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Learn how your home’s gutters can improve the quality and curb appeal of your home.

Copper Gutter Closeup

 

Gutters might not seem like the most glamorous home improvement project to date, but they serve a critical purpose and might, in fact, be one of the best projects you can take on for the sake of your home’s protection.

Think back to the last big rainstorm you had: the howling wind, leaves, and landscaping swept up into mini wind tunnels of debris and the torrential downpour of rain that makes leaving your home’s front stoop a decision of whether or not you want an additional shower that day.

Granted, not every rain is as heavy as this. Still, whether it’s a light sprinkle or what you might consider a neighborhood monsoon, gutters handle the critical task of keeping drainage away from your house, leaving it dry, and protecting other home elements like siding, windows, doors, and the foundation from water damage.

CURRENT TREND

  • Rainwater collection systems. No matter your budget or what kind of gutter material you use, rainwater collection systems, like rain chains, are now being implemented into the gutter design to allow collected rainwater to be recycled for reuse. The ability to water your lawn, garden, and landscaping with recycled water can cut down on water bills while also being an attractive decorative piece. Filtration systems are also available within rainwater collection systems so that homeowners can recycle rainwater into their personal drinking water.
BIGGEST MISTAKE

“One of the worst things you can do,” according to appraisal expert Leslie Sellers, president of the Appraisal Institute, “is a poor job on gutter installation.” An improperly functioning gutter system will risk leaks that can cause a huge amount of permanent water damage to your home’s exterior and foundation.

Also, be wise in your choice of gutter size. If you choose the wrong size for your home, not considering the overhang or elevation of the roof, you can risk constant clogging or, basically, a tacky-looking system. While DIY projects are feasible for gutter installation, it is essential to understand the ins and outs of the project. If you are unsure or don’t have the time to do all the research, then hiring a professional will be the best decision in the long run.

EXPERT TIPS

  • On a Budget: Vinyl gutter systems have a small but growing number of loyal followers, especially in the DIY area of gutter installation. Materials will run around $3 to $5 per linear square foot. This gutter system has snap-together simplicity, which makes for easy installation and is durable and resistant to dents, unlike some other popular gutter metals.They will not rust, chip or peel and are deficient maintenance. Although visually different from more traditional systems, vinyl is a great option for homeowners looking to take on a gutter replacement project independently with materials that have a reputation for being long-lasting and well made.
  • Mid-Range: A popular option with many homeowners, galvanized steel gutters range in price, starting at about 20 dollars per linear square foot. You get what you pay for in that steel is more durable than other metals in sticking up to ladders and fallen branches. It is also rust-free, long-lasting, and able to keep a high shine. Steel gutters have a higher price tag, but they have a solid reputation for getting your money’s worth.
  • High-End: If you’re looking for a low-maintenance and well-manufactured gutter product, seamless gutter systems are a great choice. As the name suggests, seamless gutters do not have seams and thus offer the best protection for your home from leaks and potential water damage.Typically made of aluminum with a baked-on finish, seamless gutters also come in copper or factory-painted steel, giving you the different style and color options that work best with your home’s exterior and design. Specialist contractors install seamless gutters, hence the higher price tag. Cost can vary by contractor, so do your research and find a quote and company you feel comfortable with.