Getting Ready to Sell Your House? Here Are 11 Things Most People Forget to Do
July 18, 2019 - By Jeff Anttila
Updated on July 29th, 2019
Share on pinterest You’ve started on your lists of small repairs, you’ve contacted a real estate agent, and now you’re in the final steps of getting ready to sell your house. But before you put your home up for sale, and certainly before having your first open house, here are 11 things to consider that most home sellers forget to think about and could cost you a sale.
1. Declutter and Organize Your Closets and CabinetsSure, you went through your entire house and reduced the clutter in each room, organized your desk and other surfaces, and arranged your collection of antique ceramic kitty figurines to be facing perpendicular to the window. However, did you tackle your closets and cabinets?
One thing you should definitely expect during an open house or individual home tours is that potential homebuyers will be looking in your closets, kitchen drawers and cabinets. Will your walk-in closet fit all of his shoes and her summer dresses? Is there enough storage space in your kitchen for their cookware, bakeware, and all the kitchen gadgets that they seem to collect each year? These are all questions homebuyers will be asking themselves as they walk through your home.
Of course, you as a home seller will have no idea what the needs are of a potential homebuyer, but you can definitely showcase what your house has to offer in terms of storage. Start by decluttering your closets, cabinets, and drawers, and then keeping only enough belongings in each to really show off the potential that space has to offer. Think of it as an extension of staging your home, but for your storage areas.
Feeling overwhelmed or don’t know where to begin? Consider hiring a professional organizer to help you with decluttering and organizing your house. You’ll want to make sure your home will shine at its best when it comes time for your first open house.
2. Clean Stains and Eliminate OdorsWe should all consider small stains, marks, and other imperfections as badges of honor for a house that has been lived in for years. Nonetheless, these slight bumps and bruises your home has encountered over time will stick out to potential homebuyers, so tackle them head-on.
Begin by trying to put yourself in the shoes of a potential homebuyer and look at your house objectively. Start by going outside and then re-entering your house as if you didn’t actually own it but were an interested homebuyer looking at it for the first time. What do you see? Walk through every room and take note of all the imperfections you notice. You might surprise yourself with how quickly your list grows. You can then add them to your list of repairs so you can make your house truly be at its best before your first open house.
Also, if you have pets there is a strong possibility that your home has an odor which you can no longer smell. Deep cleaning your house is a sure fire way to help eliminate these odors, but also think about using an odor-eliminating spray every day for about a week before your first open house. You can also place plugin room fresheners that offer a great crisp smell, like cucumber, to help infuse a sense of cleanliness throughout your house.
3. Replace Light BulbsWalk through each room in your house and look at every light bulb to see if it’s working. As homeowners, we sometimes forget to immediately replace a lightbulb when it goes out. You want your house to be at its brightest when new homebuyers are touring your home and replacing old burnt out light bulbs is one of the easiest ways to do it.
Also, don’t forget to walk around the outside of your house to make sure all the lights of your home’s exterior are working as well. Depending on the time of year, your open house or home tours could happen when the sun is going down or when it’s already dark. So be sure to make your house shine inside and out!
Pro tip: Make sure all your light bulbs are the same color temperature inside your house as well as outside. A soft-white light LED bulb can create a bright but welcoming environment for new homebuyers.
4. Think About the Small Details: Plants, Mirrors, RugsConsider each room’s individual characteristics, so you can really showcase the potential every room in your house can offer. Here are a few ideas to keep in mind while you start prepping every space for an exceptional open house experience.
Add a little green to your spacesNothing breathes life into a room more than a little greenery. A potted tree can work wonders in a living room, but for smaller areas think smaller plants such as a small potted herb garden in the kitchen or a miniature cactus on the mantel.
Open up even the smallest roomsMirrors can make small spaces seem large because they create the illusion of depth. Mirrors also work wonders in darker rooms as they reflect light deep into areas of a room that may not receive an abundance of natural light.
Add character to an otherwise unimpressive spaceWhile staging your home, think about adding character to various spaces with rugs. However, keep in mind that you want to use rugs to enhance a space, not be the focal point of it. Also, if you have a strange space that you never really figured out a good use for, a rug could at least offer a little personality while leaving the space and its potential to the imaginations of homebuyers.
