The very first thing to consider when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This pivotal question will help to answer most of the following questions you’ll have before making your selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are only three reasons homeowners will be shopping for new rain gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the gutters can drastically impact the curb appeal of your home, increasing its look in a more subtle way than painting or landscaping.
A New House – Designing a new home comes with a constant stream of decisions about appearance and functionality. Rain gutters are one of them. Deciding on the gutters that go on your house is important because they will need to last approximately 20 years or more.
A Renovation – If your home’s roof has suffered damage, the gutters may have to be replaced, too. Or, they might simply be deteriorating and need to be replaced with new ones.
You know why you are installing new rain gutters, but the reason typically has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your home.
You want to renovate but not spend a lot of money.
Your landscaping is getting damaged by ineffective gutters.
Figuring out your “Why” will often provide direction while you are shopping. You’ll know if certain features are must-haves or if you can go with a less expensive product.
Here are the major questions you’ll have when it’s time to install new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The best part of installing new gutters is choosing the style. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your home exterior, depending on your personal preference.
These are the choices for materials, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are affordable choices that hold up well in most cases, except in cold climates, where they can wear down. Vinyl and plastic gutters are efficient in nearly every region of the country, and they are available in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced materials are stylish and durable. Both of these 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 resist rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the gutter materials available, copper and stainless steel cost the most, but are the most stylish as well. Homeowners in High Point who decide on these materials are looking for an elegant touch, and that’s exactly what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter materials above offer these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These rain gutters are made in smaller sections, so they are easier to install. In fact, homeowners choose to install their own sectional gutters. This type is the more affordable choice, and they have more seams, which means there are more areas where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters will need to be installed by a professional contractor because they need special equipment. They are 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 popular because they look great with every style of home. They are better for angled roofs, which are more common. This one of the reasons for their popularity. Plus, they are easy to install. Many homeowners are proficient enough to install their own K-Style gutters by themselves.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are usually made of copper and steel, and they complement rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they give homes a luxurious, classic appearance. However, modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, because they are both lightweight and functional. Half-Round gutters are harder to install, but much easier to clean, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of the region you live in may dictate a lot about which gutters you can have. Like we already mentioned, some materials don’t hold up in extremely cold climates.
The single most important climate factor to consider is how much work the gutters will have to do. Essentially, how much water are the gutters going to have to withstand?
Professional gutter installers in High Point will take many factors into account to get a good idea of the size and the type of rain gutters that will work the best for your roof.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional roofing contractors 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 weather statistic is available on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You should also look into the maximum rainfall intensity for your area. This is the maximum amount of rain that can happen within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a simple length times width calculation for standard roofs. But, 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. Knowing your roof-pitch factor will help you calculate how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is factored into precipitation calculations, but you also want to consider the potential for ice dams. If it snows regularly in your city, you should seek professional guidance concerning the type of gutters that help to prevent ice dams, which might severely damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the last question is arguably the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also need to ask yourself if you’re willing to do the work on your own, or if you are going to hire a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation will ensure maximum efficiency, compared to doing it yourself.
Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for professional labor, knowing that the job will be done correctly. An added bonus of hiring High Point Gutters to install your new gutters is that we can help you answer all of your questions about gutters so that you find the perfect style and type.