Quotatis | Guttering Advice

Gutter Replacement Cost Guide 2020

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When it comes to maintaining our homes, it can be difficult to keep track of every aspect that needs attention. One area that often goes unnoticed is our roofs, and in particular our guttering. They can become blocked, broken or even just visually unappealing as time takes its toll on them. You may decide to hire a professional tradesperson to fix these problems, where you may ask the question: how much does gutter replacement cost?

This price guide is updated for 2020 and is designed to answer that question as well as many more. Throughout this guide, we’ll go over the various types of guttering you can have, the problems that can arise and how you can fix them. For some of the smaller, more specific questions that surrounding gutters, read our FAQ at the bottom of the page.

Contents

    1. What types of guttering are there?
    2. How are new gutters installed?
    3. Why should I replace my gutters?
    4. Should I clean, repair or replace my gutters?
    5. How much does it cost to repair gutters?
    6. What is the typical gutter replacement cost?
    7. How do I fix blocked or damaged gutters?
    8. How much does it cost to clean gutters out?
    9. FAQ
    10. Get a quote

What types of guttering are there?

Before we cover the cost of gutters, it’s important that we explain the various types of guttering that exist. If you need your existing guttering repaired, then it’s useful to know its strengths and weaknesses. This way you can anticipate what the next set of repairs that you might need will be and prevent the cause.

Alternatively, you may be looking to replace your gutters. In this case, you’ll likely want to know not just the cost of new gutters, but also which material is best for them. We have listed the four main materials used in the production of guttering below.

uPVC

One of the most common guttering materials. uPVC is a kind of composite plastic that’s used for many things throughout the home. This includes windows, doors and more.

uPVC is most often made in white but can come in different colours. Most homes opt for the default, although for certain properties and locations you may decide that black or grey uPVC is more fitting.

There are a lot of benefits to using it outside of its aesthetic values.

It’s one of the cheapest building materials on the market. This means the gutter replacement cost would be low when using uPVC.

It also requires very little in terms of maintenance. While gutters of this kind need cleaning every so often, they are immune to rot and are incredibly resistant to weather damage.

Also, there is a chance you’ve heard speculation that uPVC is a toxic material – this is false. There is a somewhat common misconception that uPVC can be dangerous to use, but this isn’t accurate.

The closest this comes to being true is that if you burn it, it can release dioxins into the air which can pollute the environment. However, this falls under the umbrella of conventional wisdom that says that you should probably keep a safe distance between you and anything that is burning, especially plastics.

Copper

copper guttering
Image via Pinterest

While you might not see an abundance of copper guttering compared to uPVC, it is growing in popularity. Copper is a highly durable option that is resistant to corrosion but will turn a green/blue colour over time due to oxidisation. It has a lifespan of roughly 100 years, and it can reach this without being treated with any finishes.

Another benefit is that copper is a natural algaecide and fungicide. This means that by installing it you’ll prevent the growth of fungi like lichens, resulting in fewer blockages. Maintenance becomes less frequent too.

Furthermore, if they do need replacing for whatever reason then copper is a fully recyclable material.

Finally, copper has a strong visual quality that many people love. Installing new copper gutters is a good way to add a bit of style and stand out from the other homes near you.

For more on copper guttering, be sure to check out our article explaining its various strengths and weaknesses.

Aluminium

Aluminium guttering is on the pricier end of your options but not without good reason. It is the strongest choice out of all the ones listed here, given its high strength to weight ratio. Speaking of which, aluminium is also incredibly light.

Like copper, aluminium has an excellent resistance to corrosion, yet it doesn’t come with the same discolouration effects. This is because it produces an oxide coating which protects it from harm. In the event that the coating is damaged, aluminium naturally reproduces the oxide to protect itself once more.

It’s also incredibly sustainable, as aluminium can be recycled over and over without degrading the quality of the material. In fact, the energy used to recycle the metal so it can be reused is 95% less than the energy it would take to smelt the aluminium from bauxite ore and then into its intended form. Aluminium guttering is one of the most eco-friendly options you can buy.

Cast iron

Something of a classic option, cast iron gutters have been installed on homes since the 19th century. However, as time has gone on most homeowners have replaced them for more appropriate options.

