A closeup of a metal downspout.

How Much Does A Downspout Cost?

9 minutes

Many homeowners ask, “How much does a downspout cost?” when confronted by a torrent of water flowing off their gutters. While downspouts are an integral part of the gutter system, they cost much less than you might imagine and provide a valuable service for you and your home.

Downspout costs depend on their material and length. On average, vinyl and aluminum cost $5 to $8 per foot, steel and copper costs $10 to $20 per foot, and galvalume costs $20 to $30 per foot. Other cost factors include the number of downspouts, additional needed parts, and labor costs.

The Function And Importance Of Downspouts And Drainage

A downspout connecting to a gutter.
In short, downspouts are essential for property buildings.

For a downspout to do its job effectively, it must direct rainwater away from the foundation so it can’t infiltrate your basement or damage the footings. Any water that pools around your house will seep into the ground and can create long-term problems. 

There are a variety of foundations on which your house can stand. Depending on the soil and rock beneath your home, the foundations may be full slabs of reinforced concrete or full or partial basements below ground level, resting on concrete footings.

Each type of foundation can be affected by water seeping into and around it and can damage your house if the water enters your basement or causes the foundations to shift.

Factors Affecting Downspout Costs

A row of downspouts against a brick wall.
This is more downspouts than you’ll ever need.

Several factors affect the cost of a downspout. These include how many you need, how often you need to replace them, and what they’re made of.

Let’s begin with the number of downspouts needed.

How Many Downspouts You Have To Install

The size of your roof and local weather conditions will impact the number of downspouts you require to avoid water filling your gutters and overflowing. The rule of thumb is to have a downspout every 25 linear feet of gutter.

This rule may extend to 35 linear feet with low rainfall or flatter roofs. Rooves with a steep pitch result in the water flowing more quickly into the gutters. This means more downspouts are needed to deal with the higher volume of water. You should avoid installing downspouts over 40 feet apart to prevent rainwater from overflowing.

The Material The Downspout Is Made From

Downspouts come in a variety of materials, including vinyl, aluminum, steel, and copper. You can expect to pay between $5 and $8 per foot for aluminum and vinyl downspouts. Galvanized steel and copper downspouts cost between $10 and $20 per foot.

Needing To Install Or Replace Additional Gutter Parts

When replacing sections of your guttering, you may also require replacement gutter outlets, flashing, structural hangers, drains, and splash blocks, which will increase the cost of the whole project. 

The Style Of Downspout You Choose

Guttering systems come in the following three main styles:

  1. K-Style
  2. Round
  3. Rectangular

The average cost for a K-style gutter is between $3 and $37 per linear foot, while a round gutter can set you back between $3 and $34 per linear foot. Rectangular or fascia gutters cost, on average, between $4 and $30 per linear foot. Your downspout should match your gutter style and include various fittings to ensure a proper fit. K-Style downspouts are fitted to the gutter with a round, oval, or rectangular flange. The flange provides a sealed opening into which the downspout fits.

This allows you to fit a variety of downspout shapes that will match your house’s architectural style. Doing this can help improve the overall value of your home.

Hiring A Contractor To Install A Downspout Or Gutter System

If you are not going to do the job yourself, then your contractor will also charge you for their time and any additional equipment required. The height of your home may require additional ladders or scaffolding, which will increase the project cost.

How Well You Care For And How Often You Replace The Downspouts

Drainage systems require regular maintenance, such as removing branches, twigs, and leaves. In addition, leaf screens and gutter guards extend a gutter’s lifespan by preventing them from becoming clogged with debris.

To avoid rainwater pooling near your house, experts recommend that you consider replacing your gutters and downspouts every 20 to 25 years. The length of time will depend on your local weather conditions and the materials from which your gutters are made.

Seamless aluminum gutters require the least maintenance and last the longest. If you are replacing your downspouts, it’s worth replacing them with aluminum, as it will save you money in the long run. They are robust, tend not to rust, and are unaffected by UV rays in sunny, hot climates.

