Roofing and Guttering Estimate


Estimating how much roofing and gutter materials you need is very simple. The only thing you need to do is to calculate the number of squares in the roof surface. One square equals 100 square feet so just do your math. Some roofs provide for easier math than others. For a simple roof with unbroken planes for example, you will need to figure out the surface area of each side by multiplying the length by the width and then adding the two sums. Once you have done this, divide it by 100. Always remember to round it off to the next highest figure. Some roofs and gutters with more of a complex structure or steeper roof will provide more of a challenge. The best thing to do here is to measure the square footage of the actual house at ground level and then take into account the slope of the roof. Say that you have a house and garage that you want a new roof on. Your house measures 1200 square feet at ground level and has a roof with a 4 in 12 slope. Your garage measures 300 square feet and has a roof with a 6 in 12 slope. By using the table below you can easily estimate your roof surface.

Slope:                     Multiply by:
2 in 12                    1.02
3 in 12                    1.03
4 in 12                    1.06
5 in 12                    1.08
6 in 12                    1.12
7 in 12                    1.16
8 in 12                   1.20

House: 1200 square feet x 1.06 = 1272 square feet.
Garage: 300 square feet x 1.12 = 336 square feet.
Total roofing area: 1272 + 336 = 1608 square feet divided by 100 = just over 16 squares.

Estimates for roofs

As with most things in life, if you are not sure of doing this yourself – you can always hire a professional and leave the work and calculations to them. If you are estimating your own roof surface, remember to take into account anything on the roof that is not actual roof surface. Things like chimneys, dormer windows, skylights, overlapping roof planes or overhangs at the eaves has to be taken into account when you are calculating your roof surface as this means you will need less material as it takes up some of the roof surface. However, it is always better to order a little bit too much material than not enough as it can otherwise cause a delay of the work.

Estimates For Gutters

Roof and Gutter Repair Tools


Believe it or not but we still use much of the same roofing and guttering material that we have for the past 5000 years. Our most popular roofing material, asphalt, is the same material that the Babylonians used for waterproofing their buildings back in the day. Although plastic is our most popular roofing material, wooden and cast iron gutters are making a comeback. Thanks to technology, our roofing materials come packed in nice bundles of shingles with installation instructions and warranties included – nothing like the Babylonians’. Today’s roofs do not only have to be practical and easy to install. They also have to be aesthetically pleasing – nothing that the Babylonians were too concerned about. There are several different roofing materials to choose between, depending on what finish you are looking for: from asphalt, wood, tile and slate to aluminium and metal. Each material have their own pros and cons and it is important to consider them all before deciding on what roofing material that best suit you and your needs. The more information you have, the better informed decisions you can make. Not only do they need to meet your needs but also your budget. If you are planning to do the work yourself, you might be surprised by how few tools you need to do the job. Here is a list of the basic tools that I would recommend to use:

  • A garden spade (with a square bottom and short handle) to tear off the old roof
  • A roofer’s hatchet to align wood shingles and nailing them. It is also used for splitting and scoring them. (A claw hammer with a smooth head can be used for asphalt roofs)
  • A circular power saw to cut tiles
  • A utility knifes with a lot of extra blades in order to cut asphalt shingles
  • 24-inch wrecking bar to help you lifting shingles and prying out nails
  • Tin snips in order to cut metal flashings
  • 25-foot metal tape measure to measure alignments
  • String line and different colours chalk to mark shingles
  • A putty knife or a steel trowel to apply roofing cement
  • Roofing cement and a caulking gun
  • A wire brush to prepare areas
  • A tool belt
  • Protective gloves

Apart from the tools mentioned above, you will also need safety equipment and a good, sturdy ladder. Obviously, if you do not want to do the job yourself, there are plenty of roofers out there to do the job for you. Any good roofer should be able to get you a quote for the job that you want done.


