The first thing to ask yourself when you are planning to install new gutters is, “Why?” This important question will help to answer most of the questions you’ll have before purchasing your final selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are only three reasons homeowners will be in the market for new rain gutters:
An Upgrade – Installing new rain gutters can significantly impact the exterior style of your home, enhancing its look in a more subtle way than painting or new landscaping.
A New Home – Designing a home comes with a lot of of choices about appearance and functionality. Rain gutters are no exception. Deciding on the first gutters that go on your home is important because they should last at least 15 years.
A Renovation – If your roof has suffered damage, the gutters might have to be replaced. Or, they may simply be wearing down and need to be replaced.
You will know why you are installing new gutters, but the reason often has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your house.
You want to renovate but not spend a lot of money.
Your landscaping is getting ruined by ineffective gutters.
Determining your “Why” will often provide direction while you are shopping. You’ll know which features are worth spending your money on or if you can go with a less expensive product.
Here are the questions you’ll need to ask when it’s time to install new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The best part of installing new gutters is choosing the materials. Gutters will blend in or stand out against your house, depending on your preference.
These are the choices 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 deteriorate. Vinyl and plastic gutters are acceptable in almost every region of the country, and they are available in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These reasonably priced options are both attractive and durable. Both of these materials come in a variety of colors as well. They are fairly light and are easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) withstand rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the gutter materials, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but the most attractive as well. Homeowners in Little Rock who purchase these options 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 will offer these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These gutters come in smaller sections, so they are easy to install. In fact, homeowners decide to install their own sectional gutters on their own. This type is the more affordable choice, and they are made with more seams, which means there are more sections where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters will need to be installed by a contractor because they require specialized tools. They are 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 far more popular because they look great with every style of home. They are better for angled roofs, which are more common. This attributes to their popularity. Plus, they are not hard to install. Most homeowners are capable enough to install their own K-Style gutters.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are traditionally made of copper and steel, and they recommended for rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they provide homes a luxurious, classic appearance. However, more modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, being both lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round rain gutters are much harder to install, but easier to clean out, when the time comes for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region will dictate a lot about which gutters you can havecontractors 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 weather statistic can be found online on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You should also check the maximum rainfall intensity for your area. This is the max amount of rain that will occur within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a standard length times width calculation for basic roofs. But, you want 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 determine how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics found online.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall will be included in average precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to be aware of the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows often in your city, you should seek professional guidance concerning the type of rain gutters that best prevent ice dams, which could really damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the last question is arguably the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also have to ask yourself if you’re willing to try to do the work on your own, or if you are going to pay a professional to install your gutters. Professional installation ensures maximum efficiency, compared to doing it yourself.
Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for professional labor, to ensure that the installation will be done correctly. An added bonus of hiring Little Rock Gutter Service to install your gutters is that we can help you answer all of your questions about new gutters so that you find the perfect style and type for your home.