Best Home Gutters?

Sorry if this has been discussed before. I'm new to the group. (and sorry tldr people, I'm trying to cover what we've done in order to get good advice.)
We want to replace our gutters. They're old, leaking in critical places, and we're just tired of the problems. We've had a couple gutter firms to check it out and they've given their bids.
Mainly I think I need to know:
-What size is good? One company recommended the standard size, the other wants to put a larger gutter on. The larger sounds pretty good actually, but is there a downside to it?
-What is a good cover? One recommends something called Gutter Helmet that completely covers the gutter, and the rain has to adhere to it to come back under it to actually drop in the gutter. The leaves drop straight down to the ground. I've read a little on it and it has a lot of problems, such as if there's any dirt on the bullnose the rain won't follow the curve. And it doesn't quite keep out all the leaves so you'll eventually have to clean it out anyway. And last, our roof is very steep leading to me to believe the velocity of the water is too great and will overcome the adhering effect and drop straight to the ground defeating the whole purpose of the gutter. The other simply has an aluminum hood with holes in it. He assures us that when dry the leaves will just blow away, especially here in Kansas where the wind is pretty high. But my reading doesn't back that up. One of Consumer Reports recommendations is kind of a hybrid between the two called Waterloov, or something similar. Theoretically it works well over the long term with only a small amount of maintenance. Does anyone have experience with that particular product? (assuming we can find anyone here in town to install it.)
What else do we need to know? What else do we need to find out?
What type of gutter would you put on your house if you were doing it All Over Again?
Whew. Thanks for listening.
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Pringles CheezUms wrote:

20 years ago, when we had our house built, we let builder put on 6 in. rolled on-site seamless gutter around the house, Al. in white color. When roof was redone a few years ago they put on a drip edge lapping over gutter.(Al. facia has no contact with water) I never did any thing other than cleaning out leaves once a year or so.
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Pringles CheezUms posted for all of us...
And I know how to SNIP

It has and Goggle will tell you.
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On Saturday, July 12, 2014 12:58:52 AM UTC-4, Pringles CheezUms wrote:

I have not found a "cover" that doesn't eventually need to be removed so you can clean the gutters out because stuff slips by. If there is such a thing I'd love to see it.
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I THINK gutter helmet will come out and clean your gutters for free for as long as you own the home.
If your gutters deposit the water to a dry well it might be a good idea to devise some sort of filter so no matter what gutters you have they cant clog your dry well...
dont bother with screens over the gutter they clog and make it harder to clean out the debris:(
Another question no one has asked, how many trees in the area.
A minor but irritating trouble? Or a beautiful but perpetual canopy of trees...
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On Fri, 11 Jul 2014 23:58:52 -0500, Pringles CheezUms

<snip>

<snip> Had mine done last year or year before.
El shaped Ranch house in the woods, about 2000 SQ ft. NE Ohio, so lots of snow. Lots of trees and therefore leaves and needles. Real pain to keep them clean in the fall.
Had always had some trouble with ice damming on one section over a bow window where attic ventilation was poor.
I put on 6" K style gutters. and oversize(3x4) downspouts Both are much heavier gauge than most. The old ones were 5" with 2x3 downspouts and because of the design of the roof there were sections of gutter that were draining large areas of roof and the 5" often overflowed in real downpours.
You can find formulas on the web for how much roof area a given size gutter and downspout can drain.
The only disadvantages of going with the larger size are cost and they look a little clunkier. My ranch is cottage style and the larger size look fine. But if you have a "dainty" house, they might look out of place. I suggest having your guy show you a section of the larger size next to the eave so you can judge.
Regardless of the size you go with, I'd definitely get the heavy gauge. What a difference!
After tons of research on various gutter guard systems, I was more confused than ever. So I asked my gutter guy (who lives near me as it turns out) what he put on his gutters. He showed me the flat aluminum plates with round holes that just screw on top of the gutter. They aren't quite flat as they have a slight lip so they sit just a bit below the top of the gutter. They are black in color, which he said is important in the winter. Most of this style I've seen are just plain aluminum color.
He said he'd be happy to sell me the gutter helmet style (at about 3x the cost) or any other of the 16 different kinds he sells, but that these work the best in the area.
For the most part they are self cleaning. Leaves do dry up and blow away from most areas. The only place they don't is behind the splash guards, which are raised aluminum shields lined up with the valleys in the roof to prevent the high velocity water flowing down the valleys from just shooting past the gutter. Leaves do get trapped behind those guards. This is not an issue for me because I have a Ranch house. I took a wooden pole and fastened a whisk broom to the end pointing down. It takes me a few minutes to brush off the trapped leaves behind the splash guards, standing on the ground.
Results after two winters: No ice damming. No clogs. They look as nice as the day they were installed. Total time spent fussing with them...maybe 1 hour/fall. It used to take me 3-4 hours to clean them and I had to do it at least every other week in the fall.
Wish I would have spent the $2500 when we first moved in.
Paul F.
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I installed standard sized vinyl gutters on our house and garage. Ten years have passed and I've been very happy with them. No leaks, and they look as good as the day I installed them. Best of all they are a DIY product you can pick up from Home Depot and are a lot more affordable than professional gutters.
The only downside to the vinyl gutters is that they expand in the sunlight and contract when the sun goes down. Since they float freely in the mounting brackets, you have to secure one end or the gutter will slowly creep one direction or the other. Super simple to avoid, just a single screw at one end.

