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Copper Metallic Gutter

Hey ya’ll, today I’ll keep it short and sweet. I’d like to go over a couple of styles of rain gutter that can give your home a really unique look. They are known in the industry as copper metallic gutter (also known as copper penny) and designer copper gutter.

Despite the use of the word “copper” in the title of both, neither are made from this expensive (albeit beautiful) material. They’re made from aluminum just like your standard aluminum gutters. The difference is in the finish, copper metallic has a shiny coppery hue covered with a clear coat which gives it it’s shiny appearance. Designer copper has the same copper color but is then flecked with an additional bronze coating that is meant to give it a weathered look.

While neither look exactly like the real deal they do have unique qualities that can add a dramatic look to your home. Both styles are seamless just like normal seamless gutters and install exactly the same way. The material cost is a bit pricier than your standard colors so you will see an increase in cost but it is nowhere near the cost of real copper.

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Here’s an example of copper metallic on a home that has cedar siding. The color of the gutter blends very well in this application but can also be used to great effect in a two tone application if your home has painted soffit and fascia.

Unfortunately I don’t have an example to show you of designer copper. I had some pictures in my camera but unfortunately they aren’t there anymore…..not sure what happened but I’ll be sure and post them once I find ’em.

Anyways, in closing if you want to give your home a great unique look but don’t have the cash for copper these are a couple of examples of some alternative routes you can go down to stand out from your neighbors.

See ya’ll next time,
Matt

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Seamless Gutter Vs. DIY Gutter

Hello all, today I’d like to go over the benefits of seamless gutter vs. the variety purchased at your typical DIY home improvement store and the importance of a good gutter installer.

DIY seems to be the new fad these days, what with all the big name home improvement stores and DIY shows; there’s even a cable network devoted to the greatness that is DIY. The mindset of DIY appeals to our human nature to be thrifty and save a buck but thrifty isn’t always the best route.
The drawbacks to DIY gutters are as follows….
1) The gutters are pieced together, often with superfluous seam bands and specialized pieces that have a built in outlet for the downspout, not to mention that any run longer than 10ft will require more than one piece of gutter
2) The seam bands are meant to be self sealing meaning no sealant is needed (at least that’s the best I can figure since almost every time I tear these off a house there is no sealant on the seam bands). As I’m sure you’ve guessed these often leak like a sieve.
3) Since this is a DIY project you are the installer. I’ve also seen these installed by a handyman (presumably at a cheaper cost than an actual gutter contractor). Nothing against homeowners or handymen but I’ve seen some realllllllly shoddy workmanship go into some of these installations resulting in gutters overflowing, leaking, or falling off the house.
4) They’re steel. Instead of aluminum these are usually made from steel which will eventually rust out, especially if they’re not installed correctly and are holding water.
5) They only come in dark brown or white. So unless you happen to have a house that is the same shade or dark brown or white you will have to paint your newly installed gutters in order to match your trim thereby adding to your expenses.

Alright, enough about the drawbacks of DIY, here are the benefits of hiring a gutter contractor….
1) The gutters are seamless. This means that every run on the house is one piece of continuous gutter. Yes there are seams where the corners meet and at the endcaps but as long as they are sealed properly there is no way for water to escape.
2) The gutters are aluminum and won’t rust out like steel gutters.
3) You get a warranty. My warranty is 5yrs on the labor and 20yrs on the material, be sure that your contractor has something similar in place and in writing. 4) There are 30 or so color options. I know 30 doesn’t seem like much but unless your house is painted pink or a bright shade of orange matching up colors is rarely an issue. 5) You don’t have to lift a finger except to sign a check. You can sit in the comfort of your home while the work gets done and if you’ve done your homework and hired a quality contractor you’ll be worry free with a great looking and functional gutter system that will protect your investment for years to come.
Cheers! Matt

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Make Sure Your Contractor Cares

Choosing the right contractor can be a daunting task but to me it really comes down to a couple of simple stipulations.

First of all you need a contractor that has the experience to handle the installation and all the problems that will arise. Every job presents unforeseen difficulties and problems regardless of how straightforward it initially appears to be. The key is to have a contractor that has the experience, creativity, ability, and most importantly the care to figure out the best solution and then execute it.

Which brings us to what I really consider the most important factor when choosing a contractor. This applies to any contractor, fencing contractors, gutter contractors, etc this rule is across the board. The contractor and installation crew must have the desire to perform good quality work, and not just because the customer is paying for the service. The desire to get the job done right must be first and foremost because you take pride in your work and you’re only as good as the last job you did.

