When it comes to homes and roofs, other aspects get more attention and are more widely discussed, but gutters are just as important. In general, homeowners don’t think about gutters until there’s a problem such as flooding, mold, or debris buildup. But installing new gutters and/or replacing old ones can add value to your home. There are two main types of gutters: seamless and non-seamless. Seamless gutters offer better protection and are easier to maintain. However, unlike traditional gutters, seamless gutters are not a DIY project. Because they must be cut from heavy material using a special machine, installation should always be done by a professional.
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Seamless Gutter Pricing
As with all home improvement projects, the cost of seamless gutters will vary depending on the area and the home. Here are some average costs based on a standard 2,000 square foot home that doesn’t have any unusual features:
Seamless Gutter Installation
It is relatively simple for anyone to start up a business installing seamless gutters. which means there are a lot of inexperienced contractors who will install your gutters at a low cost. Contact a few quality gutter contractors from HomeAdvisor to make sure the person installing your gutters is really an expert. Make sure the contractor you hire has completion insurance which means that your gutters are still under warranty even if he ends up selling his business. In general, the actual installation of your seamless gutters should only take one day after the materials have been purchased. Your seamless gutter installation should include the following:
- Labor. The labor cost generally includes planning, job equipment, material acquisition, area preparation, setup, and cleanup.
- Delivery. Many contractors include the cost of delivery in the estimate. Make sure to ask before assuming this is included and find out if there is a limit to the delivery (i.e. no more than 25 miles).
- Materials/supplies. Some additional supplies that might be needed for installation include fasteners, underlayment, drip edges, and basic flashing that should be included in the estimate.
- Warranty. Your installation should include a minimum one-year warranty on labor and at least a 20-year warranty on materials, though many companies will offer a lifetime warranty.
The size of your home, type of roof, and other external factors will affect the overall cost of the install project. Your contractor should base your estimate on the actual configurations of your home by performing on-site estimation. Here are some things to consider ahead of time:
- Type of house. Any house with a sprawling roof will have more gutters than an average house, which will raise the overall cost of materials and the length of installation time.
- Roof’s pitch and slope. A steep roof will require more intensive labor, which will raise the cost of installation.
- Levels. Installing gutters on multiple levels will also increase the cost of installation and the amount of materials needed to gutter the whole house.
- Location. Most homes use a 5 inch gutter, but homeowners in parts of the country that experience more unpredictable weather, and especially more downpours, might opt for a 6 inch gutter which can withstand 50% more water. 6 inch gutters cost on average $3-$5 more per foot than 5 inch gutters.
- Color. If you want your gutters to match a certain color to coordinate with your home, expect to pay a premium price.
- Season. For the lowest installation cost, have your gutters installed during the off-season, when contractors aren’t swamped with work. In general, late summer and early fall are the busiest for installing seamless gutters.
Depending on the building, permit or inspection fees might be required which won’t be included as part of the installation cost. Expect additional costs for relocating, repairing, modifying or enhancing existing structural, HVAC, electrical, ventilation and plumbing systems. Bringing those systems into compliance with current building codes is also not part of a cost estimate. Removing and/or hauling away old gutters will likely not be included in the estimate, but ask ahead of time because some contractors may include this automatically.
How Are Seamless Gutters Different From Regular Gutters?
All gutters keep water and snow away from a home’s roof and foundation, but traditional gutters have their inconveniences. Traditional gutters often get filled with leaves and other debris, which can lead to a compost pile growing in the gutter if not removed immediately. Seamless gutters minimize leaks and cut down the amount of blockages your gutters can have, though there is still a risk. There are much easier to clean than traditional gutters and require less maintenance overall. Traditional gutters come in separate pieces that simply need to be placed together, which is why it can be a fairly straightforward DIY project. In contrast, seamless gutters are formed from one continuous roll, which is cut onsite to the specifications of the house to guarantee a perfect fit for your house. While cutting the material and having it installed is more costly than installing traditional gutters, the payoff is sizable. Because the material is continuous, seamless gutters lack joints, fasteners or other openings to let in as much debris as traditional gutters.
Types of Seamless Gutters
There are a few types of seamless gutters including aluminum, copper, vinyl and steel. Here is a breakdown of the characteristics of each type of seamless gutter:
Aluminum Seamless Gutters
Aluminum is the most popular choice of homeowners who install seamless gutters. Aluminum is durable, economical, and easy to bend and shape. Aluminum is popular in most climates, particularly in the north which has to endure months of snow and ice. Aluminum gutters, in general, should last at least twenty years.
Copper Seamless Gutters
Also popular, copper seamless gutters are used in locations that deal with harsh and unpredictable weather as they do not rust and can withstand extreme climate conditions. Copper is more expensive than aluminum, but it is more durable and long-lasting. It also changes color by developing a greenish-blue patina over time. Some homeowners seek this out and prefer copper for its aesthetic appeal along with its durability.
Less popular than aluminum and copper, vinyl seamless gutters are less durable than aluminum and copper gutters. Unlike other types of seamless gutters, vinyl gutters come prefabricated. Many vinyl seamless gutters can be found already set and installed on pre-manufactured homes already set and installed in place. Therefore, special equipment is required to create a seamless finish for most vinyl seamless gutters.
The least popular material choice for seamless gutters, steel gutters are only available through specific contractors, suppliers, and manufacturers. They are extremely durable, and stainless steel gutters are resistant to rust. In general, steel gutters are more expensive than other options, which is a large part of their unpopularity among homeowners.
No matter which type of gutter material you choose, seamless gutters are a good plan for the long haul. They will keep your home safer from flooding, mold, and debris build up than traditional gutters. They will also increase the value of your home and add curb appeal. Because summer months are premium months for contractors, it is a good idea to wait until fall or winter to have your seamless gutters installed if you are trying to save on costs. Make sure your gutter installation includes a warranty so that you can keep your home looking good and safe from flooding for many years to come.