You may still see them around London, or on older Victorian-era housing, but it is increasingly rare.

That being said, they do have some benefits. Installing a series of cast iron gutters is a good way of adding an authentic, period feel. Moreover, in listed properties cast iron gutters are often made a requirement by the authorities.

There’s also a surprising number of options and accessories still available for cast iron guttering. You can still purchase a wide range of hoppers, downpipes and more. However, as time progresses there will be fewer of these up for sale, and replacements will become harder to make. This can result in higher gutter replacement costs the longer you have these installed.

How are new gutters installed?

Given the state of the British climate, you’ll eventually have to replace your existing gutters once the weather has affected them for long enough. When you hire someone to do this, the process is relatively quick and uncomplicated.

First, a tradesperson (or perhaps two) will arrive at your house and begin removing the old guttering. Then they’ll cut the new material to shape, ensuring all the measurements are correct and there are no gaps creating leakage. After that the replacements are fitted to the fascias.

Oftentimes the soffits and fascias will need replacing too. While it will increase the final gutter replacement cost, it may be worth investing in it all at once.

This whole process usually takes a maximum of one day, often taking less when multiple professionals are involved.

The installation process is relatively safe when conducted by qualified tradespeople. Although it does require workers to operate at heights, so it’s critical that safety measures are always taken.

Why should I replace my guttering?

gutter replacement cost

There are a few reasons why people typically update their home’s guttering.

Obsolete materials

Depending on the age of your property, it may have come with cast iron gutters already installed. While these are technically viable, they will eventually wear down. Even if they aren’t damaged, there are many other materials available that are more durable and cost effective.

So, you may decide to replace cast iron gutters because you can, not just because you need to. In this case you have a choice to make. Do you choose uPVC for its lower price, or copper or aluminium to retain the metal aesthetic?

Kerb appeal

Along the same lines of replacing out of want rather than need, you can also change your guttering in order to raise the value of your property.

Especially with older properties, the gutters can be a rather unimpressive feature. At best they often don’t affect your home’s value, at worst they can actively bring it down.

So, if you’re looking to sell your home soon, you need to consider some minor renovations. A small investment up front can bring a reasonable return later when you do finally agree a sale price.

Blockage or damage

gutter cleaning cost blockage

Over time, the health of your gutters is going to deteriorate due to one of a variety of potential causes.

Blockage can arise from leaves, mud and various type of debris landing in your gutters and clogging them up.

Damage, on the other hand, can arise from many sources. Through casual wear and tear, or consistent poor weather, leaks can develop due to holes forming. Alternatively, the gutters can be pull away from their brackets. This can be because of extreme blockage adding too much weight, therefore pulling the gutters from the wall. In the case of uPVC, it can even be because of sunlight warping and destabilising the plastic.

If blockage or damage aren’t dealt with within a reasonable time, leaks may start to develop. If that happens, more severe problems can form. Initially, leaky gutters can cause damage to the structural integrity of the walls. Should the water get into the home, it can also cause health issues. This scenario is a leading cause of damp in the UK, which can cause mould.

End of lifespan

The material of your gutters will greatly affect how long they can last before they naturally deteriorate. The table below gives a brief overview of the lifespans of each material. Beneath that is a more detailed breakdown of why these materials last as long as they do. They also explore why some of these averages are given a wide variance whereas others aren’t.

 

Type of guttering Average lifespan
uPVC 10-25 years
Copper 100 years
Aluminium 30-70 years
Cast iron 50 years

 

1.    uPVC

Because uPVC is a kind of plastic, it will degrade slightly faster than other options. When it is exposed to rain or sunlight for an extended period it can start to take on damage. Also, while being generally quite durable, extreme weather conditions can break uPVC. Under conditions such as intense hail, falling branches or similar events, plastic gutters can crack.

As a result, uPVC tends to last between 10-25 years.

2.    Copper

Of all the options presented, copper is by far the most long lasting. This is due to a few things. Unlike uPVC, copper isn’t at risk of degrading from sunlight or rain. It’s also much hardier when it comes to resisting against extreme weather. Copper is a much denser material than uPVC, so the amount of force required to break it is higher too.

Despite its metallic qualities, corrosion isn’t an issue either.

