The first thing to consider when you are planning to install new gutters is, “Why?” This question will help to answer the subsequent questions you’ll have before making your ultimate selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are only three reasons homeowners might be shopping for new rain gutters:
An Upgrade – Installing new rain gutters can significantly impact the appearance of your house, increasing its look in a subtler way than painting or new landscaping.
A New Home – Designing a home comes with a lot of of decisions about appearance and functionality. Rain gutters included. Deciding on the first gutters that go on your home is important because they should last at least 15-20 years or more.
A Renovation – If the roof on your home has had damage, the gutters might have to be replaced. Or, they could simply be wearing down and need to be replaced.
You obviously know why you are installing new rain gutters, but the reason typically has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your house.
You want to renovate without spending too much money.
Your landscaping is being damaged by ineffective gutters.
Figuring out your “Why” will help to give you direction while you are shopping for new gutters. You’ll know if certain features are worth spending money on or if you can go with a more affordable product.
Here are the major questions you’ll have when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The fun part about choosing new rain gutters is picking out the style. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your house, depending on your personal preference.
These are the options you will have, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are affordable options that are durable in most scenarios, other than extremely cold climates, where they will become brittle. Vinyl and plastic gutters are efficient in most regions of the country, and they come in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced options are attractive and durable. Both materials come in a variety of colors as well. They are fairly light and easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) are able to fend off rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the rain gutter materials, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but are the most attractive as well. Homeowners in Smyrna who choose these materials are looking for an elegant touch, and that’s what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Almost all of the gutter types above will offer both of these options below:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These rain gutters come in smaller sections, so they’re easy to install. In fact, homeowners decide to install their own sectional gutters. This type is the less expensive choice, and they are made with more seams, which means there are more sections where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a local contractor because they require special equipment. They are more expensive to order and install, but they are less likely to leak or wear down than sectional gutters.
K-STYLE OR HALF-ROUND GUTTERS
K-Style – K-Style gutters are far more popular because they look great with every style of home. They’re better for angled roofs, which are far more common. This speaks to their popularity. In addition, they are not hard to install. Many homeowners are proficient enough to install their own K-Style gutters.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are traditionally made of copper and steel, and they recommended for rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they provide homes a regal, classic curb appeal. However, more modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, because they are both lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round gutters are a lot harder to install, but much easier to clean out, when the time comes for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region may dictate a lot about what gutters you can havecontractors use is no secret. Here are the pieces of specific information you will need to decide how large your gutters should be:
Average Rainfall – This statistic is available on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You can also look into the maximum rainfall intensity for your area. This is the max amount of rain that occurs within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a standard length times width calculation for residential roofs. However, you will want to figure all the surfaces of multi-faceted roofs.
Roof-Pitch Factor – A roof that is steep will collect more wind-blown rain than a roof that is less sloped. Figuring out your roof-pitch factor is going to help you calculate how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics found online.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is included in average precipitation calculations, but you also want to be aware of the potential for ice dams. If it snows often in your state, you need to seek professional guidance about the type of gutters that best prevent ice dams from forming, which can severely damage your roof.
Of course, the final question is possibly the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also need to ask yourself if you’re willing to try to do the work on your own, or if you want to pay a professional to install your gutters. Professional installation ensures maximum efficiency, versus doing it yourself.
Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for professional labor, knowing that the installation will be done right. An added bonus of hiring Smyrna Gutter Service to install the gutters is that we will help you answer all your questions about gutters so that you find the best style and type.