Figuring out all of the required components of a home can feel impossible at times. Do you live in Florida and wonder whether you should install gutters or if this isn't necessary? Why don't many Florida homeowners have gutters on their homes?
We will answer these questions and many others throughout this article. Let's dive in!
Although Florida sees plenty of rain and moisture, installing gutters on your house isn't always necessary. One of the main reasons Floridians skip this installation is because the soil throughout the state is sandy, so moisture absorbs rather quickly.
Another reason is that many builders try to cut back on costs, as gutters aren't required by law unless the house has eaves of less than six inches or a roof on top of another roof.
Florida may also require you to install gutters if the soil around your home isn't easily drainable or is known to expand/collapse with moisture.
As we start, we will cover all things Florida homes and discuss whether or not having gutters is necessary. Whether buying a home, building one, or being curious, we're here to help. With that said, let's dive right into this article below!
Does Florida Law Require A House To Have Gutters?
No. Florida law does not technically require a house to have gutters in most cases. However, according to the Residential Edition of the Florida Building Code (FBC), there are two exceptions:
- If the roof overhang (eave) is less than six inches
- If the area around your home has expansive or collapsable soil
On top of these, specific building codes within the state of Florida will require gutters if a roof is on top of another roof, so this can come down to the design of your property.
You also want to consider the amount of rain your home gets. Remember, Florida has a subtropical climate, meaning it constantly rains throughout the year.
So, even though the sandy soil may drain some water quickly, with too much water, flooding is more likely if you don't have gutters.
From a safety and insurance standpoint, installing gutters is a good idea for homeowners, although not technically necessary.
Do Most Houses In Florida Have Rain Gutters?
Depending on when they are built, it's common for Florida homes not to have rain gutters. As we said, builders use this common practice to save on construction costs.
In addition, Florida soils tend to be sandier and more porous, meaning they can move water quickly. However, that doesn't always mean you don't need them.
According to Rain Gutters Solution, having rain gutters is becoming increasingly more common/popular as newer homes choose to use them.
Even if your home doesn't have gutters initially, you can always install them later on if flooding becomes a persistent issue. Sub-tropical climates tend to be harsh on homes, as the rain sometimes lasts for days.
Remember, even though your soil may move water well on an average day, you can't always prevent flooding if there is nowhere for the excess moisture to go.
What Do Gutters Do?
The main point of gutters is catching rainwater as it streams down your roof. The gutters will then direct this running water into vertical sectionals called downspouts.
Think of gutters as "channels," capturing water and getting it to a specific destination. If you don't have gutters, the rain from your roof will pour onto the ground below.
Again, this isn't always bad, but it can become a problem in super-wet climates.
Many homeowners direct this excess water into bins for irrigation or even to a nearby reservoir if they live on a large plot of land.
Using rainwater for a later time is an easy way to cut back on traditional water usage and even help the environment.
Capturing this runoff through your gutter system is the perfect option for those wanting to save money and lessen their overall environmental impact.
Why Is Having Gutters Important?
One of the primary benefits of installing gutters is water management. Generally, without gutters, your roof is more prone to water damage and causing floods below.
For example, if you're in Florida, gutters can become a lifeline between you and your interior, as too much water can sometimes make its way indoors.
Additionally, using your gutters to channel excess water into a retention pond or irrigation bin is an easy way to help the Earth and save on water bills.
It's better to have the excess rainwater go to a larger body of water or go towards irrigation on drier days rather than sit on the soil until it eventually drains/evaporates.
Gutters are also beneficial for keeping your roof clean. Garlock-French Roofing states how gutters can direct debris from a storm into a channel and eventually out to the ground.
Without them, you will have leaves and other stagnant water on your roofing, which isn't attractive.
Is It Expensive To Install Gutters In Florida?
In general, you can expect to spend around $4 per linear square foot on gutters in Florida. Most gutters need to be customized to fit your roof, so their price can fluctuate.
Furthermore, if you want to try seamless gutters, this will cost you roughly $900 to well over $3,000, depending on the size of your house.
According to Home Advisor, to install gutters on an entire home, you can expect a final price tag of $619-$1,666. Compared to seamless gutters, this is more affordable, but again, it will vary.
You also want to consider the current market/time of year. If it's summertime or right beforehand, there could be an influx of requests for new gutters, thus less available labor and materials.
Therefore, your price could go up during that "peak" period.
So, for any Floridians who want to get ahead of the rainy season, we recommend contacting a gutter professional sometime in the winter or early spring.
How Much Does It Cost To Put Gutters On A 2,000 Square Foot Home?
Now to be more specific, let's check out how much it should cost to install gutters on a 2,000-square-foot house. As we mentioned, you can generally expect to pay $4 per square foot for gutters.
According to the experts at Brothers Gutters, the following gutter sizes and pricing apply to a typical 2,000-square-foot house wanting seamless gutters:
- 5" seamless: $800-$1200
- 5" cost per foot: 5-8$
- 6” seamless: $1,000-$1500
- 6" cost per foot: 8-10$
They also mention how six-inch gutters are best for catching large amounts of water, even though they cost a bit more than traditional five-inch options.
Again, you don't have to choose seamless gutters for your project, although these tend to be the most visually appealing and of better quality.
It's also worth mentioning that the national average for gutter installation falls at roughly $1,050, so this price range is expansive.
Do You Need Gutters All Around A House?
Generally, you only need to put gutters around sections of your roof that slant. Furthermore, the size of your home can also affect whether it requires a full gutter install.
As we said, gutters prevent water from pooling and instead channel it to a final destination. Your gutter system can save your home from water damage or large-scale flooding, especially during a Florida rainstorm.
Therefore, installing them wherever there is a slope on your roof where water will run off is a good idea. Many experts stress that if your gutters are well made and installed correctly, they aren't always needed around an entire roof.
That's great for saving money and aesthetically if you don't like the look of a gutter system. For example, you won't usually need gutters on the sides if you have a flat roof.
Again, this all depends on the slope of your home and the property you're on, so everyone is different.
Do Gutters Increase Home Value?
No. Generally, gutters don't affect the value of a property. Because these aren't for aesthetics but for channeling excess rainwater, gutters are often overlooked during the home buying process.
Unlike adding a feature to your home to improve curb appeal, gutters play a more functional role. Therefore, having them is either standard for some or not necessary.
However, these can be good long-term, especially for those in sub-tropical climates like Florida. As we mentioned, Florida soils are sandy but not always foolproof.
Many home appraisers treat gutters like the tires on a car, so they expect them to be there and in perfect working condition.
So, the only way your gutters will impact the value of your property is if they are damaged, which in that case, you will need to subtract those repair costs from the value of your house.
Are Gutters Worth The Investment?
Overall, we agree that gutters (in Florida or elsewhere) are worth it. Considering they move excess water from your roof to the ground, they can be handy for wetter climates.
In addition, gutters are essentially a security blanket for a home's interior. Without them, flooding will likely occur around and inside your home, especially during a major storm.
So, for your sake, we think installing them is worth the initial cost.
To Wrap It Up
Whether you want to purchase a home in Florida or have one, gutters have probably crossed your mind. From what we found, you don't legally need to have gutters in Florida (in most cases), so they aren't technically "necessary."
However, gutters move water from your roof to the soil, which can prevent flooding nearby. Not only is this peace of mind helpful to you, but also your home's interior.
Remember, installing gutters around your entire property is not always necessary, so try to focus on areas with slopes or direct contact with moving water.
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