The number one thing to ask yourself when you are purchasing new gutters is, “Why?” This question will help you answer the subsequent questions you’ll have before making your selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are three reasons homeowners might be in the market for new rain gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the gutters can significantly impact the appearance of your house, improving 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 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 the roof on your home has suffered damage, the gutters may need to be replaced, too. Or, they might simply be deteriorating and need to be replaced with new ones.
You will know why you are replacing the rain gutters on your home, but the reason often has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your home.
You want to renovate but not spend a lot of money.
Your landscaping is getting ruined by ineffective gutters.
Figuring out your “Why” will help to give you direction while you are shopping. You’ll know which features are must-haves or if you can go with a less expensive product.
Here are the major questions you’ll want to consider when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The best part of choosing new rain gutters is choosing the materials. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your house, depending on your personal 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 scenarios, other than extremely cold climates, where they will wear down. Vinyl and plastic gutters are acceptable in most regions of the country, and they come in a wide range of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced materials are attractive and durable. Both of these materials come in a variety of colors too. They are fairly light and not hard 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, copper and stainless steel cost the most, but the most attractive as well. Homeowners in Franklin who choose 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 materials above will offer these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These gutters are made in smaller sections, so they are easy to install. In fact, most homeowners choose to install their own sectional gutters. This type is the less expensive choice, and they have more seams, which means more areas where leaks are going to occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a contractor because they need special tools. They’re 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 virtually any style of home. They are better for angled roofs, which are more common. This attributes to their popularity. In addition, they are not hard to install. Many homeowners are proficient enough to install their own K-Style gutters by themselves.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are traditionally made of copper and steel, and they are best for rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they give homes a luxurious, classic appearance. 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 much harder to install, but much easier to clean, when the time comes for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region will dictate a lot about what gutters you can have. Like we already mentioned, some materials will not hold up well in extremely cold climates.
The single most important climate factor to think about is how much work the gutters will need to do. In other words, how much water are your gutters going to need to withstand?
Professional gutter installers in Franklin will take a lot of factors into account to get a good idea of the size and type of 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 statistic is available online on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You should also look into the maximum rainfall intensity for the city you live in. This is the max amount of rain that will occur within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a basic length times width calculation for basic roofs. But, you will 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 less sloped roof. Knowing your roof-pitch factor is going to help to calculate how much rainfall will actually be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is included in average precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to consider the potential for ice dams. If it snows often in your city, you need to seek professional guidance about the type of gutters that best prevent ice dams from forming, which might really damage your roof.
Of course, the last question is possibly 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 pay a professional to install your gutters. Professional installation will ensure maximum efficiency, compared to doing it yourself.
Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for labor, to ensure that the installation will be done right. Another bonus of hiring Franklin Gutters to install the gutters is that we will help you answer all your questions about new gutters so that you are able to find the perfect style and type.