5. Enhance Your Outdoor SpaceYou’re probably already aware that enhancing your curb appeal is one of the most impactful things you can do to create a great first impression. However, you don’t want to forget about your other outdoor areas, such as your front porch or entrance, your back entrance, side yard, and backyard. You want to enhance your outdoor spaces around the house so potential buyers can see themselves living as much outside your house as inside.
Simple enhancements like placing potted plants to your front entrance or adding fresh beauty bark around the base of your hedges and trees can go a long way. If you don’t already have a designated outdoor space for entertaining, think about building a DIY fire pit and adding four Adirondack chairs to create the idea of outdoor fun. Ultimately, your outdoor space can be just as important of a space as what your home has to offer on the inside.
6. Get Professional (Aerial) PhotographyBy now your research has probably shown you that homes with professional photos sell for more and spend less time on the market on average. What you may not have considered is adding aerial photography to your listing photos.
Aerial photography can show off your entire property, a scenic view, and the surrounding area. If you have a lot of property, an aerial shot can easily put into perspective the full scope all your land has to offer to potential homebuyers.
Furthermore, aerial photography has come a long way thanks to the rapid development of drone technology, resulting in reasonable pricing that is accessible for many homeowners today. For higher-end listings, drones can even capture video of your property, helping it stand out among the hundreds of other homes for sale.
7. Don’t Forget About Your GuttersImagine that you’re having your first open house and despite the rain, foot traffic has been steadily increasing all morning. Your house looks immaculate, like one of those home’s off of an HGTV show, and your real estate agent has been messaging you updates every hour about how great it’s going. But then the unexpected happens. A small stream of water starts coming down right in front of your large bay window in the living room. The stream is outside the house, but your would-be buyers watch on as it grows into a miniature waterfall.
Red flags go up for the homebuyers touring your house as the foot traffic thins then disappears altogether. What they didn’t see was that the spillage was the result of a clogged gutter, nothing more, causing water to spill over in a very inopportune place and at the worst time.
Depending on where you live, you may not see as much rain in locations like Phoenix, AZ, but in many locations where rainfall is a common occurrence, such as Seattle, WA, this situation is more likely to happen. If you don’t have time to clean your gutters yourself—because you have a house to sell and a million other little things to do—there are professional services that can clean your gutters for you so this little oversight doesn’t drown out your hopes of selling your home quickly.
8. Paint Your Baseboards and Crown MoldingIt’s pretty common knowledge that you should paint the interior of your home a neutral color to appeal to more buyers. Homebuyers want to imagine themselves and their stuff in your space, so your red accent wall will need to be painted over with a more neutral hue. But what a lot of home sellers forget to do is pay attention to their baseboards and crown molding.
Where crown molding may just need some cleaning and touch-ups, your baseboards most likely have seen a lot more traffic, especially if you have kids. It may be a toy truck that has repeatedly crashed into your white baseboards, crayons that went rogue, or the black rubber wheels from bikes racing down the hallway, most likely your baseboards have been marked with years of life experiences.
To correct these homely blemishes, you can try cleaning your baseboards with simple dish soap and water. But if it has been years of wear and abuse, you most likely will need to paint. Use a paint with a semi-gloss finish that will offer a light sheen but not glossy enough to distract attention away from your floors. You can also match your crown molding using the same paint, making every room pop to potential homebuyers. Of course, if you end up hiring painters to repaint that accent wall of yours, you might as well have them paint your baseboards while they’re there.
9. Focus on Your FloorsYour hardwood floors were once beautiful and one of the initial reasons you bought your home, but after years of traffic your hardwoods have since dulled to a shadow of their former glory. Likewise, your once plush carpet has also now matted down into obvious paths that lead from room to room.
One of the first things potential homebuyers look at when entering a new home is the floors, so make yours a statement.
If your carpet is approaching that 10-year mark, it is most likely looking pretty worn. Think about recarpeting your house to make it look fresh and ready for new homeowners. Such as you did with your walls, you’ll want to go more neutral in color to appeal to the majority of homebuyers. If your carpet is only a few years old, however, getting it professionally cleaned can go a long way in bringing your carpet back to life.
