Seamless gutters are a great addition to any home, and increase the value for you and potential buyers.
Building seamless gutters is a process that takes some practice and expensive, specialized equipment. Building seamless gutters is a popular small business, as people buy a gutter-forming machine and offer their services to homeowners.
Homes have used gutters since the early 1900s, and seamless style gutters have actually been around for over 40 years.
1. How Seamless Gutters Are Made
Seamless gutters are formed from a single piece of flat, metal stock. This style of gutter has fewer seams and screw holes in it, so there is less opportunity for leaks and breaks.
The stock comes in a long coil, and is made in different colors. Although you can paint or finish the gutters to change the color, this decreases the appeal of the seamless process.
Homeowners also like the look of seamless gutters, since they require fewer hangers, connectors, and other hardware pieces to hang.
2. Seamless Gutter Machines
About twelve different companies in the U.S. produce the machines that form seamless gutters.
The cost of these machines is significant – used models begin at around $4,000 and new around $6,000 with the price going up from there. The machines used to manufacture the downspouts run in the tens of thousands.
Before making the purchase of such a machine, you need to decide what style and size of gutters you wish to create.
Some machines can handle only one size of stock – in fact, this is the most common scenario. So you’ll need to decide if you want to produce 5, 6, or 7-inch wide gutters.
If you really need two sizes, look at purchasing a combination machine. This is more expensive initially, but less expensive than purchasing two machines.
The next decision you’ll need to make is what style of gutter you’d like to create. This will likely be based on the demand in the area where you live, since those who make the significant purchase of a seamless gutters machine usually try to derive income from the machine.
K-style gutters are the overall most popular style, but there are other styles, such as box, half round, and fascia style.
3. Gutter Manufacture
To produce the seamless gutters, place the stock material on the coil holder. Choose the appropriate color for the home to which you are planning to affix the gutters.
Feed the stock in to the machine, indicating the size of gutter you wish, if you have a combination machine that allows this specialization.
Delineate the length of gutter that you need, according to measurements that you make previously.
As you begin feeding the stock into the machine, it will quickly and easily form the stock into standard gutter shapes and sizes. The machines have large cutters that will cut the gutter to size, so use extreme care in using the machine.
You should clean the gutter machines and the work area surrounding the machine as you produce the gutters.
The machines may need to be refurbished from time to time by cleaning the rollers, adjusting the hem box, realigning rollers, and tightening chains.
If you want the seamless look without buying a machine, look at Alcoa’s or other company’s long (36 foot) gutters that can provide you the seamless look.