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Rain Gutters Price Guide

Gutters may be a practical and important item for many homes, but they are also something that few people think about unless there is a problem. When constructing a new home or updating an old one, rain gutters may be a potential addition to the structure, although they are not always necessary. This cost guide delves into the various types of rain gutters available, what materials are commonly used for rain gutters, the pros and cons of rain gutters and everything else a homeowner might need to know before purchase and installation.

The Costs

  • Average minimum cost of rain gutters: $4 per linear foot

  • Average maximum cost of rain gutters: $12 per linear foot

Advantages of Installing Rain Gutters

There are two primary reasons to purchase rain gutters: to protect the exterior siding of the home and to prevent landscaping problems. When rain hits a pitched or flat roof, it will accumulate and then fall from one side of the roof, which is typically directly above the structural exterior wall. This water can splash the side of the wall and create potential damage, and at the very least, it can cause extra cleaning for the homeowner.

Rain gutters prevent this from happening by directing the water into a specific, safe location away from the home that won't do any damage. Rain gutters also prevent rain and its corresponding splashes from damaging the landscaping outside of the house. Without rain gutters, downpours can cause the erosion of topsoil and the destruction of gardens as well as muddy front and backyards.

Disadvantages of Installing Rain Gutters

While rain gutters are advantageous when it comes to protecting the exterior of the home as well as the surrounding landscape, they are certainly not without some drawbacks. Major disadvantages associated with rain gutters include their cost, maintenance and appearance.

Adding rain gutters to an existing home can be a substantial expense for homeowners, but the price is normally worth the benefits. Maintenance is an ongoing struggle for many homeowners with rain gutters, but the right cover can prevent a lot of work. Rain gutters that are underneath trees may fill with leaves rapidly, and any standing water in the gutters can cause them to sag and potentially be damaged.

The final drawback to rain gutters is their appearance, which some individuals don't appreciate. However, with so many different materials and colors to choose from, it is usually simple to find a style that suits the home and the owner's sense of design.

Choosing the Right Material for Rain Gutters

Rain gutters can be constructed from a variety of different materials, and some of the most common include vinyl, aluminum and steel. Vinyl is the most popular material used for the construction of rain gutters in the United States, and it is readily available from any building store. Vinyl rain gutters are also the most affordable option, and the material itself is easy to cut and install. However, vinyl can be brittle in extremely cold temperatures, so it may not be suitable for every climate.

Another very popular option is aluminum. Rain gutters made from aluminum can hold more water, which is ideal, and they can also withstand a greater range of temperatures.

The third option to consider when choosing a material for rain gutters is copper. While copper rain gutters are definitely one of the most expensive options on the market, they are also widely considered to be the most attractive. Rain gutters made from copper also need to be installed by professionals familiar with the material in order to enjoy the best results.

Seamless vs. Sectional Rain Gutters

Another major decision that homeowners will need to make, and one that can influence the cost of rain gutters significantly, is choosing between seamless and sectional rain gutters. Sectional rain gutters tend to be the cheapest option, and they are easier to install without the assistance of professionals. Sectional rain gutters are essentially pre-made pieces that get put together to fit the perimeter of the roof, and buyers can find long straight pieces, curved pieces and corner pieces to accommodate their home.

Since there are seams, however, sectional rain gutters also tend to leak more than the alternative, seamless rain gutters. While seamless rain gutters are more expensive, they are becoming an increasingly popular choice among homeowners who don't want to worry as much about leaks and maintenance. Seamless rain gutters are continuous pieces guaranteed not to leak, but they generally need to be installed by professionals in order to be 100-percent effective.

Picking a Rain Gutter Cover

Over the last few years, the quality of gutter covers has increased significantly, and almost every homeowner should consider some kind of gutter cover in order to reduce the amount of clogs, leaves and maintenance that can occur over time. There are a number of different gutter cover options to consider, but a few of the most popular are:

  • Mesh gutter covers: least effective, cheapest, very easy to install

  • Filtered gutter covers: affordable, can eliminate leaves but can't handle heavy rain

  • Snap-on gutter covers: snap into place to completely cover gutters, more expensive

  • Gutter and cover combination: molded into a single piece, most effective and most expensive option

Factors Affecting the Cost of Rain Gutters

There are a number of factors that can increase or decrease the total cost of rain gutters. As mentioned above, material, style and cover will all affect the price of rain gutters, but that is certainly not all. Installation itself can be expensive, with most homeowners paying anywhere from $600 to $2,000 for the labor alone. Purchasing gutters with a warranty may also drive up the cost slightly, but having a warranty for as long as 20 years can give the owners peace of mind, and it may even be a selling point if the home is transferred to new owners in the future. When picking an installation team for rain gutters, consider the higher bid if they are licensed and insured in the state.

Last updated on Apr 1, 2015

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