How Much Do Copper Gutters Cost?
Gutters are an important part of any house. Without them, the water runoff from any roof can build up around the foundation of a home and cause costly damage. If gutters are installed by a professional, they keep the basements and foundations of homes protected by draining water away from the houses. That being said, gutters are normally not very glamorous to look at unless the home is outfitted with copper gutters. Manufacturers make gutters from an array of metals. This includes aluminum, stainless steel and wood, but few offer more curbside appeal than copper.
- Minimum: $15 per linear foot
- Maximum: $25 per linear foot
The cost for installing copper gutters on a house is not cheap and is seen as a luxury. Copper gutters can cost between $15 and $25 per linear foot. In comparison, most houses are outfitted with aluminum gutters, which only cost between $4 and $8 per linear foot. One factor that affects the cost of the copper gutters is the thickness of the metal being used. The thicker the material, the more expensive the gutters will cost. However, thicker gutters tend to last longer. The optimal thickness for gutters is usually around 0.32 inches thick. Homeowners who want to save a bit of money can purchase gutters as thin as 0.18 inches.
The only other cost that homeowners need to worry about is the labor associated with having professionally install the gutters. Due to the experience that is needed to install copper gutters, it is very rare to see someone install them without professional help. The price for this kind of project will be directly related to the rates of the contractor and the size of the house. On average, however, a homeowner could spend as much as $3 per linear foot in labor costs to have copper gutters installed.
There are a lot of materials that are needed to have copper gutters professionally installed. Making sure that the copper gutters are installed properly is of the utmost importance. Improper installation can lead to the leaking or possible collapse of the gutter system.
The first material is the gutters themselves. Copper gutters come in a few different styles: K style, high back ogee and half round. K style is sometimes referred to as just ogee. Hidden hangers help secure the gutters in place without taking away from their beauty. End caps make sure that the water funnels through the downspout and does not run off the ends of the gutters. Downspouts are usually included in the cost of the copper gutters themselves. However, some companies charge extra for the downspouts, so it never hurts to check. The downspout is the section of the gutter that runs vertically down the house. The end usually has a tail on it to help direct water away from the foundation.
Advantages & Disadvantages of Copper Gutters
Just like any other material that homeowners can choose for their gutters, copper has its pros and cons. Although copper gutters may require a bit more upkeep than traditional gutters, their longevity may be enough to outweigh this con. Homeowners need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages to see if copper gutters are the right choice for their homes. Below are some of the key benefits and disfavors for homeowners to consider about copper gutters.
Copper is naturally resistant to corrosion, and this is why it is used in piping and wiring. This also makes it the perfect material for making gutters. It is not unheard of to have copper gutters last between 60 and 100 years if they are kept up with properly. This makes them a very sound investment. Also, since copper gutters last so long, there is no need to replace them every few years, which also keeps old gutters from building up in landfills across the country. In fact, nearly 40 percent of all copper used in copper gutters is recycled from prior use. The look of copper is another big draw to this style of gutter and adds great curbside appeal to any house.
The single biggest con of choosing copper gutters for any house is the price. With prices reaching nearly $25 per linear foot for just the gutters alone, it is easy to see why copper gutters have not taken off in popularity yet. On top of that, everyone has seen what copper does as it starts to age: it turns green. This is a major drawback because the shiny bronze look of copper is one of the major draws to this style of gutter in the first place. Also, houses with copper gutters are also known to be theft targets. This is because copper has a high value and can easily be scrapped for a high reward. This is why the copper piping in some old abandoned houses has already been stripped out.
To keep copper gutters looking beautiful, they do require a bit of extra maintenance. Homeowners should also be aware that any time they are working with their copper gutters, they should wear gloves. This is because the oil that is naturally produced on the hands can damage the finish on the gutters. Just like ordinary gutters, copper ones have to be cleared of debris from time to time. Since copper can be scratched fairly easily by metal objects, the homeowner needs to purchase plastic tools to remove debris from the gutters without scratching them.
Another maintenance project that is required for copper gutters but not traditional gutters is polishing. Since copper gutters require such a huge investment, it is understandable that homeowners want them to continue to shine for years to come. To help offset the green discoloration that copper is known for, homeowners need to use a polishing solution. Home improvement stores sell copper polishing solutions, so this is something that homeowners can do once a year or so to help keep their gutters looking shiny and new.
Last updated on May 23, 2016
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