If you have hardwood floors bring them back to their former glory by refinishing them. Refinishing hardwood floors typically includes sanding down the floors to eliminate the original finish and stain, then restaining with the desired color followed by a coat or two of sealer. Your floors will look brand new and really stand out during the open house.
10. Gather Your DocumentsYou might not be aware of this but you’ll want to gather all the documents you have in regards to warranties, manuals, service records, and repairs done to your house. These documents are hugely important for several reasons and certain ones are needed by different parties before you sell your house.
Your agent is your best friend during the home selling process. They are also your homes’ first line of marketing and the more information they have about your house, the better they can promote it. They will write out the specific details of your home as well as an enticing description that will highlight key features that homebuyers want. So, if you’ve made recent updates like a new deck, new roof, updated HVAC, or if your home has hot water on demand make sure your agent knows it and you have the paperwork to back it up.
During the home inspection process, home inspectors are going to go over your house with a fine-toothed comb. If your furnace or water heater hasn’t been serviced in years, they’ll let you know. Take a proactive approach by gathering all your service records so you’ll know ahead of time if something needs to be serviced before listing your home.
However, beyond the paperwork your agent and the home inspector would like to see, title companies require very specific documentation in order for you to even sell your home, including:
Homebuyers will most likely get a home inspection of their own, right? So, why would you get one as a seller?
A home inspection report will most likely turn up a list of repairs that will need to be fixed. Would you prefer to fix these issues now before you list your home, or after you’re in negotiations with a potential buyer? If you wait, you may push back the sale date of your house as repairs are being made. Or, homebuyers may ask for concessions on your asking price in order to cover the repairs and the time it takes to make them. Ultimately, getting a pre-sale home inspection will leave you in a better position when it comes time to negotiate with potential buyers.
You may feel like spending a lot of time and money on your house is pointless because you’re just going to sell it anyway, right? Just consider that the more you appeal to the majority of homebuyers the more bids you’ll likely see and ultimately help you sell your house quicker and for more money.
Writing about the many aspects of home-ownership. From how-to projects he does on his own home to mortgage payoff and investment strategies, he likes to create useful content his readers will enjoy. His dream home would be a small house on a lake or the Puget Sound, with lots of natural light and a dedicated space for his woodworking.
When maintained properly, rain gutters will last for decades. There are many things you can do to prolong the life of your gutters. Cleaning and inspecting them once or twice a year is a simple way to ensure your gutters continue to protect your home for many years to come.
With time you may find minor damage that will call for repair. Take a look at the general appearance of your rain gutters to evaluate if they are working properly. Here are some signs to look for:
Corners and end caps in particular can be easily repaired by applying new sealant.
Are your gutters pulling away? Over time the spikes or hangers may loosen, requiring minimal repairs by simply replacing the loose hardware.
Towards the end of autumn check to make sure your gutters are free of debris, removing anything that might clog the gutter. If you have a persistent problem with this, consider adding screens or some other form of leaf protection to your gutter to prevent this problem.
Whether you call a professional or decide to do the job by yourself, maintaining your rain gutters can be a simple task if you keep up with a scheduled cleaning twice a year. A gutter guard is a preventive maintenance tool that would keep out large debris, making the cleaning process easier. Keep in mind that in places with higher humidity, your rain gutters will have a tendency to get more dirt stains and tiger striping, so you might have to clean them more often; the longer you wait, the more debris will accumulate and the harder cleaning them will be.
Senox rain gutter systems are made with high quality materials like aluminum, Galvalume plus steel, and copper. We use a factory baked paint finish on the aluminum to increase the durability of our rain gutters and offer a 50 year paint warranty that includes cleaning instructions, making the cleaning process faster and easier.
Rain gutters are troughs placed at the bottom edge of your roof to collect and channel rain run-off. This will protect your foundation from becoming flooded by the water that would otherwise pool on the ground beneath the roof, potentially causing foundation problems. Gutters also protect windows and walls from excessive moisture pooling.
