Nationwide Gutter Services
25 Aug 2016
gutters

Install Gutters: Hire Someone or DIY?

To many people, “DIY” is more than just a label. It’s an attitude, a state of mind, or even a personal statement. It’s emblematic of being independent, self-reliant, and not beholden to anyone else.

However, a big part of DIY is knowing when to ask for assistance — which often entails hiring a professional. Since this is a gutter-related blog, let’s examine gutter installation and whether you should hire someone to install gutters on your home, or do it yourself.

The Benefits of Doing it Yourself

The most tangible advantage associated with a DIY gutter installation is the reduced costs involved. All of the materials are available at any home improvement or hardware store, and there are no special tools or equipment needed to complete the project. Installing gutters can also be done on your own schedule without having to arrange an appointment with a contractor (and be at home when he arrives). Doing it yourself also lets you pick the precise style of gutters you want, and even install gutter guards during the process. And, last but not least, hanging your own gutters gives you the satisfaction of a job well done.

The Benefits of Hiring a Contractor

On the other hand, hiring a contractor to install gutters on your home will keep you off of a ladder or roof, where your safety is at risk from potential falls and the associated broken bones, concussions, or more severe injuries.

In addition, hanging gutters is harder than it looks; and professionals have the experience to set the right pitch, attach the seams firmly, and secure the guttering to your fascia properly — without damaging the materials in the process. Also, gutter installers know how to identify and repair other issues related to malfunctioning gutters (like rotting fascia boards, siding leaks, or deteriorating shingles) that may also be present on your home.

Finally, gutter contractors will either bring all of the bulky guttering materials to your home or manufacture seamless gutters on-site, thus solving the DIY problem of transporting the materials from a retailer to your home.

How to Find a Reputable Company to Install Gutters

If you do choose the latter option, it’s important to find a contractor that is trustworthy, dependable, and skilled at gutter installation. When exploring possible contractors to install gutters, go online and check out some sites where customer reviews are posted. They’ll often give you unbiased, unfiltered opinions of a given company’s performance (or lack thereof). You should also make sure that any contractor has the proper insurance, so that you don’t expose yourself to a lawsuit if someone injures himself on your property while installing your gutters.

It’s also important to obtain a pre-project estimate in writing from your gutter contractor, along with details on how long the job will take (most gutter installs can be done in a single day). You should determine precisely who will be supervising the work at your home, as well as whom to call if there are any problems or concerns. Finally, make sure the contractor guarantees not only the materials used in the job, but also his labor and workmanship as well.

The answer to the title question will be different for every homeowner. The biggest thing to remember is that you need your gutters to be installed correctly in order for them to collect and channel runoff water from your roof and away from your home’s foundation. Whether those gutters are hung by you or a pro is your call.

 

Source:http://www.harryhelmet.com

15 Aug 2016
gutters

Gutter Installation and Repair

Repair or replace gutters
Gutters systems can last 20-30 years, but that doesn’t mean they’ll never need repairs. The first step to extending the life of your gutters is regular gutter cleaning. But let’s suppose you already have damaged gutters. While many problems can be repaired, sometimes you just need to go ahead and replace your gutters.

The main factor in determining whether to repair or replace your gutters will be extent of damage. If you only have one or two trouble spots, they should be easy to fix, but if multiple sections of your gutters are giving you problems or you have tried repairing a problem before and it keeps coming back, you should save yourself the headache and replace your gutters.

If you don’t feel comfortable making the call yourself, you can call out a reputable professional to look at your gutters and give you an assessment. Be warned, while companies that install new gutters often also make small repairs on existing gutters, you should expect to hear a sales pitch arguing that new gutters are the way to go.

If you are confident you just want your gutters repaired, make several calls and get multiple estimates. This can also be a good job for a handyman, who may be more likely to give you a good price than someone who is motivated to sell you a new system. When searching Angie’s List for service providers, be sure to check both categories “gutter repair” and “handyman.”

Common gutter problems

Gutters are relatively simple in design and so there are just a few major ways they can fail. These are the most likely causes for gutter damage and how to repair them.

1. Blockage. Your gutters can be clogged with debris such as build up from natural materials like leaves or from unnatural materials like tennis balls. If you notice water marks under your gutters or pooling water and mildew near your foundation, your gutters are probably overflowing and simply need cleaned out. Don’t just think horizontal here. Your downspout can also be blocked.

2. Sag. If you notice your gutters leaning down or pulling away from the house, you need to act quickly to avoid rotting fascia board and total gutter collapse. The reason for your gutter sag is most likely the result of a broken hanger or spike. Inspect the problem area and replace broken hardware as necessary. You can purchase screw-in spikes instead of hammer-in to help with spike holes that have become worn and loose.

