The first thing to ask yourself when you are purchasing new gutters is, “Why?” This important question will help you answer many of the questions you’ll have before making your selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are only three reasons homeowners will be shopping for new rain gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the gutters can drastically affect the exterior style of your house, increasing its look in a subtler way than painting or new landscaping.
A New Home – Designing a home comes with a lot of of decisions about both appearance and functionality. Gutters included. Deciding on the gutters that go on your home is important because they should last at least 15 years.
A Renovation – If the roof on your home is damaged, the gutters might have to be replaced. Or, they may simply be getting too old and need to be replaced.
You know why you are replacing the gutters, but the reason often has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your house.
You want to renovate without spending too much money.
Your landscaping is being damaged by ineffective gutters.
Figuring out your “Why” will help to give you direction while you are shopping for new gutters. You’ll know what features are must-haves or if you can choose a more affordable product.
Here are the major questions you’ll want to consider when purchasing new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The fun part about installing new gutters is choosing the style. Gutters will blend in or stand out against your house, depending on your preference.
These are the options you will have, in order of lowest to highest cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical choices that are durable in most scenarios, other than extremely cold climates, where they can become brittle. Vinyl and plastic gutters are acceptable in most regions of the country, and they are available in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These reasonably priced options are 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) will 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 the most eye-catching as well. Homeowners in Federal Way who purchase these materials are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s exactly what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Almost all of the gutter types above will offer 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, homeowners choose to install their own sectional gutters on their own. This type is the more affordable choice, and they have more seams, which means more sections where leaks are going to occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a contractor because they require specialized equipment. They’re more expensive to buy 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 excellent with every style of home. They’re better for angled roofs, which are more common. This one of the reasons for their popularity. And, they are easy to install. Many homeowners are proficient enough to install their own K-Style gutters.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are traditionally 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, because they are lightweight and functional. Half-Round 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 may dictate a lot about what gutters you can have. As we already mentioned, some materials will not hold up well in cold climates.
The single most important climate factor to think about is how much work the gutters will need to do. In other words, how much water are the gutters going to need to handle?
Professional gutter companies in Federal Way are going to take several factors into account to determine the size and the type of rain gutters that will work the best for your roof.
WHAT IS THE FORMULA?
Luckily, the formula professional gutter 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 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 can happen within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a standard length times width calculation for standard roofs. But, you will have to factor in all the surfaces of multi-faceted roofs.
Roof-Pitch Factor – A steep roof will collect more wind-blown rain than a less sloped roof. Determining your roof-pitch factor is going to help to determine 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 precipitation calculations, but you also want to be aware of the potential for ice dams forming on your roof. If it snows regularly in your region, you should seek professional guidance about the type of rain gutters that best prevent ice dams from forming, which might severely 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 yourself, or if you are going to enlist the services of a professional to install your new gutters. Professional installation will ensure efficiency, instead of doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for professional labor, to ensure that the job will be done correctly. Another bonus of hiring Federal Way Gutters to install the gutters is that we will help you answer all of your questions about new gutters so that you find the perfect style and type.