Glossary of Seamless Gutter Terms

Estimate and Installation Process

Here are some terms you should be aware of when reading an estimate from a contractor as well as some subjects to know about when making decisions during the installation day.

The Initial Meeting and Estimate Process

The contractor will set up a time to come to your home to measure and go over your options with you. This is a good time to ask the contractor for a sample of the proposed gutter so you can see the exact quality of the material you are getting. It's hard to picture what these gutters will look like on your home, so ask for a list of past-jobs so you can do a drive by to see what the finished product looks like installed. Whatever your final choice, be sure and get a detailed estimate in writing.

Gauge - The thickness or the gauge of the gutter is very important. Primary aluminum is the thickest and most consistent available. The gauges range from .019-in. to .032in, the optimal thickness is .032 in.

Need a gutter contractor? Request a free gutter estimate and we'll match you with the right person for your job.

Each Gutter Job Consists of a Series of Runs and Downspouts.

The contractor will estimate the job after determining the run length and run height. Additional charges will be calculated in for replacing rotten fascia boards, building-out fascia, adding extras like drip-edge extensions or custom color choices.

Run Length - A straight section of gutter mounted against the fascia board. It is measured in linear feet.

  • Gabled Roof has 2 runs, front and rear.
  • Hip Roof has 4 runs.
  • Fascia Board - The flat horizontal surface right below the edge of a roof
  • Linear feet (often called Lineal feet) - A linear foot is the same as regular feet. It is a one-foot length of any long, narrow object. No conversion is necessary. If something is 6 linear feet tall, it is 6 feet tall. That just means when measuring linear feet, contractors are not taking the width into account. If you bought 100 linear feet of gutter, laying them down end to end would stretch for 100 feet, it wouldn't matter how wide the gutters were.

Run Height - The height (in stories) at which each gutter run will be located (1st story, 2nd story etc.). This is used to determine the length of downspout needed.

Downspout - A pipe that carries rainwater from a roof gutter down to a drain or to the ground.

Fascia Angle - If there is any fascia board that is angled to follow the roof rafters, there is usually an extra charge.

Fascia Replacement - New gutters need a solid fascia surface upon which to be mounted. If rotted boards need to be replaced, there is a charge per linear feet. Fascia boards narrower than 3in width must be built out to provide proper support for hanging your new gutters and require additional charge per linear feet.

Drip-edge Extension- Prevents water from washing over the fascia eventually causing it to rot. If your fascia boards have black streaks on them, that usually means that the drip-edge is failing and the contractor may suggest adding an extension for an additional charge.

Colors - Choose colors that will blend with your house. The gutters and downspouts are available in a number of different colors. The price varies depending on the color you choose.

Need a gutter contractor? Request a free gutter estimate and we'll match you with the right person for your job.

Installation Process

Seamless Gutter Machine - The contractor will arrive with a machine right on the truck or trailer. The coil of metal in the color you have chosen is rolled through the forming machine to create a continuous piece of gutter that is custom sized to your home.

Attaching the Gutters

Spike and Ferrule -A metal cylinder or tube is placed inside the gutter to strengthen it and keep it from bending. The spike is driven through the face of the gutter at the top, through the ferrule and into the wood fascia board. Spike-and-ferrule hangers tend to pull out of the wood over time. This can cause the gutters to sag.

Eave Hook or Hidden Bracket These brackets interlock into the gutter and are then attached to the roof under the shingles for superior strength. This is a better option because it offers a cleaner look. It is usually a pricier option but the added strength is well worth the investment.

Sealing and Adding Corners

The crew will work their way around the house, fabricating, installing and sealing each length of gutter and each inside or outside corner as they go.

Mitres (Corners)- When a company fabricates the corners on site using the same material as the rest of the house, the advantage is that there is one seam instead of 3 and it's a cleaner look overall.

Adding Downspouts

The last step is the determining the location and number of downspouts needed and then installing them in the best location for directing the water away from the house. For every 600 square ft. of roofing area it will require a 2 x 3 downspout and for every 1200 square ft. of roofing area it will require a 3 x 4 downspout. For example: If your roof is 40ft. long and 16ft. to the peak (40 x 16 = 640 square ft. area). Requires (2) 2x3 downspouts or (1) 3x4 downspout. The estimate should include the price of the downspouts. Be sure to ask how many there will be before starting the job.

Install Gutter Guards

Finally, if you have decided to invest in gutter guards to prevent leaf build up and clogging, this installation can be done as well.

Seamless-Gutters is here to assist you

We are fortunate enough to work a network of highly trained licensed professional contractors nationwide who specialize in gutter installation. Feel free at any time to Request a Free Gutter Quote Today!