Your gutter might also be sagging due to excess weight from debris that needs cleaned out, ice expansion over the winter or from undue stress such as leaning a ladder on your gutters, which you should never do. If there is permanent warping, you may need to replace that section of gutter, if not your whole system depending on the extent of the damage.

3. Leaks. If your gutters are not blocked and water is still escaping, you have a leak. A leak sometimes opens at the joints between sections of gutter, which can simply be resealed. Other times a leak develops through a crack in the gutters from corrosion or other damage. You can patch these leaks, but once a weak spot is established, it will likely be a recurring problem.

4. Poor pitch. Gutters are meant to have an imperceptible slope towards the downspout, about 1/8 or 1/16 inch per foot, to keep water flowing. If water is pooling in your gutters when there is no blockage, your gutters are probably improperly pitched. This could have happened during a poorly done gutter installation or can be the result of a house settling. This problem may be hard to identify, but it’s important to address as pooling water can lead to corrosion or provide a breeding ground for pests such as mosquitos.

Gutter pitch adjustment is delicate work as you must maintain a precise angle, in a straight line, over long stretches of gutter. This repair can be done by the homeowner, but it’s also a good job to hire a handyman for to be sure the job gets done correctly and the problem gets fixed.

DIY or hire a pro?

Hanging gutters isn’t rocket science — but there is some science involved, not to mention skill, so make sure you’re up to the job. Keep in mind, if you do a bad job it will be obvious to everyone who walks past your house.

If you install gutters yourself, you will be buying materials in sections from the hardware store and joining them together to stretch the length of your roof. This means there will be visible seams that could leak. You also run the risk of creating a wavy effect over several sections while trying to span 40 feet or more of roof line. Even if this is not noticeable to the naked eye, you will create places where water pools and does not drain.

Gutter replacement professionals can manufacture lengths of gutter on the spot to match the precise length of your roof line, which means no seams to join together and the pitch is much easier to install correctly.

When considering doing the job yourself, or if you are on the fence, first add up the total footage of gutter you need, including downspouts. Don’t forget to include the number of end caps, elbows, spikes and so on to get a complete budget. Go to the hardware store and figure out how much it will cost for the materials. Remember that this will be a two-person and two-ladder job. If you’ll need to buy or rent ladders, add that to your cost.

Once you have that number, call three reputable gutter installation companies and get estimates. Naturally, they will be more than your materials-only total, but you can then decide whether the difference is worth it to have the job done professionally.

Gutter materials and cost

Manufacturers use several different types of materials to make gutters. There is wide variability in durability, curb appeal, weather resistance and price. These and other factors will determine which rain gutter system is best for your home.

Aluminum gutters are a popular choice because they are easy to install, fairly weather-resistant and economical. They are available in a wide range of colors and cost between $4 to $10 per linear foot, installed. The curb appeal is good, but can diminish somewhat over time. The main disadvantage of aluminum that it is readily damaged and bent by flying debris and high winds.

Copper gutters may be the right option for owners of historic or high-value homes. The curb appeal is high, but if you want to retain the copper’s natural color, it will be more expensive and difficult to maintain. If patina is what you want, forgo the sealants and let nature take its course. The cons of copper are the $15 to $30 per foot price tag, with an average cost of $23 per foot. This makes copper the most expensive gutter material. There’s also a risk that copper gutters will be stripped off of your house by thieves for the metal value. This risk ebbs and flows with the price of copper.

Stainless steel gutters are not a very common for residences, both because of cost and upkeep (rust). However, it’s the most durable gutter material and will withstand extreme weather conditions. With proper maintenance, steel gutters will last a lifetime. Steel gutters cost $8 to $12 per linear foot. The drawbacks to steel are its low curb appeal and the maintenance required to prevent rust and corrosion.

Vinyl gutters have become very popular because they are easy to install and have a wide range of color options. The $3 to $5 per linear foot price range makes vinyl one of the most economical choices. The curb appeal is good because vinyl is available in numerous colors and is generally fade-resistant. However, vinyl may not do well in extreme temperatures. Cold temperatures cause the material to become fragile and crack with continued exposure. Vinyl is also prone to damage during high winds.

Wood gutters would be a rare choice, but wood is sometimes used for restoration work. The curb appeal is high, but it requires more maintenance to prevent cracks or rot. It’s also difficult to install.  Cost have ranged between $12 and $20 per linear foot, but could be more so an an onsite inspection is necessary to determine the cost.

Some installers charge separately to remove and haul away old gutters and downspouts, so ask the pro if the expense is included in the estimate.

Source:https://www.angieslist.com

05 Aug 2016
gutters

How Much Do Gutters Cost to Install or Replace?

