Gutter replacement costs: A drain on your finances?

As work around the house goes, attending to your gutters is arguably up there with unclogging toilets as one of the least glamorous jobs.

But gutters – that network of mini canals that wriggles around your roof – can play an important role, particularly during periods of heavy rain. It can therefore be sensible to proactively have them cleaned, repaired or replaced when necessary.

If you need to do a full or part replacement, how much of a drain will it be on your finances? Let’s climb up our ladder and take a look.

How much does it cost to replace a gutter?

The cost of replacing a gutter in Australia is typically estimated either on a per hour or per lineal metre basis. On an hourly basis, guttering services are on average priced at around $50/hr, according to serviceseeking.com.au. It suggests that the cost could be as high as $60/hr for complex jobs, and $40/hr for simpler work.

Bear in mind that if you receive a quote from a guttering company on a per hour basis, this may not include the cost of materials, so be sure to clarify this so you have a firm idea of the overall cost before progressing.

On a per metre basis, hipages.com.au suggests that, including installation, the cost could range from $30 per metre all the way up to $160 per metre, depending on the material used.

While these estimates may give you an idea of the cost of a job, in reality what you pay could vary significantly depending on a variety of factors, such as those summarised below.

Broken gutter that needs replacing
Source: Chatree Khuabphimai (Shutterstock)

What determines the cost of replacing a gutter?

Material used

This could well be the most important factor in determining the cost of replacing a gutter, and the difference in price could vary significantly depending on what you choose. The table below gives an idea of what you may end up paying for various materials commonly used for gutters, bearing in mind that Zincalume and stainless steel tend to be more durable than vinyl.

Material used Estimated cost per lineal metre (incl. installation)
Vinyl (PVC)  $30 – $35
Zincalume $30 – $50
Colour coated zincalume $45 – $67
Stainless steel $85 – $160

Source: hipages.com.au

Choosing a cheaper material may keep the cost down in the short term, but consider how long the gutters are likely to last and whether it could be more cost effective in the long term to go with something more durable. Of course, the style of your home and the climate in your area may also impact the material and type of gutter that suits best.

Length of guttering required

With price often quoted on a per metre basis, the size of the area to be guttered will have an impact on the cost. Even for jobs charged hourly, there’s a good chance a larger space would take longer to complete and therefore cost more. Consider measuring the length of any existing gutters before seeking out quotes for replacing them, to help ensure you get as accurate an estimate as possible.

Accessibility of work area

If the job requires scaffolding or extra materials to be used to enable access to the roof area, this could well bring the cost up.

Other parts included

If you choose to add additional accessories and fittings such as downpipes, extensions, gutter guards or wire mesh screens to keep debris and nesting animals or birds out, this could also add to the overall cost of your guttering job.

Your location

The cost of replacing gutters can vary depending where you are in the country. For example serviceseeking.com.au offers the following hourly cost estimates for various states:

State Guttering services cost per hour
New South Wales $60
Queensland $52.50
Victoria $55
Western Australia $50

What are the options to finance roof gutter replacement?

How the job is financed may depend on how much it costs. There are several options available for the home renovator to consider, including:

Personal loan: Depending on your personal circumstances and the cost of the job, you may be able to consider using a personal loan to fund the work. This could be a secured loan, or an unsecured loan. It’s worth keeping in mind, though, that interest rates are generally higher for personal loans than for home loans, and it’s a good idea to read the lender’s terms and conditions first. Compare personal loans with Canstar.

Credit card: It may also be possible, depending on the cost and your ability to repay the debt quickly, to pay for the job on a credit card. There could be some fringe benefits for doing so, such as extra insurance cover in some cases (read the card’s Product Disclosure Statement to find out the conditions of the cover). Keep in mind that credit card interest rates are typically much higher than home or personal loans, and interest can quickly accumulate on large balances, so it is a good idea to weigh up your options and consider them carefully. If you don’t think you’ll be able to pay off the card’s balance in full each month, it may be worth re-considering whether a credit card is the right option for you. Compare credit cards with Canstar.

→ Renovating a home could change what insurance cover you may need. Compare home and contents insurance providers.

When should you replace your gutters?

There are several signs you may want to look out for when considering the condition of your gutters and whether they need to be replaced. According to Roo Roofing, these can include:

  • Cracks appearing in the guttering
  • Peeling paint (if your gutters are painted)
  • Water pooling in your gutters
  • Mould, mildew or dirt building up
  • Gutter seams coming apart, sagging or pulling away from the house

DIY or a professional gutter installer?

If you’re looking to keep costs down, replacing the gutters yourself could be tempting, as you would avoid the labour costs that would come with hiring a professional installer. But you would need to weigh up the cost savings against the time it would take you, and the risks associated with installing the gutters incorrectly. That’s before you consider the potential safety implications of scaling a ladder to reach the gutters in the first place.

In addition, any cost savings could also be eaten away by the costs associated with removing your old gutters. An installer may include this in their cost.

If you do attempt to DIY your gutters, hipages.com.au suggests you would need the following supplies and equipment, in addition to the guttering itself:

  • Downpipes
  • Elbows for downpipes
Cost of replacing a gutter
Downpipes and downpipe elbows are just some of the accessories that could increase the cost of the job. Source: Ratchat (Shutterstock)
  • Brackets to bear the weight of water (to be installed every 400mm)
  • Stop ends to prevent water spilling out the ends of guttering
  • A ladder or ladders (tall enough to reach the area you need to work without having to stand on the top steps of the ladder)
  • A cordless drill
  • A hacksaw
  • A stringline
  • Self-tapping screws or screws and the right size of drill bit for starter holes 
  • For aluminium guttering, tin snips may be needed

Also consider any safety equipment you might need, such as a hard hat if you are climbing a ladder.

How much does gutter cleaning cost?

A proactive step that may help make your gutters last longer is to carry out regular cleaning so debris doesn’t accumulate. It can also be a sensible step ahead of storm season to ensure your guttering has proper drainage in case there is heavy rain, and indeed at times of heightened bush-fire risk if dry leaves and twigs have built up.

According to Sydney-based specialists windowwasher.com.au, gutter cleaning on a small, single-storey house could cost around $150, whereas a similar job on a large two-storey home could set you back between $210 and $390.

Gutter cleaning with gurni
Source: Welcomia (Shutterstock)

Could replacing gutters add value to your home?

As is the case with many jobs around the house, homeowners may well ask, “will I see a return if I do this work”. As is also often the case, the answer is, “it depends”.

If the guttering complements the overall appearance of your home and replaces existing gutters that were discoloured, visibly damaged or unpleasing to the eye in some other way, then the job could make your home more appealing to potential buyers down the track.

But gutters, while useful in many respects, are unlikely to be a major selling point for your home. It may be more realistic to consider value for money in terms of the functionality gutters provide and the potential problems that replacing them could help you avoid, such as damage to your roof or other parts of the home if they aren’t doing their job properly.

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Header Image Source: Radovan1 (Shutterstock)


 

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