The very first thing to consider when you are planning to install new gutters is, “Why?” This pivotal question will help you answer the following 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 in the market for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the gutters can significantly impact the curb appeal of your home, enhancing its look in a subtler way than painting or new landscaping.
A New Home – Building a home comes with a constant stream of decisions about appearance and functionality. Gutters included. Deciding on the gutters that go on your house is important because they will need to last at least 15 years.
A Renovation – If the roof on your home has suffered damage, the gutters might have to be replaced. Or, they might simply be deteriorating and need to be replaced.
You know why you are installing new 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 give you direction while you are shopping for new gutters. You’ll know if certain features are important 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 of installing new rain gutters is picking out the materials. Gutters will blend in or stand out against your home exterior, depending on your personal preference.
These are the options for materials, in order of cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are affordable choices that are durable in most scenarios, other than cold climates, where they can wear down. Vinyl and plastic gutters are efficient in most regions of the country, and they come in a wide range of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These reasonably priced options are both attractive and durable. Both materials are available in a variety of colors too. They are fairly lightweight and are not hard to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) will resist rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the rain gutter materials available, copper and stainless steel cost the most, but are the most stylish as well. Homeowners in Boulder who purchase these materials are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter options above will offer these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These rain gutters are made in smaller sections, so they are easy to install. In fact, homeowners decide to install their own sectional gutters. This type is the more affordable choice, and they are made with more seams, which means more sections where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a local contractor because they need specialized equipment. They’re more expensive to order and to install, but 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 excellent with almost any style of home. They are better for angled roofs, which are more common. This speaks to their popularity. In addition, they are easy 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 complement rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they give homes a luxurious, established appearance. However, more modern styles made from vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, because they are both lightweight and functional. Half-Round rain gutters are much harder to install, but easier to clean, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of the city you live in will determine a lot about the gutters you should purchase. Like we already mentioned, certain types of materials don’t hold up well in cold climates.
The single most important climate factor to consider is how much work the gutters will have to do. In other words, how much water are your gutters going to have to handle?
Professional gutter contractors in Boulder are going to take a lot of factors into consideration to get a good idea of the size and the type of gutters that will work the best for your home.
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 can be found online on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You can also find the maximum rainfall intensity for the city you live in. This is the maximum amount of rain that can happen within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a basic length times width calculation for residential roofs. However, you need to factor in 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 to estimate how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics found online.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is going to be included in average precipitation calculations, but you also want to consider the potential for ice dams. If it snows a lot in your region, you need to seek professional guidance concerning the type of gutters that best prevent ice dams from forming, which might severely damage your roof.
Of course, the final question is arguably the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also need to ask yourself if you’re going to try to do the work yourself, or if you want to hire a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation ensures maximum efficiency, versus doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for professional labor, to ensure that the installation will be done correctly. Another bonus of hiring Boulder Gutters, Inc. 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.