Housing Exteriors

The number of materials available for your house exterior is monumental. If you tried to build a house with every material out there, then you’d be able to build from here to the end of the universe. When you look at what is available on the market today, in terms of shape, texture and especially colour, the options for the exterior of your house are pretty much limitless.


The materials used for roofing and guttering, such as wood, asphalt and tile for roofs, with aluminium and plastic primarily used for rain gutters, are readily available. You can also find homes constructed of plastic, canvas, wood and even grass sod. In the following series of articles, I will discuss a generous number of these options and look at how different exterior materials can give a home a different look and feel. I will be concentrating on materials that lend themselves to more of a traditional feel and even look at some materials that aren’t commonly used.

Asphalt Sampler

Finish your roof with whatever colour and texture you deem most suitable. Asphalt shingles come in a whole host of colours, from cool greys, fresh greens and mesmerising reds. The finish can be heavily textured or smooth to give your home a sharp finish that your friends and neighbours will be jealous of. Smooth, uniform surfaces can reinforce the meandering lines of a roof, adding definition to the roofs aesthetic appeal.


If you go for the premium option, you can obtain a finish that casts deep shadow lines, adding character to a roof, where you might not expect to find any. This three dimensional look provides definition and depth, leaving your roof as eye catching as a stained glass window. Heavy weight shingles can be used to create a diamond affect, which can be randomised to increase the aesthetic appeal of the house.

My preference when fitting asphalt roofs is to use warm earthy colours that help the roof blend into its setting. Smokey grey variants appeal strongly to the eye and create colour shifts along the bottom edge of each shingle. I find that two toned roofing shingles can be used to re-create a cone shaped roof, similar to those found in Victorian style housing.


As you can see, with asphalt shingles you have a lot of visual options available to you, at a more than affordable price. But whatever your budget, you may want to opt for asphalt as it is also hard wearing and durable.

Are Seamless Gutters Worth the Money?

Should I choose seamed or seamless? This is a question that many people, who are in the unfortunate situation of having to replace their guttering, need to ask themselves. Replacing your entire system is obviously only a last resort fix, as there are many other options available before you get to this stage. But for those who need to undertake this task, you need to decide on the type of system you want to install. This is not an easy decision to make and there are many factors that will influence this decision. I personally have only ever used the seamed variety and have found them to be more than adequate for defending my home from the perils of water damage. This doesn’t mean that seamless gutters would not do just as good a job if not better.

Seamless Gutters

Why Use Seamless Gutters?

The thought process behind this approach is that less joins mean there will be less leaks and I do think this is a reasonable conclusion to jump to. The question really is; does this warrant the extra money you will have to pay to have seamless gutters? If you know what you are doing, installing seams should not leave any leaks and even with the passing of time, leaks should not spring. The problem with seamless gutters is you need specialist equipment to fit them. This inevitably means, buying the equipment yourself or getting a professional to fit them for you. Either way, this approach is going to be a lot more expensive than using what is deemed the conventional way. I really do wonder why so many people choose this option and they are obviously people with money to burn.

Seamless Gutter Installation

In conclusion, if you have the money opt for the seamless variety but if you are on a tight budget, stick with the conventional approach. Once you start to employ contractors to carry out work, this inevitably pushes the price of the job through the roof. I do not like to promote any DIY or home improvement task that cannot be carried out using every day DIY tools. This is indeed specialist work, so expect to pay specialist prices for this and do not be hoodwinked into thinking otherwise. This conclusion has been made based on facts and on my own experiences. The time has come for you to make your choice and decide what is important to you.

Do You Desire the Best Gutter Cleaning Liverpool Can Give?

There are many factors that go into choosing a cleaning service that is right for you. If you want the best gutter cleaning Liverpool can possibly give, then read this article carefully. These factors will be discussed in depth in this post and will hopefully give you a better idea of what to look for when choosing a contractor. The cleaning of guttering and downspouts is an essential part of maintaining your home and whether you are a homeowner or a tenant, you will need to make sure that this work is carried out periodically. This week I have decided to focus on the Merseyside area, with specific attention given to the city of Liverpool. There are many companies offering this particular service in this area and now I will look at what attributes separate the good services from the bad.



