The first thing to consider when you are planning to install new gutters is, “Why?” This pivotal question will help you answer many of the questions you’ll have before making your final selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are only three reasons homeowners will be shopping for new rain gutters:
An Upgrade – Installing new rain gutters can significantly affect the curb appeal of your home, increasing 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 15 years or more.
A Renovation – If your roof been damaged, the gutters may need to be replaced. Or, they may just be deteriorating and need to be replaced.
You obviously know why you are installing new gutters, but the reason often has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your home.
You want to renovate without spending a lot of money.
Your landscaping is being damaged by ineffective gutters.
Figuring out your “Why” will give you direction while you are shopping. You’ll know which features are important or if you can go with a more affordable product.
Here are the major questions you’ll need to ask when it’s time to purchase new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The best part about choosing new rain gutters is choosing the materials. Gutters can blend in or stand out against your home, depending on your personal preference.
These are the choices you will have, in order of cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical choices that hold up well in most cases, other than cold climates, where they can wear down. Vinyl and plastic gutters are sufficient in most regions of the country, and they come in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These reasonably priced options are attractive and durable. Both of these materials come in a wide range of colors as well. They are fairly lightweight and are easy to install. Galvanized metals (coated with zinc to protect them) resist rust and corrosion even better.
COPPER & STAINLESS STEEL GUTTERS
Of all the gutter materials, copper and stainless steel are the most expensive, but are the most attractive as well. Homeowners in Knoxville who choose these options are searching for an elegant touch, and that’s exactly what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Almost all of the gutter materials above will offer these options below:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These rain gutters are made in smaller sections, so they’re easy to install. In fact, most homeowners choose to install their own sectional gutters. This type is the less expensive choice, and they are made with more seams, which means more areas where leaks are going to occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters should be installed by a professional contractor because they require special tools. They are more expensive to purchase 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 far more popular because they look excellent with almost any 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. Many homeowners are capable enough to install their own K-Style gutters by themselves.
Half-Round – Half-Round gutters are traditionally made of copper and steel, and they are best for rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they give homes a regal, classic appearance. However, modern styles made from vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, because they are both lightweight and highly functional. Half-Round gutters are a lot harder to install, but easier to clean, when the time comes for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of the region you live in will dictate a lot about the gutters you can have. Like we already mentioned, some materials don’t hold up well in extremely cold climates.
The most important climate factor is how much work the gutters will have to do. Basically, how much rain or water are your gutters going to need to handle?
Professional gutter installers in Knoxville are going to take a lot of factors into consideration to get a good idea of the size and type of rain gutters that are going to work best for your roof.
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 can be found online on the National Weather Service or the U.S. Weather Bureau website. You can also find the maximum rainfall intensity for your area. This is the max amount of rain that occurs within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a basic length times width calculation for standard 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 less sloped roof. Figuring out your roof-pitch factor is going to help to determine how much rainfall will be collected, regardless of the rainfall statistics.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall will be included in average precipitation calculations, but you also want to be aware of the potential for ice dams. If it snows often in your region, you should seek professional guidance concerning the type of gutters that help to prevent ice dams, which might severely damage your home’s roof.
Of course, the last question is probably 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 are going to enlist the services of a professional to install your gutters. Professional installation ensures efficiency, instead of doing it yourself.
Most homeowners should consider paying a little extra for labor, knowing that the job will be done right. Another bonus of hiring Knoxville Gutters Plus to install the gutters is that we will help you answer all of your questions about gutters so that you find the perfect style and type for your home.