Gutter replacement costs: types, DIY vs. contractor

Chris Gennone

By Chris Gennone

May 24, 2021

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Damaged gutters can be incredibly dangerous for any homeowner. When your gutters aren’t doing their job, you may experience flooding, stained siding, or mold growth. Depending on the type of materials your gutters are made from, the prices can vary. Let’s take a look at what you could expect to pay for replacing your gutters and when you should call in a contractor.

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Types of gutters

The two most common types of gutters available are sectional and seamless gutters. Let’s take a look at what each has to offer and how much you can expect to pay for each.

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Sectional gutters

Sectional gutters on a residential home

Image source: Rainbusters Exteriors

Sectional gutters have been used in some form for thousands of years. Currently, sectional gutters are sold in several pieces, about 10 or 20 feet in length, and are easy to install yourself. The biggest downside to sectional gutters is that they can separate over time, leading to leaks and repairs.

Seamless gutters

Seamless gutters on a residential home

Image source: All About Gutters and Awnings

Seamless gutters are a singular piece of gutter that’s cut to fit your needs. Because they don’t require joints or fasteners and have no seams, leaks are very uncommon. Though the cost of seamless gutter is higher, they are more durable and reliable.

Gutter styles

K-style

K-style gutters

K-style gutters are available in both sectional and seamless styles and are made from a variety of metals and PVC. As the most common and durable style of gutter, K-style’s provide optimal drainage on homes all over the U.S. K-style gutters have curved edges and flat sides, resembling crown moldings to give your home a more sophisticated appearance.

Half-round

Half-round gutters

Half-round gutters are less common among homeowners but work well with older homes with round rooflines. The round U shape of these gutters is less functional and more for appearances only. They are more difficult and more expensive to install.

Fascia

Fascia gutters

Fascia gutters are typically larger and are installed on the fascia board alongside the wall of your house. While fascia gutters are incredibly durable and typically seen more on the West coast, they are difficult to install and can be high maintenance without gutter guards.

Gutter materials by cost

Vinyl

Vinyl gutters on a residential home

Image source: Fine Homebuilding

Perhaps the cheapest and easiest gutter to install yourself is vinyl gutters. Although vinyl gutters rarely need to be cleaned or painted, they do require hidden brackets attached to the fascia and aren’t as durable as other materials. These gutters are typically not recommended for homeowners in wetter or colder climates.

Average cost: $4 per linear foot

Aluminum

Aluminum gutters on a residential home

Image source: Your Homeowners Resource

Aluminum is the most common and popular material for gutters due to its easy installation and lower price point. Not only are aluminum gutters lightweight and resistant to rust, but they are easy to paint and can last up to 30 years.

Average cost: $6 per linear foot

Steel

Steel gutters on a residential home

Image source: Rain Gutters Solution

While galvanized steel gutters are lauded for their durability and fair pricing, they are prone to rust and corrosion, requiring occasional maintenance. Steel gutters also require hangers and hidden brackets to hold them together, and sometimes need expansion joints in more volatile climates and cold weather.

Average cost: $9 per linear foot

Copper

Copper gutters on a residential home

Image source: A.B. Edward Enterprises

While copper gutters offer an incredibly beautiful appearance and are extremely durable, they are very expensive and heavy. Available in both K-style and half-round style, copper gutters and their downspouts develop a patina over time, which gives it an aesthetically pleasing green hue. The total cost may set you back, but high-end copper gutters will increase your home’s curb appeal and last you a lifetime without much maintenance.

Average cost: $27 per linear foot

Replacement cost guide

Gutters being replaced on a residential home

Image source: Clarke & Rush

Determining how much it’ll cost to replace and install gutters all depends on the type of gutter, the size, the material it’s made from, and labor costs. The first thing you’ll need to do is remove and dispose of the old gutters either yourself or with the help of a gutter contractor.

Let’s use aluminum as an example and break down the pricing of what it might cost to replace your gutters.

Type

Sectional aluminum gutters - Aluminum K-style sectional gutters typically come in 8 or 10-foot pieces at about $9 per piece at Lowe’s.

Seamless aluminum gutters - For a 16-foot seamless aluminum gutter, you can expect to pay about $25 per piece at The Home Depot.

The average home typically requires between 120-250 feet of rain gutters, depending on your roofline and the size of your home. Once you’ve determined how many feet of gutter you’ll need, let’s figure out what else you’ll need.

Downspouts

It’s recommended that a downspout be installed every 35 linear feet of gutters and should be 10 feet long. Depending on if you have a two or three-story home, you could expect to pay more for necessary materials. For example, if your home requires 120 feet of new gutters, you’ll need 3 downspouts. You can expect to pay about $13 for each 10-foot aluminum downspout at Lowe’s.

Gutter guards

While gutter guards are completely optional, and also controversial, they can offer further protection. Gutter guards are designed to direct water away from your home and prevent water damage. However, when your gutters fill up with leaves or other debris, clogs can lead to leakage, flooding, and even structural damage to your home’s foundation.

You can install specific screens like a wire mesh screen, gutter screen, or full covers which all offer varying protection, but have their issues. You can expect to pay between $1-$10 per foot depending on the material of the gutter guard. Aluminum gutter guards cost about $5 for every 3-foot piece.

Replacement and installation

Finally, you’ll need to decide whether or not to replace and install the gutter system yourself or hire a gutter installer. Depending on the gutter company, you can expect to pay between $1,500-$5,000 for gutter replacement.

DIY vs. contractor

DIY gutter installation on a residential home

Image source: Forbes

DIY gutter installation

If you’re on a tight budget and prefer to make repairs yourself, replacing your gutters is a doable DIY home improvement project. Though you’ll mostly just be paying for the cost of gutters and necessary materials, there are also several risks to consider. Not only can DIY gutter repair be dangerous if you fall and suffer severe injuries, but they may not also last as long if you make the smallest mistakes, leading to future repair costs.

While gutters do typically come with a warranty for materials, you won’t be covered for labor. However, if you do decide to replace your gutters yourself, we recommend choosing a simple type and material like a K-style aluminum or vinyl gutter. Other types and materials like steel and copper should be done by a professional.

Hiring a gutter contractor

Hiring a professional to replace and install new gutters could cost you $5 per square foot, but gutter prices and gutter installation costs vary depending on your area. Selecting a contractor will be more expensive than doing it yourself, but also potentially extends the life of your gutters and gives you peace of mind. Just make sure to read the fine print of your warranty so you know what’s covered and for how long. These manufacturer and labor warranties typically range anywhere from 20 years to life.

Gutter replacement: in summary

Replacing and installing your gutters is crucial for preventing any type of damage to your home. With faulty gutters, you could experience a variety of issues like water leakage, flooding, and even potential structural damage. While it’s also important to perform some simple maintenance with gutter cleanings, there comes a time when you’ll have to replace them.

Vinyl and aluminum gutters are the most common and cheapest materials to choose from. They’re also easier to install yourself, as opposed to more expensive materials like steel and copper. It’s important to bear in mind that there are several risks involved with any DIY installation, which can lead to injuries and future repairs. Depending on what your budget may be, it’s probably best to hire a contractor to remove, replace, and install the gutters for you. Our gutter replacement cost guide will help you make that decision.

Get in touch with a local contractor today.

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