As homeowners plan for a gutter replacement project, they have several types of gutters to choose from. Galvanized steel gutters are a popular option for many homeowners, mostly thanks to their durability. These incredibly strong metal gutters stand up to dents and dings from physical impact and cracking caused by extreme temperature fluctuations. For this reason, you will often see steel gutters installed on homes where the risk of storm damage is higher.
On this page, you can learn about the benefits of steel gutters, their average installation cost, how they compare to other types of gutters, and more, so you can make the best decision for your home gutter installation.
Benefits of Galvanized Steel Gutters
In addition to being extremely strong and durable during inclement weather, galvanized steel gutters have several other noteworthy advantages.
- Appearance. Steel gutters have a shiny, sleek look when installed, which can add to the curb appeal of your home.
- Seamless installation. Steel gutters most often come in a seamless style. Seamless gutters, also called continuous gutters, are custom cut to fit the shape of your home. Because there are fewer connections, or “joints,” they are much less prone to rainwater leaks.
- Weather resistant. Steel gutters are resistant to rust, corrosion and thermal warping. They outperform aluminum gutters, the most common type, when it comes to extreme weather.
- Long lifespan. Both of the above factors help extend the lifespan of these gutters. Galvanized steel gutters can last up to 20 years to 50 years when properly maintained.
Galvanized Steel Gutters Installation Cost
The total cost to install new gutters depends on several factors, including the size of your home, the number of stories, which gutter type and style you choose, how many downspouts you need, the cost of labor in your area, and more.
Compared to other common types of gutters, galvanized gutters are considered mid-range in terms of price. Galvanized steel gutters cost an average of $5.95 to $10.85 per linear foot to install, with a national average of $8.40 per linear foot. The majority of U.S. homes will need between 100 to 200 linear feet of new guttering installed. Larger homes may require up to 250 to 300 linear feet or more.
Compare the cost of galvanized steel gutters to other popular gutter materials. As you can see below, galvanized gutters have an average cost that falls in the middle of the road. Aluminum and vinyl gutters are cheaper than galvanized gutters, but zinc and copper gutters are more costly. Keep in mind that cost often goes hand in hand with durability. This means that steel gutters often last longer than aluminum and vinyl, while they are slightly less strong compared to copper gutters.
|Gutter Material||Cost range per linear ft.||National average cost per linear ft.||Cost for 200 linear ft.|
|Aluminum||$8.30 - $15.10||$11.70||$1,660 - $3,020|
|Vinyl||$5 - $9||$7||$1,000 - $1,800|
|Steel||$5.95 - $10.85||$8.40||$1,190 - $2,170|
|Zinc||$10 - $22||$16||$2,000 - $4,400|
|Copper||$15.80 - $28.80||$22.30||$3,160 - $5,760|
In addition to installing the galvanized steel gutters and paying for labor, your gutter installation will likely involve some other costs. For instance, you will need downspouts in order for your gutters to properly divert rainwater away from your roof to the ground. Steel downspouts cost an average of $27.20 to $49.60 per unit, and most homes require two to four downspouts depending on the home’s structure.
End caps are installed to close off each end of the gutter. Each steel end cap will cost an average of $3.50 to $6.30, and most homes require four to eight of these.
Lastly, it is highly recommended that you install gutter guards during the project. These will keep your new gutters from clogging and prevent large amounts of debris from clogging the system. There are many different types of gutter guards to choose from. Most will cost an average of $2.60 to $5.80 per linear foot.