Most residential rain gutters come in two sizes, 5 inch or 6 inch, and are typically made of aluminum but also available in galvalume or copper. We have both machines and we prefer the installation of 6 inch gutters. We like the look when it covers all of the wood fascia and looks more like crown molding instead of an afterthought.
One foot of 5 inch K-Style gutter holds 1.2 gallons of water. One foot of 6 inch K-Style gutter holds 2.0 gallons of water. The most popular residential gutter type is seamless aluminum in either 5" or 6" depending on the size of the home.
Aluminum gutters come in several different colors and are enamel baked at the factory to give long lasting quality and durability. Another benefit of aluminum is that the metal is lighter and won't rust. This means less weight on your homes fascia and much longer lasting investment.
Mr Gutter, gutters are guaranteed to last. We back every install with a 5 year labor and 20 material guarantee. Call today for a free quote 405-602-1609
Bigger Gutters. That's right. It's absolutely amazing how many houses we pull up to that have the wrong size gutters on them. Almost daily we provide a consultation on a house that has gutters that are too small and not enough downspouts!! Why is this happening?
,Well that answer is actually quite simple. Most companies only have 1 machine. Over the last several years here at Mr Gutter, we have noticed that nearly every gutter company in Oklahoma only a 5" seamless gutter machine. The reason is two parts.
1. Most popular size starting in the 1980's
2. Easy to find and purchase. These machines are floating around everywhere and just about anyone with $2500 & a trailer can start a gutter business with. So this attracts people with part time jobs. But this doesn't translate to future reliability. So we urge our customers to do a little research on what there getting on don't just shop price.
Anyone? Yes that's right. We find new gutter companies coming and going all year and every year. With such cheap way to get started it attracts people from everywhere. What does this mean to you? Most likely it means you could be hiring a company that is using outdated machinery, unskilled installers and often times someone who won't be around next year.
Below we will discuss why Mr Gutter is a valuable choice in all of your gutter needs.
So now we told you what to look for. Why should you choose us?
1. We have a standing office that you can visit. If you have a problem. Come see us. No tracking down a company without an actual address or visiting someone at their home since. Our office is local and right in the middle of OKC: 8901 S Santa Fe #D Oklahoma City, OK 73139
2. We have all current machines and gutter styles available. 5", 6", 7", Half Round & Commercial Box gutter. All of our machines are maintenanced as needed to ensure that the gutter we hang on your home is straight and functions as its suppose to
3. We guarantee the highest level of customer service. Before we got into gutters we worked for large corporations. This allowed some pretty cool things for us to bring to Mr Gutter. We brought the best of the big resources and left out the red tape. We know what it takes on a large scale level to provide top notch customer service but that also it's important to remove all the crazy policies that big companies typically have. You will always be greeted by our friendly staff and your total satisfaction is our number one goal. We understand that profits are easier to maintain with happy customers instead of shady business tactics. We want you to tell your friends about us and we hope that in the future or your next home, if you need gutter service again, that you will CALL Mr Gutter Services.
4. Look and see for yourself what your neighbors are saying about us. We have over 100 5 star reviews online combined from places like google, yelp, facebook, homeadvisor, angies list. Our reputation is our lifeblood. We understand this and we go above and beyond to make sure you want to click 5 stars. So what are you waiting for? Schedule your free quote now by clicking the button below or by calling at 405-602-1609.
Face it, gutters are boring. But they’re important. Unless you live in the desert, you need gutters to keep rain from pouring off your roof and onto the foundation of your house, or into your basement or crawl space, causing water damage faster than you can say “five-figure homeowner’s insurance claim.” But we have good news: You can glam up your gutters if you pick ones made of copper. They’re like jewelry for your house.
Get your mind in the gutter to learn more.
Isn’t copper pricey?
Yes. Very. Copper gutters and downspouts cost between $25 and $30 a foot, installed. Compare that to steel ones that are $8 to $10 per foot, and aluminum ones that are $5 to $8 per foot, and copper’s more than twice the cost of other materials. But. Copper gutter systems last an average of 60 years and can last as long as a century with proper maintenance, because they won’t rust. Yes, copper gutters may outlast you. Gutters of cheaper materials have much shorter lifespans. Those inexpensive vinyl ones need to be replaced every 10 years, and steel or aluminum ones need to be replaced every 20 years. Do the math. On a per-year cost basis, copper gutters don’t cost much more than steel or aluminum ones. And copper looks so elegant, making a home look like a landmark.