This may seem like a rather bizarre component when choosing a contracting service but before anyone carries out any work on your home, you must ensure they have the correct liability insurance. Without this type of insurance, damages or injuries caused as a result of the work carried out will not be insured and a lengthy legal battle may follow. Ask to see a copy of their insurance certificate and if necessary call the provider to check the legitimacy of the certificate.


Tools and Equipment

Make sure that the contractor has all the right tools and equipment for the job. If your home is a bungalow or a two storey building, then a ladder, trowel and bucket will suffice. But for three storey homes or guttering that is in hard to reach places i.e. above a conservatory, more specialist equipment is required. A telescopic cleaning device will be required for such jobs, as this will allow the contractor to easily reach the gutter from the ground. The last thing you want is damage caused to your property because the proper tools and equipment was not used.


Company references are a really useful way of finding out how good a service is. References give you a window into how a company operates and how they treat their customers. You will want a service that is reliable and gives you value for money. There are so many ‘cowboy’ contractors operating in the Liverpool area, so it is always best to properly vet a company before you employ their services. If you are unable to find any references for a company online, then contact them directly and ask for them to provide contact details for some of their customers so you can contact them directly.

If you would like to read more about rain gutters click here.

Gutter Choice

If you are thinking about replacing the gutters on your home, then you will know you have a job on your hands. There are many decisions you must make before deciding on what gutters are best suited for your requirements. Nowadays, the choice of gutters available to the general public is extensive and it is very easy to get lost when trying to work out what’s best for you. The type of material that comes to mind first, when thinking of replacing your gutters is aluminium. Aluminium is very malleable which means it can be shaped easily and inexpensively but can be light weight in terms of structure. Once you decide to use aluminium, you then have to make another choice; should I use traditional or seamless gutters?


Seamless v Traditional Gutters

Seamed or traditional gutters are what the majority of the homes throughout the UK have installed on them. The major problem that traditional gutters have is their use of seams to join sections together. This join evidently is a weakness in the overall system and is prone to leaking over time. These gutters are bought in fixed lengths and then cut to the right size, before being joined using silicone or epoxy resin.


The seamless approach is vastly different from the seamed approach with one length of material used for the whole system. This length of material is bent on site into the required shape to fit the contours of the building. This gives an almost seamless finish (seams are still used at the corners) and should be far less prone to leakages of any kind. Not only do they perform a lot better but they also look better, as there is no need for ghastly joins every few feet. This type of gutter is generally more expensive to fix but the savings made from maintenance costs alone will negate that initial outlay in a short period of time.


Which should I Choose?

The choice you make for your guttering is entirely up to you. There is certainly nothing wrong with traditional gutters but they do tend to give problems over time and this may be something you want to avoid. Leaking gutters can be detrimental to your home, in terms of its foundations and sidings. If water is able to flood these areas of the home, rot, mould and general deterioration will occur. Once this starts it can be very costly to stop and prevention is of utmost importance. Seamless gutters are much sturdier than traditional gutters and this allows them to hold more weight during heavy down pours. Areas that experience extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain or snow are more suitable for seamless gutters.

Gutter Inspection Cameras

The need to inspect your gutters has been mentioned many times on this website. Prevention is most definitely the cure when it comes to maintaining your gutters but inspecting them can be a difficult task. Assuming you have an extendable ladder and you are fit enough to climb it, you will still need to have incredible balance to lean over and look along the gutter. This is very different to cleaning a gutter, where you just need to be able to reach the pipes with a trowel. The use of telescopic cameras when carrying out this work has become increasingly popular and many companies adopt this approach rather than scaling a ladder.

