Always do your research before starting a gutter replacement project. In addition to doing your research on the basics (like the gutter material most suited to your local climate as well as the qualifications of the contractors you hired), you should also check if you need approval from your local Homeowners Association (HOA). If you start your project without getting approval from your HOA, you may be forced to halt and redo your project, regardless of whether it’s been finished or not.
In most cases, HOAs require pre-approval for changes made to the interior and exterior of houses within the community. To help you get started on your gutter replacement project, Sanders Roofing & Exteriors, LLC, one of your trusted roof replacement companies, compiled a guide on getting pre-approval on a gutter replacement project.
Where Can You Find Pre-Approval Requirements?
Check your HOA’s covenants, conditions, and restrictions (CC&Rs), which are usually provided by your realtor or builder after the purchase of your home. In addition to pre-approval requirements for exterior and interior renovations, CC&Rs contain important details such as restrictions on pets, fence height and the use of your backyard space. If you can’t find the CC&Rs, you can also contact the board members of your HOA.
What Should You Expect During the Pre-Approval Process?
Each HOA will have its own pre-approval process, so it’s best to ask them about the specific requirements. However, HOAs usually require homeowners to submit a proposal that includes the projected timeline for the project, the roofers in charge of the project, and pictures of the proposed renovations.
Choosing a Gutter Replacement
After your gutter replacement project is approved, you can start planning your gutter replacement. As mentioned earlier, it’s important to choose a gutter material that can handle your local climate. Remember: no matter how durable your new gutters are, they won’t last long if they’re not suited to the local climate.
Here’s an overview of the most widely used gutter materials:
- Vinyl – Affordable vinyl gutters are the most affordable option on the market, but arguably, they’re not the most cost-effective. Yes, vinyl gutters are lightweight, easy-to-install rust-resistant and very affordable. However, compared to other gutter materials, they have shorter lifespans. Not to mention they’re prone to warping or sag in high temperatures. In most cases, the cons of vinyl gutters often outweigh their pros.
- Steel gutters – If you’re looking for a durable gutter system, steel gutters are a smart choice. There are two varieties of steel: galvanized and stainless steel. Galvanized steel gutters can resist corrosion for 20 to 25 years while stainless steel gutters are completely resistant to rust.
- Zinc – If you’re looking for something more durable, we recommend choosing zinc gutters. When it comes to durability, few materials come close to zinc. The key to zinc gutters’ exceptionally long lifespans is the patina that begins to form on their surface as they’re exposed to moisture and carbon dioxide. This coating shields zinc gutters from natural wear and tear and increases their durability as they age. However, zinc is not without its disadvantages. For instance, it’s a bit on the pricey side. Keep in mind that while it’s important to stay within budget, you shouldn’t get too preoccupied with the costs. Focus instead on maximizing the returns on your investment.
- Aluminum – Aluminum gutters provide a good balance between costs and performance, arguably making them the most cost-effective option. They’re durable, lightweight, easy-to-install and corrosion-resistant. In general, .027 gauge aluminum gutters are durable enough to withstand mild to moderate weather. But if your area often experiences strong winds and heavy rain, we recommend installing .032 gauge aluminum gutters.
If you’re having trouble choosing new gutters, consult one of your local roofers. Since they’re more familiar with the local climate and building codes, they can make better recommendations.
Important note: keep in mind that even gutter systems as durable as aluminum and zinc gutters still need routine maintenance from time to time. Remember: routine maintenance is a must if you want to keep your gutters in good condition.
What if you just don’t have the time for chores like gutter cleaning? There’s the option of installing gutter guards. By preventing leaves and other types of debris from entering your gutters, they help reduce its maintenance needs. Alternatively, you can install seamless gutters, which have fewer maintenance needs than conventional gutters and are more resistant to leaks.
Why Install Seamless Gutters?
Seams or gutter joints are the weak point of conventional gutters. Not to mention they increase your gutters’ maintenance needs because leaves and twigs can get stuck in between them. Since, as the name suggests, seamless gutters lack joints, they’re less leak-prone and easier to maintain than conventional gutters. If you’re planning on installing seamless gutters, Sanders Roofing & Exteriors offers seamless gutters that are custom-fit to your roof.
Choosing a Gutter Color
We also recommend checking your CC&Rs before choosing a color for your new gutters. That’s because HOAs usually have rules around the home improvements that may affect your home’s appearance and by extension the curb appeal of your home and the neighborhood. To preserve your home’s curb appeal, it’s important to choose a gutter color that complements your home’s exterior and doesn’t clash with the neighborhood’s overall color scheme. Remember: when it comes to exterior design, consistency is key. Coordinating colors can be tricky, however. If you’re having trouble choosing a color scheme, don’t hesitate to consult one of your local roof repair and replacement contractors.
Hiring a Gutter Installer
To protect the ROIs on your new seamless gutters, you should hire roofers that are qualified for the job. Before hiring a prospective roofing contractor, you should check their basic qualifications. Texas doesn’t require roofers to have a state license. However, HOAs often require gutter installers to have general liability compensation (which protects you from any legal liabilities from workplace injuries that may happen on your property).
Here are some additional vetting tips:
- Limit your search to local contractors – To quickly narrow down your options, focus your search on contractors near you. Hiring local roof replacement companies also has other advantages. For starters, they’re known for their personalized service. Not to mention they have extensive local networks that can help you find an electrician or plumber should you need one.
- Check their online reviews – A contractor’s online reviews should give you a good idea of the level of service you can expect from them. Keep in mind that a few negative reviews aren’t necessarily a red flag. Miscommunication happens sometimes, after all. If you come across negative reviews, focus on how the contractor’s handled online complaints. Did they take the time to respond to online complaints? And if so was it done in a professional manner?
What if they don’t have an online presence? That is a red flag in itself. In this day and age, there’s just no excuse for not having a website.
- Ask how long they’ve been in business – The number of years a contractor has been working in the industry should give you a good idea of their level of expertise. And don’t forget to ask about the kinds of projects they’ve handled as well.
Sanders Roofing & Exteriors, LLC, a family-owned company with over a decade of experience, offers a wide range of professional exterior services, including roof repair and gutter installation services. To schedule a free consultation, call us at (512) 590-0748 or fill out this form.