Will copper work with my house’s style?
Copper gutters and downspouts are a dream fit for high-end custom homes, traditional-style homes, and historic residences. Copper gutters on a Victorian house? Perfect. Arts and Crafts? Stone Tudor? Perfect. Frank Lloyd Wright, champion of natural materials, adored copper gutters. Copper glinting along the edges of a classic slate roof is home-tour perfection.
Some architectural styles are less compatible. For instance, copper gutters are not a good choice for a midcentury modern house, because they clash with the intent of simple, minimal design that was meant to look Space Age, not Gilded Age.
How do I care for copper?
You’ll need to clean tree debris and roof runoff out of copper gutters, just like every other kind of gutter. Debris left in the gutter too long will discolor the copper. Use soft plastic tools, not metal ones, to remove the debris or you’ll scratch the copper. And no bare hands. Your skin has oils on it that will leave spots on the copper and mess up the patina, so wear gloves when cleaning.
Copper gutters and downspouts get an elegant blue-green patina as they age, thanks to the magic of oxidation. You will never have to paint them. But if patina isn’t your thing, you can keep copper gutters and downspouts shiny and warm-colored by putting a protective coating on them each year and polishing them with a solution made for copper. This will be a lot of work, so you may want to learn to love the look of aged metal.
Pro tip: When cleaning those copper gutters, do not lean a ladder on them. You’ll bend or scratch them.
Anatomy of a Gutter System
There are pieces and parts to a gutter system. Let’s start at the edge of the roof, with the:
Pro tip: You can’t mix and match materials for components. Every part from end caps to elbows must be copper, because other materials could rust, staining the copper, or corrode, causing your gutter system to fail.
Styles of Copper Gutters and Downspouts
When you decide it’s time to install gutter protection from leaves, you want to hire a good contractor whom you can trust. Not only do you want the best gutter and gutter guard system but you also want it installed properly so it works as it should for years to come. So, how do you go about choosing the right gutter installer?
Experience and Reputation
You want only an experienced installer, but how do you know they are experienced? One way is to look into the company’s reputation by checking review sites online. Most reputable review sites, like Google, the Better Business Bureau and Facebook, tell you when a review was left. Lastly, you can check your state business incorporation site to find when a company filed a business license.
As you read the reviews to determine reputation. Look to see how their overall review status is. Both good and bad. Does the company seem to respond when needed? It’s important to know if a company makes a mistake, whether they own up to it and make it right. Also, look at the text of the reviews, not just the number of stars. A more detailed review may let you know how long they’ve been installing gutter and gutter covers in addition to their other services.
Request quotes but always be careful on going with the cheapest company. Review their proposal. Is it on scratch paper or is it a detailed quote describing what they are going to do? There are several ways to cut corners in the gutter business and often times the cheaper companies are just trying to make enough to get by and most likely wont show back up if there is ever a problem. Any business who tells you that there will never be a problem is lying or hasn't been in business long. It's important to hire someone who understands this and plans for potential service repairs after the install. Another problem that can happen with the cheaper companies, is that often times don't pay their materials bills. Which will result in a heft lien on your home. Leaving you stuck with either paying the lien or suing the company. Many times this happen more than a year after the work was done and you might not even remember who did the work. Especially if they didn't provide an easy to read quote. Emailed quotes are best because you will also have them. These cheaper companies don't have state required insurances and if an employee gets hurt on your property. That leaves you responsible. So be sure that when making a hiring decision you base it off more than just the price. Remember that you always get what you pay for. If the price seems to good to be true. Then it probably is.
How to pick a good contractor in Oklahoma
General contractors are individuals (or groups) who execute large and small construction jobs and remodeling projects. They often do not do all of the work, typically bringing in sub contractors for specialty areas. A general contractor should provide expert advice, truthful data, references and craftsmanship; ideally resulting in a quick return on your investment, and, of course, peace of mind. In order to find a perfect fit, when seeking general contractors make sure to get multiple estimates for the job, and also examine the consultant's personality for professionalism, integrity, and responsibility. Most importantly check our their online profiles and local reviews. See what real people in your are are saying. This is your best guideline.
