Most homeowners choose seamless gutters because of the value and home protection they provide.
Without seams, the gutters are better looking and eliminate much of the leak threat posed by sectional gutters with multiple seams on each side of a house.
Aluminum offers the best combination of cost and durability, which makes it the most popular choice with a cost of $6.50 to $13.50 per linear foot installed including downspouts, brackets and end-caps.
Copper is the upscale choice at $20 to $30 per linear foot and often includes the maintenance cost of polishing it, unless a natural copper patina is preferred.
Coated steel is the budget choice at $5.85 to $10.15 per linear foot installed including downspouts, brackets and end-caps.
Common Seamless Gutter Project Scenarios
We’ve configured a 2,000 square foot home three different ways to show how the linear feet of seamless gutters are affected. Each hypothetical house in the examples below has an attached 2.5-car garage (approx. 22 x 26).
Home #1: 36’x56’ ranch
Home #2: 25’x40’ saltbox two-story
Home #3: Bi-level
|House type||Ln. ft.||Aluminum||Steel||Copper||6″ gutters||Hip roof||3×4 downspouts|
|Ranch||206 ft.||$1,926||$1,473||$4,944||Add 12%||Add 20%||Add 5%|
|Bi-level||146 ft.||$1,365||$1,044||$3,504||Add 10%||Add 17%||Add 5%|
|Two-story||132 ft.||$1,234||$944||$3,168||Add 8%||Add 15%||Add 3%|
|For premium colors, add 5-10% for any home style.|
Removing old gutters: Cost to remove the old gutters can range from 50 cents to about $1.15 per liner foot. This cost represents potential savings, if you’re handy and know how to work safely on a ladder.
Gutter style: Most seamless gutter companies use K-style gutters also called ogee style.
Did you know? Some gutter installation companies also offer a budget-priced half-round gutter, but it carries less water and more quickly fills with clogging debris. Most homeowners think half-round gutters look dated.
Gutter width: Standard width is 5”, but 6” are available and should be used if you get frequent heavy downpours.
Gable or hip roof: Homes with hip roofs have gutters on all four sides, so the guttering costs are going to be higher than comparable homes with gable roofs.
Home size: The bigger the house, the more gutters, the higher overall cost.
Home style: A 2,000 square foot ranch will have more gutters than a 2,000 square foot split-level or two-story. This is slightly offset by the longer downspouts on two-story home sections.
Home complexity: Factors that increase complexity – and therefore time/labor – include more than four corners on the home, a porch with gutters and multi-level design that includes running downspout over long stretches of roof.
Premium colors: Dark colors often cost more because additional pigment must be used to obtain a deep, non-fading tone.
Time of year: Spring is the busy season for gutter companies, so they offer fewer deals and discounts than during less busy times like the fall (northern climates) and winter (southern climates).
Where you live: Cost of living affects seamless gutter prices by up to 25%.
Did you know? Gutters that cost $8.00 per linear foot in a small Midwest or southern town might cost $8.80 (10% more) in a large metro region like Dallas/Ft. Worth or Chicago and $10.00 (25% more) in San Francisco, Boston or other large city on one of the Coasts.
DIY or pro: All seamless gutters are produced onsite and professionally installed. For DIY gutters, you’ll have to use sectional gutters. With materials, tools and supplies, your cost savings might amount to $2.50-$4.00 per linear foot.
Determining Your Materials List
How many feet of gutter do you need? How many downspouts? What else should you count?
Linear feet of guttering: Add the lengths for each horizontal section where the gutters will be installed. Gables don’t get gutters. Hip roofs do. If you have an architectural drawing for your home, it will have these dimensions.
When physically measuring the lengths, it can be done from the ground. It might not be as precise as stretching your tape measure over the fascia, but will keep you safe and be close enough for estimating purposes.
Number of downspouts: Your home needs one downspout for every 400-600 square feet of covered space, with four minimum.
Pro Tip: If heavy rains occur in your area, then basing your estimate on 1 downspout per 400 square feet might prevent a flood.
It only takes one “ten year” or “100-year” storm – a storm in which it rains so heavily, your downspouts can’t drain the gutters fast enough – to spill hundreds of gallons of water next to your home.
The overflowing rainwater can seep into the foundation and flood your basement. Losses can be far costlier than the price of a few extra downspouts.
Another option for areas with heavy rainfall is to have 3”x4” downspouts installed rather than standard 2”x3” units because they twice the capacity.
Corners: Simply count how many corners or turns the gutters will make. A rectangular house has 4. A L-shaped home or rectangular house with a porch that extends away from the home has 6, and so forth.
Aluminum vs. Steel Gutters
Copper is in a class by itself, an expensive class. They look best on upscale homes with wood, brick, stone or stucco exteriors. Most homeowners choose between aluminum and steel.
These points might help you decide. Aluminum accounts for 81% of all installations and steel about 14% of installations.
Aluminum gutters are finished with durable coatings available in 20+ colors. The aluminum resists corrosion even if the paint is scratched or worn. The finish is paintable.
Expect 20-25 years in climates with heavy snow and ice buildup and on properties with large trees that clog gutters. They last 30+ years in warmer climates and when heavy debris doesn’t fill them.
Steel costs less, but is less common due to aluminum’s popularity. You’ll probably have fewer choices for installers in your area if you want steel. While costing a bit less, you won’t get the same durability from steel.
Rust often begins showing in less than 10 years. Since they are slightly heavier, steel gutters put more stress o fascia and can separate at endcaps more easily. If coastal spray is an issue where you live, steel should not be considered.
Check Wood Fascia Before Installing Gutters
If you’re able or have a friend that can assist, check wood fascia behind the old gutters. What you’re looking for are signs of rot in the fascia. Evidence will be peeled paint, mold and/or soft areas.
If you find rot: A fascia board with significant rot must be replaced before new gutters are installed. A handyman can do the work. You might also ask the gutter company if that’s one of their services.
Expect to pay $4.00 to $7.00 per linear foot for new wood fascia installed. It must then be primed and painted.
Whether or not you find rot: If you have wood fascia that isn’t wrapped with aluminum, this is a good time to take that step. The cost is $6.50 to $9.00 per linear foot to install aluminum over the wood.
Another option is to replace wood fascia with composite material for $8.00 to $12.00 per linear foot installed. It’s the best long-term solution. The waterproof material will keep moisture off wood fascia and help prevent rot problems during the life of your seamless gutters.
How to Get the Best Deal
Any estimates you get should fall within the ranges we’ve given unless your home’s size, shape or other factors present unique challenges.
Have the work done in the off-season. In northern climates, that’s in the fall before snow begins to accumulate. If you have an early spring, and the snow is gone from the roof earlier than usual, hungry gutter contractors might be ready to give you a good deal.
Winter is a good time to have gutters installed in climates unaffected by snow and ice, unless heavy rains are common in your area in winter.
It is ideal to have a window of several days of dry weather to get repairs or replacements made to fascia, remove the old gutters and have new gutters installed.
Plan to get several estimates, and let each seamless gutter company know that’s your approach. If they want the business, they’ll provide a competitive estimate.
Word of caution: Low cost shouldn’t be the sole reason for hiring a gutter installer. The focus should be on quality, experience, reputation and customer service.
Are Gutter Guards the Next Step?
Many homeowners install gutter guards following the installation of new gutters. If you live in the woods, they might be a good idea. They will keep leaves out of your gutters for a time.
However, when leaves and other organic materials make their way into the gutters, cleaning them will be much more time-consuming or costly because the guards must be removed first. — It’s a trade-off worth exploring when gutters without guards require cleaning more than twice per year.