Gutter Camera

An inspection medium allows you to quickly and efficiently check your gutters without having to set a foot off the ground. An hour long inspection job can now be carried out in a few minutes by just one person, without the need for any extra help. You won’t need to hire special scaffolding or even own a ladder to complete a job that would normally require at least one of these. You may even find that your public liability insurance is greatly reduced because you no longer have to risk the health of your employees. These cameras stream the video live on a handheld display in high definition, allowing the operator to get a detailed view of the inside of the gutter. These images can even be broadcast to a blue toothed enabled device and recorded for analysing later. The live footage allows the operator to make on the spot decisions as to whether the gutter requires maintenance or cleaning.

Gutter Inspections

The practicality of such a device has completely revolutionised the industry and has really changed our approach to gutter maintenance. The frequency at which this type of assessment is carried out has increased greatly which in turn saves home-owners thousands of pounds in costly repairs. There are many companies out there who provide such devices and the market itself seems to be expanding, with a number of new products available in 2013. I really do think that the days of scaling a ladder to inspect anything is over, as it is a risky approach that technology has left redundant. In my opinion it is about time we saw some evolution in this largely flagging industry. Telescopic cameras are here to stay, so get ready to swap your ladder for one now and embrace this potentially life-saving equipment.


The Art of Repairing Roof Gutters

People often think there is no art involved in gutter repair but those people have obviously never actually did any. Many of us do not appreciate the stellar job that this defense mechanism carries out on a daily basis, protecting your home from everything that mother-nature has to throw at it. You may think that your gutters are a permanent ever-lasting feature of your home but this could not be further from the truth. Throughout the year they are constantly bombarded with wind, rain and snow, not to mention all the debris that is flying around in the atmosphere. Overtime this takes its toll on them and sooner or later you will have to undertake some sort of repair work. In this publication I will discuss various aspects of this work, so you will have the confidence to tackle the job yourself.


The trick to maintaining this house-saving mechanism is to nip problems in the bud before they snowball into much bigger problems. In regards to most repairs, early detection is half the battle, with smaller issues being exponentially easier to repair than larger problems. A malfunctioning gutter can be truly hazardous to the well-being of your home, so the last thing you will want to do is ignore leaks or overflows. Water damage can rot the entire structure of your home, from the ceiling joists to the concrete foundations which support the entire load of your house. Good luck with trying to get money out of your insurance company if the damage is caused by maintenance neglect.


Fixing Small Holes

  • Clean the gutter thoroughly before you attempt any repair. Debris such as twigs, leaves and grass will prevent the patch from sealing properly.
  • If there is any rust surrounding the hole, brush it off using a wire-brush. If the rust is deep set, cut-away the rusted area using wire snips or cutters.
  • Once the area has been fully cleaned, had all rust removed and has been thoroughly dried off, add the bonding agent to the area and apply the patch.
  • Cover the area using a tarpaulin and allow the seal to dry.

Larger Repairs

These jobs require a little more perseverance and simply caulking a hole with silicone won’t do. A lot of the preparation steps outlined above will apply to large holes also but large lengths of gutter are replaced instead. In my experience if a hole is large enough, it is probably more cost effective to buy a new section and secure that to the fascia, as large holes will simply re-appear in 12 months or so. You may end up in a situation where you are putting good money after bad, so my advice to you is to replace the entire length. How to install guttering is covered in previous articles on this website.


Gutter repair needn’t be the nightmare you have envisaged. If a methodical approach is adopted then you will be able to carry out all of the above with the greatest of ease.

Repairing Clogged Gutters

Clogged or bunged-up gutters can be devastating to any home and whether you are aware of it or not, the chances are your pipes will have some sort of build-up as you read this. Whether the maintenance of your home falls under your responsibility or not, you will have to stay on top of this issue.  Ignoring problems with your gutters will only lead to extensive damage to your property that may be difficult to remedy. The last thing you want, is to end up having to take out a second mortgage on your home because of a costly repair bill. This is the reality for many homeowners across the country, as they have had this attitude towards maintenance. It really is up to you. Spend a few hunted on maintenance now or spend a few thousand in the not so distant future.



