August 2004 Edition 

Gutter Guards

We are tired of cleaning our gutters and would like to install gutter guards. Do any of them really work? 
Yes, they do work, but some work better than others. Gutter guards vary from wire screen to fancy metal coverings. We will take a look at some different types, and you can decide which would be best for you. 
The first product is called "Premium Hinged Gutter Guards" by Amerimax Home Products, Inc. http://www.amerimax-inc.com/. You can purchase it at home centers for $1.75 per piece.

Gutter1

It is 3 feet long and attaches to 4, 5, or 6 inch gutters by pushing 2 clips onto the front lip of a standard K style gutter. It can then be opened up to clean out your gutters. Debris will get into all gutters no matter what type of guard you use. The advantage of this product is the cost. The disadvantages are the screen acts like a dam holding leaves, and pine straw sticks in the screen making it very difficult to clean out.  
The next product is "The WaterFall Gutter Guard System" http://waterfall.crane-plastics.com/   manufactured by Crane Plastics in Columbus, Ohio.

Gutter2

It is the contractor version of the "PermaFlow Gutter Guard System" http://www.permaflow.com. PermaFlow is sold to homeowners in 3 foot sections for approximately $4.50. It works with standard 5 inch K style gutters and is only available in white. The WaterFall is sold to contractors in 8 foot sections, and there are adapter pieces that allow them to be used with 6 inch gutters and 1/2 round gutters as well. It is also available in a darker color called clay. They can be ordered through Benjamin Obdyke Incorporated web site http://www.obdyke.com/. They are the largest distributors of the wholesale version on the east coast. Both versions of these products work on the principle of surface adhesion. If you remember your physics lessons, water tends to cling to surfaces as long as possible. So, the rainwater runs off your roof, across the top of the vinyl material, and wraps around the two leading edges and falls into the slots. The leaves and debris are supposed to continue on down the slope and fall off the edge. Anything that is small enough to go through the holes in the bottom of the slot should wash out of your gutters without clogging them, and anything larger than the slots is supposed to be blown away by the wind. Leaves, acorn caps, twigs, or seed pods might get stuck in the grooves.  

The next product is called "RainhandleR" http://www.rainhandler.com, from Savetime Corporation in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Gutter3
This product has been advertised for many years in the card packs that builders are sent. It is a unique product that takes the place of gutters when it is not necessary to collect and divert rainwater. It supposedly turns concentrated roof runoff back into "rain" to minimize damage to plants and soil while dispersing the water about 2 to 4 feet beyond the drip line of the roof. It may not be suitable for all applications. A five foot section costs about $22.  
The last type of guard is the "Gutter Helmet", http://www.gutterhelmet.com,   protection system.
Gutter4
You can expect to see the rest of them in our next update. The image shows an end cap, the aluminum bracket that is screwed to the gutters on which each 5 foot section of Gutter Helmet is attached, and the relatively small area where the water rolls into the gutter. This product, which has also been designed to work because of the surface adhesion properties of water, is perhaps the most expensive we have found to date. It is only installed by approved contractors, and while costs will vary according to your particular job, the installed price will probably be about $10 to $12 dollars per lineal foot. The contractors will level and adjust your existing gutters if needed, and they will clean them out "for the last time" as part of the contract.  

Source: http://www.B4UBUILD.COM 


Remodeling Cost Recovered

We plan to stay in our house for three to five years. When it comes to resale value, is it better to upgrade a kitchen or a bath? 
You can’t go wrong upgrading either room. You’ll usually recoup most of the bathroom and kitchen remodeling dollars you spend. In fact, if you do all the work yourself and do a first-class job, you’ll recoup the cost of almost any upgrade. The chart lists the cost recovery rate by project in 2003; however, these numbers can be optimistic and misleading. Many other factors influence resale value and the value of improvements, including the location, current real estate market, interest rates, the economy and more. 
A simple strategy is to improve the main areas that look rough or abused, and are less than comfortable. For example, if the kitchen is shabby, poorly lit or lacking counter space, make that a priority. Likewise, if a small bathroom has a bulky vanity and a tiny mirror, replace them with a space-saving pedestal sink and a large mirror to add visual space. 
Make a priority list, then work your way down it until your home feels comfortable. 
Percentage of cost recovered—2003 (National average) 
  • Deck addition
104%
  • Siding replacement
98%
  • Bathroom addition
95%
  • Attic bedroom
93%
  • Bathroom remodel
91%
  • Window replacement
86%
  • Family room addition
81%
  • Kitchen remodel
80%
  • Basement remodel
79%
  • Master suite
77%

Source: http://www.familyhandyman.com/ 


If you have a question, change of address, comment, home tip or would like to send Home Tips to your clients, send your letter to Home Tips, Christian Building Inspectors, Inc., 3697 Habersham Lane, Duluth, Georgia 30096. You can E-Mail your questions to us at rodharrison@christianbuildinginspectors.com. We reserve the right to edit questions for length. 


Quote Of The Month

"It is a fact that you project what you are."

Norman Vincent peale 


A Tip Of The Hat To:

 Diana Coombs

Re/Max Center

2855 Lawrenceville Suwanee Road

Suwanee, Georgia 30024

**** Thank You****