thoughts of flooding or broken pipes. The hero of safeguarding your home from heavy rain storms or melting snow is your gutter system. A proper gutter and downspout installation can protect you from a waterfall of rain cascading down your roof when making the dash between car and front door. But most importantly it protects decks, the home’s foundation, basements, and helps prevent water from seeping into your home and causing costly damage. Whether you need a gutter repair, gutter replacement or installation on a new build, Modernize can help you understand your many gutter and downspout options and what to ask a contractor when your project kicks off.
What to Know Before Installing Gutters
There’s a few things you should know ahead of a gutter installation project. Before we dive into the specifics, we can help you better prepare for your project with a few FAQ’s.
Can gutters be installed DIY?
The internet is filled with DIY gutter installation videos. But like many home improvement projects, the skills and knowledge of a professional cannot be replicated in tutorial videos. Professionals can identify potentially dangerous problems — such as damage or wood rot in siding, framing and fascia boards — that might be overlooked otherwise.
Can gutters be repaired rather than replaced?
For minor damage, you can opt to have your gutters repaired rather than doing a complete replacement. For example, if you detect small cracks or holes causing your gutters to leak during rain storms, you can often hire a professional to caulk and seal your existing gutters.
However, more extensive damage to your gutter system, including larger cracks and holes, sagging or warping gutters, or broken joints, the cost to do a full gutter replacement will be much more worthwhile and bring you a higher return on investment than doing extensive repairs. Be sure to consult with your gutter contractor to make the decision between a gutter repair vs. replacement.
How long does a gutter installation take?
Gutter installation can take one to several days, depending on the size of your home and materials being used. Discuss the timeline with potential contractors and be sure to plan ahead in case of any weather-related delays.
What is the best type of gutter system?
There is a variety of different types of gutters, both in terms of materials and styles. In terms of materials, vinyl is a favorite among homeowners because they are affordable, durable, and easy to install. Aluminum is another popular gutter material since it is lightweight and corrosion-resistant. In terms of styles, K-style tends to be the most popular because they work best with angled roofs and are easy to install. Half-round gutters are an older type of gutter system but easier to clean. We will explain gutter types in more depth below.
Developing an understanding of the different types of gutters is beneficial. Keep in mind that skilled professionals will be able to provide the best insight on what type of gutter system works best for your particular home.
Gutter Materials and Types
While the function and anatomy of a gutter system is mostly consistent across projects, homeowners have a range of material and style options to consider. These factors impact the system’s longevity, durability, and cost. When comparing gutter types, there are two primary categories for homeowners to consider — material and type (or shape).
New gutters typically come in materials such as aluminum, steel, copper, zinc, and vinyl. Each material indicates a different level of durability and strength, and of course, is priced differently. Learn about common gutter materials and find one that fits your home’s need and budget.
K-Style gutters are the most common gutter shape and can be found on most homes in the U.S., since they work best for angled roofs. Their shape closely resembles the appearance of crown molding — an appealing choice with high curb appeal for many homeowners. K-style gutters can also hold more rainwater compared to other shapes of similar widths. This makes them an ideal choice for homes in rainy climates. These gutters come in a range of materials and colors, and are easy to install, creating a seamless end product that will protect most any home.
Half-Round Gutters are an inexpensive alternative to K-style gutters and can be a beautiful feature on many historic and traditional home styles. Half-rounds can move and drain water more efficiently than their K-style counterparts. However, they cannot handle as large volumes of water as well as K-style. For homeowners in areas with less frequent rain in search of a unique, traditional-style gutter, half-rounds might be an ideal solution.
The key to gutter and downspout system longevity is proper care and cleaning — but cleaning gutters is not typically on the top of a homeowner’s weekend to-do list. It is a messy chore that can present physical risks. Installing gutter guards is one of the best ways to reduce the amount of time spent cleaning gutters. These protective filters help keep leaves and other debris from clogging your gutter system. They also water to flow with ease, preventing water leaks and water damage to your home. Gutter guards come at an additional cost during a gutter installation, but they can greatly improve the longevity of the gutter system.
The three main types of gutter guards are screens, mesh, and surface tension (sometimes called “reverse curve”). There are also brush gutter guards and foam (or sponge) gutter guards, which are DIY solutions. Each has its own set of advantages and price differences, but all can help protect your gutters and improve their lifespan. Further explore gutter guards,including types, cost, and pros and cons.
How Much Does a Gutter Installation Cost?
As with many home projects, the biggest question on a homeowner’s mind ahead of a gutter installation is typically, “What is this going to cost me?” and “Is it worth it?” Luckily, gutter installations and replacements are fairly affordable home improvement projects. They are worth it because they protect your home from expensive water damage, and can potentially save you thousands of dollars down the road.
The average cost to install a gutter system is largely dependent on the size of your home, the anatomy of the gutter system, and materials selected. Still, understanding how much these options can cost is important when planning your gutter project.
Average Gutter Installation Cost by Home Size
800 sq. ft.: $180–$1,800
1,000 sq. ft.: $240–$2,400
1,500 sq. ft.: $300–$3,000
1,750 sq. ft.: $450–$4,500
2,000 sq. ft.: $600–$6,000
Average Cost by Gutter Material (per linear foot)
Average Cost of Gutters by Style (per linear foot)
Average Cost of Gutter Guards (per linear foot)
Fine Mesh: $2.50–$4
Surface Tension: $3.50–$6.50
While gutter installation costs can vary greatly and range from several hundred to several thousands of dollars, the national average range is $900–$5,000, with most homeowners spending around $1,225.
Finding a Contractor for New Gutter Installation
Let Modernize help you find a contractor by telling us more about your project and expectations. We can quickly connect you with trusted, local contractors to complete your gutter installation project. By using the information in this guide and by leveraging our handy Contractor Checklist, you’ll have the tools you need to select a contractor and move one step closer to a gutter system that protects your family — and your home — from the elements.
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