The Average Cost Of A Downspout

Here’s a rough estimate of the different prices you’ll pay for downspouts:

  • Vinyl downspouts: $5 to $8 per foot      
  • Aluminum downspouts: $5 to $8 per foot      
  • Steel downspouts: $10 to $20 per foot
  • Galvalume downspouts: $20 to $30 per foot   
  • Copper downspouts: $10 to $20 per foot         

And here’s a rough estimate of the different prices you’ll pay for overall gutter installation on an average size house:

  • Vinyl gutter installation: $1,200 to $2,200            
  • Aluminum gutter installation: $1,400 to $2,600
  • Steel gutter installation: $ $1,600 to  $2,900
  • Galvalume gutter installation: $2,400  to $5,200
  • Copper gutter installation: $4,000 to $7,000
  • Zinc gutter installation: $2,000 to $4,200   

To calculate the cost per linear foot for your home, here are the average prices you’re likely to pay:       

  • Vinyl gutter installation: $6 to $11 per linear foot
  • Aluminum gutter installation: $6 to $15 per linear foot  
  • Steel gutter installation: $9 to $25 per linear foot 
  • Galvalume gutter installation: $12 to $30 per linear foot
  • Copper gutter and downspout: $25 to $30 per linear foot
  • Zinc gutter installation: $10 to $22 per linear foot

These prices are estimates only and will vary depending on your location, which specific products you select, and the contractor you engage.

Additional Cost Considerations For Downspout Installations

An owl sitting on the top of a downspout.
The owl is curious.

There are various potential additional costs and fees when installing or replacing downspouts. For instance, labor costs add at least $800 to the price of an average gutter installation on a residential property. A contractor may also charge you to remove and dispose of old downspouts and gutters.

To help, here’s a list of additional gutter services and their associated approximate costs:

  • Sectional gutter labor: $2 to $6 per foot                     
  • Seamless gutter labor: $3 to $10 per foot                    
  • Average gutter installation: $800 to $6,000 or $4 to $30 per linear foot
  • Labor per linear foot: $6.11 to $9.64                        
  • National average materials per linear foot: $4                        
  • Seamless gutter cost range: $8 to $28 per linear foot               
  • Professional gutter replacement (average): $3 to $10 per linear foot 

In addition, adding downspouts to an existing gutter will cost, on average, between $200 and $650. This price includes materials and labor. However, the price will vary depending on where you live, the type of gutter you have, and the material from which it is made.

You can also run your downspouts underground for between $200 and $2,000 each. The cost depends on how far your house is from the boundary closest to a municipal drain or sewer.

In addition to all the above costs, you can expect your labor cost to be between 40% and 60% of the total cost of installing your downspouts if you use a full-service gutter company.

There is such a wide range of prices for installing gutters and downspouts, so obtaining an accurate quote or estimate is crucial. Get quotes from at least three contractors to ensure you get the best deal.

Make sure the contractors include a comprehensive quote detailing each component of the job with separate sections for materials, labor, equipment hire, and incidentals.

Installing Downspout Extensions And Other Accessories

Many professionals recommend installing a downspout extension to avoid water pooling around your house. These accessories sit beneath the downspout and help to disperse rainwater further away from your home.

They range in price from $10 to $50 and may add $30 to $100 to the installation cost.

Depending on the condition of your gutters and drainage system, you may also require the following:

  • Splash blocks or drains at an estimated cost of $5–$10 each
  • Hangers at around $2 each
  • If it’s allowed in your area, a rain barrel for collecting water can cost $100 to $200
  • Wire mesh screens at $1 per linear foot prevent pests from getting into your downspout
  • Downspout screens cost around $8 each and help prevent debris from entering the downspout opening in the gutter
  • Rodent guards cost about $5 each and fit over the bottom of your downspout, preventing rodents from nesting in the downspout

Downspout Cost Comparison: DIY Vs. Professional Installation

If you’re on a budget or want to save money, consider fitting your downspout yourself.

However, while it can save you money, you may need to pay more attention to the material you need. You may also damage your house or risk injury if you don’t have the necessary tools, equipment, and proper training. Not having those tools and equipment also means needing to buy them in addition to downspout parts and materials.

Instead, you can obtain a quote or two from local contractors and then work out how much you can save by doing the job yourself. If you are only replacing a single downspout, it is worth your while to do it yourself.

However, if you have to replace all your downspouts and do gutter repairs, then it makes sense to hire a contractor. This is especially true if you have a multi-story home that requires you to work at great heights.

Still, it’s a good idea to double-check any work they do. I found out just in time that a contractor had failed to install leaf guards on my new home. With a storm approaching, I was able to remove bundles of pine needles, twigs, and leaves from my downspouts just in time.

Conclusion: How Much Does A Downspout Cost?

In general, replacing or installing downspouts is a simple job. However, hiring a qualified contractor is also worth it, especially for such an essential piece of home living.

Now, it’s your turn. I’d like to know what your thoughts are concerning downspout costs. Did the cost surprise you? Let me know in the comments below!

John Mulder
Lawn Mowers Enthusiast
John has years of experience maintaining and servicing small engine equipment dating back to 1982. While not out flying or sailing, you’ll find him tinkering with lawn mowers, weed whackers, chainsaws, and ATVs. He loves looking after his landscaped gardens, and perfect lawn, and tending his fruit trees.