We live in the forest, surrounded by douglas fir and alder trees. So we get a combination of leaves and fir needles.
Open gutters were a nightmare in our old home on the same property. I had to clean them every few months to prevent overflows or clogged drains.
When I installed the vinyl gutters on our new house, I bought the vinyl covers by the same manufacturer. Basically, it's a ridged cover with screened holes for the water to pass through. Unfortunately, they're not as stiff as the gutters so over time they warped and separated. They still performed OK, but were unsightly and eventually had gaps between the sections.
A few years ago I replaced the gutter covers with filters:
http://gutterstuff.com/guttering/index.php
They fit inside the gutters so you can't see them from the ground, and don't expand or separate the way the vinyl covers did. For the most part, I've been happy with the gutter filters.
Unlike the TV ads I often see, leaves and fir needles DO NOT "blow away on the next windy day". They stick together and slowly build up on top of the gutter filter. This doesn't seem to affect the performance of the gutter, as water still drains through, and the filter ensures the drains stay clear. It's just unsightly, and weeds can grow in the mat of pine needles.
About once a year I try to clear the fir needles from the top of the gutter filters. Since the needles sit on top, they dry out quickly and are easy to remove. This is much nicer than scooping out the wet soggy goop from an open gutter.
Good luck with your choice!
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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On Sat, 12 Jul 2014 15:54:26 -0700 (PDT), jamesgang

Even if there were such a cover, isn't it going to get covered itself by leaves?
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It's actually my parents home, so the clean-it-as-long-as-you-own-it doesn't mean very much. They're not young.
It's an old house, and there are several tall trees around, but only two close to the house to drop leaves on the roof. One is a willow, which has small leaves, and the other is...I forget, but it has very small leaves, yellow, and about 1/4 diameter. So both those would be a problem.

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Many thanks to all who've helped!
Ok, I'm fairly convinced to get the larger size, and maybe even the heavier guage.
But I just get more confused about the covers.
What about a hybrid of sorts. A couple I've run across are Waterloov, which seems to solve a couple problems that solid hoods have http://waterloov.com/
and a variant on the simple sheet with holes, this has two sizes of holes: http://www.improvementscatalog.com/imp/10121?cm_mmc=Amazon-_-Deck%2FOutdoorCleaningandRepair-_-2014-_-214318+WHT&mr:trackingCode 3185E1-9736-DF11-9DA0-002219319097&mr:referralID=NA&SourceCode=MP4XW028&code-macs=MP4XW028&redirect=y
It looks like no matter what we get we'll still have to clean it every once in a while, but will some kind of, filter thing in the downspout help even further? Something similar to this: (Amazon.com product link shortened)4Y36RZ27VPQ0KBJ9NV
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On Monday, July 14, 2014 1:29:05 AM UTC-4, Pringles CheezUms wrote:

F11-9DA0-002219319097&mr:referralID=NA&SourceCode=MP4XW028&code-macsMP4XW028&redirect=y

I've never seen a point in the strainers. Stuff bunches up there anyway. Everything I've had that goes down the downspout has been fine. Once it g ets into the downspout any clogs are going to have a lot of water pressure building up and will eventually wash through. At least that's my experienc e.
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FWIW, my sokution was not to use them. Or gutters either.
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I had open gutters on our old house (same property). They usually clogged up right at the opening for the downspout. However, there were several occasions where that plug of debris would move down and get lodged in the downspout elbows. Sometimes I could just use the garden hose to force water up or down and clean it out. Other times I had to disassemble the downspouts to clean it out.
Regardless of where the clog occurred, I usually didn't notice till we had a rain storm and the gutters overflowed.
On our new house I installed screens which kept the majority of the debris out of the gutter. I still had to clean the top of the screens once or twice a year, but the gutters remained free flowing with no clogs. Unfortunately, some debris still worked it's way between the sections of gutter screen so I once or twice I had to take the screens off and clean out the gutters.
I replaced the screens with gutter filters. They fit tightly together so I haven't had to clean out the gutters since I installed the filters. Debris still builds up on top of the filter, but the gutters remain free flowing. I still clean the tops of the filter once a year or so, but that's a lot easier than cleaning out open gutters.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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