Every house has guttering, but damaged joints cause leaks. Furthermore, the gutter material cracks and splits over time. It’s then that you need to replace the guttering protecting your house.
Many people don’t understand that our buildings have roof gutters to protect the structural foundations from becoming exposed or weakened when the surrounding soil washes away.
So, guttering is important. But how much does it cost?
Well, that depends on the size of your home and what material you want to use. But, the average cost of gutter replacement in the UK is anything from £450 to £800. However, this figure is for a typical 3-bedroom house and includes labour costs. Usually, around 40% of this covers the cost of materials, giving around £320 for the gutters and fittings. So, if we say that the house needs 15 to 20m of gutter, materials will cost around £20/m.
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Moreover, the total costs will be less or more for smaller and larger properties, depending on various factors that we’ll go into later.
But why would householders need guttering replacements?
There’s one basic reason, and that’s the effects of weather. Gutters are made from various materials, and temperature extremes affect each one differently:
- Cast iron is brittle and heavy to work with, causing brackets to pull away from rotten fascias.
- uPVC makes cheap guttering which is light, easily cut to length and produced in many different colours and profiles.
- Other less common materials such as copper, steel and aluminium we’ll talk about later.
So let’s have a look at the costs for various houses.
How Much Does Gutter Replacement Cost?
In the table below, we look at common UK house sizes and the guttering replacements needed. We compiled the information from various online resources, so the data comprises an estimated average. Use this information as a starting point for researching guttering, downpipes and other accessories for your rainwater system. Furthermore, we have restricted ourselves to half-round plastic guttering (uPVC).
|House type||Gutter length||Estimated labour cost||Estimated material cost|
|1-bedroom bungalow||30 m||£50-£100||£60-£150|
|2-bedroom terraced house||26 m||£50-£100||£52-£130|
|3-bedroom semi-detached house||35 m||£60-£110||£70-£180|
|4-bedroom detached house||46 m||£90-£130||£90-£250|
There are a few things to remember when calculating the amount of guttering for your house.
- Gutters (and downpipes) come in standard lengths. Therefore, you should order more rainwater goods than you need based on the standard measurements.
- When installing uPVC gutters, the labour costs are the cheapest as they’re easy to install. In comparison, other materials are more difficult to fit, therefore will cost much more.
- Prices vary depending on whereabouts in the country you live. Although material costs don’t usually change much across the country, labour charges will vary by as much as 20% in London and the southeast of England, compared to other UK areas.
- There are different gutter profiles. The commonest are half-round, square and ogee.
- If you choose materials other than uPVC, consider how you intend to cut them to length. For example, materials such as aluminium, steel and cast iron will need specialist cutting tools.
- Prices don’t include VAT.
- You will also need to hire scaffolding for working at height.
Let’s look at the range of common materials and discuss their pros and cons.
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Common Gutter materials
uPVC (plastic) guttering has the lowest price of all gutter types. The material is cheap and lightweight and can be made in almost any colour. However, extreme weather conditions can flex and break uPVC. Moreover, excessive sunlight can bleach the colour and reduce the material’s strength.
On the other hand, uPVC is lightweight, simple to cut to length, and one person can easily install uPVC. However, it’s even easier with two people.
The cost to buy half round uPVC gutters ranges from £2 to £5 per metre, while ogee costs from £3 to £10. All prices exclude VAT. However, look online for guttering sold direct from manufacturers or trade outlets, as you will find them much cheaper than DIY stores.
Because of the variety of styles and colours available, uPVC guttering installations look good on just about any type of house, unless local authority rules restrict you. You can also buy narrow uPVC guttering for use with sheds and greenhouses. The small guttering profiles don’t end there, however. You can also purchase slightly larger conservatory guttering designed specifically for this application.
Cast Iron Guttering
Cast iron guttering was popular on older houses as it didn’t rust and could be moulded to any profile. However, it is heavy to lift, difficult to cut to length, and very brittle. So, you only really find cast iron gutters on older houses if they don’t need changing or because of local authority restrictions.
Cast iron half-round gutters cost between £15 and £25 per metre, while square profile costs £25 to £30 per metre and ogee costs from £25 to £35 per metre.
In previous years, we only found copper gutters on churches and old public buildings. However, copper guttering is increasingly popular with modern top of the range homes. This is because copper doesn’t become brittle like cast iron and doesn’t suffer weathering problems like uPVC. It’s therefore very sought after to make homes look sophisticated. Unlike steel gutters, it won’t rust or rot and remains in good condition for up to 100 years.
Copper patina develops over time and has a beautiful weathered look after just a couple of years. They also need very little maintenance, rarely sag and don’t dent or need replacing as long as they’re installed correctly.
A disadvantage is the price. It not only costs from £25 to £35 per metre for half-round, £25 to £35 per metre for square and £30 to £37 for ogee, but installation costs are also much more than other materials.
Aluminium is rustproof and lightweight compared to other metal gutter materials. However, it is less popular in the UK, now that we can buy cheaper and more easily handled uPVC.
