The very first thing to ask yourself when you are planning to install new gutters is, “Why?” This pivotal question will help to answer the subsequent questions you’ll have before purchasing your ultimate selection.
In our experience as a local gutter service, here are only three reasons homeowners will be shopping for new gutters:
An Upgrade – Switching out the gutters can drastically impact the exterior style of your house, enhancing its look in a more subtle way than painting or landscaping.
A New Home – Designing a new home comes with a constant stream of choices about appearance and functionality. Rain gutters are one of them. Deciding on the first gutters that go on your house is important because they should last approximately 20 years.
A Renovation – If the roof on your home is damaged, the gutters might have to be replaced, too. Or, they could just be deteriorating and need to be replaced.
You will know why you are replacing the rain gutters, but the reason typically has underlying motivations…
You want to sell your house.
You want to renovate but not spend a lot of money.
Your landscaping is getting damaged by ineffective gutters.
Figuring out your “Why” will often give you direction while you are shopping for new gutters. You’ll know if certain features are important or if you can go with a more affordable product.
Here are the questions you’ll want to consider when it’s time to install new gutters.
HOW TO CHOOSE GUTTER MATERIALS?
The best part about installing new rain gutters is picking out 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 cost:
VINYL & PLASTIC GUTTERS
Vinyl and plastic are economical options that hold up well in most cases, other than extremely cold climates, where they can deteriorate. Vinyl and plastic gutters are efficient in most regions of the country, and they come in a wide variety of colors.
METAL & ALUMINUM GUTTERS
These mid-priced options are both stylish and durable. Both materials are available in a wide range of colors too. They are fairly lightweight and are 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 gutter materials available, copper and stainless steel cost the most, but the most attractive as well. Homeowners in Minneapolis who choose these materials are looking for an elegant touch, and that’s just what they’ll get!
WHAT ARE IMPORTANT GUTTER FEATURES?
Most of the gutter materials above offer both of these options below:
SECTIONAL OR SEAMLESS GUTTERS
Sectional gutters – These types of gutters are made in smaller sections, so they are easy to install. In fact, homeowners decide to install their own sectional gutters. This type is the more affordable choice, and they have more seams, which means more areas where leaks can occur.
Seamless gutters – Seamless gutters will need to be installed by a local contractor because they require specialized equipment. 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 popular because they look excellent with virtually any style of home. They are better for angled roofs, which are far 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 usually made of copper and steel, and they complement rounded roofs, popular prior to 1950, so they give homes a luxurious, classic curb appeal. However, modern styles made from vinyl and plastic offer the best of both worlds, being both lightweight and functional. Half-Round rain gutters are harder to install, but much easier to clean, when the time comes for gutter cleaning.
DOES CLIMATE AFFECT GUTTERS?
The climate of your region will determine a lot about the gutters you can have. Like we already mentioned, some types of materials don’t hold up in cold climates.
The single most important climate factor to consider is how much work the gutters will have to do. Essentially, how much water are the gutters going to need to handle?
Professional gutter contractors in Minneapolis are going to take many factors into account to get a good idea of the size and the type of rain gutters that will work the best for your house.
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 can be found 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 maximum amount of rain that can happen within a 5-minute span.
Roof Square Footage – Square footage is a standard length times width calculation for basic 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 less sloped roof. Determining your roof-pitch factor will help to estimate how much rainfall will actually be collected, regardless of the average rainfall statistics found online.
DOES IT SNOW WHERE YOU LIVE?
Snowfall is factored into average precipitation calculations, but you also want to be aware of the potential for ice dams. If it snows often in your state, you need to seek professional guidance about the type of rain gutters that help to prevent ice dams from forming, which might 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 going to do the work yourself, or if you are going to pay a professional to install your gutters. Professional installation will ensure efficiency, instead of doing it yourself.
Most homeowners are better off paying a little extra for professional labor, to ensure that the job will be done right. An added bonus of hiring Minneapolis Gutter Solutions to install your gutters is that we can help you answer all your questions about new gutters so that you are able to find the perfect style and type for your home.