We’ve done small fence installations, sometimes only requiring the construction and installation of one gate and we’ve done huge installations involving hundreds and hundreds of feet of various styles of fencing. Regardless of the size and scope of the job the mindset never changes. Provide the highest quality installation possible and create something that you are proud of.

The same applies to gutter installation. I can recall one installation that literally involved one foot of gutter and one downspout all the way up to installing hundreds of feet of gutter at the new AW Brown Charter School campus. The same mindset applied at both jobs and we completed installations that I will be proud of for years to come.

When you choose a contractor, choose wisely and remember the cheapest guy out there probably won’t provide the best installation BUT at the same time the most expensive guy won’t guarantee a great installation either. Check out your contractor’s website, look at pictures, but most importantly talk to him and make sure that there is a legitimate care and concern to make sure the job is done right.
Best of luck! Matt

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Vinyl Gutters

…..or more to the point why you shouldn’t purchase vinyl gutters.  You know ’em when you see ’em…bulky unappealing profile, typically sagging off the house, and they only come in one color, white.  Lets compare them to seamless aluminum gutters and go through the pros and cons of each.

Vinyl Gutters

Cons
– They’re made out of vinyl which will decompose, crack, and split in the Texas sun usually in about 2 years
– There are numerous seams.  Each downspout outlet creates 2 seams, every 10 ft there is a seam requiring a connection piece, every corner creates 2 seams
– I checked the manufacturer’s website and could find no warranty information
– You have to install them yourself
– They only come in one color, which would look great if you have a white house.  If you have a different colored house you are forced into  a two tone color scheme

Pros
– They cost less than seamless aluminum gutters (the savings are negligible, I’ll go into detail later)

Seamless Aluminum Gutters

Cons
– They cost more than vinyl gutters
Pros
– They’re made from aluminum which resists corrosion
– The only seams are found at the corners and the endcaps which are then sealed with a rubberized polymer sealant that expands and contracts with the temperature changes
– There is a 5 year warranty on labor and a 20 year manufacturer’s warranty on the material
– You sit in the comfort of your home while a crew of professionals installs them properly
– There are over 30 color choices

And now for the smoking gun, the dollar amount which is the only one advantage of choosing vinyl gutters over aluminum.  I based the pricing on an average size one story home which equates to around 200 linear feet of gutter and 7 downspouts.

Vinyl Gutter – $759.35   (material only)
Aluminum Gutter – $923.00  (material and installation)

Keep in mind that although you will save $163.65 you will probably spend at least 2 days installing said gutters.  (probably longer as it takes a professionally trained crew of 2 about 5-6 hours to install the same amount of aluminum gutters).
In closing one must keep in mind that while the diy mentality can be a good thing and provide you with good results while saving you money gutters simply isn’t one of them.  Find a contractor that you trust and get it done right.  Protecting your home investment is worth the extra $163.65.  Best of luck and have a blessed day!  Matt

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Leaf Screens 101

Leaf screens can be an important part of a successful gutter system when incorporated properly.  There are various styles, shapes, and types out on the market but making the right choice shouldn’t require an excessive amount of research and doesn’t have to break the bank.  First is your basic expanded metal mesh screen.  When installed properly this type of screen is very effective against the vast majority of debris that can clog your gutters especially leaves from deciduous trees, acorns, pecans, etc.  However if you have pine trees the needles can and will penetrate most expanded mesh designs and eventually clog your gutters.  It is then that you’ll need to consider a more solid design that relies on small holes instead of a mesh to allow the water to flow through while keeping the debris out.  There are various models on the market that are very effective at doing just this while keeping you within a realistic budget.  For those projects that require extreme measures, i.e. water harvesting which requires the cleanest water source possible there are screens that offer a combination of expanded metal mesh and a fine stainless steel mesh (similar to a window screen) that will filter out all but the finest of particles.  No matter the choice, if you have trees on your property you will eventually be up on a ladder cleaning out gutters, unless of course you thought ahead and installed screens!  Best regards!  Matt

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Basic gutter maintenance

Today I’ll be covering basic gutter maintenance.  If you’ve gotten leaf screens with your gutter installation your gutters will be virtually maintenance free.  I say virtually because even though you won’t be spending the occasional Saturday afternoon cleaning out leaves, your gutters will eventually get dirty on the outside….tiger striping as it’s known in the industry.  The best way I’ve found to combat this problem is a bottle of 409, a damp rag and lots of elbow grease.  You might also try a pressure sprayer (turned down to a low setting so you don’t damage the gutter) but I’ve seen the best results with the 409 method.  The good news is that this typically is only needed once every few years and even longer for those with dark colored gutters. Best of luck and keep those gutters clean! Matt

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