Popular General Contractors Projects
Additions Add to existing structures, build a deck, porch, sunroom, patio, garage, pool enclosure, greenhouse, gutters, drains, siding, roofing, etc.
Major Remodels & Renovations Remodel basements, bathrooms, kitchens, garages, rooms, swimming pools, remodel for disabilities, gutters, drains, siding, roofing, etc.
New Home Construction Includes building custom, log, modular, panelized,timber framed & manufactured homes.
Outbuildings & Structures Includes building docks, garages, greenhouses, carports, pool enclosures, etc.
Recovery Services - Disaster Includes dry-rot, damage from water, pests, fire, smoke, storms or wind, major home repairs, recovery services, earthquake proofing, etc.
Oklahoma Rain Gutters. Are They Important?
Why Install Gutters In Oklahoma? Why Mr Gutter Wants To Help Protect Your Home?
Installing rain gutters is something that is very important. As a matter of fact, it cannot be expressed how important it is that you have a gutter system on your home. If you don’t have one, you’re looking at a plethora of problems. Unfortunately, this is something that is overlooked by a lot of homeowners because they are simply one of those things that sort of function on their own, making it easy to forget that they need to stay in tip top shape, and that new ones are installed when the existing ones need to be replaced.
What will happen?
If you don’t install a rain gutter system on your home when you build it or install a new system when your existing one is in disrepair, you’re looking at a lot of issues. Here is a list of some of the problems you may encounter:
* A gutter system that is not in good shape can cause water to run underneath the shingles on the roof. This can cause roof damage to occur. This is also an issue when it snows, so it is important that you have a rain gutter in place for when the snow melts.
* A home without a gutter system will have water running down the side of the house. This means that the water can get underneath siding if the home is sided. This also means that erosion can occur in some places. For example, a brick home may encounter erosion and there is the fact that a “rusting” effect can occur.
* The foundation can become damaged. When the foundation has large amounts of water running against it for long periods, cracks start to form. Especially here in Oklahoma. We have expansive clay soil.. This causes lots of problems and could leave you paying a hefty bill for foundation repair that could've most likely been avoided by adding a complete Oklahoma Gutter System.
* Without gutters in place, you literally have a moat around your house. This is not good news for you if you have a basement. The basement can easily flood if there are any cracks in your foundation.
As you can see, there are a lot of reasons to have a rain gutter system in place. The water will drain off of your home in a nice and neat manner. You won’t have to worry about flooding around your home, a leaky basement, or a suffering roof.
Luckily, gutters are not very expensive. It does depend on what kind you buy because there are various materials used to make gutters. You have aluminum, copper, and vinyl to choose from. Each material has its pros and its cons, so it is important for you to figure out which is best for you and your home.
But even if cost is an issue, it is important to keep in mind that the cost to repair damage to your home will always exceed the cost of having a rain gutter system installed on your home. It is better to be safe than sorry because sorry can be quite expensive. Being safe means that you will be keeping your money where it belongs and that is in your pocket.
So What Colors Are Available? In Short we have over 21+ colors that are powder coated in a 20 year paint. Below you will find some information on some of the colors available.
Old galvanized gutters with seams have been replaced by seamless aluminum or copper gutters in a variety of brown, beige, gray, dark blue, red and green colors. The colored gutters become part of your roof line matching or contrasting the roof color.
Traditional white, Linen, Herringbone, Almond and Ivory colors are used extensively on many homes with lighter exterior walls.
We have several brown and beige baked on gutter colors that are neutral and can work with nearly any roof. This includes traditional pointed roof lines including homes with dormer windows. The seamless gutters quietly collect rain water and send it to the matching downspout on the side of the house.
The brown tones range from the light Buckskin and Beaver Brown to darker Royal and Musket browns. These tones fit under the roof overhang and appear to be an extension of the roof. The colors also match closely to trim around windows and doors or they can match the exterior color. The brown and beige colors work well with traditional and rustic architecture as well as with contemporary homes.
