The number one thing to ask yourself when you are shopping for new gutters is, “Why?” This important question will help to answer most of the subsequent 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 shopping for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Installing new gutters can drastically impact the exterior style of your home, enhancing its look in a subtler way than painting or landscaping.
A New Home – Designing a new home comes with a lot of of decisions about both appearance and functionality. Rain gutters are no exception. Choosing the gutters that go on your home is important because they should last at least 20 years.
A Renovation – If your roof has experienced damage, the gutters may have to be replaced. Or, they might simply be getting too old and need to be replaced with new ones.
You 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 without spending too much money.
Your landscaping is being ruined by ineffective gutters.
Determining your “Why” will provide direction while you are shopping for new gutters. You’ll know if certain features are worth spending your money on or if you can choose a more affordable product.
Here are the questions you’ll have when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The fun part of choosing new gutters is picking out the style. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your home, depending on your preference.
These are the choices for materials, in order of cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are affordable choices that hold up well in most cases, besides extremely cold climates, where they can wear down. Vinyl and plastic gutters are sufficient in nearly every region of the country, and they are available in a wide range of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced options are both attractive and durable. Both of these materials are available in a wide range of colors as well. They are fairly light and easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) will withstand rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the gutter materials available, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but the most attractive as well. Homeowners in Buffalo who purchase these materials are looking for an elegant touch, and that’s just what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Almost all of the gutter options above will offer both of these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These types of gutters are made in smaller sections, so they’re easier to install. In fact, most homeowners choose 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 areas where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a professional contractor because they require special tools. They are more expensive to buy and to 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 far more common. This one of the reasons for their popularity. And, they are not hard 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 provide homes a regal, classic curb appeal. However, modern styles made out of vinyl and plastic provide the best of both worlds, being lightweight and functional. Half-Round rain gutters are harder to install, but much easier to clean, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region will determine a lot about what gutters you should purchase. As we mentioned, certain types of materials don’t hold up in cold climates.
The single most important climate factor is how much work the gutters will have to do. Basically, how much water are the gutters going to have to handle?
Professional gutter contractors in Buffalo 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 house.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional home exterior 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 should also find 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 simple length times width calculation for residential roofs. However, you will want 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 you determine how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics found online.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is included in average precipitation calculations, but you definitely want to consider the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows a lot in your city, you need to seek professional guidance concerning the type of rain gutters that best prevent ice dams from forming, which can really damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the final question is possibly the most important …
HOW TO INSTALL GUTTERS?
You also need to ask yourself if you’re willing to try to do the work yourself, or if you are going to enlist the services of a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation ensures efficiency, compared to doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for labor, to ensure that the installation will be done correctly. An added bonus of hiring Better Buffalo Gutters to install the new gutters is that we will help you answer all of your questions about new gutters so that you find the perfect style and type for your home.