The average lifespan of copper guttering, downpipes and hoppers is 100 years. Some sources claim that copper gutters put under lots of strain can lose a couple of decades. However, others claim that 100 years is a minimum. Regardless, copper gutters are clearly the ideal gutters for if you don’t want to have to replace them again in your lifetime.

3.    Aluminium

Another long-term installation, albeit not quite as much as copper. Aluminium is an overall stronger material and doesn’t change colour when exposed to repeated bouts of rain. That said, while it is stronger it will lose its integrity slightly faster than its metallic counterpart.

Additionally, while aluminium is durable it is easier to bend than copper. This means that if its damaged by extreme weather it’s more likely to be misshapen, potentially causing leaks.

This all leads to a wide estimate. At its shortest, the lifespan of aluminium can be around 30 years, still much longer than uPVC. At its longest, it can last up to 70 years.

4.    Cast iron

While this may be increasingly outmoded, cast iron has been used for as long as it has for a reason. The sustainability of it is very strong, and unlike aluminium it has a very consistent average lifespan. You can expect a cast iron gutter to last 50 years.

Should I clean, repair or replace my gutters?

Depending on the issues that your gutters are facing, and the severity of them, you need to decide which solution is the most appropriate.

If you’re facing a blocked downpipe or something similar, then a simple cleaning procedure will be enough.

If, however, the issues are more structural, you need to determine whether repairs or replacement is the answer.

Minor to moderate damage can be repaired, and this will be cheaper than a top-to-bottom replacement. This includes things such as small cracks and warping, as well as looseness in the brackets.

Otherwise, larger issues will need a more comprehensive fix in terms of a replacement. This includes problems such as large cracks, debris that cannot be cleared and gutters reaching the natural end of their lifespan.

How much does it cost to repair gutters?

Repairing your gutters is much cheaper than replacing them, but the costs can vary dramatically depending on:

  • Issues that need fixing
  • Parts affected
  • Material of gutter
  • Labour hours involved

To be more specific, lets take a look at a few examples.

On the component level, the prices can be quite low. Repairing a loose bracket will only run you the cost of a set of new nails and screws. Fixing a broken stop end will only cost a couple of pounds at the most.

The real costs come in when you account for labour costs. Most tradespeople charge between £100 and £150 per person per day, however they often conduct guttering work in pairs. That said, repairing a gutter won’t take this long. Regular repair projects take a couple of hours at the most. Expect to most likely pay around £60 for a typical repair.

Other factors can affect costs further. uPVC is the simplest material to work with, for example. So, repairing this is typically the quickest and therefore cheapest option. Repairing metals will take more time and effort and will incur higher labour costs.

What is the typical gutter replacement cost?

As a general estimate, the cost of new gutters for a whole house is going to be in the range of £450 and £750. Additionally, the labour costs mentioned above hold true. Expect a pair of tradespeople to cost you an additional £300 per day (the longest time replacements could take).

However, the actual prices of gutter replacement are more complex. They can also vary more wildly than a simple repair procedure. But they can be broken down into their various elements, such as:

  • Material
  • Labour costs
  • Length of guttering
  • House size
  • House type
  • Are you replacing the soffits and fascias too?
  • Extra costs for gutter joints, downpipes and hoppers
  • Waste removal

Basic costs

Guttering is usually sold by the metre, with costs being lowest for uPVC while metal options rise in price. The prices listed below are average costs for 1m of the given material:

  • uPVC costs an average of £30 to £35
  • Aluminium costs an average of £38 to £52
  • Cast iron costs an average of £55 to £60
  • Copper costs an average of £60 to £80

House size/type

The cost of new gutters depends on the amount of guttering you need replacing. This volume of materials is affected by the size of your house, as well as what which type it is. Bungalows, for example, are cheaper to renovate than two storey housing.

To show how these factors skew the gutter replacement cost, we’ve put together this table. All the figures are based on the assumption that you would be refurbishing the given house types with uPVC.

House type Storeys Average cost
Detached 1 £500-£525
Semi-detached 1 £440-£460
Detached 2 £580-£625
Semi-detached 2 £490-£515
Terraced 2 £445-£465

As you might expect, the price of new gutters decreases when the property has fewer sides that need replacements.

