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Great question. While cleaning the gutters every spring/fall is an option, and the cheapest, most folks want the gutter guards so that they don't ever have to do that chore again. Or maybe due to age or physical limitations, the person can't clean them. Is the cost really that cheap when you are doing this job once or twice a year? If your yard has lots of trees, you need to invest in gutter guards which in the long term,are the way to go. We offer 3 different lines of products to our customers depending on their budget and needs. The lowest cost option is a "drop in" style guard, which is basically plastic with larger holes and really the least effective of the three. The better option we offer for those still needing to keep within a budget is the Englert MicroGuard product. For those who want the best, we offer what we feel is the best on the market, and that is Evelyn's Leaf Solution. It comes in a variety of colors to match the existing roof or siding material, it has a stainless steel micro mesh to allow water to freely get through and exit, yet catch all debris including the smallest of debris. It is also a zip screw install system meaning you won't have to worry high winds or storms will blow them out or damage them. We also really like Leaf Solution's honesty with their warranty. No gutter lasts a "lifetime". They are aluminum. So they offer a generous 25 yrs on their product which as they say is a lifetime on a gutter product. They are not meant to last 50-100 yrs. just as no product out there is rated for. Don't fall for we are installing a product that will last a "lifetime". No, we do not work for Leaf Solution or get anything by promoting them. We want to only offer our customers the best. As another option, Rhino Guard is a great product as well. Hope this helps with your gutter improvement!
All of the answers given were great options. There are many, many ways to improve a home's energy efficiency. As we are a siding and window company, my focus will be on those areas. Windows are a huge energy loss/gain. Did you know that windows and doors account for approximately 50% of your heating/cooling loss? Air leaks around a window or door due to a crack of 1/16" of an inch is like having a hole in your wall the size of a brick. In the average home, that is equal to about 15 bricks. Consider how large that "hole" is in your home. The glass package is the most important thing to consider when replacing windows. Most folks just look at the cost of the window and install, and some smoke and mirrors some companies like to drag on about. A smart homeowner knows what Low-E is, what a good U-Factor rating is, whether or not it's single, double or triple pane glass, etc. etc. Same features apply to most doors. Lastly, siding is another area where a homeowner can save money. Check into insulated siding. Check to see what kind of underlayment is being applied to your home. Many companies don't even put a housewrap on to save cost and the average homeowner never knows. Make sure you only hire someone who is appropriately licensed and insured. Ask to see those documents. Hope this helps folks looking to replace siding, windows or doors! Happy remodeling!
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