You know it’s important to protect your home, but you may wonder whether you actually need guttering on your porch. Is the cost worth the protection? We’ve done the research and have information and practical tips to help you keep your home safe and beautiful for years to come.
In most cases, it is highly recommended to install guttering on your porch. Gutters can protect the foundation of your home, prevent leaks, and prevent long-term structural damage. Here are some considerations to help guide your decision:
- Do you have a basement that extends below your porch?
- Does your surrounding landscape slope upward from the house?
- Does your roof have an overhang?
- Do you live in an area that gets a lot of rain?
Guttering can be costly, but it is also a smart investment in the future of your home. Why are gutters so important? And how do you get them without breaking the bank? Read on, because that’s exactly what this post is about!
Why Are Gutters Important?
The purpose of guttering is to collect rainwater that lands on your roof and direct it away from your house. Keeping water away from your house protects your foundation from structural damage. Guttering can also be used to collect rainwater to use for gardening in a dry season or drought. If you use the porch as an entrance to your house, guttering is also a great way to prevent water from dripping on your head!
Protect Your Basement from Leaks
If you have a basement or crawl space that extends below the porch, it’s particularly important to install gutters. Water erodes over time and will eventually leak into your basement, promoting mold growth and causing structural damage. Guttering on your porch can protect your foundation and prevent basement leaks.
Consider the Landscape
If the surrounding landscape slopes up from your house, water will naturally flow to the lowest point, collecting at your foundation. Guttering your porch is a good solution to direct water away from your house. If the surrounding landscape slopes downward, water will naturally flow away from your home, and guttering may not be necessary.
Compensate for Lack of Roof Overhang
The farther your roof overhangs, the more it carries water away from your house. If your roof has little or no overhang, gutters can be a great alternative way to protect your house. Installing gutters on your porch is far less expensive than installing a new roof!
Take Your Climate Into Account
Do you live in a dry place that gets very little rain? If so, you may not need to worry about guttering your porch. But if you do get rain regularly, gutters are a smart investment to protect your house.
What Happens If You Don’t Have Gutters?
The gutters' main function is to move water away from your house, so what happens if that water doesn’t move away? Water collection around the base of your house can damage your foundation, cause erosion, and compromise the beauty of your home.
Water erodes most materials over time. If it collects at your foundation, it will eventually leak into your house, promoting mold growth and potentially flooding. Water can also erode your siding, which creates opportunities for pests to get into your home. Over time, water pooling around your foundation can cause it to settle, leading to uneven floors and cracked walls.
Do you have a garden near the edge of your house? Rainwater falling from the roof can erode the soil, and heavy rain might even wash away your plants! As your garden erodes, the landscape will start to slope down toward your house, creating places for water to pool. Guttering carries water away from your plants and drains it into a safe place where it won’t cause damage.
Rainwater sliding down the sides of your house can stain your siding. Investing to protect your home can save you money on future repairs and keep your house looking beautiful for years to come.
How Much Do Gutters Cost?
All right, you’re convinced that gutters are a worthwhile investment! So how much is this going to cost? The total cost of guttering ranges from $600–2,500, depending on the size of your porch, the materials you choose, and how you install them.
The most common guttering materials are vinyl, aluminum, and copper. Vinyl is the cheapest option at $3–6 per linear foot, but the material can crack over time. Aluminum is slightly more expensive at $4–12 per linear foot. Aluminum gutters are easy to install, but the light metal can be damaged by debris or heavy wind. Copper is very durable, but it is also more costly at $15–40 per linear foot. The cost of materials is based on linear footage, so the size of your porch is also important to consider when calculating the cost of guttering.
How Do You Install Gutters on a Porch?
As with most home improvement projects, you can do it yourself or hire a professional. Hiring professional labor is generally more expensive than doing it yourself, but a professional likely knows more about gutter installation than you do even after reading this post!
Hire A Professional
If you’d like to hire a professional, research local gutter companies to learn about labor costs in your area. The average cost of labor is around $75 per hour, and gutter installation usually takes about 1–3 days.
To find gutter companies in your area, check out Angie’s List or HomeAdvisor, or ask friends and neighbors for recommendations.
Do It Yourself (DIY)
DIY home improvement projects can be fun and rewarding if you’re up to the challenge! Here are the basic steps to install guttering on your porch:
- Measure and mark where the gutters should go. (Remember to slope the gutters toward the downspouts!)
- Attach brackets along the porch roof length, spaced 16 inches apart.
- Saw the guttering to length, attach end caps, and cut downspout holes.
- Install the gutters in the brackets, and cover and waterproof the joints.
- Connect the downspout(s) to the gutters and add a rain collection barrel if you’d like.
How Much Should A Gutter Overhang?
Remember how roof overhang can protect your property from damage? The same is true for guttering! Your gutters should overhang by about 1–3 inches. The overhang helps to ensure that water dripping from your porch roof is collected in the gutter.
Can I Use A Drip Edge on a Porch?
A professional gutter company will probably recommend installing a drip edge, a strip of metal or plastic that redirects water into the gutter. Drip edges are particularly useful for a porch gutter because they ensure that rainwater goes into the gutter and not onto your porch.
Invest in Gutters to Protect Your Home
As a homeowner, it’s your responsibility and privilege to care for your property and keep it safe and beautiful. Guttering your porch is a worthwhile investment that will protect your home for years to come!