Installation Process from Gutter Helmet Choosing a gutter installer can be as easy as picking a name from the phonebook – if price is all that matters to you. If you want a solution that will last as long as you own your house, then quality trumps price. That’s why choosing a gutter installeris an important decision that deserves some time and effort. Beyond gutter installation, there aren’t many people who enjoy the cleaning and maintenance tasks that come with gutters. In fact, because gutter cleaning is such a dirty and time-consuming job, most homeowners will try to avoid it. That’s why gutter guard installation is also a smartinvestment. The installationprocedure for both gutters and gutter guards seems straightforward enough. However, help from a professional may be necessary for homeowners who aren’t familiar with the process.Follow these links to find out more about proper installation. Choosing a Reliable Gutter Installer Selecting a gutter installer is complicated for the simple fact that anyone with a truck and a used gutter fabrication machine can call themselves a gutter installer. The biggest challenge faced by legitimate gutter contractors is the crowd of amateur installers who offer unrealistic prices. When you call general contractors about building a home or an addition, you can ask to see their contractor licenses. You can make sure an architect is certified by the American Institute of Architects. If you want a list of reputable roofers, you can check the online directory of the National Roofing Contractors Association. But in some states there is no contractor license or professional certification required to be a gutter installer, and there are no published industry standards on what constitutes acceptable workmanship. Know What You Need Of course, you should do all of the usual things: get multiple estimates, research the company’s history, obtain references and then check online reviews. Also, find out if the installer belongs to the local Chamber of Commerce or Better Business Bureau. The next stepis to ask yourself some questions, starting with, “What type of gutter installation work do I want done?” Are you installing gutters on a new home, or do you want to replace your existing gutters? What materials and colors are you interested in? Are you looking for gutter protection?Thisis important informationyou will need before you can solicit a quote. Find a Proven Professional The gutter business attracts many people who may know how to do gutter installation but are less skilled at the “business side” of business. They offer reducedprices to generate work but then discover they can’t survive. For the sake of saving some money, do you want to risk finding out that your gutter installer is no longer in business once you have a problem? Instead, look for a reputable companythat takes a professionalapproach to all they do: professional in making sales presentations and giving estimates, professional in its workmanship and safety procedures, professional in the way the business is run. Don’t be afraid to visit the office and look around. After all, your goal is to install new gutters that will give you a long-lastingsolution, and that means installation by a proven professional. Gutter Replacement: How Much Will It Cost? The final cost for gutter installation will incorporate the cost of the materials as well as the labor required to put them on your home. Some contractors also charge a small fee to dispose of the old gutters. Gutter cost largely depends on two factors: the size of your home and the type of material you choose for your gutters. First, determine how many linear feet of gutter required for your roofline. The typical home has anywhere from 120 to 250 feet of guttering. Next, select the type of gutter material you want. Seamless aluminum gutters are the most common choice, but you can save money by going with galvanized steel. If your architecture calls for high-end materials, then stainless steel and copper are definitely the two to consider. The table below represents the final estimated cost including labor, materials and haul-away fees for various home sizes and gutter material types. Vinyl Galvanized Steel Aluminum Copper Stainless Steel Very Small (120′) $700 $940 $1060 $1660 $2620 Small (160′) $900 $1220 $1380 $2180 $3460 Medium (200′) $1100 $1500 $1700 $2700 $4300 Large (250′) $1380 $1880 $2130 $3380 $5380 Very Large (300′) $1860 $2260 $2560 $4060 $6460 It is important to realize that these figures represent nationwide averages, so actual prices can vary greatly in your area. Expect a higher final cost if your home has special guttering requirements, such as circular rooflines or roofs that are very high off the ground or difficult to access. Gutter Prices from High to Low Gutters prices can range widely, depending on the types of gutters you install. You have to take into consideration a number of factors when choosing a material: durability, local climate, house design and, of course, cost. Here are the gutter materials on the market, from the highest-priced to the lowest. Copper Varies according to metals markets, but an estimated $25 to $30 per foot As gutter prices go, copper gutters are pricey. Copper guttering is generally reserved for historic buildings and structures attempting to emulate them. High industrial demand for copper has driven up costs dramatically in recent years, but for your money, you get a gutter that will not rust, will never require painting and will age to an attractive patina. Stainless Steel Estimated $15 to $20 per foot Rather than developing a patina, stainless steel stays shiny and will never rust. It’s also extremely durable, a benefit in harsh environments. If you don’t want copper but do want something that will endure, stainless steel might just fit the bill. Aluminum Varies with metal markets, usually estimated from$10 to $15 per foot Aluminum is practical, durable and more affordable than other gutter materials. Its cost and ease of installation have made aluminumthe material of choice for seamless gutters. If you choose aluminum, get the thickest possible gauge for maximum performance. Choosefrom dozens of baked-on enamels to match your trim without a custom paint job. Galvanized Steel Estimated between $4 and $8 per foot Galvanized steel is cheap and more durable than aluminum, but must be properly maintained to prevent rust. Always buy the most durable gutter you can afford; the better the quality, the less likely you’ll have to deal with high maintenance and damage from falling branches or ladders. The Dangers of Cheap Gutter Guards The perfect complement to a quality gutter system is a high-quality gutter guard. While some gutter guard products can be purchased at a home improvement store and installed in an afternoon, they are very unlikely to provide a long-term solution for your gutter protection needs. Here are some common dangers of do-it-yourself gutter guards. 1. Poor performance. Buyer beware: some gutter guard products barely make a dent in the amount of debris found in your gutters. If your house is situated under trees, the thin plastic or metallic gutter screens that you buy at a big-box store for a dollar a foot won’t cut it. 2. Damaged roofing. Products that clip onto gutters and slide underneath shingles can cause damage to the roof and gutter system. They can also allow debris to accumulate next to the fascia and cause rot. 3. Safety. The chance of physical injury while installing a gutter guard is considerable. Falls and accidents can happen to even the most experienced handyman. Getting Ready for Professional Gutter Guard Installation Although your first decision will be which gutter guard product to choose, you will also have to choose a gutter guard installer. Many manufacturers of gutter protection require installers to operate a dealership or franchise in order to represent the product or company. Because of this, most installers from your pool of choices will offer different products. Do Your Research Before Deciding Along with reviewing your options for gutter protection productsonline, attend home shows and view samples of each product in person before making your final decision. Choose products with proven track records from established companies to decrease your risk and ensure that you get the long-term protection you need. Get Several Quotes Once you’ve chosen a gutter protection product, we encourage you to geta free in-home quote. When meeting with installers, consider the following: Quality of the product. Professionalism of the company. Training and qualification of each installer. Timeliness of the installer. Product warranty. You can also contact the manufacturer directly to learn about the warranty for your chosen product and how the installation is guaranteed by the company. When reviewing any warranty, be sure to read the fine print thoroughly. Some installers will honor a warranty only if you maintain the protection system regularly. Neglecting it may void the warranty and leave you without recourse if there is a problem.If you have questions about your warranty, don’t be afraid to ask the installer. Gutter guards can be an effective way to keep your gutters free of debris, ice and snow build-up. However, many gutter guards don’t live up to their promises. Everywhere you look, you’ll see gutter guard products claiming that they will put an end to cleaning gutters forever. There’s only one gutter protection product that has been proven to do that: Gutter Helmet®.