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Gutters & Downspouts: 3 Things You Should Know About Replacement Costs

If you’ve realized you need to replace your home’s gutters and downspouts, congratulations! You are already ahead of most homeowners. Unfortunately, too many Grand Rapids-area property owners only replace gutters when they completely fall from their homes! Still, knowing how much you will spend and how many downspouts you will need can help you plan the project while protecting your budget. 

Materials

Estimating costs begins with selecting the materials for your home’s new gutters and downspouts. For example, the thin and flimsy gutters available at Do-It-Yourself stores cost the least. They also last the least number of years. Professional gutter contractors spend money on thicker material, heavy-duty rolling machines, and plenty of strong workers to heft the heavier gutters into place. 

Even with heavy-duty gutters, you still have different options which affect the final cost. You might choose a 6-inch gutter instead of the more standard 5-inch gutter. You might ask about thicker than standard metal, for greater durability. Naturally, the thicker the gutter material, the higher the price, simply because you are buying more material per linear or running foot. 

You might even look into natural copper gutters, which are at the absolute peak of material costs for residential gutters. 

To get a better sense of how the different available materials will affect your final cost, talk to your local, helpful gutter installation contractor. 

Your Home

Your tidy single-story home should not have to pay the same for gutters as a three-story mansion with 23 rooms. This is why each gutter job’s cost depends on your home, to an extent. The owner of a cozy home can expect to pay less than the owner of a mansion. 

A 1,000-square-foot home with a typical steep-roof pitch may have only 100 linear feet of gutter, while a 3,000-square-foot home with a heavily angled (very steep-pitched) roof may need 300 linear feet or more of gutters.  

Besides linear footage, your home affects cost in several other ways:

  • Steeply pitched roofs require larger gutters to handle more runoff
  • Single-story homes are less labor intensive and easier to work on than multi-story homes
  • Access to your roof and gutter line may be affected by neighboring buildings, trees, property lines, or other hindrances
  • The more guttering your home needs, the more labor the job requires

Beautiful, seamless gutters are manufactured and custom-fit right at the jobsite, your home. Once crafted by the bending machine, the long, heavy gutter must be carefully maneuvered into place. 

On a one-story home (a ranch, modern, or cottage), the work is not especially difficult. A three-story Victorian with turrets and multiple roof sections makes work a challenge. The more complex your roof and gutter system, the higher the cost.

Downspouts

Your home probably already has downspouts. Many Grand Rapids homeowners hope to save a few dollars by asking for downspouts to be reused. It’s a noble idea, but not very practical. If you have ever had issues with roof leaks, overflowing gutters, weakened foundations, or ruined landscaping, you probably need more downspouts. 

The steeper your roof’s pitch, the faster water runs off it. This runoff can fill up gutters and can only exit the gutters two ways:

  1. Over the sides of the gutters, risking rotting fascia boards, drenched landscaping, and soggy foundations
  2. Down the downspouts, which can only handle so much water per minute due to the cross sectional size

You may not appreciate the risks you run with saturated ground near your home. Downspouts carry the water away, sometimes through French drains, sometimes just out into your yard. The ground directly under your eaves, by your foundations, should be dry most of the year. Saturated foundations are weak foundations, and they can make your home unsafe to occupy. 

The two sure cures for ruined landscaping and damp foundations are to increase the size of your gutters from 5-inch profile to 6-inch profile, and to put in more downspouts. 

Ideally, downspouts should be every 25 to 35 feet, with 40 feet at the absolute maximum. The steeper your roof and the greater its surface area, the more downspouts you need. The more downspouts, the more water your gutter system can drain away from your foundations. Your landscaping will stay dry, too. 

Dollars and Sense

You may be disappointed not to see an actual dollar amount in this article, but now you know why such a thing is nearly impossible. Every customer’s home requires a discussion of material, color, and style options, and planning for adequate downspouts. 

To make sense of the dollar amounts, turn to Moore and Sons Roofing. We do more than just roofing! We can expertly install gutters on your Grand Rapids home. Please contact us today to learn how we can save you money, preserve your home’s value, and provide accurate estimates for brand new gutters.