One of the eventualities in owning a home is the natural depreciation of your gutters. At some point, you will need to replace the ones that you have.
The process may seem scary, but a home that lacks properly functioning gutters is much more frightening. A constant flow of rainwater not only irritates you as a dweller, but also erodes the foundation of your home. Basement leaks, roof rot, and moldy attics are all likely byproducts of failing gutters. If you think you need new gutters, you probably do. Here is a guide to everything you need to know about installing or replacing them.

Gutter Installation – Materials & Labor Costs

Gutter Prices & Materials

The cost of gutter materials depends a great deal on the type of gutter you select. There are four major choices.

  • Vinyl gutters are the least expensive, costing as little as $4 per piece. Even the nicest vinyl gutters are rarely more than $8.
  • Aluminum is a bit more expensive, starting at $6 per piece with the most expensive gutters in the $12 range.
  • Steel gutters are much better in quality, and their price reflects this. They start at $11 and oftentimes cost $33 per piece or more.
  • Copper is the highest quality of all. It costs at least $40 per piece and usually costs well in excess of $100.

When you purchase new gutters, you’ll also want to buy downspout extensions. Expect to pay between $6 and $15 for vinyl and aluminum versions, while steel at least doubles that total and copper will cost $90 or more. You might also have to pay for additional materials like:

  • Splash blocks/drains: splash blocks and drains help to direct water away from the foundation and prevent damage. They cost between $5 and $10.
  • Flashing: Flashing protects your roof underlayment and siding from potential moisture damage and costs around $10 to purchase and install as a DIY project.
  • Hangers: Gutter hangers give it extra strength and help hold it up, especially when there might be a lot of wind or water draining during a storm. Their prices start at $2 and go up.

Labor Costs

Having a gutter contractor handle the installation of your new gutters is advisable in that paying for such a service removes a lot of hassle from the process. You want the job done right and with minimal aggravation. A professional gutter installer should finish this process in an average of seven hours, which means it’s only a day’s work in most instances. Even larger scale projects will probably take no more than three days to complete.

The downside is the added cost. Paying someone for their services will add to the bottom line. The estimate for a contractor to replace a gutter and downspout section that measures 50 feet is about $509 for an experienced contractor. Note that this estimate does include materials in addition to labor, so it’s the sum total for the 50-foot section. So, you should expect to pay roughly $5.18 per square foot. Note that the price is location dependent.
You may get more or less for your money, depending on the cost of living in your area. Also note that your roof pitch impacts the estimate. You will pay more for a steeper incline.

Gutter Enhancements & Accessories

Cleaning

Keeping your gutters clean is an important step in protecting your investment. You should consider purchasing a special tool to add to your pressure washer. A gutter cleaner attachment costs as little as $25 on Amazon, and it provides you peace of mind about the state of your gutters. These devices are long enough that they require no ladder to perform the work of cleaning your gutters. You can also hire a professional to clean your gutters for approximately $100 to $200 (learn more about gutter cleaning costs).

Gutter Guards

This plastic mesh guard prevents leaves and other clutter from creating blockage in your gutters. The better products don’t rust or erode over time, making them ideal one-time purchases. A middle-tier gutter guard with dimensions of 6″ x 20′ costs approximately $6. Since the average professional gutter cleaning is $75, think of this as money well spent. There are some types of gutter guards that are built in to gutters already. LeafGuard, one of many brands, designs the gutter and guard mix so that water flows straight into the downspout while block leaves and debris.

Wire Mesh Screens

Nature’s pests represent one of the largest dangers to the integrity of your gutters. A swarm of pests can undo all your hard work on your gutters. Wire mesh screens present an elegant, cheap solution to the problem. They fit on top of your gutters and provide protection against anything that tries to enter your gutters. These screens are the cheapest gutter guard solution at a modest cost of as little as $1 per square foot.

Heat Tape

Winter weather is one of your biggest enemies in protecting your gutters. Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc. Once the ice thaws, overflow will spill down to the ground, creating dangerous walking and driving conditions on the surface below. If you live in an area that experiences a lot of cold weather, heat tape will protect your gutters from icing. The cabling runs through your gutters. During inclement climate conditions, you simply activate the cables in your gutters and downspout. The water will drain away naturally as intended. You can purchase heat tape for as little as $77 for 100 feet, so it’s a solid investment for people in colder regions.

Downspout Screens

Clogging is a natural concern for all gutters. Downspout screens address this issue by redirecting potential clogging debris away from the downspout opening. The clever design accommodates the natural motion of water to elevate leaves and other objects above the slope of the gutters where the wind will eventually blow them away. These devices are economical at a cost of roughly $8 each.