Soffits and fascias

Depending on the condition of your soffits and fascias, you may either have very little additional cost, or a sizeable increase. Because of the complexity surrounding the cost of these parts, Quotatis have put together a separate price guide. This one looks at how the soffit and fascia cost can affect the price of your gutter replacements.

Extra costs

There are a few additional replacements and installations you can make during this process that aren’t always included in your base quote. This will primarily include a new downpipe and gutter guards.

The price of a new downpipe isn’t dissimilar from the cost of new gutters. Where a metre of uPVC guttering might cost around £30-£35, a metre of uPVC downpipe would be around £25.

Gutter guards are an extra cost too. But again, they are quite cheap if you know what to buy. We say this because there are a couple styles of gutter guards you can buy.

The first, and most affordable option, consists of installing a single accessory at the end of your gutters. This will prevent blockage from forming in your downpipe. An appliance like this should only cost you around £5 to £15. However, there are gutter guards that line the entire gutter. These can cost around £8 per foot used, which over a whole house will add up to a sizeable bill.

Finally, you may need to replace your gutter joints. Depending on the material, this can cost anywhere from £50 to £130.

Waste removal

On top of all these gutter replacement costs, you should make sure that the waste removal is accounted for. Considerable waste will be produced as the old gutters, and potentially soffits and fascias, are taken off.

Make sure you’re clear when you get your quote whether it includes skip hire. If it doesn’t, you can be left with an extra £50 to pay, which can be quite a shock if you haven’t budgeted for it.

How do I fix blocked or damaged gutters?

The process for fixing a blockage isn’t overly complicated. You can go the DIY route by using a ladder and a tool that can rake out the leaves. Or, you can hire a professional. This option might seem like an unnecessary cost, but for two-storey houses it is much safer.

Tradespeople will use a ladder to reach the blockage. Then, once they’re safe, they’ll start to pick out any large pieces of debris, any dead animals or broken branches. After that they’ll get to work with a wire tool, ensuring that any smaller blockages are also removed.

Damage is slightly different, in that there’s no simple way of fixing any leaks or warping by yourself. Professionals will have the tools necessary to fix faulty guttering, including sealants and extra materials.

How much does it cost to clean gutters out?

If you carry out this job yourself – absolutely nothing. However, many people live in multiple storey houses and when it comes to cleaning gutters that high up, safety is a concern.

In this case, you may want to hire a professional.

The average gutter cleaning cost is much lower than the average gutter replacement cost. Bear in mind that these prices are always affected by the area and the size of the project.

For most jobs, gutter cleaning costs will be around £5 to £7 per metre. However, because of the low costs, some tradespeople will charge a minimum few. This can be around £40 for bungalow sized properties and upwards of £100 for larger homes.

FAQ

Why should I hire a professional, instead of going the DIY route?

Resolving guttering issues might seem like a relatively easy task – so easy, in fact, that you could do it yourself. While this is possible, we don’t recommend it. Cleaning gutters requires you to use a ladder for an extended period, often in awkward positions. This can be incredibly dangerous.

NHS statistics show that over 3000 people a year go to hospital due to injuries sustained while using ladders.

Furthermore, the price of having your gutters cleaned isn’t high enough for the risk to make sense to begin with. Professional tradespeople know what they’re doing and have insurance in case of these very incidents.

Do I need to be at home while my gutters are cleaned?

The short answer is no. Nearly every company and tradesperson will be content to carry out the work while you’re gone. After the work is complete, they’ll then charge you by sending an invoice.

The only exception to this is if you live in terraced accommodation. Workers may need a way to get to the back of your home to clean or fix the rear gutters. In this case, you will have to be home in order to let them in.

Do I need to be at home while my new gutters are installed?

Even though this might seem a more complicated process than the one above, the answer is still the same. You do not need to be indoors when the gutters are being installed, unless you live in terraced housing. At that point you may need to be present in order to allow the tradespeople entry for access to the back.

Get a quote

At this point you should have all the answers you need regarding the cost of gutters. If you’ve decided that you need to install or replace your gutters, fill out the form below. Quotatis will put you in contact with a series of local, qualified tradespeople who can help you.

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