Water Damage

Water damage, whether extensive or minute needs to be repaired. Even the smallest degree of water damage, will ultimately expand into extensive damage if not treated. So, what’s better than repairing damage? You guessed it, preventing damage in the first place. The biggest prevention mechanism you have is your gutters and when these are not functioning properly, your home is at serious risk. Gutters are designed to keep water from entering the foundations and siding of your home. Many homes are constructed using porous materials that will let some degree of water enter the home. Many people think that just because their home is made of concrete it is impenetrable by water but this is simply not the case.


The Unclogging Process

Most issues related to any problems you may have, can generally be repaired quite easily.  A little effort goes a long way to ensuring the protection of your home against the elements. Again, if maintenance is not your responsibility, please pass this information on to your landlord. Over a period of a few months debris will collect in your gutters. Whether it’s from leaves, branches, grass cuttings or even dead animals or insects, debris will accumulate to the point where water is no longer able to pass. This accumulation over time, may lead to sagging (as discussed in previous articles) but your primary concern should be water seeping over the side of the pipes.


The process of unclogging could not be easier and the only piece of equipment that is required to complete this task is an extension ladder (although those who live in bungalows can use a step ladder).  It really is as simple as ascending the ladder and using a scooping device (or even your hands) to remove any debris that is present. Use a refuge bag or bucket to hold the leaves, twigs etc. This is better than depositing it on the ground below and having to clean it up later.

I bet you didn’t think in a million years, that unclogging your gutters could ever be so simple but it really is. It does not require any specialised equipment or specialist skills to successfully complete. So the next time you reach for the phone to call in the professionals, why not tackle the task yourself?

The Method of Installing Gutters

When you think about rain gutters, you would imagine that in terms of design they are fairly static. Rain gutters are half-pipes which draw water away from the home and their design has been pretty much standard until now. The installation of rain gutters therefor has also remained static in terms of their evolution throughout the years. The entire process is fairly basic and just about anyone can install a new drainage network with relative ease. This piece looks at the various elements of this process and hypothesizes ways of carrying out the installation.

rain gutters

What is the role of gutters?

Their role is to channel water away from our homes, towards a ground level drainage system which directs the water back into nearby lakes, rivers, streams etc. They carry out an invaluable job which pretty much prevents our homes from crumbling around us. You may think I am being a little over dramatic but the truth is, I could be a lot more dramatic given their protection role is so vital. Improperly installed gutters will wreak havoc on the structure of your home and over all this will be detrimental to the structural stability of the building.


Required Tools for Installation

  • Snips
  • Hacksaw/circular saw
  • Plum level
  • Caulk gun
  • Ladders (important the ladders reach the gutters easily)
  • Hammer-action drill
  • Tape measure


Installation Steps

  1. Pre-plan the installation, deciding on the type of gutter required, the aesthetic elements of the piping and also where you want the water to be re-directed to. The last attribute is very important to avoid channelling the water to an area of your property that cannot be drained easily. Numerous times I have witnessed people putting up guttering with little thought as to how the ground drainage system will deal with the water.
  2. Assess the length of piping required to complete the job. The best way of doing this is to be at eye level with the fascia or roof and measure (using the tape measure) exactly how long the lengths of gutter should be. The measuring process should not be carried out at ground level because the lower parts of the walls may differ greatly from the upper parts of the wall. These measurements tell you, not only how much piping you need but also the number of corresponding components required.
  3. When installing gutters it is best to decide on a starting point which is at the corner of the roof furthest away from your downspouts (this is assuming your downspouts are already in place). Measure a mark, roughly ¾ down from the edge of your roof on both sides of the fascia and snap a line between the two points. This will act as your guide line. Every ten feet of gutter installed will require a gradient of about ½ an inch. Secondary lines will need to be snapped to show this gradient for every length of gutter installed.
  4. Bore the holes for the brackets and install them using these guide lines. Once these mounting brackets are installed, the gutter lengths can be attached to the fascia. This last part should be relatively easy if the initial steps have been correctly followed.