Gray & Blue
Traditional Cape Cod architecture is often light gray with black or slate colored roofs. Wicker and clay are the lighter gray tones while Bronze, Tuxedo, Dove and Colonial grays are darker. Black gutters are also available.
Dark blue may complement a gray or dark blue home and roof.
The Colonial Blue gutter is often a choice for traditional home designs.
Galvalume Plus is the traditional gray metal gutter that can be used on homes or commercial buildings.
Red & Green
The red tone is a dark Colonial Red that will work with any red brick building. This is a popular finish for used brick exteriors. It also works well with red tile roofs found on our southwest architecture popular in Texas. Metallic and Rustic copper also work with red-toned tile roofing on stucco, brick and stone exteriors.
Sherwood Green comp
Types of gutters
The good news: Gutters come in all shapes, colors, and prices so you can easily find a match for your style of house and budget.
Unfortunately, figuring the right sizes of the gutters and downspouts for your roof involves some head-banging mathematical formulas.
Not to worry. We’re here to guide you on the path to gutter glory. If you’d like to do your own calculations for sizing your gutters, we’ll help you through it.
Basic Types of Gutters
Let’s start with shapes. There are two basic types, and they’re referred to by the shape of their cross section. Both types come in 5- and 6-inch widths.
1. K-style gutters have flat bottoms and backs, and the front side of the gutter usually has a decorative shape, such as a curve or ogee, that mimics crown molding. Many styles are available.
2. Half-round gutters are exactly what the name suggests: half-round tubes. Half-round gutters often are found on older, historic homes.
Half Round Copper
In general, K-style gutters have twice the capacity of their half-round cousins of the same width, and cost up to 50% more per linear foot.
Gutter Material Available
Cost of materials if you DIY: $2 to 3 per linear foot (6-inch K-style) including downspouts
Cost of pro install (materials and labor): $4 to $9 per linear foot
Cost of pro install (materials and labor): $12 to $25 per linear foot (6-inch K-style)
Seamless (or continuous) gutters are made at the job site. A truck with a spool of flat aluminum pulls up to your home, and the fabricator uses a gutter-forming machine to custom make whatever gutter length is required. There’s no hauling of long gutters. About 70% of all gutter installations are the seamless type.
Installing seamless gutters:
Cost of pro install (fabrication and materials): $5 to $11 per linear foot (6-inch K-style)
Cost of DIY materials, including downspouts: $4 to $6 per linear foot (6-inch K-style)
Cost of pro install (materials and labor): $8 to $10 per linear foot
Cost of DIY materials, including downspouts: $1 to $2 per linear foot (6-inch K-style)
Cost of pro install (materials and labor): $3 to $5 per linear foot
Cost of pro install (materials and labor): $10 to $24 per linear foot, 6-inch half-round (K-style not available in zinc)
Downspouts come as either round or square, in widths from 3 to 6 inches. The most common sizes are rectangular:
Decorative varieties, such as spiral shapes, are available.
The size and number of downspouts you’ll need depends on the capacity of your system.
Rule of thumb: You need one downspout for about every 30 to 40 linear feet of gutter. To increase the capacity of your gutter system, add more downspouts.
How Much Gutter Do You Need?
Figuring gutters sizes and capacities is a complex brain-freeze equation involving the size and slope of your roof and the average maximum rainfall your area can expect. We recommend leaving the calculations to your gutter installation professional.
For the most part, you won’t go wrong with a 5-inch, K-style gutter. “A 5-inch gutter is pretty standard and will handle rainfall just about anywhere in the country,” says Bill Sheetz, owner of Lake Cook Exteriors in Palatine, Ill. He uses them on “almost all our installations.” And he specs oversized (3-inch-by-4-inch) downspouts to ensure good drainage.
Sheetz says a 6-inch gutter has almost twice the capacity of a 5-inch, but cautions that in cold climates, larger gutters run the risk of getting weighted down with ice that could damage the gutter system. Moving to a 6-inch gutter increases costs by about 25%.
For those of you who are self-reliant DIYers determined to do the calculations, these step-by-step instructions will take you through the process.
Or try this online gutter and downspout calculator.