The number one thing to ask yourself when you are planning to install new gutters is, “Why?” This question will help you answer most of the following questions you’ll have before making your ultimate selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are just three reasons homeowners will be in the market for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the rain gutters can drastically impact the appearance of your home, increasing its look in a more subtle way than painting or landscaping.
A New Home – Building a home comes with a constant stream of choices about appearance and functionality. Gutters are one of them. Deciding on the first gutters that go on your home is important because they will need to last at least 20 years or more.
A Renovation – If your home’s roof has experienced damage, the gutters may have to be replaced. Or, they could just be wearing down and need to be replaced with new ones.
You know why you are installing new gutters on your home, but the reason typically has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your house.
You want to renovate without spending a lot of money.
Your landscaping is being damaged by ineffective gutters.
Determining your “Why” will often give you direction while you are shopping. You’ll know if certain features are must-haves or if you can go with a more affordable product.
Here are the questions you’ll need to ask when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The fun part about choosing new gutters is choosing the style. 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 cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical options that hold up well in most cases, except in extremely 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 variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced options are both attractive and durable. Both materials are available in a variety of colors as well. They are fairly light and easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) resist rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the rain gutter materials, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but are the most attractive as well. Homeowners in Grand Rapids who decide on these options are searching 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 rain gutters are made in smaller sections, so they are easy 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 are going to occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters will need to be installed by a contractor because they need special tools. They’re more expensive to purchase 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 excellent with every style of home. They are better for angled roofs, which are more common. This one of the reasons for their popularity. In addition, they are not hard to install. Most 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 before 1950, so they provide homes a regal, established appearance. However, modern styles made from vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, because they are lightweight and functional. Half-Round rain gutters are much harder to install, but easier to clean, when the time comes for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region will determine a lot about which gutters you should install. Like we mentioned, some materials will not hold up well in cold climates.
The single most important climate factor is how much work the gutters will need to do. Basically, how much rain or water are your gutters going to have to withstand?
Professional gutter contractors in Grand Rapids are going to take a lot of factors into account to determine the size and type of gutters that are going to work best for your home.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional 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 can be found on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You can also look into the maximum rainfall intensity for the city you live in. This is the maximum amount of rain that occurs within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a simple length times width calculation for residential roofs. However, you have 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. Determining your roof-pitch factor will help you estimate how much rainfall will actually be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall will be factored into average precipitation calculations, but you also want to consider the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows a lot in your region, you should seek professional guidance about the type of rain gutters that best prevent ice dams from forming, which might really damage your home’s 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 do the work on your own, or if you want to enlist the services of a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation ensures maximum efficiency, versus doing it yourself.
Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for labor, knowing that the installation will be done correctly. Another bonus of hiring Grand Rapids Gutters to install your new gutters is that we are able to help you answer all of your questions about new gutters so that you are able to find the best style and type for your home.