The very first thing to ask yourself when you are purchasing new gutters is, “Why?” This pivotal question will help to answer many of the questions you’ll have before purchasing your ultimate selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are only three reasons homeowners might be shopping for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Installing new rain gutters can significantly affect the curb appeal of your house, enhancing its look in a subtler way than painting or landscaping.
A New House – Building a new home comes with a constant stream of decisions about appearance and functionality. Rain gutters included. 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 the roof on your home been damaged, the gutters may need to be replaced, too. Or, they may simply be wearing down and need to be replaced with new ones.
You obviously know why you are installing new gutters on your home, 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 help to provide direction while you are shopping for new gutters. You’ll know what features are important or if you can choose a more affordable product.
Here are the major questions you’ll want to consider when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The best part about installing new rain gutters is picking out the materials. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your home exterior, depending on your preference.
These are the options for materials, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical materials that are durable in most cases, except in extremely cold climates, where they will become brittle. Vinyl and plastic gutters are efficient in nearly every region of the country, and they come in a wide range of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced options are both attractive and durable. Both materials are available in a variety of colors too. They are fairly light and are 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 gutter materials available, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but the most stylish as well. Homeowners in Fitchburg who purchase these materials are looking for an elegant touch, and that’s just what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter options above offer these options below:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These types of gutters are made in smaller sections, so they are easy to install. In fact, many 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 are going to occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a local contractor because they need specialized tools. They’re more expensive to buy and to 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 popular because they look great with every style of home. They are better for angled roofs, which are far more common. This one of the reasons for their popularity. And, they are not hard to install. Many homeowners are proficient 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 prior to 1950, so they provide homes a luxurious, established appearance. However, modern styles made from vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, because they are lightweight and functional. Half-Round gutters are harder to install, but much easier to clean out, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region may dictate a lot about which gutters you should install. As we mentioned, certain types of materials will not hold up in extremely cold climates.
The single most important climate factor is how much work the gutters will have to do. Basically, how much rain or water are your gutters going to need to handle?
Professional gutter installers in Fitchburg can take many factors into consideration to get a good idea of the size and type of gutters that are going to work best for your house.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional roofing contractors 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 should also find the maximum rainfall intensity for your area. This is the maximum amount of rain that will occur within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a simple length times width calculation for residential roofs. However, you have 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. Knowing your roof-pitch factor is going to help you estimate how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is included in precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to be aware of the potential for ice dams. If it snows a lot in your region, you should seek professional guidance about the type of rain gutters that best prevent ice dams, which can really damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the last question is possibly the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also need to ask yourself if you’re going to try to do the work on your own, or if you are going to enlist the services of a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation will ensure efficiency, versus doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for labor, knowing that the installation will be done right. Another bonus of hiring Fitchburg Gutters to install your gutters is that we will help you answer all of your questions about gutters so that you find the best style and type for your home.