person installing a gutter
Photo: Marybeth Montgomery
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How much do they cost? The least expensive materials—vinyl, aluminum, and coated steel—run about $1 to $8 per linear foot; the most expensive—copper and zinc—sell for about $9 to $18 per foot. Prices do not include installation.

DIY or hire a pro? Straight sections of vinyl or aluminum sold at home centers or online are well within a DIYer's grasp. Call in a pro if your house is taller than one story, or if you want seamless gutters, which are custom-made on site.

How long do they last? Anywhere from a few years to the lifetime of your house, depending on the material you choose and how well they're installed and maintained.

How much upkeep? If trees tower over them, gutters need periodic cleaning, even when fitted with gutter guards. Pine needles are especially notorious for causing clogs.
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