Below you will find an estimated grand total to install galvanized steel gutters on a 1,500 square foot home. Keep in mind that these are based on national averages, and your project cost may be more or less depending on your home’s structure and geographical area.
|Galvanized gutters||$5.95 - $10.85 per linear ft.|
|Steel downspouts||$27.20 - $49.60 per unit|
|Steel end caps||$3.50 - $6.30 per unit|
|Gutter guards||$2.60 - $5.80 per linear ft.|
|Labor and installation||$2.20 - $4|
|Estimated grand total for 1,500 sq. ft. home||$1,680 - $3,325|
Alternatives to Galvanized Steel Gutters
The most common alternative options to steel gutters are aluminum and copper. Aluminum gutters are more common, less expensive, yet a bit less durable than galvanized gutters. Copper gutters, on the other hand, are more expensive, less common (due to their high price tag), and more durable compared to galvanized gutters. Let’s look into the details between steel gutters vs. aluminum and copper, so you can make the best decision for your home and budget.
Steel Gutters vs. Aluminum Gutters
- Durability and lifespan. Steel gutters resist dents, dings, and cracking caused by physical impact and temperature fluctuations. They last 20 to 50 years or more on average. Aluminum gutters will not bend and rarely rust, and are also well-suited to withstand snow and ice. They have a slightly lower lifespan than steel – an average of 20 to 25 years.
- Appearance. Steel gutters come in a variety of colors and can be painted, though you should wait at least a year to ensure the paint adheres properly. Aluminum gutters also can be painted, though it is usually more difficult.
- Installation. Steel gutters are more difficult to install due to their heavier weight. They might require additional work to ensure they don’t pull away from your home. Aluminum gutters are much easier to install because they have fewer seams. Most gutter installation professionals prefer working with aluminum.
- Sustainability. Both steel gutters and aluminum gutters are eco-friendly and recyclable.
Steel Gutters vs. Copper Gutters
- Cost. Galvanized gutters are more affordable to install with a national average of $8.40 per linear foot. Copper gutters are considered high-end and have a national average of $22.80 per linear foot.
- Durability and lifespan. Copper gutters have superior durability, are low maintenance, and resistant to rust, mold, and mildew. They can last 50 to 100 years, while galvanized steel gutters will usually require replacement prior to 50 years.
- Appearance. While steel gutters come in a variety of colors and can be painted, copper gutters are only available in very select colors (and typically left copper). They will oxidize over time and become a greenish-blue color.
- Installation. Both steel and copper are heavy materials that take extra work during installation. However, copper is one of the most difficult gutter materials to install as it requires custom cutting and molding for each home.
- Sustainability. Both steel gutters and copper gutters are eco-friendly and recyclable.
Are Galvanized Gutters Right for Your Home?
While galvanized steel gutters come with several upsides, there are a couple of reasons why homeowners choose different materials. The top reason is their weight. Steel gutters are very heavy, which can make for difficult installation. Galvanized gutters may also require upgraded fascia or connections between the gutter system and your roof to ensure they are secure.
The material is also more prone to rust than other types of gutters. Although galvanized steel gutters have added protection from an outer zinc layer, this layer will begin to break down and allow rust to form. Because of this, steel gutters often require more maintenance to better protect them from rust. They tend to last longer in drier environments that get less rainfall.
Finding a Local Gutter Contractor
When you are ready to start your gutters project, Modernize is here to help. Browse our library of Gutters Resources to better plan for your project and determine how to choose the best contractor. Then, you can use our network of reputable contractors to find a professional in your area best suited for the job.
Frequently Asked Questions
Galvanized steel gutters should last about 20 to 50 years with proper maintenance. They tend to outlast both aluminum and vinyl gutters due to their heavier duty material.
Galvanized gutters are durable against physical storm damage such as dents, dings, and cracks. While galvanized steel gutters offer initial rust protection, they will eventually become susceptible to it.
Steel gutters are available in K-style and half-round options. The best style for you will be based on your home’s exterior appearance and where you live.
There are several types of metal gutters, including stainless steel, galvanized steel, Galvalume (steel coated with a combination of aluminum and zinc), copper, and aluminum. Each has a different lifespan, cost per linear foot, and level of durability to extreme weather.
Due to their weight, it is highly difficult to properly install galvanized steal gutters yourself. Whereas sectional vinyl gutters may be possible to install DIY, it is always recommended to use a professional for steel gutters.