Uncontrolled water can cause structural damage to a home's walls or foundation. Rain gutters (also called eaves troughs or guttering) provide an important channel to collect water from the roof and divert it away from the foundation or basement.Typical costs:• The average residential home has anywhere from 120 to 250 feet of rain gutters, depending on the number of stories and the amount of roof line. (Sprawling single-story homes have more roof edges and therefore more feet of rain gutters than more-compact two- or three-story houses.)• Expect to pay around $3 -$5 a lineal foot to have someone install vinyl (PVC) gutters, or about $360 -$600 for 120 feet and $750 -$1,250 for 250 feet. Vinyl gutters are a fairly simple do-it-yourself project; material alone run about $50 -$100 for 120 feet and $90 -$180 for 250 feet. Vinyl gutters maintain their color well, are flexible and dent-resistant and don't rust or corrode but they do get brittle with age and extreme cold.• Having aluminum gutters installed averages about $4 -$9 a foot plus downspouts at $5 -$8 each, or $500 -$1,200 for 120 feet and $1,050 -$2,400 for 250 feet. Do-it-yourself materials average $350 -$500 for 120 feet and $450 -$850 for 250 feet. Aluminum is fairly easy to maintain but it dents more easily than other gutter materials and expands (moves due to temperature changes) significantly more than other metals.• Mainly used in restoration projects, wood gutters are heavy to install and cost about $12 -$20 a foot, depending on the type of wood used, or $1,450 -$2,400 for 120 feet and $3,000 -$5,000 or more for 250 lineal feet.• Galvanized steel gutters are about $4 -$8 installed, for a total cost around $500 -$1,000 for 120 feet and $1,000 -$2,000 for 250 feet. Steel runs $8 -$10 a foot, or $960 -$1,200 for 120 feet and $2,000 -$2,500 for 240 feet. Stainless steel gutters--which are strong, rust-free and keep a high sheen for years--average $20 a foot, or $2,400 for 120 feet and $5,000 for 250 feet.• Copper gutters are low maintenance and do not rust; they tend to be a custom project at a $15 -$25 a foot or $1,800 -$3,000 for 120 feet and $3,750 -$6,250 for 250 feet. Copper develops a patina as it ages.What should be included:• Generally a contractor will remove the old gutters and downspouts and install new ones. The gutters must be slightly sloped so the water will flow into the downspouts.• The two main types of gutter systems are sectional and seamless; sectional gutters are easier to install and more likely to be a do-it-yourself project, but are more prone to developing leaks. Usually seamless gutters are professionally installed.
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