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What are the Pros and Cons of Custom Gutters?

Article Details
  • Written By: Anna B. Smith
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 10 November 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2019
    Conjecture Corporation
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Custom gutters are typically tailored to the home for which they are purchased. They are also sold with a manufacturer’s warranty, from the contractor, to protect against leakage and long-term damage. Custom gutters can also be expensive, depending on the size of the home and the difficulty of the project, so homeowners may save money by installing them themselves.

One benefit to purchasing custom gutters is that certain components may be manufactured at the home site. Custom vinyl gutters can be made to fit the specific home for which they have been purchased. This can reduce the need for excess labor or multiple seams throughout the length of the material.

A contractor typically arrives at the site with a machine through which the vinyl can be fed manually. This machine bends the vinyl to the specifications of the contractor, and creates gutters the exact length of the roof and to the requested width of the homeowner. These gutters are generally seamless, leaving fewer weak areas around the home through which excess water might escape.

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When installing gutters by hand, homeowners typically must purchase all of their materials at a home improvement store that sells product in bulk. These bulk materials, such as PVC piping and leaf guards, are generally sold in select sizing, requiring the homeowner to measure and cut his own materials. This is time-consuming and creates multiple seams around the home where pieces of PVC will join together. These joints are potential leak hazards that may allow water to seep through the gutters and pool around the foundation of the home.

Contractors may guarantee their work for a certain amount of time. In this case, if the gutters they have installed leak, break, or become detached from the home, they return, at no additional cost, to repair the damage. Therefore, if a homeowner decides to personally install gutters around his roof, he has no such guarantee for repairs.

When homeowners install their own, instead of purchasing custom gutters, they may save money. Contractors typically charge for the materials to complete the project as well as the labor involved in completing it. Those who do the work themselves only pay for the materials they use, and can cut costs in the process.

Do-it-yourself homeowners may, however, encounter the problem of spending additional money for unused materials. This can be due to the fact that some home improvement stores sell bulk supplies and do not offer customizable gutter lengths. A contractor generally only charges for the materials used to complete the project.

Some people may be able to create more options for their gutters when installing them personally at a lower price. A home with varying levels and difficult architecture may not be suitable for custom gutters or may cost a great deal more than a standard custom gutter package. Homeowners may find that, with a home that presents such challenges, they may wish to complete the project themselves to achieve a particular look or finish that a contractor cannot offer or offers for a much higher price.

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