Costs of Different Gutter Materials

contractor installing gutters

Gutters and downspouts are a fundamental aspect of a roofing system. They transport water off the roof and away from the home's foundation. Gutter and downspout prices vary quite a bit depending on the material you choose. Learn the different prices of the four most popular gutter materials.

A functioning gutter and downspout system will direct water away from the foundation of your room to prevent premature cracking, flooding, and erosion.

No matter the material type you choose, keep the system functioning properly by periodically cleaning it to remove leaves and other debris. 

Material Price
Copper gutters and downspouts $40 - $100 per piece
Steel gutters and downspouts $11 - $33 per piece
Aluminum gutters and downspouts $6 - $12 per piece
Vinyl gutters and downspouts $4 - $8 per piece

Copper Gutters and Downspouts

Copper is a very durable material and holds up well over time, but it is by far the most expensive option.

Homeowners typically choose copper for its distinctive appearance. As it ages, copper develops its distinctive patina, which adds a considerable amount of character and curb appeal to the property.

Copper is a great material choice if you have the budget for it. Keep in mind that its color will change over time and that due to the value of the metal, they may be more at risk of being stolen.

Steel Gutters and Downspouts

Steel holds up well under extreme weather conditions and is stronger than aluminum. It is a much cheaper alternative to copper but is slightly pricier than aluminum.

While steel is no more effective at moving water away from your home’s roof and foundation, it is more durable and will last longer in harsh climate zones.

Aluminum Gutters and Downspouts

Aluminum is a great choice due to its affordability, easy installation, and lightweight. They do tend to suffer damages over time because of their light weight and may need to be repaired or replaced sooner than other materials. All withstanding, aluminum is a great choice for the homeowner on a budget.

Vinyl Gutters and Downspouts

Vinyl is a great gutter system material if you’re looking for the most affordable option and you live in a very mild climate. Vinyl tends to crack or warp in extreme heat or cold, so they’re best for temperate zones.

Vinyl is appealing due to its price point, but it will need to be replaced sooner than the other options.

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Downspout extensions and additional materials

Don’t forget to include the costs of downspout extensions and add-on materials when considering gutter systems.

Vinyl and aluminum downspout extensions are quite reasonable, ranging between $6 to $15, while steel and copper cost much more. Additional materials don’t cost a whole lot more and may include:

  • Hangers: Gutter hangers provide reinforcement and help hold gutters in place during high winds and severe storms. They start at about $2 a piece.

  • Splash blocks and drains: Splash blocks aid in directing water away from the foundation and further prevent premature cracking and flooding. They cost about $8.


Maintenance and enhancement costs

gutter screen

Like other roof system elements, gutters and downspouts need to be maintained in order to function properly. There are a few enhancements you can add to the system to ensure they stay clean and clear of debris. 

Removal and Disposal: If you’re tearing off an old gutter system, the process will increase the total cost of the new installation project. Professional removals add about $100.

Gutter Guards: Gutter guards are plastic mesh coverings that prevent leaves, sticks, and other debris from blocking gutters. The best options won’t corrode or rust. An average guard measuring 6 inches by 20 feet costs about $6—not a bad price for the peace of mind of a clear gutter system.

Downspout Screens: Downspout screens are installed to redirect any material that may clog the downspout opening. They use the natural flow of water to elevate leaves and sticks above the slope of the gutter and cost about $8 apiece.

Wire Mesh Screens: Similar to gutter guards, wire mesh screens serve to protect even smaller elements from clogging up gutters. Namely, insects and other pests that may try to build nests. The mesh screen fits on top of the gutter and blocks anything that tries to get inside it. They’re a cheap form of protection, costing about $1 per square foot.

Heat Tape: Freezing water is one of the biggest problems for gutter systems. The added weight can cause gutters to collapse and lead to moisture penetrating the roof. Heat tape protects gutters from large ice buildups. The heating tape or cable runs through the gutters and downspouts warming any frozen water to allow proper drainage. 100 feet of heating tape or cables costs around $75.

Gutters are a crucial element of any roofing system and greatly aid in the defense of the roof, siding, foundation, and land. A damaged gutter system increases the odds of severe moisture damage and other problems, so invest in the highest-grade material you can afford while complementing the exterior styling of your home.

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