However, aluminium has a longer lifespan than uPVC. Therefore, it can work out as a good long-term investment if you can afford the additional up-front cost.
Typically, aluminium gutters cost between £22 and £30 per metre for half-round and square profiles, while ogee costs between £30 and £40.
Steel is one of the least expensive metal guttering types with high durability. It is usually manufactured with a galvanised zinc coating to reduce the likelihood of rust forming. However, any damage to the protective layer will allow rust to form.
Unfortunately, steel guttering is heavy and can sag if not installed properly. You also need suitable fixings for fitting the brackets onto fascias. And, like some other metal guttering, it needs to be painted regularly.
The typical cost of gutters ranges from £15 to £20 per metre for half-round steel. Alternatively, they cost £20 to £30 per metre for square, and £30 to £40 per metre for ogee.
There are different types of roofline guttering systems available in the UK. The various profiles include:
- Ogee – This is a highly decorative profile and has feature lines moulded onto the front face. It looks great on any age house, but especially good on period properties. However, this profile doesn’t only look pretty. It’s designed to hold up to 2 to 3 times as much rainwater as half-round profiles. Therefore they’re useful when you have a steep roof pitch and need high capacity gutters.
- Deepflow – A Deepflow gutter system is a deep half-round gutter having a high capacity. The profile is ideal for areas that traditionally have high rainfall. And, you will usually find this profile on houses with steep or large roofs. Furthermore, an added advantage is that you can reduce the number of downpipes.
- Box – This profile is also known as an internal gutter or trough gutter. Usually, you find them in roof valleys where they accept water from both slopes. Alternatively, they might also be on the edges of a roof hidden behind parapets or eaves. They are usually rectangular and typically lined with rubber, asphalt, or metal.
- Half-round – This is a half-circle gutter that is probably the commonest gutter profile found in the UK. The curved shape reduces the amount of debris stuck in the gutter and helps maintain a fast-moving rainwater flow.
- Square – This is similar to the ‘Box’ gutter but fits onto the fascias like half-round and other profiled gutters. The square profile gives it a sophisticated appearance that matches well with almost all types of buildings.
Replacing Guttering Cost Factors
Let’s look at the factors affecting gutter replacement.
The amount of time needed to install guttering will directly affect the cost of gutter installation.
Typically, a detached or semi-detached bungalow using around 30m guttering takes about one day to remove old gutters and replace them with new ones. Additional work such as repairs or replacement to fascias, painting of existing fascias and soffits and fitting of downpipes and accessories such as gutter guards will be extra.
We’ve already talked about the various materials that we can make guttering from. So let’s say that usually, uPVC is the cheapest.
No two houses are the same. Although many homes are perfectly rectangular or square, many aren’t. Moreover, more complex house designs are made up of a collection of boxes fitted together.
Generally, the hardest part of installing guttering is getting the internal and external corner brackets or joints connected properly. Therefore, the installation costs of gutters on a house with lots of corners costs more than a single rectangular box.
Let’s consider the accessibility of the different types of house design mentioned in the table. As you can see, the cost of replacing the guttering on a terraced house or 3-bedroom semi is approximately the same as the cost for a small detached bungalow. This is because the installation team needs a platform to work at height safely—namely, scaffolding. Except for a bungalow, every house needs scaffolding to provide a platform, so the guttering is about waist height. But, even a bungalow needs staging to help reach the eaves.
Remember that you must include the cost of scaffold hire or access towers in the total installation price.
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What Does The Job Involve?
Every house is different, and each type of guttering has its specific installation instructions supplied by the manufacturer. Therefore, let’s talk generally about what the job involves and how you produce the best quality job. Moreover, unless you are a professional and know what you are doing, you should follow this sequence of operations in the correct order.
- First, remove all the old guttering and support brackets, leaving the downpipes in place.
- The fascias will have old screw holes, and the wood will probably be rotten in places. So, repair the fascia boards, or if possible, replace these with uPVC.
- If you have wooden fascias, Give the surfaces the appropriate number of coats of paint before installing new gutters.
- The existing downpipes will usually discharge into storm drains or other surface water drains. So, unless you want to increase the downpipe replacement cost considerably by digging new drains, keep the new downpipes in the same places as the old ones to discharge into the existing gulleys.
- Connect a string line from each corner to the new downpipe running outlet, ensuring the fall is 10mm for every 6m run. Then, adjust the vertical position of the downpipe outlet while keeping the corner brackets position at the same height. Screw the outlets in place.
- Fix a corner bracket at the correct height on each corner of the fascia. Note, there are internal and external corner brackets.
- Calculate and mark where each length of guttering ends. This is where you need a guttering joint support bracket fitted to the fascia. Again, use the string line as a guide.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of support brackets needed along the length of the gutter. Using the string line as a guide, fit the support brackets at the required intervals.
- Remove the string lines.
- Clip the gutter lengths into place at each support bracket.
Advantages of New Gutter Replacement
We already know that we use guttering to divert rainwater away from the house to protect the structure. So let’s consider this in more detail.
