The number one thing to ask yourself when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This question will help you answer most of the questions you’ll have before purchasing your final selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are just three reasons homeowners might be in the market for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Installing new rain gutters can significantly affect the curb appeal of your house, increasing its look in a subtler way than painting or landscaping.
A New Home – Building a new home comes with a constant stream of decisions about appearance and functionality. Gutters are one of them. Deciding on the gutters that go on your home is important because they will need to last approximately 15-20 years or more.
A Renovation – If your roof is damaged, the gutters might have to be replaced, too. Or, they could just be getting too old and need to be replaced with new ones.
You know why you are replacing the gutters, but the reason often has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your home.
You want to renovate but not spend too much money.
Your landscaping is getting damaged by ineffective gutters.
Figuring out your “Why” will provide direction while you are shopping. You’ll know which features are must-haves or if you can go with a more affordable product.
Here are the major questions you’ll need to ask when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The best part about installing new gutters is choosing the materials. Gutters will blend in or stand out against your house, depending on your personal preference.
These are the choices you will have, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical choices that hold up well in most scenarios, except in extremely cold climates, where they will become brittle. Vinyl and plastic gutters are sufficient in almost every region of the country, and they are available in a wide range of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These reasonably priced materials are both stylish and durable. Both materials come in a wide range of colors too. They are fairly light and easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) fend off rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the rain gutter materials available, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but are the most stylish as well. Homeowners in Huntsville who purchase these options are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s just what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Almost all of the gutter options above will offer both of these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These rain gutters are made in smaller sections, so they’re easier to install. In fact, many homeowners decide to install their own sectional gutters on their own. This type is the less expensive choice, and they are made with more seams, which means more sections where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters will need to be installed by a contractor because they need specialized tools. They’re more expensive to buy and install, but they are less likely to leak 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 easy to install. Most homeowners are capable enough to install their own K-Style gutters.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are usually made of copper and steel, and they recommended for rounded roofs, popular before 1950, so they give homes a regal, established curb appeal. However, more modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, being both lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round rain gutters are a lot harder to install, but much easier to clean out, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of the city you live in will dictate a lot about which gutters you can havecontractors use is not a 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 online on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You should also check the maximum rainfall intensity for your area. This is the max amount of rain that will occur within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a simple length times width calculation for basic roofs. However, you need to factor in all the surfaces of multi-faceted roofs.
Roof-Pitch Factor – A steep roof will collect more wind-blown rain than a roof that is less sloped. Figuring out your roof-pitch factor will help you determine how much rainfall will actually be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall will be included in precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to consider the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows a lot in your region, you need to seek professional guidance about the type of rain gutters that help to prevent ice dams from forming, which can severely damage your roof.
Of course, the final question is probably the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also have to ask yourself if you’re going to do the work on your own, or if you are going to pay a professional to install your gutters. Professional installation ensures efficiency, compared to doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for professional labor, to ensure that the job will be done correctly. An added bonus of hiring Huntsville Gutter Service to install your new gutters is that we are able to help you answer all your questions about new gutters so that you find the perfect style and type for your home.