The first thing to ask yourself when you are purchasing new gutters is, “Why?” This pivotal question will help you answer many of 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 shopping for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the gutters can drastically impact the exterior style of your home, enhancing its look in a more subtle way than painting or landscaping.
A New Home – Designing a home comes with a lot of of choices about both 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 20 years.
A Renovation – If your roof is damaged, the gutters might have to be replaced. Or, they may just be aging and need to be replaced with new ones.
You will know why you are installing new gutters on your home, but the reason usually has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your home.
You want to renovate but not spend too much money.
Your landscaping is being ruined by ineffective gutters.
Determining your “Why” will give you direction while you are shopping. You’ll know what features are worth spending money on or if you can choose a less expensive product.
Here are the major questions you’ll have when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The fun part of purchasing new gutters is choosing the style. Gutters will blend in or stand out against your home, depending on your personal preference.
These are the choices for materials, in order of cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical options that are durable in most cases, besides extremely cold climates, where they can deteriorate. Vinyl and plastic gutters are acceptable in most regions of the country, and they come in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced materials are both attractive and durable. Both of these materials are available in a variety of colors too. They are fairly lightweight and are easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) fend off rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the gutter materials, copper and stainless steel cost the most, but are the most stylish as well. Homeowners in Bellingham 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 types above will offer these options:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These types of rain gutters come in smaller sections, so they are easier to install. In fact, many homeowners choose to install their own sectional gutters on their own. This type is the less expensive choice, and they have more seams, which means there are more sections where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a professional contractor because they require specialized equipment. They are more expensive to buy 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 great with every style of home. They’re better for angled roofs, which are far more common. This speaks to their popularity. Plus, 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 provide homes a luxurious, classic curb appeal. However, more modern styles made from vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, being lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round rain gutters are a lot harder to install, but much easier to clean, when it’s time for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of the region you live in will determine a lot about what gutters you should purchase. As we mentioned, certain types of materials don’t hold up well in cold climates.
The most important climate factor is how much work the gutters will have to do. Essentially, how much rain or water are the gutters going to have to withstand?
Professional gutter contractors in Bellingham can take many factors into consideration to determine the size and the type of rain gutters that are going to work the best for your house.
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 statistic is available online on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You should also find the maximum rainfall intensity for your area. This is the max amount of rain that can happen within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a standard length times width calculation for standard roofs. But, 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 less sloped roof. Figuring out 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 is included in precipitation calculations, but you also want to be aware of the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows often in your region, you should seek professional guidance concerning the type of gutters that help to prevent ice dams from forming, which can severely damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the last 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 pay a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation will ensure efficiency, versus doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for professional labor, knowing that the job will be done correctly. Another bonus of hiring Bellingham Gutters to install your new gutters is that we are able to help you answer all your questions about new gutters so that you find the perfect style and type.