Rainwater guttering is one of the most important, yet frequently overlooked or neglected parts of the home. This is an unfortunate oversight because the benefits of guttering supplied and installed by a guttering professional
far outweigh its modest price. Why is guttering so important? How much does it cost? This brief guide to guttering prices will give you a rough idea and some ideas to discuss with your local guttering supplier
, who will be able to give you a firm quote.
Why is Guttering Important?
Properly selected and installed by a guttering professional, your guttering diverts rainwater, channeling it safely away from the home or storing it in a rainwater storage tank for later use in your laundry or garden. Poorly installed or neglected guttering can lead to a number of serious problems, including:
- Foundation damage due to soil erosion.
- Destruction of grass and flower beds.
- Rising damp and mould caused by constant water flow down exterior walls.
- Ceiling damage from water seepage.
The simple and inexpensive solution to all of these potential problems and more is guttering.
Types of Guttering
There are two basic types of guttering:
- Sectional guttering comes in standard lengths which are lapped to form long runs of guttering. While sectional guttering can work very efficiently if properly installed, leaks can appear and debris can build up at the seams if the sections are not joined together correctly.
- Seamless or continuous guttering has no joints between lengths of gutter. This helps prevent leaves and other debris from building up in the gutters and blocking the flow of water. It also eliminates the possibility of water leakage at the seams. This type of guttering is more expensive, but many homeowners feel it is worth the extra cost.
In addition, guttering comes in a variety of shapes:
- The so-called 'C' Square is designed for single pitched, low angle roofs such as carports and sheds. A wider type of gutter, it catches water that may flow past the outer edge of other types of guttering.
- Half round guttering improves water flow and self-elimination of debris.
- Smooth-line guttering is a variation on half-round guttering that has a flat inside edge, making it fit flush to fascia boards.
- Quad (also known as 'D' ) guttering is the most popular type of guttering. Its unique shape is designed both to look attractive and to prevent debris build-up and clogging. It comes in a variety of widths and depths. Click here to read more about quad guttering.
There are several different types of guttering materials on the market today. Each of them has its advantages:
- Galvanised steel guttering is steel that has gone through a zince coating process that makes it highly rust and corrosion resistant. It is tough and long wearing. This type of guttering can be painted, making it a great choice if you want a gutter that matches your house colour perfectly, but is not compatible with all types of roofing materials.
- Aluminium and aluminium alloy gutterings such as Zincalume and Colorbond are light-weight and corrosion proof. It comes in a wide range of powder-coated finishes, making it easy to find a colour that matches or complements your house and roof colours.
- PVC guttering is an inexpensive and effective alternative to other types of guttering. It comes in a range of colours or can be painted to suit your needs. Improvements in plastics technology and PVC guttering designs have made this an increasingly popular choice.
Comparing Guttering Prices
When comparing guttering prices, you need to take all the features of different types of guttering into account. Continuous guttering costs more than sectional guttering, but installation costs may help make up for this since it doesn't need to be joined together as does sectional guttering. PVC guttering is the least expensive option and is designed for easy installation. On the down side, it is said to need replacement more often than other types of guttering. Colorbond, Zincalume and other aluminium guttering products are all similarly priced, their main differences being their respective profiles and colour options.
Other things to consider when pricing guttering are the costs of downpipe, fixing brackets and other components. If you are going to paint your gutters, also factor in the cost of the paint, since you will probably need to use a special paint and perhaps even a protective undercoat. Ask your guttering supplier or local paint supplier
which type of paint you need and how to prepare the surface first and avoid the disappointment of seeing all your hard work chip away. For more information about painting guttering, read our article, How to Paint Your Gutters
Do-It-Yourself or Hire a Professional?
Unless you have all the necessary equipment and previous experience at installing gutters, it is probably best to let the professionals do the job for you. If you do want to make it a DIY project, a PVC guttering kit is probably your best bet. PVC kits are inexpensive and made for do-it-yourselfers. While it may not last as long as other guttering, self-installed PVC guttering is your least expensive option and will last for many years.