- Rainwater shedding from a roof can run back into the loft space through the fascia boards and seep down into the house’s structure.
- Although replacement gutters are expensive, they are a wise investment to protect your home’s integrity.
- The money spent replacing gutters will always be less than the damage caused by rainwater.
- Replacing gutters gives your home curb appeal. It shows that you’ve looked after your home.
- Replacing the guttering allows you to take advantage of new colours and accessories that probably weren’t available with the original gutters.
- Fitting new guttering prevents water from landing on the ground and washing soil away from your home’s foundations.
- Leaking gutters allow rainwater to trickle into the roofspace and thence into the bedroom ceilings. Furthermore, the inside ceilings and walls become excessively damp, which causes mould and fungal growth.
- Accessories such as gutter guards come with new replacement gutters. They prevent a build-up of dirt and leaves in the gutters, which cause blockages and leaks.
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Signs that your gutter needs repair or replacement
Keep an eye out for the following common signs that something is amiss and you need guttering repairs:
Any crack in the guttering is bad news. Even a tiny one will become larger as time goes on. If you leave them, then water will seep into your home with devastating results. Furthermore, suppose the dripping leak washes away the soil around your foundations. In that case, your home might suffer subsidence, which costs a lot to put right.
Although you’re unlikely to have painted uPVC guttering, all other types will probably have a coat of paint. Usually, paint protects the guttering from water damage and erosion. Furthermore, if you have steel gutters, the paint protects the surface from rust. Peeling paint often means that you have puddles of rainwater inside the gutter. This means that the system is sagging and not draining properly.
Puddles on the ground
If you notice mildew or mould on the walls near the ground or if you see puddles when it’s raining, then it means the guttering system isn’t working properly. Of course, you might just have a blockage, in which case it’s simple to clean out the gutter or downpipe. Alternatively, it might be a crack or hole in the rainwater system, which needs immediate attention.
Pulling away from the house
Get into the habit of looking up every time you get home from work. Notice if the guttering sags or is pulling away from the fascia boards. If you see anything like this, it’s a sign that the support brackets have come loose. Usually, problems like these suggest that the fascias are probably rotten and need replacing. While you’re at it, replace the gutters too.
Sometimes the screws holding the support brackets in place work loose and fall to the ground. If you notice a few odd screws lying around in the garden, have a closer look at the gutters and see if things are loose. You might only need to replace the screws for fixing the guttering. But, if it’s serious, think about having some replacement guttering.
Do I Need Planning Permission?
Usually, you won’t need planning permission to fit new guttering. You can repair, replace guttering and add extra support brackets if you want to. Moreover, you don’t need planning permission to change the guttering material or colour. Exceptions include when you live in a listed building, a National Park, Conservation Area or Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. If you do, then you should always ask for advice from your local authority.
You also don’t need to let the Building Regulations Office know if you intend to repair your gutters. However, it’s always worth asking for advice to see if your gutters comply with the regulations as standards change over the years. But, if you intend to replace the gutters, you need to let the Office know as the Regulations set out requirements for positioning downpipes and drains. Furthermore, there are calculations to choose the correct sized gutter. It is also worthwhile hiring a tradesman who belongs to of the UK Government’s competent person scheme. That way, you won’t need Building Regulations Inspection, and the tradesman can self-certify their work.
Guttering Replacement FAQ
Can I install my own gutters?
Yes, you can. But, the job won’t be free of charge because you still have to buy the materials. Therefore, gutter prices will stay the same. But you’ll save a lot on labour charges.
If you decide to fit your own guttering, there are certain requirements you must follow.
- Observe the health and safety requirements for working at height. Use a secure scaffolding platform rather than a ladder.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when installing replacement gutters.
- Learning how to fit guttering is essential. Not only will it save you money, but you will also fit them correctly.
- Notify the local authority planning office and Building Regulations Office.
- If in doubt, hire a professional.
How often should you replace gutters?
The actual length of time depends on the material, the local weather and if you maintain them regularly. Most materials last for up to a maximum of twenty years. However, good quality copper or lead gutters can last for one hundred years. Furthermore, keep an eye on the gutters and if you see cracks, splits, or weathering, inspect them before the time is up.
It helps if you regularly maintain the gutters and clean them of leaves and soil.
How far should downspouts extend from the house?
Ideally, according to the current UK Building Regulations, all downpipes must discharge into a surface water drain, soakaway, or onto a garden. Fit a downpipe shoe onto the bottom end of the pipe, and this will divert the water wherever you want it. On no account allow rainwater to puddle against the walls or foundations, or you might develop serious damp or structural problems.
Should I replace the roof or gutter first?
You can replace the gutters without replacing the roof, as guttering normally has a shorter lifespan. But, if you intend to have the roof replaced, then always replace the gutters as well.
Get Quotes From Guttering Fitters
If you need to replace your gutters because they have started to leak or are near the end of their lifespan, then you need help finding a professional to do the job.
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